Lobster farming or lobster fattening?

There has been excessive publicity lately concerning lobster farming in Belize. A permit to harvest juvenile lobsters was given by the Department of Fisheries on April 28th before a determination was even made by the Department of the Environment (DOE) concerning the environmental feasibility of the project. The DOE replied on May 27th and rejected the proposal. Apparently, they were unaware the permit had already been issued. The author of the DOE letter has since been vilified in the red press for this action. A number of articles in other newspapers have been written supporting the DOE's stance. We agree. A search of the Internet regarding spiny lobster aquaculture reveals a very discouraging picture. Experts say don't even try raising lobster from larvae. It isn't feasible yet. The Internet does have quite a few articles that emphasize lobsters turn into cannibals and eat each other if their food is not generous and the pens spacious. Somehow, we can't picture James Wang overfeeding lobster and building luxury pens. Lobsters in captivity also seem to be more prone to disease and those diseases can spread to the rest of the lobster population.

One site had this to say about lobster farming:

"Is it possible to raise lobsters on a commercial basis? Not yet, but research is underway to develop rearing techniques and to assess the economic feasibility of rearing the American lobster commercially. In the opinion of many scientists working with the American lobster, commercial aquaculture can be achieved in the near future with a sufficient level of effort. Future projections for the culture of the spiny lobster are not, however, optimistic. Unlike the American lobster which has a relatively short larval life (several weeks), the spiny lobster has a larval life of about six or seven months. The technical difficulties presented by the fragile, demanding requirements of the early life stages discount the use of traditional hatchery methods with any degree of success or practicality."
Of course, the permit issued here conveniently skips that difficult stage of larval life, allowing the capture of juvenile lobster. (That process should be really interesting considering the DOE has already been told to stop sticking their nose into the environment where it obviously doesn't belong. ) The "lobster farming" discussed seems more like lobster fattening than farming. It would seem this lobster story is a developing one - the story is like an iceberg. We have only seen the tip.

Environmental Impact Assessments - Anyone want to take bets on how many are written in the next few months? How about how many are waived? How many think the educational benefits of Cangrejo Caye are so great they will outweigh the need for any environmental report?

Opening in December!




San Pedro Sun
Homepage


Front Page of This Issue

Previous Issues

Copyright 1996, San Pedro Sun. Design by Advantage Information Management