Last updated August 13, 2015
Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus)© Abel Valdivia
- Volume – approximately 1,265 mt of lobster tails in 2009 (all gear types)
- Gear – Lobster trap
- Location – Both industrial and artisanal fleets conduct the lobster fishery in Honduras. The industrial fleet centers its activities around the Bay Islands (Roatan, Guanaja) and La Ceiba. This fleet exploits the banks of Rosalinda, Gorda, Thunder Knoll, Media Luna and Lagarto Reef, in the eastern territorial waters of Honduras, and close to the border with Nicaragua. Other exploited banks include Misteriosa and El Rosario, north of the Swan Islands. The artisanal activity takes place in the Cayos Cochinos archipelago area. Please note that these locations are for the trap and dive fisheries.
the stakeholders involved in the FIP include: WWF, the General Directorate for
Fishing and Aquaculture (DIGEPESCA), the Organization of the Central
American Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (OSPESCA), The Nature Conservancy, The Smithsonian Institute, the Center for Marine
Ecology (CEM), the National Service of Agropecuary Health (SENASA), the Roatan Marine Park, Honduras
Coral Reef Fund (Cayos Cochinos co-manager), the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL),
the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG), the Navy, the Merchant Marine, the Caribbean
Fishers Association (APESCA), the Association of Honduras Industrial Fishers
(APICA), and other industry representatives.
Honduras spiny lobster FIP process began in June 2011 with completion of a
Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) pre-assessment. In October 2011, following the
completion of the pre-assessment, a FIP scoping document was developed,
which includes potential strategies for addressing the gaps identified in the
sharing the scoping document with stakeholders, WWF held a FIP stakeholder
meeting in December 2011 in Roatán, Honduras to develop a FIP Action Plan that
will be implemented over the next several years to bring the fishery up to a
level consistent with the MSC standard. At the stakeholder meeting, FIP activities,
responsible parties, and estimated timeframes to complete each activity were
identified. The FIP Action Plan was finalized in July 2012.
Since the FIP Action Plan was
finalized in July 2012, we have been working to implement high priority activities.
Some of the key accomplishments include:
- WWF worked with processors and fishermen to conduct a pilot
project to field test a traceability system designed for the Caribbean Spiny Lobster
industrial trap fishery. The pilot project took place on July 2013 – February
2014, which involved placing observers aboard industrial trap fishing vessels
to record catch data and tracing the trap-caught lobster up the supply chain.
The lessons learned from the traceability system pilot project will be used to
inform the development of expanded observer and traceability systems across the
The system proved to be useful and
effective for the traceability of the spiny lobster trap fishery, yet
continuous training, emphasizing the importance of implementing best fishing
practices, should be given to crew members.
The formats and codification system
can be simplified and adapted to the conditions in the boats and packing
plants, to allow for easier collection of information.
- WWF conducted several coordination meetings with relevant
In June 2013, WWF and DIGEPESCA
called a meeting with stakeholder representatives from the lobster trap fishery
in Honduras, to create a National Multi Stakeholder Lobster Committee.
Representatives from the Navy, Merchant Marine, CEM, SENASA and a member from
the industrial sector were present. All attendees agreed to establish the committee
and a new meeting will be held to follow-up on this. The establishment of a
committee composed by representatives from all sectors will help to create a
transparent management system, follow up on FIP progress and milestones, aid in
the decision-making process, and allow for better participation and
transparency in lobster fishery management and governance.
In May 2014, WWF, jointly with
SENASA and DIGEPESCA, held a FIP informational meeting with 33 key FIP
stakeholders (processors, fishers, government, and NGOs) in La Ceiba to update
them on the FIP progress and increase their engagement in the process.
Participants expressed interest in improving traceability of the Honduras
lobster fishery and encouraging best fishing practices across the industry.
SENASA was very supportive of the FIP work and expressed interest in
collaborating on FIP activities. As a result of this, SENASA will share
information to support specific FIP Action Plan activities.
Other individual meetings with
relevant stakeholders have been carried out to keep them engaged and informed.
- Collation of data and forms from different sources, in order
to carry out the stock assessment information gap analysis. The objective of
the analysis is to define which information is needed to carry out Caribbean
Spiny Lobster stock assessments in Honduras systematically and periodically, in
order to improve management of the fishery and in compliance with MSC
standard. Catch data and related forms
have been collected from DIGEPESCA. SENASA will share export data requested by
WWF. Additional catch data information
will be requested from processors and other NGOs that have agreed to support
- Preparation of proposals to fund specific FIP Action Plan
activities. As a result of this, a grant proposal that was presented to the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in collaboration with the
Smithsonian Institution has been approved and work will be commenced in early
2015. The name of the project is “Science-based decision-making for spiny
lobster management in Honduras”, and one of the objectives is to evaluate the
status of the lobster resources of Honduras.
Several FIP activities need to be completed by FIP
stakeholders in order for the fishery to be ready to enter MSC full assessment.
Some of these activities include:
- Developing a comprehensive monitoring program;
- Developing a long-term IUU monitoring plan;
- Adapting, improving or developing new forms to collect
necessary data to inform stock assessments, ecosystem-based indicators (i.e.,
non-target species, habitat, ecosystem), and the harvest strategy:
the next year, using fisheries data collected by the Center for Marine Studies
and the Smithsonian Institution, along with data provided by DIGEPESCA, SENASA
and processors, WWF will work closely with a stock assessment consultant to
identify gaps in the available fisheries data. The purpose of this is to
improve data collection efforts and work towards the development of a
comprehensive catch monitoring system and a full stock assessment. Also, a
preliminary stock analyses for Honduras lobster will be developed.
- Developing harvest control rules and integrating them into the harvest strategy;
- Developing a stock assessment model and conducting a stock assessment;
- Conducting a literature review of research from other areas on impacts on non-target species;
- Developing an observer program for long-term monitoring of non-target species;
- Conducting a study to evaluate habitat impacts of lobster traps in Honduras;
- Strengthening the capacity of fishery officers; and
- Strengthening cooperation between institutions and civil
society to improve monitoring, surveillance and enforcement.