Say NO To Lobster March 1st through June 30th
Learn more about lobster season and why it’s important
From March 1st to June 30th Lobster Season in the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, is closed. The ban applies specifically to the spiny lobster, spotted spiny lobster, spiny rock lobster, and spiny lobster mom.
Due to over-fishing and a major decrease in numbers, the ban was adopted back in 2010 in order to preserve these species. The March 1st through June 30th is the time that lobsters located in the Caribbean and Central America are reproducing, so the ban was purposely put in place during these 4 months to respect the crustaceans’ breeding season. There is also the thought that, in addition to preserving the species, the ban helps to improve its quality for exports. It’s all making sense now!
It is important to note that this ban applies to fishing as well as capture, processing, meat, or mass possession and marketing. That essentially means that you should not be able to find lobster for sale or available to eat anywhere…including market, supermarkets, and restaurants. Download Decree 119-12 of Law 307-04, issued by President Leonel Fernandez on March 16, 2012 that states:
ARTICLE 2. The capture, processing and POSSESSION of meat or dough and the commercialization of the indicated species are prohibited.
You may see some restaurants claim they are now serving langostino, which means “little lobster” in Spanish and actually refers to crayfish here in the Dominican Republic. Only the most sophisticated palates can actually tell the difference between lobster and langostino.
Anyone that is found in violation of the ban could be fined up to US$50,000 as well as face up to 10 years in prison. So please remember, as a way of protecting them, not to fish or buy lobsters in any of the seafood centers, on the beaches, or from the menu between March 1st and June 30th.