Netuno launches new FIP for Venezuelan lobster

Venezuelan fishermen on board a small boat filled with a catch of Caribbean spiny lobster.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.-based Netuno – a leading importer of snapper and grouper to the U.S. – announced today that it has launched a new fishery improvement project (FIP) for the Venezuela Caribbean spiny lobster fishery.

The FIP is being launched by the company with the support of Grupo V.P.A.S., C.A and Instituto de Investigaciones Cientificas de la Universidad de Oriente.

“Our goal for the first year is to establish accurate stock data and sharing them with Guiana, Suriname, French Guiana, and the Antilles that shares the same Central Caribbean stock,” Netuno Sustainability and Compliance Manager Andre Brugger said. “I believe that the international community cares about implementing proper practices. We hope establishing clear and transparent data will allow us to correct the issues found in the pre-assessment.”

A third-party Marine Stewardship Council pre-assessment of Venezuela identified 269 species – both marine and freshwater – with a production of 231,899 metric tons in 2019. The report also found that lobster is one of the main species for the country in terms of catch volume and commercial value.

The FIP, Netuno said, is part of the company’s goal to source 90 percent or more of its products from fisheries that are either certified as sustainable, or in an active FIP, by 2025.

“This (FIP) is the first of several projects planned toward supporting this goal and our overall mission of supplying high-quality, sustainable seafood,” Brugger said.

The fishery uses free diving with a hook to catch the lobsters, and the season for the species officially started on 1 October. Fishing fleets for the species and many others in the region are typically small and artisanal, using boats called peñeros, according to the independent assessment.

“The importance of Venezuela’s lobster fishing specifically to the fishing community and to global trade then makes the launch of this FIP a historical step towards proper management and accountability of proper fishery management, especially given the socio-political climate in Venezuela,” Netuno said in a press release.  

Photo courtesy of Netuno


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