Baja red rock lobster fishery gets third MSC recertification

a lobster from Baja, Mexico

The red rock lobster fishery in Baja, Mexico has received its third Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard recertification since becoming one of the first 10 fisheries in the world to obtain MSC certification in 2004.

The fishery is overseen by the Regional Federation of Cooperative Societies of the Fishing Industry of Baja California (FEDECOOP), which acts as a client and integrates 14 cooperatives together, nine of which are MSC-certified. FEDECOOP aims to represent the interests of subsidiary cooperative organizations and promote sustainable use of marine resources. The fishery was the first artisanal fishery in the world to be certified by MSC.

“We are very pleased that the Mexican red lobster fishery has obtained its third recertification. It is a huge and very important achievement," MSC Program Director for Latin America Cristian Vallejos said in a press release. "It is not easy and we congratulate the fishery for its great management. Keeping their populations and markets constant for 18 years tells us that the standard is of great importance to achieve sustainability and preserve livelihoods.”

The fishing season runs from mid-September to the end of February, with an approximate annual catch of 1,300 metric tons. Most lobsters are sold live but options are available for a frozen cooked or raw whole lobster and frozen tails.

The main market for the Mexican red lobster is China, with a small part exported to the United States and France. The Baja California peninsula is the source for 80 percent of Mexico's national lobster catch, and 90 percent of that catch is exported, while the remaining 10 percent is primarily sold domestically in restaurants.

The recertification confirms Baja's red rock lobster population remains at sustainable population levels, and ensures the livelihoods of the workers in the fishing cooperatives in the North Pacific region in the Baja California Peninsula, Vallejos said.

Photo courtesy of Red Lobster fishery 


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