Traceable Species

Caribbean Spiny Lobster


Crawfish, Rock Lobster, Bug, Florida Lobster, Langosta espinosa, Florida Spiny lobster, West Indian Spiny Lobster, Langosta Chakay

Caribbean Spiny Lobster

Caribbean spiny lobster are a bottom-dwelling species that live on reefs and in mangrove swamps in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina to Brazil. Unlike American lobsters, spiny lobster have no claws and are distinguished by their long, spiny antennae which are typically longer than their body. Also known as crawfish, these crustaceans start life as larvae and develop by regularly shedding their shell and growing a new, larger one. During this vulnerable molting period, lobster hide in rocky, creviced habitat.

Spiny lobster have long, cylindrical bodies coved with spines. They are usually olive green or brown with some yellowish sponts on their carapace and abdomen. Their legs are striped with blue and yellow lines and terminate in a single spine-like point. The size, colour and flavour of spiny lobster vary depending on the season, local habitat, water temperature, nutrients, feed and other ecological factors. Just as terroir gives wine its particular character, the natural marine environment—or “meroir”—of a region imparts unique qualities to local lobster. 

Caribbean Spiny Lobster

To reach maturity, a lobster must defy remarkable odds. A female lobster spawns millions of eggs that hatch into free-floating larvae. The larvae are extremely vulnerable at this early stage since they are feed for many fish species. After approximately six to 14 months, the tiny lobsters (only six to 15 mm in length) take shelter among the marine vegetation and mangroves within shallow bay and lagoon habitats, feeding on available small prey. After a few months, juvenile lobsters move into crevices and as they mature they move to deeper water. Their diet is mainly composed of molluscs and vegetable material, but they also feed on dead animals and fishes they find on the bottom of the sea. The period of major vulnerability is during the molt when they shed their exterior shell and before the new one hardens. They grown up to 60 cm long, but average about 20 cm.

Food Info Caribbean Spiny Lobster


TASTING NOTES

  • Colour: when cooked, a bright red shell and snow white meat with red tinges 
  • Texture: a firm, dense, somewhat fibrous texture
  • Flavour: sweet, mild, but distinctive taste which can vary depending on habitat
  • Perfect serve: Lobster lends itself to a huge variety of cooking preparations but a popular Caribbean recipe is to grill the lobster after splitting and seasoning.
HOW TO CHOOSE A QUALITY CARIBBEAN SPINY LOBSTER
Species Range
Caribbean Spiny Lobster range Source: Fishbase.org
COMMON NAMES
Crawfish
Rock Lobster
Bug
Florida Lobster
Langosta espinosa
Florida Spiny lobster
West Indian Spiny Lobster
Langosta Chakay
FISHERY OPENINGS
Caribbean Spiny Lobster by Casitas Diving Jun 01 - Feb 28
Jul 01 - Feb 28
These crabs mate at the time of maturity, which is approximately 3 years of age. Females are smaller than males; this is because the development of reproductive tissues required more energy for females, leaving less energy available for continued body growth. They grow through a process known as molting—regularly shedding their shell and growing a new, larger one. They continue to molt and grow after they have reached sexual maturity. During the breeding season, the crabs leave their borrows in a phenomenon characterized by mass mate-searching events. Once mating/fertilization has occurred, females spawns in the water. The larvae released during the rainy season develop in offshore waters and return to coastal waters five to eight weeks after larval release.
Mangrove crabs are important fishery resources in all Brazilian coast, mainly in the north and northeast where many fishermen depend upon their catch. In addition to its social and economic importance, the mangrove crab is a “keystone” species in ecosystem, they playing an important role in the processes of nutrient cycling and energy transfer.

Fishing Methods

{'fisheries': [<License: Belize Lobster Fishery by Dive & Trap>, <License: Caribbean Spiny Lobster by Casitas Diving>], 'gear': <Gear: Dive with Casitas Traps>}

Dive with Casitas Traps

This fishery uses wooden and wire traps submerged on the seafloor to catch lobster. The traps attract lobster with bait and capture them live.

FISHERIES:

Featured Harvester Bernie Berry

Mangrove Crab Harvester

Canavieiras, Brazil

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