Traceable Species

Juan Fernandez Rock Lobster

Juan Fernandez Rock Lobster

Juan Fernández rock lobster are a bottom-dwelling species that are found only in the Juan Fernández Archipelago and the Islas Desventuradas off the coast of Chile. Unlike American lobsters, these spiny lobster have no claws and are distinguished by their long, spiny antennae which are typically longer than their body. These lobster start life as larvae and develop by regularly shedding their shell and growing a new, larger one.

Rock lobsters have long, cylindrical bodies covered with spines. This species ranges in color from light gray to a vivid orange, and grow as big as seven kilograms and as old as 100 years of age. Their legs terminate in a single spine-like point. As with other members of the spiny lobster family, they lack the giant claws seen in the American lobsterJuan Fernández lobster have a delicate taste, and are often served grilled with spices or prepared locally as a casserole called "Perol."

Juan Fernandez Rock Lobster

To reach maturity, a lobster must defy remarkable odds. A female lobster spawns thousands 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 nine to 12 mm in length) take shelter among the marine vegetation in shallow waters, feeding on available small prey. After a few months, juvenile lobsters move into deeper water as they mature. Their diet is mainly composed of algae, small mollusks, small crustaceans, fish eggs, larvae, freshly killed fish and younger lobsters. The period of major vulnerability is during the molt when they shed their exterior shell and before the new one hardens. They grow up to 100 cm long, but average about 30 cm or 700 to 750 grams (1.5 lbs).

Food Info Juan Fernandez Rock Lobster


  • Colour: a bright red shell and snow white meat with red tinges when cooked 
  • 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 local recipe is to grill the lobster after splitting and seasoning.
Species Range
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: Juan Fernandez Rock Lobster by Trap>], 'gear': <Gear: Wooden Trap>}

Wooden Trap

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


Featured Harvester Bernie Berry

Mangrove Crab Harvester

Canavieiras, Brazil

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