“The Bahamian Spiny Lobster (crawfish) fishery has attained certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), one of the most recognized and most reputable seafood certifications, after a nine-year project and 19-month-long assessment,” confirmed the Hon. Michael Pintard Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources during a press conference Wednesday, August 8. Agencies of the government such as the Department of Marine Resources and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), the non-governmental community, of which the Nature Conservancy was most prominent, the membership of the Bahamas Marine Exporters Association, the international community represented by the World Wildlife Fund, and the commercial fishing community were all involved in the project. The certification granted, said Minister Pintard, confirms that The Bahamas’ lobster fishery is sustainable. It meets high standards that focus on the state of the lobster fishery in relation to overfishing. The management system in place aims to ensure sustainability of this marine resource and the broader environment.
The main benefits to The Bahamas as a result of this certification include enhanced access to foreign markets. This is expected to translate into long-term benefits to all involved in the fishery. The certification does not mean that the fishery is perfect, the Minister said. Indeed, there are issues that the country has to work on inclusive of Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing whether conducted by local or foreign fisherman. The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources congratulates all of those who played a part in this achievement and assures the public of its commitment to efforts that will safeguard our marine resources thereby maintaining this prominent status.