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Tulum fishermen postpone setting traps with start of lobster season

Tulum, Q.R. — Lobster season in the Atlantic has begun along the Yucatan Peninsula. On Saturday, the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission (Conapesca) reported the official start of the season for Yucatan and Quintana Roo fishermen.

Lobster fishermen will be legally allowed to place traps until February 29, 2024 in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. The Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development (Sagarpa) reports that Quintana Roo fishermen each catch an average of 3,807 tons each year.

This year, however, Punta Allen fishermen say they are putting lobster trap placement on hold until a price has been agreed on.

More than 70 members of the Vigía Chico Fisherman’s Cooperative are delaying heading out to sea since an agreement on price has not been reached.

Jesús Pereira, who heads the production area of the Cooperative, explained that to date, a price per kilo for whole or tail has not been agreed upon. He said those prices are usually settled a week before the start of the season with local, national and, when possible, international buyers.

“In terms of price, we still have nothing certain. We are waiting to see what the buyers say. We decided to wait while it is defined.

“We are going to wait for them to give a price and if not, we are not going to fish. We are going to hold out for about five days,” he explained saying this is the first time this has happened.

The Cooperative says they have buyers for their 100 ton goal, but until now, they continue to wait on a price per kilo.

On the other side of the country in the Gulf of California, July 1 marked the start of lobster ban. Fishermen in Sonora, Sinaloa as well as Pacific fishermen from Nayarit to Chiapas are currently banned from setting traps.