Cap Of 450 Recreational Lobster Diver Licenses

July 23, 2018 | 5 Comments

The Minister of Home Affairs Walton Brown today announced a cap of 450 recreational lobster divers for the 2018-2019 season, which opens September 1st 2018.

Licenses will be issued on a first come, first served basis from August 6th 2018. The deadline to report catch data [including nil catches] for the 2017-2018 season was April 30th 2018.

Therefore, divers licensed last season will only be able to relicense if they have already submitted their statistics to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

lobster in cooler bermuda generic

A Department spokesperson stated that a total of 412 lobster divers applied and were licensed for the 2017-2018 season, although a cap of 500 had been set. The spokesperson also stated that, although divers were required to sign a terms and conditions document to indicate their commitment to abide by the 30th April 2018 reporting deadline, 93 divers had not submitted any statistics.

The spokesperson indicated that the “Marine Resources Board and the Department are still concerned about the long term health of Bermuda’s lobster population, particularly in the shallow areas closer to shore.:

“Bermuda’s lobsters are a resource shared between both the recreational lobster divers and the commercial lobster trap fishermen. Although commercial fishers operate in both deep and shallow water, the recreational divers can only catch lobsters in areas shallow enough for free-diving. This past season was the fifth consecutive season of below average commercial catches.

“While the number of lobsters caught per trap in the inshore areas was slightly up from the previous season, it was still 19% lower than the 15-year average. The catch per trap is a standard measure that is an indication of the lobsters’ abundance.”

Minister Brown said, “The number of lobster divers and commercial trap fishermen allowed in the fisheries during the upcoming season was decided in consultation with stakeholders after an analysis of the 2017-2018 data.

“In addition to the reduction in lobster diver licenses, the commercial trap fishery will have one less participant, meaning that there will be 27 trap fishermen this season. These numbers will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary with the sustainability of the fisheries in mind”.

For more information on recreational lobster fishing licenses visit here.

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Comments (5)

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  1. wondering says:

    Does the statistical reference made to lower catch amounts relate to an accurate measurement of catch efforts and have the same amount of days been utilised to catch the lesser amount?

    Did the pot fishermen place their pots in the same areas?

    Did the pot fishermen have any Fisheries Officers on-board for any period of time to monitor the record keeping or are we just taking it for granted that the reporting is accurate?

    Are there any reports of the local grouper population, known to feed on lobster; a healthy grouper population may equal lower numbers of available lobsters who will hide and be more sceptical of venturing freely into the open water – grouper will find them in the crevices but they will change their migratory patterns to suit self preservation!

    These tactics seem to be fashioned after NOAA in the USA who govern red snapper fisheries in a haphazard manner, often blaming the recreational fisherman for predatory fishing methods employed by the commercial operators.

    • Aww says:

      Oh go hug a lobster! Science is always a best guess! We are not going to hire people to watch fisherman on every boat dummy!

      • Anbu says:

        As we all already know who the crooked ffishermen are anyway. Fresh freezer caught fish and sea roach lmao

  2. George Jones says:

    Simple, one lobster per person per day.

  3. Rocky5 says:

    Discrimination.

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