Lobster Season in the Dominican Republic

Every year, as of 2010, there is a very strict ban on fishing lobsters from March 1 to June 30.

This mandatory lobster off-season had to be brought in because these poor little crustaceans are really suffering from overfishing. They need our help to bring their numbers back up to a normal and sustainable level. We need to leave them alone.

March to June is lobster breeding season. With any luck, they’ll be having the time of their lives and procreating like crazy.

The law prohibits fishing, capture, processing, and mass possession of lobster meat, which means it’s not okay for restaurants to serve lobster at all March through June. No one is allowed to fish more in February in preparation for the ban. Everything caught has to be consumed or thrown out within 20 days of the ban coming in.

Offenders face fines of up to $50,000 USD and up to 10 years in prison. Yeah, this is serious stuff.

This is a Caribbean and Central American ban to protect spiny lobsters, so it’s not just a Dominican law.

For us, this means NO EATING LOBSTER. Don’t even think about it. Even if you see it on a menu and you think no one’s looking.

We all have to do our bit to make sure lobster populations survive around the island.

lobster season Dominican Republic

Here are some cool facts about lobsters to think about, while we can’t eat them.

1. Lobsters keep on growing their whole lives, and they may even live forever.

Okay, so we don’t know for a fact that lobsters can’t die of natural causes. But, they do have a handy enzyme that protects their DNA from damage as it replicates. This means they effectively don’t age.

Of course, there are lots of ways a lobster can die, like being fished, attacked by a predator, getting a horrible lobster disease.

However, they may have found the secret to eternal youth. And that’s worth preserving!

2. Lobsters taste with their feet.

Lobsters have tiny hairs on their legs and feet that are sensitive to chemicals. They effectively walk around until their feet detect that they’re standing on food, and then eat it. They do have antennae that can sense food from slightly further away. So, that helps.

3. Lobsters are cannibals.

It’s true, lobsters eat lobsters. They roam around on the sea floor, eating fish, crabs, clams, mussels, and sea urchins. And, yes, if they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat a fellow lobby.

4. Lobsters have teeth in their stomachs.

The grinding and chewing action in a lobster happens in the stomach, not in the mouth. Well, technically, food is ground up in the gastric mill. That’s a set of chompers about the size of a walnut. Amazing.

5. A lobster claw can exert 100 pounds of pressure per square inch.

That’s some serious pinch. Lobsters use their big front claws, called the crusher claw, to break hard things like clam shells or mussels. They have separate ripper claws that are a bit more dexterous to tear soft fleshy parts to eat. Kind of like how we have molars to grind and canines to tear.

Pinky swear

Okay, so repeat after me: I will do my part to help the wonderful, tasty lobster survive. I will abstain from eating lobster from March to June.

If we let the lobster have a proper, undisturbed breeding season, the populations will hopefully recover some numbers from all the damage we’ve done.

Go on, I know you can do it.