The Caribbean spiny lobster is one of the most economically important fisheries in both Florida and the United States Virgin Islands. The crustacean is under substantial recreational and commercial fishing pressure in the regions and in some cases within park boundaries.
The South Florida/Caribbean Network developed a protocol that provides a general overview and specific methodologies for Caribean spiny lobster (Paniluris argus) monitoring in parks within the network that contain marine habitat suitable for adult spiny lobster: Biscayne National Park (BISC), Buck Island Reef National Monument (BUIS), Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve (SARI), and Virgin Islands National Park (VIIS).
The protocol developed by the South Florida/Caribbean Network is designed to provide an understanding of current conditions and trends for adult Caribbean spiny lobster in the network’s parks. If resources allow, it is highly recommended to monitor post-larval recruitment and juvenile populations as well, to provide a more comprehensive assessment of lobsters throughout the entirety of their life-cycle. This also has the potential to alert managers of any issues prior to the lobster recruiting to the exploited phase. Presently, the network does not have the time, budget, or personnel to pursue multiple types of lobster monitoring and, at the request of park resource managers, has chosen to focus on the exploited phase of the species. Information derived from this monitoring will provide critical data to support the sustainable management of spiny lobster within these parks. This protocol will provide information about relative density, relative frequency of occurrence, average size, and biological condition of adult spiny lobster within the network’s parks.
Lobster publicationsFind all monitoring reports, protocols, and resource briefs below.
Last updated: January 8, 2020