There are laws in place to avoid overfishing, however, they are inadequate. They only work when practiced – and it’s hard to enforce domestic laws against large foreign trawlers who hover between international and domestic waters.
Conventional aquaculture is regulated by catch size limits to ensure each animal grows to adulthood and has the chance to breed once before being caught. This approach is insufficient because of natural selection, which will drive the lobster population to become smaller and smaller.
The bigger the lobster, the more eggs it can produce. In failing to protect bigger lobsters, we are failing to protect the species’ most important breeders. This traditional model of aquaculture gradually destroys the population’s ability to replenish itself.
Conventional farming practices target adult fish by removing them from the wild to breed on a farm, however, a fish’s chance of surviving a short transition from the ocean to a shallow water nursery is 1 in 100. Removing these survivors is not sustainable because they are the breeders of the population – the ecosystem needs them survive.
We’ve realized that removing baby lobsters (post-larvae) from the water to raise on the farm has virtually no impact because the lobster mortality rate is naturally exceptionally high. This idea of focusing on post-larvae lobsters makes sense both environmentally and economically
We have evolved the CSF model from a mere passion to a commercially viable package that provides business opportunities to fishing families and young entrepreneurs throughout the Caribbean and beyond.
Each enterprise will take the form of a small scale modular system and a series of GPS -defined fishery concessions that can be licensed to a wide group of participants in any coastal community. The licensing process ensures a sustainable code of practice and also provides controls on local market forces via ‘fair trade’ farm gate pricing for lobsters.
There’s still work to do and our systems are constantly evolving. However, we are excited by the potential to create an eco-friendly, sustainable and profitable enterprise.