This past Sunday marked the opening of the 2021/2022 Bahamian crawfishing season, which will run from August 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

Crawfish (also known as Bahamian lobster or spiny lobster) represents a vital part of our economy. In 2018, more than four million pounds of Bahamian crawfish, valued at nearly $50 million, were harvested.

Not only are they economically important, but crawfish form an integral part of the local food chain, serving as a food source for turtles, sharks, octopus and fish. Known as reef cleaners because they feed on algae, snails and bottom-dwelling organisms, crawfish also help maintain the well-being of our reefs.  

During crawfish harvest season, catch limits and size limits are in place to protect the population and ensure that juveniles are able to reach reproductive maturity.  And to enable the crustaceans to reproduce uninterrupted, no harvesting is permitted between April 1 and July 31 each year.

Some of the key regulations governing the Bahamian crawfish harvesting season are detailed in the graphic below, produced by Friends of the Environment and featuring original artwork by Hope Town’s Summer Aberle.

For more information, see Chapter 244–Section 19, Fisheries Resources: Jurisdiction and Conservation Regulations, or contact the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture at minagriculturemarine@bahamas.gov.bs or (242) 397-7000.

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