News

G-FISH Spiny Lobster Initiative improves the safety and management of lobster fisheries in Honduras

January 06, 2012

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The Global FISH Alliance's (G-FISH) Spiny Lobster Initiative focuses on the plight of lobster divers in Honduras, an issue that was featured on NBC's “Rock Center” with Brian Williams on Monday, January 2, 2012. As described in this segment, extensive demand for lobsters has led to overfishing along with unsafe and destructive fishing practices in Honduras. Lobster fishers dive with minimal or faulty equipment, and since 2003, hundreds have died, with thousands more injured.

FHI 360 congratulates NBC for highlighting the struggle faced by Honduran lobster fishers. This is an important story that needs to be told. The good news is that a global partnership is raising awareness about the dangers faced by the fishers and is working with local communities in Honduras to develop sustainable solutions.

The G-FISH Spiny Lobster Initiative, managed by FHI 360, has worked with local stakeholders in Honduras for the past three years to improve the safety and management of the spiny lobster fishery and to support divers and their livelihoods. Overall, G-FISH promotes better management practices to increase lobster populations, enhances livelihoods and conserves biodiversity. With Dr. Elmer Mejia, an advocate caring for divers for a decade, as a member of the initiative, G-FISH has supported safe-diving training for boat captains and divers along the Miskito Coast.

The alliance has partnered with more than 30 local organizations, businesses and the government in Honduras to reform the lobster fishery by empowering local stakeholders. FHI 360 manages this alliance, supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and 10 partners.

The alliance has also been actively reaching out to U.S. companies and buyers to raise their awareness about the labor and environmental issues around scuba-dive-caught lobster through the "Know Your Source" (www.knowyoursource.org) campaign. G-FISH is working to convene importers, retailers and restaurants in the United States to discuss options that could improve social and environmental conditions in Honduras. The first meeting will be held at the International Boston Seafood Show, March 11–13, 2012. We encourage all interested individuals and companies to contact the project at gfish@fhi360.org to learn more about these meetings and how to participate.

For more information about G-FISH or to support to this work, please visit www.globalfishalliance.org.