If certain fishing practices don’t change, lobsters could possibly become extinct!
That might sound extreme, but the sad fact is that lobster populations are dwindling faster than an ice cream cone in summer. Mindless overfishing has depleted once-rich sources. The Dominican Republic has tackled this issue by enforcing the Caribbean and Central American ban on the fishing and capture of lobsters and the processing and mass possession of lobster meat. This ban lasts from March to June annually.
During those months, you won’t see lobster on restaurant menus. We’re really serious about protecting these crustaceans.
Why do we care so much? Here are some reasons why we protect lobsters in the DR.
Why we need to protect Lobsters
It doesn’t matter whether you believe in climate change or not. The evidence of what’s happening to our planet speaks for itself. No one is feeling it more than the creatures in the air, and on land and sea, who depend on its sustenance.
The rising water temperatures in some parts of the world is something lobsters, for one, aren’t used to, because they live in a cold water environment. In 1998 and 1999, the Long Island Sound had increased water temperatures that led to a proliferation of bacteria. The deadly combination of overheating, toxic substances, and oxygen-deprivation resulted in a significant reduction in the lobster population in that area by 2002.
We’re lucky in the DR that we don’t have that issue. This is because we’re an environmentally-aware nation, with eco-friendly practices that safeguard our fauna and other creatures.
Our government is so serious about cracking down on illegal poaching, that offenders must pay fines of up to USD $50,000, or serve up to 10 years in prison.
Yes, it’s that serious!
So if you happen to see an establishment selling lobster meat during the period of the ban, please refrain from ordering it. It means that the persons involved are breaking the law.
Lobsters are important to the ecosystem
Whenever an ecosystem loses top predators, there are consequences. Top predators keep other populations under control so that they don’t get out of hand and destroy other species. It’s all about balance.
Sea urchins are part of a lobster’s diet. Without lobsters, there’s the possibility of sea urchins destroying kelp forests, which are a vital habitat for hundreds of marine species. It has already happened in other areas.
We’re doing whatever it takes to make sure that it doesn’t happen in ours.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t eat lobsters. It’s about maintaining balance in our precious and fragile ecosystem. The connection we have with this planet and all its life forms are symbiotic. Each one needs the other.
We’re doing our part. Will you join us, in your own way?
Why The Dwindling Lobster Population Matters, http://lipulse.com/2015/07/03/why-the-dwindling-lobster-population-matters/