IT’S BACK, BABY: Strong yield expected as crawfish seasons reopens

IT’S BACK, BABY: Strong yield expected as crawfish seasons reopens

LaRoda: Poaching has also reduced dramatically thanks to RBDF efforts

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance President Adrian LaRoda said yesterday that he anticipates a strong yield for the industry this crawfish season, noting that the pandemic has fortunately not adversely impacted demand as much as originally anticipated.

The crawfish season opened yesterday.

“I am expecting this season to be a good one,” he said.

“While the pandemic slowed down harvesting a bit, fishermen were able to make up for that. They were able to harvest due to the relaxation of restrictions on the sector.

“There was some concern around the middle of last year that lobster prices would have dropped because the demand wasn’t there due to lockdowns and restaurant closures. Fortunately, that didn’t really materialize, and we are looking forward to another successful season.”

LaRoda noted that The Bahamas typically exports between 3.5 to four million pounds of crawfish annually.

An officer seizes poached crawfish. (RBDF PHOTO)

“I [am] hopeful that we won’t have any storms this season. An occasional weather system is good for the industry and the marine environment, but we really don’t want any major storms or hurricanes that would impact the country,” said LaRoda.

He also acknowledged that poaching has dramatically reduced over the past few years, due in large part to the efforts of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force.

“That’s a really good thing for the industry. There is no lag in their patrols now. There is now constant patrol and we believe it has caused poaching to dramatically decrease,” he said.

“We are also now seeing several vessels out of the United States be apprehended for poaching.”