Nicaragua Lobster

Fishery Improvement Projects

Nicaragua Lobster

  • Species Name: Spiny lobster (Panulirus argus)
  • Location/Region: Nicaragua, Caribbean Sea
  • Gear Type: Traps
  • Volume: 1,780 mt (2014)

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Nicaragua Lobster

FIP Stage: 5 – Improvements on the Water
Last Updated: March 14, 2017

Nicaragua is the largest Caribbean spiny lobster fishery that supplies the United States. Thousands of Nicaraguans earn a livelihood through the fishery, from vessel owners and fishermen to packing plant employees. A critical issue challenging this fishery is the likelihood of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) that weakens management of the resource and equitable access for local livelihoods. Concurrent issues are a lack of new or improved data on stock status, bycatch, and habitat impacts from lobster traps.

The active involvement of FIP Stakeholders, including the Nicaraguan Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (INPESCA), and FIP Participants drives improvements against the MSC standard.

  • © Mac Stone | WWF-US

  • © Mac Stone | WWF-US

What We Are Doing

FIP efforts address governance, fishing practices, and environmental impacts of the fishery so it can meet the MSC standard. This work is steered by FIP Participants and FIP Stakeholders and includes:
  • Working with artisanal fishers to gather lobster catch and bycatch data, applying new approaches to address the information gaps and inform management decisions.

  • Improving information on artisanal catch to contribute towards government efforts of fishery data analysis for the ongoing work to assess the magnitude of IUU fishing.

  • Engaging fishery stakeholders across the lobster supply chain, through workshops and meetings, to share best practices for fishery management and lessons learned.

  • Working with local universities in key areas of research on habitat impacts of lobster traps, health of coral reefs, and ecosystem impacts to build on available data for fisheries management.


We encourage action across the supply chain to support FIP progress. A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP.

How Can I Become a FIP Participant?

A FIP Participant is an industry member that is part of the seafood supply chain for the FIP product (e.g., retailers, food service providers, suppliers, manufacturers, etc.) and is actively engaged in supporting the FIP. WWF-US encourages support of FIP participants, and will acknowledge FIP Participants on our sustainable seafood website and in other communications regarding our FIP work.

To be considered by WWF-US as a FIP Participant the participating entity is expected to follow the WWF-US FIP Participant Policy.

For more information about what a FIP is and how you can play a role, please contact


The Marine Stewardship Council uses 28 performance indicators to assess the sustainability of fisheries. The chart represents the percentage of indicators that would likely pass, pass with conditions for improvement, or fail upon the fishery’s full assessment.

Nicaragua Lobster FIP Status

Initial Assessment

Implementing Improvements

We use a step-wise process to evaluate the fishery’s performance and identify sustainability issues, and then to implement improvements and report results. Want to dive deeper into this FIP’s progress on each of the MSC performance indicators? Visit

Get Involved

Become a FIP Participant

By signing on to support a FIP you are joining forces with other leaders in the industry that seek to help conserve marine ecosystems, protect livelihoods, and increase the number of sustainable fisheries and the overall supply of sustainable seafood.

© Antonio Busiello | WWF-US