Fishery Improvement Projects

Honduras Lobster

  • Species Name: Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus)
  • Location/Region: Honduras EEZ, Caribbean Sea
  • Gear Type: Traps
  • Volume: 2,561 MT (2020 whole weight – Trap only)

© Antonio Busiello / WWF-US
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Honduras Lobster

FIP Stage: 5 (Improvements on the Water)
Progress Rating: D (Some Past Progress)
Start Date: July 2012
Last Updated: September 2023

Honduras is the second largest producer of Caribbean spiny lobster in Central America, after Nicaragua. The fishery provides livelihoods for thousands of fishers and processors in Honduras, and most of the catch is exported to the United States.

Critical issues challenging this fishery include a lack of robust data to inform stock status and management decisions, limited information on impacts of lobster traps on marine habitats and ecosystems, an ineffective legal management framework, and limited resources to enforce fishing regulations.

The active involvement of FIP Stakeholders, including the General Directorate for Fishing and Aquaculture (DIGPESCA), and FIP Participants helps drive improvements against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard.

A bait man takes a lobster out of the traps and puts it in a basket, Honduras

© Antonio Busiello / WWF-US


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:
  • Establishing a Bi-National (Honduras & Nicaragua) Spiny Lobster Working Group to ensure robust data collection to feed into the development of a bi-national stock assessment with Nicaragua.

  • Conducting a bi-national stock assessment to determine the health of the lobster stock shared between Honduras and Nicaragua.

  • Reviewing and updating the new Fisheries and Aquaculture law, and developing a Honduras lobster management plan that will include implementation of improved monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) strategies to enforce regulations for the lobster fishery and deter illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

  • Reviewing and documenting bycatch in the fishery and putting into place management measures to decrease habitat and ecosystem impacts of the fishery, including eliminating ghost fishing.


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.

Honduras 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



The fishery has achieved the following impacts through improved practices and management
  • Improved data collection on the impact of fishery on habitat which includes satellite monitoring of the fleet. Results from the study found that the fishery has a low impact on shallow coral reefs and seagrass beds (<25 m), and medium impact on deep coral reefs below 25 m.

  • Conducted a preliminary bi-national stock assessment to determine the health of the lobster stock shared between Honduras and Nicaragua. Preliminary results show that the stock is in good condition and the regional closed season could have been a factor that has positively contributed to lobster recruitment.

  • Inter-institutional Committee Against IUU Fishing that includes DIGEPESCA, the Navy, Merchant Marine, and other public-private entities and NGOs was officially established in 2017 by Executive Decree to improve fishery monitoring and enforcement.

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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