Artisanal fishers go on strike and ask government to close the fishery until 2014
For the last 70 years spiny rock lobsters were an important export product for Brazil mainly destined to the US Market. But, the fishing activity it is now close to collapse. Illegal fishers have taken over with 2.000 boats fishing either without licenses or using illegal fishing gear such as gillnets and compressor diving. 580 boats of which 500 sailboats called jangadas using lobster traps have stopped fishing and see no future for their activity. Exports will drop from 2.500 tons of tails in 2010 to less then 1.000 this year. If stocks don´t recover 10.000 fishers might be out of a job in 2013.
The available data indicates that stocks are in danger due to years of overfishing and predatory fishing over the last 20 years which has gone largely uncontrolled due to poor management and enforcement. Scientific data doesn´t allow any prediction when the resource will face the point of no return, so everybody thinks about what happened to the cod fishery in Canada 20 years ago, and prays. In 1992 30.000 fishworkers lost their job and the stocks still have not recovered.