California Spiny Lobster
Spiny lobsters from California are considered a "Good Alternative." In California spiny lobsters are caught using traps, which are generally a low impact method; however there is uncertainty in the population data available to assess the fishery.
California Lobster, Rock Lobster, Spiny Lobster
Most of the spiny lobster caught in California waters is exported to Asia, although it may be found in local markets. The majority of spiny lobster available in the US market is imported from Caribbean countries including Brazil, the Bahamas and Nicaragua.
The spiny lobster fishery in California is relatively small and there is a lack of data available leading to uncertainty in assessing the health of the population. The lack of data also leads to uncertainty in the effectiveness of the management regime for the spiny lobster fishery. Concerns have been raised about bycatch of seabirds, particularly cormorants, in traps used to catch spiny lobster. There is little information to determine whether the fishery is having an impact on cormorant populations but these populations are considered healthy.
California spiny lobster is also caught off the Pacific coast of Mexico, where part of the fishery is certified as sustainable to Marine Stewardship Council standards. Seafood Watch considers spiny lobster from California as a "Good Alternative."