Encouraging Sustainable Fishing Practices (Spotlight Lobster)

The Caribbean Spiny Lobster is a delicacy enjoyed both by locals and tourists alike.  As the demand for lobster is high, the BVI runs the risk of overfishing.  Unite BVI believes in preventing the exploitation of fisheries that may lead to ecosystem imbalances and threats to healthy species populations.

This is why back in 2016 as one of Unite BVI's first conservation initiatives, we partnered with The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and The Conservation & Fisheries Department to collaboratively pitch a sustainable fishing practice called V-notching to local lobster fishermen encouraging them to work together to protect the sustainability of lobster fisheries in the BVI. 

Lobster V-Notching Presentation to Lobster Fishermen from Anegada

Sir Richard Branson and the then Honorable Deputy Premier and Minister of Natural Resources Dr. Pickering, co-pitched V-Notching to two different communities of lobster fishermen in the BVI – on the islands of Anegada and Virgin Gorda – and the majority of fishermen decided to voluntarily implement the practice.  Richard then personally donated through Unite BVI Foundation the necessary V-Notch tools to every lobster fisherman in the BVI who was willing to engage.

What is V-Notching?

V-notching involves making a V-shaped notch in the flipper tail of egg-bearing females and returning them to the sea. The V-notch acts as a signal to other fishermen to return the female lobsters to the ocean so that she can continue to produce hundreds of thousands of eggs for at least 3-4 years during breeding seasons. This approach has been incontrovertibly successful off the coast of seafood-loving Maine in the USA – it has completely resuscitated the lobster population.

Find out more

If you’re a fisherman or interested in finding out more, please get in touch via our Contact Us form!