Crawfish yield up but prices drop by as much as 50 percent
4 Apr 2023
Global market forces impact the industry
Bahamian fishermen say that while crawfish/spiny lobster yields were strong this past season, prices have declined by as much as 50 percent.
Keith Carroll, The Bahamas Commercial Fishers Alliance (BCFA) vice-president told Eyewitness News that this was a result of global market forces beyond the control of the industry.
“The lobster season was pretty good, the catch was up only but the only thing was we had a problem with the price. Last season we averaged $20 and $21 per pound. This season it was between $10 and $12 so the price was cut in half. We have no control over that, it’s a global thing. The lobster stock in The Bahamas is very healthy though.
Carroll noted that while the lower prices are disappointing, “There’s nothing we can do about it.”
Bahamian fishermen have seen their crawfish yield increase
“I’ve been in this business 40 years and every year you just don’t know what the prices will be. We don’t determine that, the global market determines the price. It’s supply and demand. There’s also inflation and everyone around the world is feeling it,” said Carroll.
He added, “I look at the market with beef. Beef prices are going up but I don’t understand what’s going on with seafood. I just don’t know.”
Carroll noted that for the past three to four years, Bahamian fishermen have seen their crawfish yield increase. “I think that has to do with the stance on poachers and the efforts by The Royal Bahamas Defense Force with their patrols. The money the government spent on the Sandy Bottom Project has led to the results fishermen are seeing today,” said Carroll.
The crawfish season is closed from April 1st to July 31st.
Additional insights on the issue
Click on this Union Leader 8 March 2023 article entitled “A year after record-breaking catch, value of Maine lobster landings are lowest in a decade” for some insights into what may be affecting our local lobster industry.