Sun | Jan 19, 2020

Jamaican lobster bound for China

Published:Wednesday | December 11, 2019 | 12:28 AM

B & D Trawling exported its first shipment of whole frozen lobsters, comprising 15 tonnes, to China on November 30. This following a recent Government announcement that frozen lobsters were now officially being allowed from Jamaica into China.

These shipment was delayed by a week due to scheduling conflicts, but they will be made twice monthly from the company, which already exports lobsters to France, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

“Jamaica is now certified to export frozen lobsters and B & Trawling is among the first local companies to take advantage of the certification. We have already been shipping live lobsters to Dubai and China three times weekly and frozen lobster tails to Florida,” says company head Roderick Francis.

He noted that more shipments could be made, but airlift is a challenge as the larger planes do not come to Jamaica with the frequency that would be desirable for exporters.

On September 19 of this year, China and Jamaica signed a protocol governing the export of frozen lobster from the island to markets in China. At that signing, Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw described the agreement as, “a big step in the right direction,because it further expands the market for the exports of frozen lobsters into China.”

Meanwhile, Francis also said he would like to see legislation to limit the number of licences issued so that the lobster stocks will not be overfished.

“To sustain it, we need to be out patrolling the waters so that we will be alerted quickly when poachers are observed,” he says.

In 2018, more than 23,700 kilograms of live spiny lobster were exported to China and that quantity is expected to grow to 28,000 kilograms this year.