16. August 2012 15:11
Lobster season officially opened yesterday (August 15, 2012), which makes this favorite treat a part of the Turks and Caicos Islands menu again.
Last year, acting on advice from fishermen and the Fisheries Advisory Committee, the governor’s Advisory Council decided to postpone the beginning of lobster season by two weeks past the usual opening date of Aug. 1 in order to allow lobster stocks time to reproduce. The season will through March 31, 2013.
The first day of the new season in the country is known as “the lobster grab,” when hundreds of fishermen rush out in an attempt to catch the bounty lobster population.
Lobster is considered a must have for fine dining in the islands and is largely used by restaurants. Local chefs are famous for their spiny lobster dishes — cooked in nearly every style imaginable. Economically, the lobster fishery is the most important marine resource in the country and has played an integral part in the community for generations.
It is an extremely important industry, centered mainly in South Caicos, although also largely available on all the other islands. The Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) grows to about 60 centimeters in length. Like the other 20 members of the genus Panulirus such as the Australian, California, and Chinese spiny lobsters, it lacks the large pinching claws of their Maine lobster relatives.
Its only defenses are the spines that cover its shell, which help protect the lobster from predators. The Caribbean spiny lobster uses a second pair of antennae in sensory perception, which are found folded along side the body when not in use.
The Caribbean Spiny lobster is also a healthy treat, with only 143 calories and 1.9 grams of fat per 3.5-ounce cooked serving. Enjoy it while it lasts.