Brazil red and green lobster - trap

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The two lobster species, Panulirus argus (red lobster, or lagosta-vermelha in Portuguese) and Panulirus laevicauda (green lobster, or lagosta-verde in Portuguese), represent the most important fishing resources of the coastlines of northern and northeastern Brazil. The fishery exports mainly to the US market, with an average worth 60 million USD per year, and can provide for the livelihood of more than 15,000 fishers.

Unfortunately, largely due to a failure to apply timely management tools and inadequate enforcement, the fishery has faced mortality levels above those scientifically recommended for a long time. On the other hand, landings have remained relatively stable despite an increase in effort and four decades of constant geographical expansion of fishing grounds, and along the last few years, the export trend has decreased, which are signs of stock overexploitation.

By August 2011, CeDePesca applied and got funds from the Resources Legacy Fund to contract a pre-assessment against the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council and these were the results:

  • No official stock assessment had been performed since 2006. The last one showed the stock as overfished, so a recovery plan is needed.
  • Neither adequate limit nor adequate target biological reference points had been set.
  • A harvest strategy exists, but it is based on the number of traps and monitoring has been deficient since 2006, therefore presumably the strategy is failing.
  • Existing rules about effort limits are not realistic because they are established as “trap equivalent” quantities and there is no official calculation for these equivalences with nets and diving, which are largely used instead of traps and also are not legal. Therefore, there is no means of verification.
  • The main trouble in meeting requirements of MSC Principle 2 (impacts on the environment) is the lack of information about the impacts on other retained species (lobsters, octopus, and some small fish), discarded species (small fish), and the seabed.
  • The legal framework is generally acceptable but lacks specific goals and clear instruments.
  • The Lobster Management Commission (CGPL) could potentially do good work but had not been effective since 2004.
  • CGPL has long-term explicit objectives, but the precautionary approach is just implicit and there are no short-term goals.
  • The decision-making process at CGPL, though actively participating, is not quickly responsive and is not publicly documented.
  • No research plan was currently in place.
  • The management system conducts no regular self-evaluation of performance.

In 2012, CeDePesca main efforts were directed at dissemination of these results and in trying to get the support of the Brazilian government, while conducting negotiations with Ceará exporters to build an industry-driven FIP. Since 2013, after many months of negotiations, the local exporters association, SINDFRIO, took over the project in association with CeDePesca.

For more information regarding this FIP's progress, please visit CeDePesca's Brazilian Lobster FIP Public Report (updated quarterly).



FIP Description 

The two lobster species, Panulirus argus (red lobster, or lagosta-vermelha in Portuguese) and Panulirus laevicauda (green lobster, or lagosta-verde in Portuguese), represent the most important fishing resources of the coastlines

FIP Objective(s) 
  • Achieve a mandatory live-lobster delivery policy, so that lobsters are delivered alive to processing plants by May 2020.
  • Achieve the adoption of mandatory landing points and control points as the basis for an accurate catch certificate program by January 2023.
  • Achieve the prohibition of domestic lobster trade during the towards the end of fishing season closure by May 2020.
  • Improve the work of the Management Commission for Lobster (CGPL) by January 2023.
  • Collaborate in achieving the full implementation of the monitoring and research plan by January 2023.
  • Continue to conduct annual stock assessments and recommending TACs by January 2023.
  • Achieve the adoption of output limits (TAC) by May 2020.
FIP Type 
FIP Stage 
Stage 5: Improvements on the Water
Start and Projected End Dates
February 2013
January 2023
Next Progress Report Due 
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Common Name 
Spiny Lobster (Caribbean)
Scientific Name
Panulirus argus
Common Name 
Spiny Lobster (Green)
Scientific Name
Panulirus laevicauda
Gear Type 
FAO Major Fishing Area
Area 41 (Atlantic, Southwest)
Exclusive Economic Zones
Geographic Scope 
Northeast coast of Brazil, Ceará
Estimated Total FIP Landings 
2,000 metric tons
Estimated Total Fishery Landings 
6,000 metric tons
Landings Date 
May 2019

FIP at a Glance

39% 36% 25%
February 01, 2013
54% 36% 7% 4%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
A Advanced Progress
Actions Complete

This pie chart represents completed environmental actions. Non-completed environmental actions may contain completed sub-tasks that are not illustrated here. For more information on environmental action progress visit the Actions Progress tab.

  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Mar 2022
Target End Date
Jan 2023

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Rochelle Cruz
Organization Name 
Organization Type 
Primary Contact 
Cadu Villaça
FIP Identification Number The FIP Identification Number is automatically generated by FisheryProgress when a FIP profile is created. While the number itself is not meaningful, they are used by NGOs, academia, and industry to refer to FIPs in a consistent way.