Congratulations, Bahamas! We Did It!

The waters around The Bahamas are classic Caribbean: vibrant shades of turquoise from afar, crystal-clear on the surface, and teeming with corals, seagrasses, and animals of every color. Because these diverse species evolved together over eons, they are interdependent. Each species relies on others for food, so removing even one can throw the ecosystem out of balance.

One species—spiny lobster—is particularly popular, both on land and at sea. People enjoy the crustacean, as do dolphins, sharks, turtles and other animals. That’s why it’s so important that The Bahamas’ lobster fishermen just earned certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) for managing their fishery to the highest available standard of environmental performance.

Eight years ago, World Wildlife Fund began collaborating with The Nature Conservancy as well as Bahamian government officials, exporters, and fishermen to manage the fishery sustainably. MSC certification means that they have made significant strides in their environmental performance, helping position the fishery to produce food and jobs as sustainably as possible.

“We eagerly accept the MSC stamp of approval,” said Mia Isaacs, president of the Bahamas Marine Export Association. “It’s been a collaborative effort and we are thankful to all the stakeholders, especially the fishermen. As we continually improve our spiny lobster fishery, we aim for product of The Bahamas to become synonymous with strength, collaboration and sustainability. MSC certification is a proud accomplishment. Congratulations, Bahamas! We did it!”

WWF engaged leading U.S. companies, such as Costco, Kroger, Hyatt, Hilton, Tequesta Bay, and Supervalu, to use their buying power to encourage fishermen to work toward MSC certification and to provide the financial support needed to achieve their goal.

“Earning certification is a win-win-win for the lobster fishermen, their buyers, consumers, and for all the animals that enjoy lobster as much as we humans do,” said Wendy Goyert, WWF’s lead specialist for Latin America fisheries in transition. “This is a huge achievement for The Bahamas, and we congratulate everyone for working so hard to manage this precious resource for the long-term.”