Helping a small lobster fishery on the path to sustainability

Pronatura Noroeste and the West Coast Mexico Red Lobster Fishery

Amount awarded: £50,000

This project is working to improve management of the northern stock of Baja California's red lobster fishery. The aim is achieve MSC certification by Dec 2024. 

The project will develop a harvest strategy and measure the impact on species used as bait. It will also investigate possible impacts on threatened species, among other initiatives. 

A pre-assessment against the MSC Fisheries Standard, showed the fishery would pass minimum requirements, but would likely incur a number of conditions of certification. Conditions are improvements that must be implemented before the end of a certifcation period (usually five years). 

90% of catch in the Baja California region is red lobster, harvested by small-scale fisheries. A lack of long-term planning has resulted in over-exploitation, loss of biodiversity and increased economic stress. Illegal fishing is also a major problem in the region.

The Red Lobster fishery in Baja California is one of two fisheries receiving funding in conjunction with conservation organisation Pronatura Noroeste. Pronatura Noroeste is a strategic local partner in the MSC’s Fish for Good Mexico project. The fishery's progress has been verified through the In-Transition to MSC pilot, an eligibility criterion for the award.


Achieving sustainability for small-scale fisheries in developing countries is extremely difficult due to the limited in-the-field governance, a prevalent short-term vision for the use of natural resources and the lack of incentives. The MSC provides an incentive for various stakeholders to join and align efforts to advance towards sustainability and be recognized and rewarded for their actions.

Gustavo D. Danemann Pronatura Noroeste A.C.

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