TULUM, Mexico – The lobster season in Punta Allen has hit a roadblock, as Alejandro Velázquez Cruz, the financial spokesperson for the “Vigía Chico” cooperative in Punta Allen, revealed that after three months into the season, the lobster harvest remains paralyzed due to a lack of buyers. Consequently, they have only been able to go out for nine days, amounting to just three days per month.
Buyers have cited their already well-stocked lobster inventory as the reason for the continued low purchase rates. To compound the issue, the arrival of hurricane season this month has further exacerbated the challenges faced by local fishermen.
“We find ourselves in September, and by this time, we would typically have inspected all our traps. However, we haven’t been able to do so because the buyers haven’t allowed it,” Cruz lamented.
Despite the grim circumstances, the cooperative’s 70 members remain hopeful that the situation will normalize, and the lobster market will pick up once again.
This downturn in the lobster industry is particularly concerning for the fishing community in Punta Allen, as lobster fishing is a critical source of income for many families in the region. The cooperative “Vigía Chico” plays a vital role in sustaining the local economy, and any disruptions have a ripple effect on the entire community.
The unexpected slump in lobster purchases has raised questions about the broader factors at play. Is this solely due to excess lobster supply, or are there other market dynamics at work? Some industry experts suggest that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the supply chain and demand for seafood products, including lobster.
Furthermore, the increasing frequency and severity of hurricanes, often linked to climate change, have made it increasingly challenging for fishermen to operate safely during certain months of the year. These natural disasters not only put lives at risk but also impact the livelihoods of those who depend on the sea for their income.
Local authorities are closely monitoring the situation and working with cooperatives like “Vigía Chico” to find solutions to these challenges. One possible avenue is to explore diversification in the local seafood industry to reduce its vulnerability to market fluctuations and natural disasters.
In the meantime, the members of the cooperative are doing their part by maintaining their traps and equipment in anticipation of better days ahead. They remain optimistic that the situation will improve, and Punta Allen’s lobster industry will bounce back stronger than ever.