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Crawfish Season Bahamas: Things you should know.

Bahamian lobsters (spiny lobsters) known locally as "crawfish", are part of a family of over 45 species of achelate crustaceans. Bahamian Lobsters (Panulirus argus), can be found throughout the beautiful waters of the Bahamas.

They usually live in reefs or any other dark corner where they can hide. You can usually only see them because of their Antennae which can stick out of the crevice where they are hiding.

Crawfish navigate using smell and taste of natural substances in the water. They are social animals that stay together keeping contact using their long antennae.

Crawfish require several types of habitat during the different life cycles. As larvae, crawfish drift in the open ocean. In the post-larval stage, they settle in the vegetation of the nearshore bottom (. Benthic). Habitats.  As they develop, juveniles, seek shelter in the crevices of rocks, sponges, and corals.  Mature crawfish move to deeper reef habitats. Adults live in small groups in protective recesses in reefs during the day and forage in the open at night.

Not only are crawfish tasty they are also an important part of the underwater ecosystem providing food for loggerhead turtles and sharks. But most importantly they are "reef cleaners" they are the housekeepers that keep reefs clean. These are just some of the reasons that keeping our crawfish sustainable makes a huge difference. The Bahamas has imposed a crawfish season to allow our crawfish to propagate naturally and keep the cycle going.

We ask our visitors to please respect these rules so that we will have enough Crawfish for the future. Please remember spearfishing is restricted to free divers only and only with the use of a Hawaiian sling.

Crawfish Season:

1st August until March 31st

Through these dates, you are permitted to catch crawfish.

The Crawfish regulations are as follows:

  1. 10 crawfish per person (You may never have more than this limit on your boat, regardless of how many days you are in The Bahamas.)

  2. The minimum tail length is 5 1/2 inches.

  3. No scuba gear can be used while taking lobster.

  4. Spearing legal crawfish is legal in The Bahamas (during crawfish season). You may only us a pole spear or Hawaiian sling.  Special note:  There is no spearing within 1 mile of shore around New Providence and the south side of Freeport, Grand Bahama, or within 200 yards of the coast of the Out Islands.

  5. Boaters must possess a valid Bahamas cruising permit, obtained at a designated Port of Entry.

  6. Egg-bearing lobsters are protected. Please put them back if you see one.

  7. Any lobsters harvested in The Bahamas during their open season cannot be transported by private vessel into state waters during Florida’s closed season.

  8. Lobsters brought back to Florida must be in whole condition (not tailed). If you are transporting by air to any US destination contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service for regulations regarding the transport of lobsters, fish and conch.  Special documentation may also be required.

We recommend that if you are going to be catching "jooking" (as we say in the Bahamas) crawfish on your trip, enjoy them that same evening. Remember you are on vacation There is nothing better than barbecuing a fresh tail right on the deck of the house.

The easiest recipe is:

1) Cut the tail in half with the shell on.

2) Butter it

3) Add some salt and pepper

4) Throw it on the grill and spray some lime on it.

5) This is only for avid grillers, at the end if you want something extraordinary put some of that orange cheese (you can only find it in the Bahamas at any supermarket) and let it melt. Heaven on a plate.

For more information about fishing and spearing rules and regulations in the Bahamas please go to:

Department of Marine Resources

Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources

P.O. Box N-3028

Nassau, The Bahamas


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