Hakai Magazine


Solidarity and the Art of Sustainable Lobster Fishing

In Punta Allen, Mexico, a lobster fishing cooperative supports the community and the environment.

Authored by

by Steve De Neef and Gord More

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Perched aside the sparkling Caribbean Sea, Ascension Bay in Punta Allen, Mexico, is the site of one of the most successful small-scale fisheries in the world. Punta Allen owes its existence to 49 spiny lobster fishermen who established the village in 1969, mainly to focus on a sustainable fishery. The co-op grew. Today, out of a population of about 550 in Punta Allen, 150 fishermen work the bay under a set of rules that ensure they never overharvest. Informally, they are generous with each other when times are tough.