Certifier : 
SCS Global Services
Certified status : 
Certified since : 
27 Apr 2004
Certificate expires : 
30 Jun 2022


In 2004, the Baja California red rock lobster fishery, on the Pacific coast of northwest Mexico, became one of the first developing world fisheries to achieve MSC certification.

The fishery is managed by 13 community-based cooperatives. It includes around 1,300 lobster fishers, and directly benefits an estimated 30,000 people.

Rectangular traps are set by hand, from small fishing skiffs – most boats are around 8m long and equipped with a single outboard motor. There is a minimum legal size for lobsters, and females with eggs cannot be taken. All traps must be fitted with escape gaps to prevent under-sized lobsters being caught, and with biodegradable releases to prevent lobsters and other creatures getting stuck in lost traps (known as ghost fishing).

Studies have confirmed the minimal environmental impact of this artisanal fishery, which was recertified in 2011. It was recertieid again in 2017. 

"The red rock lobster fishery has demonstrated that MSC certification not only improves community fisheries that are already well managed, but also empowers the people who depend on them for their livelihood." - Meredith Lopuch, Deputy Director, WWF-US Sustainable Seafood Initiativez