I have never been a big fan of eating lobster or really had any sort of opinion on them for that matter. I mean, I love seafood, but lobster just isn’t really my thing. After reading an article about lobster diving along the Miskito Coast, my thoughts on lobster changed. Lobster is no longer an empty space in my brain, and here’s why.
The Miskito Coast is an indigenous region of Central America, specifically Honduras and Nicaragua, where the lobster industry thrives. Commonly referred to as “red gold,” lobster diving has been the main source of income on the Miskito Coast since the 1970s, but it did not evolve into an industry until the 1980s, when demand for lobster increased in the United States. Besides drug trafficking, catching lobster is really the only option for men living along the coast. But what once used to be an easy and safe occupation, has now turned into a dangerous and life-threatening line of work that is the main cause of injury and devastation among families living along the Miskito Coast.
Typical diving trips last about 12 days. Industrial size boats pick up divers on the Bay Islands of Honduras, and in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and are transported to the Miskito keys to the lobster bays. Upon arrival to the lobster bed, scuba tanks are loaded into individual canoes, and the men are ready for work. There are two jobs a Miskito Indian can choose from while working on the boat, a diver (buzo), or a canoeman (cayucero). Both work hand in hand, and combine their expertise to catch as many lobsters as they can from their trip out to sea. When the day is over, they return to the main ship with all the other buzos and cayuceros to collect all the lobsters caught from the day and to get ready for the next.