(May 28, 2019) There are two primary ways spiny lobsters are captured in the waters of the Bahamas. First and most popular is by method of condos, otherwise known as casitas. A casita is formed with a sheet of tin or plywood set with 2×6 rails on three sides, creating a 6″ gap between it and ocean floor. A casita is not a trap, but rather a habitat allowing lobsters to live safely during daytime hours and leave at night to forage for food. Using surface-supplied air (hooka systems), a casita is harvested by lifting and collecting lobsters using a hook on a 2-3 ft. long shaft. This method differs from a lobster trap that only allows the lobster to enter but not exit.
A lobster trap uses bait (typically cowhide) to lure the crustacean through a plastic angled funnel that once inside, this angle prohibits them from escaping. Traps used in Bahamas are typically made of wood, which is usually sourced from Honduras or other areas of Central America. Plastic coated wire traps are also used for capturing spiny lobster in The Bahamas. Most often traps are attached to a long line, spaced at intervals of about 50-100 yards, then brought to the surface using a “pot hauler” which allows the lobsters to be harvested alive and in great shape. During the harvest of lobsters from casitas, small lobsters must be measured by the diver to be sure they of legal size.