The Sharing Game

Solidarity and the Art of Sustainable Lobster Fishing

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

Published May 17, 2016

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.