In February of 2010, I began this blog by talking about a trip to Honduras to work with a doctor there as he treated Miskito Indians who dived for lobster on scuba. I ended up visiting Honduras four times as I worked on a documentary project about the situation, including one trip to accompany a news crew from NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams.
On my second trip, I met with members of the Handicapped Lobster Divers Association. They told me that they had more than 2000 members and knew of another 400 or so divers who had died from diving. To be a member of the organization, they had some level of diving-related paralysis. This is out of an estimated 10,000 Miskito Indians involved in the lobster industry.
National Geographic News Watch just called for Honduras to stop diving, but it didn’t happen. They have already decided to continue diving for another two years.
I really don’t want the lobster industry to go away. There is nothing else for the Miskito Indians to do. I have been to their homes and seen where they live. I simply want us to harvest them in a safer manner. There is no excuse for killing an entire sub-culture of people simply to feed our appetite for cheap lobster. As a diver, I hate to see my chosen sport used to destroy lives. This is something many of us do as a recreation.
Watch the documentary video For Cheap Lobster I prepared two years ago. It follows three diving populations, but focuses on Honduras.