A lobster tale from the Mosquito Coast
02/20/2014 11:47 AM
02/20/2014 12:03 PM
What do the fishermen in Central America do when the fish run out? For some fishermen along Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast, it's time to look for windfall cocaine, known as white lobster locally. Smugglers on the high seas occasionally jettison packages of cocaine when they are being pursued by the U.S. Coast Guard or other law enforcement. The cocaine drifts ashore or floats at sea. This phenomenon began in the early 1990s. I once visited Puerto Cabezas, the second largest town on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast, as crack cocaine was really taking hold. What began as some packages of cocaine washing ashore devastated the community. This short documentary above conveys many aspects of the phenomenon around Bluefields -- from the windfall discovery to the reformed crack user and on to the dilapidated fishing industry. if you have an interest, it's worth 11 minutes of your time. Catching lobster, by the way, has had an interesting cyclical history off Nicaragua. During the wartime years from 1979 to 1990, the lobster industry lay dormant so lobster beds thrived. Once the Sandinista Revolution came to a screeching halt in 1990, the industry kicked back up. But apparently lobster has been over-harvested now, so the fishermen are growing desperate.
Join the Discussion
Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.