Some call it lobster pats; others call it lobster traps. However in Spanish it is known as “Nasa” and though it has nothing to do with Nasa space exploration, it is indeed scientific in its operation. It used to cost less than ten dollars to build one and it served a fisherman at least two seasons.
Built with wood frames and covered with pimento or bamboo strips, these nasas provide shade which is what lobsters are looking for to hide. However, once inside, they just can’t figure a way to come out and remain there until the dutiful fisherman takes them out. After securing them at the bottom of the sea with weights, nine to 15 feet deep, the fisherman will check once a week. On an unlucky day you might get anything from one to three lobsters but on a lucky day you might get anything from ten to twenty lobsters. The large ones will be kept and the undersized ones are thrown back into the sea. If a pat gives you 20 lobsters in a month you get 160 during the season or about fifty pounds for a total of one thousand dollars at today’s selling price. A small producer works with some one hundred pats while a big producer operates with as many as three hundred during the eight month season. Now do you want to know who brought the idea of the lobster pats to Belize and San Pedro? Will tell you all about that in another issue.