Lobster large marine crustacean of the order Decapoda, suborder Raptantia, closely related to the crayfish. Among the edible crustaceans, lobsters occupy an important position.
They have a large and spiny head-shield the carapace, covering the anterior part of the body; stalked eyes, and a pair of long whip-like thorny antennae; five pairs of walking legs; and the fleshy abdomen or tail ending in a leathery tail fan. They are mainly nocturnal, scavenge and eat dead or dying fish. The edible part of the lobster is known to the industry and the consumer by the term ‘lobster tail’ which in fact gained worldwide recognition as a luxury food item. Globally lobster landings have amounted to an average of 150,000 m tons over the last five years.
The availability status and possibility of lobster fishery in the offshore waters of Bangladesh are yet to be worked out. However, lobsters are caught in trawl catches by shrimp trawlers from the offshore fishing grounds, mostly in the area between west of Elephant point and west of st martin's island. They usually occur at a depth ranging between 30 and 50 m at a salinity range of 33-36 ppt. In the offshore trawl catches following five species were recorded Panulirus polyphagus. P. versicolor, P. homarus, P. ornatus, and Thenus orientalis.
Based on information given by the Quality Control Inspection Division of the Department of Fishery, it has been stated that in the year 1991-92 Bangladesh earned about Taka 172 million worth of foreign exchange by exporting frozen lobster tails. [Nuruddin Mahmood]