Oman Lobster Tails
by Robert Landy
In the USA, what we commonly refer to as Oman Lobster Tails are actually processed in the United Arab Emirates ( U.A.E. ).
These lobsters are caught in FAO area # 51 – Arabian Sea. The countries that are in this fishing area are Oman, Yemen, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, India, etc .
Species & Catching method
The primary lobster Species caught is the Panulirus Homarus. It is a small lobster; average body length is 20-25cm. The majority of the lobster tails fall within the 2oz to 5oz sizes.
The lobsters are caught by netting, diving and/or traps depending on the country/region. In Oman & Somalia they are caught by nets and diving. In Yemen they also use traps. In India it’s mostly diving with some use of traps and nets in Mumbai.
The processing plants receive primarily frozen whole lobster or tails. They defrost the lobster, then clean and separate the lobster tails by quality. The lobster tails are then dipped into a Meta- Bisulphate solution. They limit the amount of this chemical on the finished product to 100 parts per million. The lobster tails are then individually wrapped, then frozen in a blast freezer on metal trays. After frozen, they are graded by size + – 1/2oz tolerance. For instance, a 5oz tail will be 4.5oz to 5.5oz. They are then packed in 10lb boxes, 4 boxes per master case.
The lobster season is divided into 2 parts:
The first season usually starts in September and ends in December. The second season resumes in Mid Feb and ends in May. During the first season, sizes are mainly in the 3-7oz range and during the second season, the sizes are predominantly in the 1-3oz range.
Warm Water lobster tails from the Pacific Ocean – Central American fishery
The Panulirus Gracilis lobster specie is found off of the Pacific coast of Central America. It is a small lobster; 90% of the lobster tails produced are in the 3-5oz range. These warm water lobsters have a spiny bright green shell and are caught by artisanal divers using surface supplied air or breath holding. Their fishing boats are either a small skiff or a canoe. When the water is clear, a diver can find 10-30 lobsters in one day.
The main sources of production are Panama and Nicaragua. I am familiar with the fishery in Nicaragua and it is sustainable and well managed. I believe this hand-caught fishing method is a big reason for the health of the fishery. The lobster tail freezing facilities are located in Managua, Nicaragua, which is a city located on the Pacific coast. The lobster tails arrive to the processing plants fresh throughout the day. They are immediately processed and are once frozen. I mention this because some fisheries freeze their lobster tails at sea, thaw them out at the processing plant for cleaning etc., then, refreeze them (twice frozen).
Central American production is relatively small compared to the Caribbean. Most of the shipments are flown by air to the USA, not sent by ship container; therefore, production figures are hard to track.
South African Lobster Tails
These are cold water spiny lobster tails. They have the well deserved reputation as the world”s premiere lobster, offering unmatched freshness, taste and texture. Caught in the cold, clean waters of the coast of South Africa, this lobster is immediately processed on frozen-at-sea vessels to preserve freshness. Dramatically overflowing with meat, these sweet and mild lobster tails can be boiled, steamed or grilled. These Lobster Tails can be thawed and chilled prior to use, delivering added versatility during preparation and presentation.
The factory vessels fish in very deep water off of the coast of South Africa at an average depth of 900-1200 feet. The lobsters are caught in traps.
The shell is very thin and the meat to shell ratio is very high.
This lobster species is smaller than other lobsters. The majority of casino online the lobster tails are in the 3.5 oz to 6.0 oz range.
Each size has a letter designation. The following is how the lobster tails are graded:
Tight size grading allows customers to keep South African lobster tails on the menu at an affordable price point.
Comparison of South African lobster tails to other cold water lobster species:
Suggested applications and preparations for South African Lobster Tails include:
Uses of Raw Extracted Meat
Medallions • Casserole dishes • Ceviche
South African Lobster Tail”s uniquely thin shell allows it to be split easily
Surf & Turf • Broiled • Grilled • Boiled