This program includes all those species of marine lobsters that are of interest to fisheries, according to the following three criteria:
- all species known to be used for food,
- species known to be sold for bait and as subproducts,
- species not exploited at present but considered by experts to be of potential commercial value.
The last category includes deep-sea forms which during exploratory fishing cruises were found to be sufficiently abundant, large enough in size, and sufficiently accessible to fishing gear so that a fishery for them might be profitable. Edible species found in markets as an admixture to the main catch are included, even if they only make up a negligible percentage of the catch.