NOAA Shortens Seasons for Several Species
Overfishing has led to a shorter fishing season in federal waters for triggerfish, filefish and lobster on St. Croix and grouper in the St. Thomas/St. John district, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced in a news release late Wednesday.
The season for triggerfish and filefish on St. Croix will end Nov. 21. The lobster season on St. Croix will end Dec. 19. The grouper season will end Dec. 20 on St. Thomas and St. John. These are the dates when NOAA projects fishermen will reach the quotas.
“On Jan. 1, 2014, the fisheries will reopen as they were,” Bill Arnold, Caribbean chief at NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, said Thursday.
According to NOAA, the annual catch limits for combined trigger fish and file fish are 24,980 pounds on St. Croix. In 2011, fishermen on St. Croix caught 26,453 pounds of the fish or 5.9 percent over the limit.
The annual catch limit for lobster on St. Croix stands at 109,708 pounds. In 2011, fishermen caught an average of 107,307 pounds, or 2.2 percent over the limit.
Who the hell eats filefish???????? They're not meaty. Now lets talk about those grunts! They're everywhere and some are BIG. I kinda feel bad for the caribbean lobster. They don't stand a chance.... I did see 4 today while snorkeling, and im not saying where LOL! Saw some massive Almaco Jacks today and happy to report still no lion fish and actually have been seeing lots of Nassau Groupers! Also saw little cuties, Barnacle blennies and a beautiful spotted cleaner shrimp. I love those!
Secondly... am I misunderstanding? Its on hold for 2 weeks? What goods that gonna do??
But who will enforce this? There is virtually no enforcement now.
Laws are enacted every day with no expectation of their being upheld by teams of roving enforcers. The point is that when those laws are broken the mechanism is in place for action to be taken and punishment meted out.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS TERRITORIAL WATERS
SUMMARY OF FISHING REGULATIONS
TERRITORIAL WATERS EXTEND FROM SHORE TO 3 MILES OFFSHORE
Closed Season :
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §316-6 & 316-7.
Minimum size of shell must be greater than 2 7/16 inches in
Must be landed whole in the shell (see Appendix 1 page 24).
April 1-September 30.
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §316-1 & 316-4.
Minimum size of 9 inch shell length from the spire to the distal end,
or 3/8 inch lip thickness (see Appendix 1 page 24).
No harvest of undersized conch.
150 conch per day per permitted commercial fisher.
6 conch per day per recreational (personal use) fisher; not to
exceed 24 per boat per day.
Must be landed alive and whole in the shell at final landing site.
No disposal of shell at sea before landing. Taking conch to offshore
cays and islands for purpose of removing from shell is prohibited.
Transport of conch meat out of shell over open water is prohibited.
No sale of undersized conch shell or meat from undersized conch.
No sale of imported conch meat unless shipment is accompanied by a
CITES export permit and shipment is cleared at the Port of Miami.
(see Conch Imports, page 8 for exceptions and further information).
July 1 - September 30.
3 Spiny Lobster:
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §319.
3 ½ inch carapace length (see Appendix 1 page 24).
Must be landed whole.
No harvest of females with eggs.
No spearfishing, hooks, gigs or use of chemicals.
Commissioner Prescribed Rule, V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §303(1)
No commercial harvest in Altona Lagoon and Great Pond.
Recreational permit is required (see page 1).
5 Goliath Grouper
Commissioner Prescribed Rule, V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 2, §104
Endangered species. Harvest prohibited, no possession.
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A.
Federal regulations for billfish apply in territorial waters. See page
15 for specific regulations.
7 Billfish, Swordfish,
Tuna & Shark:
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A.
Federal regulations and federal permit requirements apply in
territorial waters. See page 15 for specific regulations.
8 Tarpon &
Commissioner Prescribed Rule under V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A,
Catch and release using hook and line only.
9 Sea Turtles:
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §318.
Endangered species. No harvest, no possession and no harassment of
sea turtles or their eggs.
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §106c.
Permit required from the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife.