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ms411
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September 16, 2012 11:55 am  

fdr, here's the link to the sea glass projects I posted on pinterest.com.

http://pinterest.com/caribadventures/crafty-souvenirs/

Old Tart, yes, collecting sea shells from beaches in other areas is also illegal based on a quick Google search. I read that some beaches in California have prohibitions, and even some beaches in the Far East. I also think that any beach in a national park prohibits shell removal, because it's my understanding that you're not supposed to remove ANYTHING from a National Park.

There are interesting comments on this blog post "Crafting a Green World."

http://craftingagreenworld.com/2011/05/01/green-crafter-ethics-is-it-okay-to-collect-seashells/


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Ronnie
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September 16, 2012 11:56 am  

I remember hearing years ago that about 800 pounds of shells and coral were confiscated by customs every week in St Thomas. Wonder if it still the same?


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OldTart
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September 16, 2012 12:22 pm  

Old Tart, yes, collecting sea shells from beaches in other areas is also illegal based on a quick Google search. I read that some beaches in California have prohibitions, and even some beaches in the Far East. I also think that any beach in a national park prohibits shell removal, because it's my understanding that you're not supposed to remove ANYTHING from a National Park./

I did a quick google too and where CA and many other beaches are concerned, it seems that the collecting ban is on shells containing live animals and not discarded, empty shells.


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ms411
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September 16, 2012 12:40 pm  

Here's a Google result that gives more detail about where it's illegal to remove any shells in California.

"Marine Reserves, State Underwater Parks and other prohibited
areas do not allow any shell collecting. For example, there are some
public lands off of Point Arena that are owned and managed by the Bureau
of Land Management (BLM). BLM allows you to take live abalone, but you
are not allowed to collect empty shells. Wherever you go, you should
contact the controlling agency to find out what collecting activities
are legal for that area. "

I also read that Hawaii is also considering banning shell removal.

"Leave only footprints. Take only photographs."


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ms411
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September 16, 2012 1:04 pm  

Oh, and BTW, if anybody wants seaglass, I'm always picking it up, but really don't have a need for it. I've sent some to people I've "met" online, but am happy to give it to anybody who wants some. I have a few pieces now that were washed up on the Waterfront after TS Irene.

There's usually sea glass at Brewer's Beach, and there's a lifetime supply on Hassel Island.


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lc98
 lc98
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September 16, 2012 1:14 pm  

Ms411, thanks for the link -- those are really neat! Love the mailbox especially.


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Alana33
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September 16, 2012 1:17 pm  

This isn't about shell collecting but thought it might be applicable to this post.

[www.caribbeanfmc.com]

9
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS TERRITORIAL WATERS
SUMMARY OF FISHING REGULATIONS
TERRITORIAL WATERS EXTEND FROM SHORE TO 3 MILES OFFSHORE
1 Whelk:
Size Limit:
Landing Restriction:
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
diameter.
Must be landed whole in the shell (see Appendix 1 page 24).
April 1-September 30.
2 Conch:
Size Limit:
Harvest Quota:
Landing Restriction:
Sale Restriction:
Closed Season:
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:
Size Limit:
Landing Restriction:
Gear Restrictions:
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.
4 Shrimp:
Commissioner Prescribed Rule, V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §303(1)
No commercial harvest in Altona Lagoon and Great Pond.
No sale.
Recreational permit is required (see page 1).
5 Goliath Grouper
(jewfish):
Commissioner Prescribed Rule, V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 2, §104
Endangered species. Harvest prohibited, no possession.
6 Billfish:
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A.
Federal regulations for billfish apply in territorial waters. See page
15 for specific regulations.
10
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 &
Bonefish:

Commissioner Prescribed Rule under V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A,
§304.
No harvest.
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.
10 Aquarium
Collecting:

V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, §106c.
Permit required from the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife.


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usvichic
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September 16, 2012 1:33 pm  

Ok, so here is a question... all those fishermen who sell the conch shells that they have as by product - is it illegal?

The reason I ask is that my daughter is collecting conchs to send to some penpals from around the world - is that wrong(not ethically just legally wrong)?
I mean, if she buys them from a fisherman or finds them, can she not send them in the mail? Will they be confiscated?

What about the sea urchin shells she has been collecting to make into christmas ornaments for her teachers and stateside friends? If we mail them, will they ever get to their destination?

I have a seashell collection that I have collected over the last 25+ plus years, I want to keep it when we move - can I?

Here is another item to ask about - I also have old antique glass bottles that I have found while diving in my youth - I heard those are not supposed to be collected anymore - anyone know why?

As for seaglass - I would love some if anyone has any. I am trying to create a mirror frame out of the sea glass I have collected and am running short 🙂


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OldTart
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September 16, 2012 1:51 pm  

For anyone on STT who's interested to see what can be done with seaglass, check out "Water Candy" in Tillett Gardens. Barbara creates awesome art work, jewelry and knickknacks using what she collects!


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BeachcomberStt
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September 16, 2012 1:52 pm  

Here is a link about the best sea glass beaches. It starts off with East Coast Beaches, but has links to California and Worldwide Beaches.
There are also craft projects and other information concerning sea glass.

http://www.odysseyseaglass.com/east-coast-sea-glass.html

Odyssey Sea Glass


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ms411
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September 16, 2012 1:55 pm  

Thanks, fdr. Can you pls like that photo to increase its exposure?

Usvichic, I have a little seaglass. Let me collect more for you on my next few outings this month, and get it to you early Oct. Can meet you in town or East End.


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BeachcomberStt
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September 16, 2012 2:08 pm  

usvichic, on the first page of this thread/topic, I posted about the DPNR and booklets you can download about sea shell collecting.
Check that out. They are informative.

From what the booklet says about conch shells, they must be 9 1/2 inches long or have a lip thickness of 3/8 inches to be legal.

Whelk shells must be 2-7/16 inches or greater.

Get your rulers or measuring tape out 😀


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BeachcomberStt
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September 16, 2012 2:50 pm  

This a link to Virgin Islands Natural Resources mini-booklet, "Take memories, Leave footsteps," about sea shells and local laws in the USVI that you don't have to download.
It is two(2) pages and zoomable.

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300944/00001/1x

Also, on page 55 of St. Thomas This Week, it has pictures of various sea shells and their corresponding names to help you identify them.

Page 92 does have an island snippet, which says, "Protect The Sea Around You; It took hundreds of years to grow our beautiful reefs. It takes only a moment to destroy them. Taking live coral and sponge ruins the scenic beauty for others (and for the marine life!). It is also against the law. This is a lovely part of the world; please help us keep it that way."

Unfortunately, it does not mention sea shell collecting is illegal also. I wonder why :S

http://www.stthomasthisweek.com


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ms411
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September 16, 2012 3:00 pm  

Beachcomber, I'm going to suggest stthomasthisweek add it. The next issue goes to press in Nov, and I've already suggested corrections for that issue, so I'll copy your post in an email to her.


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BeachcomberStt
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September 16, 2012 3:24 pm  

If one reads, "Take memories, Leave footsteps", it does have a Local Do's and Don't's list. The link is in my post above.

The one Don't:
"Don't remove natural resources from our shorelines. Sand, shells, sea fans, live rocks, coral pieces and beach rocks are all natural resources."

A lot of tourists like to take sand from different beaches as souvenirs. I met many people on cruise ships that like to do that for their scrapbooking.

ms411, the one Don't would be a good island snippet in St. Thomas This Week.


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ms411
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September 16, 2012 3:42 pm  

If/when I hear from her, I'll suggest it.

Wonder why that Take Memories publication was posted by a university in FLORIDA??? The site wouldn't let me save it as PDF.


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lc98
 lc98
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September 16, 2012 4:31 pm  

"...Sand, shells, sea fans, live rocks, coral pieces and beach rocks are all natural resources."

I read this and thought, "Live rocks? WTH?!" Then I used Google: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_rock Learn something new ev'ry day.


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ms411
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September 16, 2012 4:45 pm  

Well, fdr, if you didn't know what Live Rock is, and I didn't know what Live Rock is, they should break it down to layman's terms or define it in the publication.

Maybe they should just say "Take ONLY Seaglass and Photos" to keep it simple.


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BeachcomberStt
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September 16, 2012 4:59 pm  

If/when I hear from her, I'll suggest it.

Wonder why that Take Memories publication was posted by a university in FLORIDA??? The site wouldn't let me save it as PDF.

ms411, try this link to save as PDF. I saved it on my phone.

http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300944/00001/pdf

fdr, I was thinking the same thing, "Live Rocks?!?!? WTH?!?!?"
I had to read your link to educate myself. LOL


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ms411
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September 16, 2012 5:06 pm  

Thanks. That worked. I was only able to save it as jpeg on the previous link. I've saved it to my computer, and will probably post it other places.


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AandA2VI
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Posts: 2294
September 16, 2012 8:43 pm  

"live rock" is a rock or coral skeleton that has aerobic and anaerobic bacteria living on and deep inside rocks. (plus micro and macro organisms)

Aerobic bacteria: needs oxygen to survive and the many species are the reason for "polishing" the water and allowing it to be "cleaned" or filtered. (fish waste and pollution to a lesser extent)

Anaerobic bacteria: these types live deep inside rocks and old coral skeletons. They live with little to no oxygen needed.

These bacteria's in and on Live rock break down toxic ammonia into nitrites and then into nitrates. Movement in the water stirs the nitrate and it attaches to the oxygen molecules and is removed by ending up on the beach to dry out. Ever seen dirty foam at a beach? That's all broken down fish caca! Lol.

In the aquarium hobby we have a protein skimmer which is basically a column we pump in water and oxygen bubbles. Google "skimate" and see what it looks like. Pretty Nasty stuff lol but its it all the result from all the different aerobic and anaerobic bacteria's reforming ammonia into lesser toxic nitrate. It's fascinating!

Here's a pretty detailed explanation if ya want to read it. http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-06/dw/index.php


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usvichic
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September 17, 2012 11:05 am  

usvichic, on the first page of this thread/topic, I posted about the DPNR and booklets you can download about sea shell collecting.
Check that out. They are informative.

From what the booklet says about conch shells, they must be 9 1/2 inches long or have a lip thickness of 3/8 inches to be legal.

Whelk shells must be 2-7/16 inches or greater.

Get your rulers or measuring tape out 😀

Read that, and I know the rules, BUT would their shells not be classified as "Shells" hence illegal to take? Would those shells that were harvested for meat and left as a byproduct then be legal to take OUT of the VI as long as they met the length/lip thickness requirements? Is this a grey area we are discovering?

Here is another grey area:

What about those shells you buy in a store - if you send them off island and they are confiscated how do you prove they were not harvested here?


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usvichic
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September 17, 2012 11:06 am  

Thanks, fdr. Can you pls like that photo to increase its exposure?

Usvichic, I have a little seaglass. Let me collect more for you on my next few outings this month, and get it to you early Oct. Can meet you in town or East End.

THANKS! I will contact you in October. You are awesome 🙂


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ms411
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September 17, 2012 12:27 pm  

Gee, thanks. Hopefully I'll find lots more on my next beach clean up. I didn't have time to collect on the last one, because there was so much trash!


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BeachcomberStt
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Posts: 1017
September 17, 2012 12:57 pm  

usvichic, on the first page of this thread/topic, I posted about the DPNR and booklets you can download about sea shell collecting.
Check that out. They are informative.

From what the booklet says about conch shells, they must be 9 1/2 inches long or have a lip thickness of 3/8 inches to be legal.

Whelk shells must be 2-7/16 inches or greater.

Get your rulers or measuring tape out 😀

Read that, and I know the rules, BUT would their shells not be classified as "Shells" hence illegal to take? Would those shells that were harvested for meat and left as a byproduct then be legal to take OUT of the VI as long as they met the length/lip thickness requirements? Is this a grey area we are discovering?

Here is another grey area:

What about those shells you buy in a store - if you send them off island and they are confiscated how do you prove they were not harvested here?

Calling the following phone numbers and hopefully they can answer your questions.

Division of Fish & Wildlife
Stt/Stj 775- 6762
Stx 772-1955
www.vifishandwildlife.com

DPNR's Division of Enviromental Enforcement
Stt/Stj 774-3320 ext. 5160
Stx 773-5774


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