Cant find the CURRENT fishing regulations booklet.
Frustrated. I am confused about lobster. There are TWO species of spiny and it seems that there is only limits on the Caribbean spiny (Panulirus argus) but I cant find ANY information on any page or site about the spotted spiny's (Panulirus guttatus). This is in the same family but totally different species. I was told by a local that there are no regulations on the Spotted Spiny so just trying to find out the actual laws.
The only book I found online was a PDF and from 2010 and the regulations on VINow. Is this the current regulations guide?
PLEASE don't argue or bring up any moral issues. Just looking to find the link for legal information on these. Thanks
You might call Fish and Wildlife 775-6762 and ask.
12 V.I.C. § 319 (2013)
§ 319. Lobsters; regulations; penalties
(a) It is intent of the Legislature of the United States Virgin Islands to place restrictions upon the taking of spiny lobsters for the purpose of insuring and maintaining the highest possible production of such lobsters, for comm ercial purposes, consistent with sensible conservation practices.
(b) No person, firm or corporation shall take or have in his possession at any time, regardless of where taken, any spiny lobster (crawfish or crayfish) of the species Panulirus Argus unless such spiny lobster (crawfish or crayfish) of the species Panulirus Argus shall have a carapace measurement of more than three and one-half (31/2) inches. The carapace (head, body, front section) measurement shall be determined by beginning at the anteriormost (front) edge of the groove between the horns directly above the eyes, then proceeding along the middorsal line (middle of back) to the rear edge of the top part of the carapace. Spiny lobsters of less than the minimum size limit set forth above may be used as "attractants" in traps or pots, but may not be retained on any vessel or be landed. Such lobsters shall be returned immediately to the water unharmed.
(c) Lobsters must remain in a whole condition at all times while being transferred on, above or below the waters of the territory and the practice of wringing or separating the tail (segmented portion) from the body (carapace or head) section is prohibited on the waters of this territory, except by special written permission issued by the Commissioner.
(d) Egg-bearing lobsters of any species shall not be taken, possessed or sold at any time, except that egg-bearing lobsters may be returned to pots or traps in which they have been captured, provided said egg-bearing lobsters are returned to such pots or traps in a live and unharmed condition, are provided with adequate food, and are immediately returned into the water. Such egg-bearing lobsters as are returned to pots or traps as aforementioned, shall not be taken or possessed or sold until the eggs have been naturally released into the water; provided they are of at least the minimum size set forth in subsection (b) above.
(e) The practice of stripping, shaving, scraping, clipping or otherwise molesting egg-bearing lobsters in order to remove the eggs is prohibited.
(f) It shall be unlawful for any person to spear, hook or otherwise impale any lobster in the process of its capture. Lobsters may only be captured by hand, snare, pot or trap, so that short or egg-bearing lobsters may be released unharmed or returned to the pot or trap as is herein permitted. It shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this paragraph if a person has in his possession or sells any lobster that has been speared, hooked or otherwise impaled.
(g) Traps may be pulled, tended or opened by the owner of the vessel. Should said vessel be tending another person's traps, the written consent of the owner of the traps must be on the tending vessel.
(h) All traps or pots used for fishing must contain on any vertical side or on the top an opening no smaller in diameter than the throat or entrance of the trap or pot. The opening may be covered either by degradable netting made by any of the materials listed below, or by a cover made of any material and fastened to the fish trap or pot with any of the materials listed below:
(1) Untreated fiber of biological origin not more than three millimeters (approximately 1/8inch) maximum diameter, including, but not limited to: tyre palm, hemp, jute, cotton, wool or silk;
(2) Non-galvanized black iron wire not more than 1/16 inch (approximately 1.59 millimeters) in diameter; that is, 16 gauge wire.
(i) Any person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction therefor be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred ($100) dollars nor more than six hundred ($600) dollars or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed one (1) year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
HISTORY: --Added Nov. 21, 1972, No. 3330, § 2, Sess. L. 1972, p. 498; amended July 9, 1973, No. 3458, § 2, Sess. L. 1973, p. 162; June 1, 1984, No. 4953, § 1(e)(1)-(6), Sess. L. 1984, p. 163.