Seasonal Closure of Mutton Snapper Spawning Aggregation Area in U.S. Caribbean Waters to Begin

Annual Seasonal Area Closure

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries reminds fishermen and the public of the upcoming seasonal closure on fishing for any fish species in federal waters of the mutton snapper spawning aggregation area in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

 This closure begins at 12:01 a.m., local time, on March 1, 2017, and extends through June 30, 2017.  

Year-Round Fishing Prohibitions

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Fishing with pots, traps, bottom longlines, gillnets or trammel nets is prohibited within federal waters of the mutton snapper spawning aggregation area year-round. 

WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:

This seasonal area closure protects mutton snapper when they are spawning (reproducing) and therefore more vulnerable to fishing pressure.  The closure also protects the habitat that supports those aggregations.

The Mutton Snapper Spawning Aggregation Area is located off southwest St. Croix and bounded by lines connecting the following coordinates:

A 17°37.8′ N 64°53.0′ W

B 17°39.0′ N 64°53.0′ W

C 17°39.0′ N 64°50.5′ W

D 17°38.1′ N 64°50.5′ W

E 17°37.8′ N 64°52.5′ W

A 17°37.8′ N 64°53.0′ W  

Sign up for text message alert to find out about immediate openings and closures. NOAA’s Text Message Alert Program allows people to receive important fishery-related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message and data rates may apply. Users may opt-out at any time.

Text alerts people may receive include:

 Immediate fishery openings and closures

  Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly

Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

 Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts:

o Text GULFRECFISH to 888777

  Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts:

o Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777

 South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts

Other contacts: Kim Amendola at 727-551-5707 or Allison Garrett at 727-551-5750   

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