Seasonal Prohibition Begins June 1 on Fishing for Queen Conch Off St. Croix

Queen Conch

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries reminds the public of the upcoming seasonal prohibition on fishing for or possession on board a fishing vessel of queen conch.

• This annually recurring prohibition will take effect at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2018.
• The queen conch harvest season will reopen at 12:01 a.m., local time, on Nov. 1, 2018.
• The closure applies in federal waters east of 64°34′ W longitude, including that portion of the Lang Bank area falling within those federal waters.
• Possession of queen conch in U.S. Virgin Islands jurisdictional waters (0 – 3 nautical miles) is prohibited June 1 through Oct. 31.
• Possession of queen conch in Puerto Rico jurisdictional waters (0 – 9 nautical miles) is prohibited Aug. 1 through Oct. 31.

Why is this closure happening? This seasonal closure protects queen conch when they are spawning (reproducing) and therefore are more vulnerable to fishing pressure.

During the open season (Nov. 1 – May 31), fishing for queen conch in U.S. Caribbean federal waters is only allowed in waters east of 64°34′ W longitude. Remaining federal waters are closed year-round to all fishing for queen conch.

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Information: Sarah Stephenson at 727-824-5305 or [email protected]

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