The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries reminds the public of the upcoming seasonal prohibition on fishing for queen conch or possession of it on board a fishing vessel.
- This annually recurring prohibition will take effect at 12:01 a.m. local time on June 1, 2017.
- The queen conch harvest season will reopen at 12:01 a.m. local time on Nov. 1, 2017.
- 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 Island territorial waters is prohibited from June 1 through Oct. 31.
- Possession of queen conch in Puerto Rico jurisdictional waters is prohibited Aug. 1 through Oct. 31.
This seasonal closure protects queen conch when they are spawning 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.