Seasonal Prohibition Begins on Fishing or Possession of Queen Conch in Federal Waters Off V.I.

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.

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