The Division of Fish and Wildlife will be assessing hurricane damages sustained to fishing gear and vessels used in the commercial and charter (for hire) fishing industries, as well as damages sustained to fishing-related businesses (marinas, bait and tackle shops, etc.), according to a press release from the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources. (DPNR).
On Oct. 6, Gov. Kenneth Mapp wrote to the U.S. Department of Commerce requesting a disaster declaration for the Virgin Islands Fishery, which would trigger federal resources for fishers.
Its Division of Fish and Wildlife will be available at the times and locations listed below to assist fishers in assessing damages and losses for the Fishers’ Disaster Aid Program. Commercial and recreational fishers are eligible for this aid and are encouraged to attend one of the sessions.
- THOMAS-ST. JOHN DISTRICT
Hull Bay: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays (Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 13)
Frenchtown: 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays (Nov. 8, Nov.15)
or 2-5 p.m., Saturdays, (Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 18)
Red Hook: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays (Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov. 17)
Cruz Bay: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday and Tuesday (Nov. 2, Nov. 7)
- CROIX DISTRICT
Mars Hill DFW Office: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays (Oct. 30, Nov.6, Nov. 13) or Noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays (Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov.17)
Anna’s Hope: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesdays (Nov. 8, Nov. 15)
DPNR Commissioner Dawn L. Henry urges fishers to bring as much information as possible about their losses, including:
- Quantity of lost or damaged gear (number of fish traps, nets, rods, etc.)
- Location of lost or damaged gear (specific location at sea or on land)
- Value of lost or damaged gear and equipment (cost per trap, cost of damages to vessel, engines, ice machines, freezers, scales, etc.
- Receipts and photographs to support your claims if possible
For more information or to schedule a weekend appointment, call Director of Fish and Wildlife Ruth Gomez at 514-5141.