By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
AGRICULTURE and Marine Resources Minister Michael Pintard has warned stakeholders to comply with Fisheries Regulations as crawfish season opens today.
The legal size limit for a crawfish tail is five and a half inches, while the limit for whole crawfish is three and a quarter inches carapace - its hard upper shell.
“All commercial fishing vessels being 20 feet and larger are required to be licensed for commercial fishing purposes by the Department of Marine Resources,” Mr Pintard told reporters yesterday.
“It is an offence for any vessel being 20 feet or larger - commercial or recreational - to possess 250 pounds or more of marine resources without first being licensed.”
He continued: “The occupants of foreign-owned vessels that have been licensed for sports-fishing purposes are reminded to adhere to the stipulated bag limits, inclusive of that which relates to the crawfish and the queen conch, which are enshrined on the rear of their permits. They do have a bag limit and I intend to make adjustments to this in the not too distant future. A dive compressor permit is required for the use of the mentioned fishing gear. Further, the device should only be used between the depths of 30ft - 60 ft.”
The minister said under no circumstances will compressor permits be issued to individuals on work permits.
He said: “As we indicated to commercial vessel owners one year ago, and as we have stated in our various meetings with fishers throughout the country the past 12 months, only Bahamian-owned fishing vessels are allowed in the sector.
“In the case of spousal permits, we have not issued compressor permits but this does not prevent those persons from working in any sector of our economy that is not in law, reserved for Bahamians.”
Crawfish season starts August 1, 2019 and ends March 31, 2020.