By LETRE SWEETING
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Department of Marine Resources has said that there will be no closure on the Queen Conch Fishery in The Bahamas.
In a public notice statement released on Friday, the Department said this assurance to the public comes following the circulation of a post on social media warning of the closure of conch fishery in the US Virgin Islands from June 1, 2023 until October 31, 2023.
This post, a Public Notice reportedly put out by the Government of the US Virgin Islands’ Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Office of the Commissioner, was dated Monday, May 8, 2023.
Both The Bahamas and The US Virgin Islands are known hubs for the fishing of bone-fish, conch and other game.
However, The Bahamas Department of Marine Resources said that this notice will have no impact on The Bahamas’ conch fishery.
"The Department of Marine Resources wishes to advise the general public that there is no closure on the Queen Conch Fishery in The Bahamas.
“The Department of Marine Resources wishes to also advise the general public of its ongoing work and holistic efforts to establish a Fishery Management Plan for the Queen Conch Fishery, which is under heavy pressure, on behalf of, and in partnership with the Bahamian people."
The statement continued: “The Department wishes to note one key measure already implemented is the ban on the export of commercial quantities of conch, which took effect in January 2022 to help to reduce fishing pressure on the conch stock.
“Further consideration is being given to measures, such as a minimum lip thickness of 14mm to protect juvenile conch, the landing of conch in the shell so that enforcement officers can determine maturity, a closed season, and the removal of conch from bag limits."
The Department of Marine Resources says it looks forward to continued support from the public with the management of a “most important fishery in a sustainable and responsible manner."
Persons needing more information are asked to contact the Department of Marine Resources at (242) 393-1777 or (242) 393-1014/5.