Seasonal Prohibition on Fishing for or Possession of Caribbean Council-Managed Reef Fish in Federal Waters of the Bajo de Sico Management Area

September 20, 2018

FB18-062: Caribbean Bulletin; For More Information, Contact: Sarah.Stephenson@noaa.gov, (727) 824-5305

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WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHEN:

NOAA Fisheries reminds fishermen and the public of the annually recurring seasonal prohibition on fishing for or possession of any reef fish[1] managed by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council in or from those parts of the Bajo de Sico management area that are in federal waters.

 

  • This closure begins at 12:01 a.m., local time, on October 1, 2018, and extends through 11:59 p.m., local time, March 31, 2019.
  • These regulations only apply in the federal portion of the Bajo de Sico management area located off the west coast of Puerto Rico (Figure 1), which is bisected by the nine nautical mile boundary between Puerto Rico Commonwealth and federal waters.

 

WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:

This seasonal closure protects species when they are spawning (reproducing) and therefore more vulnerable to fishing pressure.

 

DURING THE CLOSURE:

  • Fishing with pots, traps, bottom longlines, gillnets or trammel nets, and anchoring are prohibited year-round in Bajo de Sico federal waters and remain prohibited during the seasonal closure.
  • Fishers are allowed to harvest spiny lobster and species not managed by the Council, including highly migratory species (HMS)[2] or other non-HMS coastal migratory species.
  • Fishing and possession prohibitions only apply to Council-managed reef fish in or from those parts of the Bajo de Sico management area that are in federal waters.

 

The Bajo de Sico management area is located west of Puerto Rico and bounded by the following coordinates:

A          18° 15.7' N       67° 26.4' W

B          18° 15.7' N       67° 23.2' W

C          18° 12.7' N       67° 23.2' W

D          18° 12.7' N       67° 26.4' W

Figure 1.  Map showing the Bajo de Sico management area (shaded) off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

Figure 1.  Map showing the Bajo de Sico management area (shaded) off the west coast of Puerto Rico.

 

[1] For a complete list of Council-managed reef fish, please see Table 2 of Appendix A to Part 622--Caribbean Reef Fish.

[2] For a complete list of highly migratory species, please see Appendix A to Part 635.


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Text alerts you may receive include:

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    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707

Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750 

 

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 13, 2019