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Seasonal Prohibition on Fishing for or Possession of Queen Conch in Federal Waters East of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

May 26, 2023

FB23-034: Caribbean Fishery Bulletin. For more information, contact: Sarah Stephenson, 727-824-5305, sarah.stephenson@noaa.gov

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What Is Happening and When:

NOAA Fisheries reminds the public of the upcoming seasonal prohibition on commercial and recreational fishing for or possession of queen conch in federal waters east of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

  • This annually recurring prohibition will take effect at 12:01 a.m., local time, on June 1, 2023.
  • The queen conch harvest season will reopen at 12:01 a.m., local time, on November 1, 2023.
  • 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 (see map below).
  • Remaining federal waters are closed year-round to all fishing for queen conch.

Possession of queen conch in U.S. Virgin Islands jurisdictional waters (0-3 nautical miles) is prohibited June 1 through October 31.


Why This Closure Is Happening:

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

During the open season (November 1 – May 31), fishing for queen conch in U.S. Caribbean federal waters is only allowed in waters east of 64°34′ W longitude.

Location of area closure for queen conch off of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Figure 1. Map showing the queen conch seasonal closure area in federal waters east of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sign Up For Text Message Alerts - Find Out About Immediate Openings and Closures

NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message & data rates may apply.  You may opt-out at any time.

Text alerts you may receive include:

  • Immediate fishery openings and closures
  • Any significant changes to fishing regulations that happen quickly


Sign up for one or more of the following groups:

  • Gulf of Mexico Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFRECFISH to 888777
  • Gulf of Mexico Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text GULFCOMMFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Recreational Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLRECFISH to 888777
  • South Atlantic Commercial Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text SATLCOMMFISH to 888777
  • Caribbean Fisheries Related Alerts
    • Text CARIBFISH to 888777


Quick Glance Contact List for the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office

Permits Mailbox:  The Permits Office in St. Petersburg, Florida now has a Permits mailbox in the front lobby (263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701).  You can now drop off original permits for permit transfers.  Envelopes with information labels will be provided so that your documents can be attached to the correct application.  The mailbox will be checked daily.  For more information, contact the Permits Office at 877-376-4877.


Other contacts:

Media:  Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750

Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on May 26, 2023