TCI's Lobster Season Comes To A Close At The End Of March

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Turks & Caicos Government Press Release

The Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) would like to inform all fishing interests that the last day of the lobster season is Sunday, 31 March, 2019. No lobster may be caught, landed or sold after midnight. As a reminder, please note that failure to comply with the closed season will result in prosecution in court in accordance with the Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Ordinance 5 of 1941); Section 3 of the Regulations, Part 1(12), as follows:

(1) The close season in relation to crawfish shall be the period from the first day of April to the thirty-first day of July (inclusive) in each year or such other dates as may, from time to time, be appointed by the Governor in the Gazette;

(3) (a) any person who takes any marine product during a period which is a close season for that species of marine product commits an offence;

(b) any person who purchases or is in possession of any marine product during a period which is a close season for that species of marine product commits an offence unless he proves, the onus being on him, that the said marine product was not taken during the close season or that he did not know and had no reason to believe that the said marine product was so taken.

During the closed season it is illegal for fishermen to land or trade in lobsters and for restaurants and hotels to serve lobsters. The DECR therefore urges all fishing interests to ensure that they have NO lobsters in their possession at the end of the season. Please also be reminded that in the remaining days of the season, berried lobsters (or lobsters with eggs) MUST be returned to the water.

Closed seasons are periods within which no fishing, hunting or capture of a specified animal is allowed by law. These periods coincide with the peak breeding seasons of the species, and are so instituted to allow the animals to mature and revive its population.

The DECR appeals to citizens, residents and visitors in the Turks & Caicos Islands, to uphold the Fisheries Regulations, and urges all responsible citizens to call the DECR at 338 4170 or environment@gov.tc to report any violations.

Cover image credit @pelicanbayrestarauntandbar

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