From Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Fisheries Division, March 20, 2013.
In April, 2009, new Regulations governing the Close Season for spiny lobsters was passed into law stipulating that any person or entity who plans to have spiny lobsters/spiny lobster parts or products either for storage, sale or other purposes during the Close Season must become aware of the following provisions:
- A signed declaration (official letter or completed declaration form) showing the quantity (in kilograms), description (that is whether whole lobsters or tails only, and so on) and the address where the spiny lobsters are being stored must be sent to the Licensing Authority by March 31st by the person in possession of such lobsters. A Fishery Inspector will visit to verify the spiny lobsters/spiny lobster parts or products being declared and issue a certificate of inspection. Subsequently a certificate of storage will be issued by Licensing Authority.
- Spiny lobsters in storage between April 1 and 21 which have been declared to the Licensing Authority may be sold, exported or processed within this 21-day period (April 1-21).
- After APRIL 21, it will be illegal for anyone to have any species of spiny lobsters/spiny lobster parts or products in their possession. Note that whether the lobster is fresh, frozen or otherwise is irrelevant and all such lobsters or products will be seized and person(s) found liable to face prosecution under the law.
- Fishing for spiny lobsters during the Close Season is illegal and in addition, no spiny lobsters are to be held alive during the Close Season in any holding device. However spiny lobsters unintentionally captured in fishing gear must be returned to sea immediately.
- Spiny lobsters that are found to carry eggs and or lobsters that have not reached the minimum size of 3 inches (or 7.62cm) measured from the eyes to the end of the back (excluding the tail) are illegal throughout the year and will continue to be enforced by the Police, Fishery Inspectors, Game Wardens and other law enforcement officers.
- Spiny lobsters that are found in contravention to the relevant provisions referred to at 1 to 5 above are liable to be seized and persons found in breach may be prosecuted.
Please submit declarations to:
MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES, FISHERIES DIVISION
P.O. BOX 470,
KINGSTON 13, JAMAICA, W.I.
Tel: (876) 923-8811-3
Fax: (876) 937-6726
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Check out this article in the Jamaica Gleaner on this year’s Lobster Close Season!
PHOTO: Christopher Serju|The Jamaica Gleaner