Hunting season for lobster closes on March 1, 2014, and will go on until August 1, 2014, inclusive of both days.
The department has advised residents, particularly public fishers, vendors and restaurants to respect the law as the Lobster Fishery will be closed during that period.
According to the department, when the Lobster Fishery is closed, it is illegal to fish for or remove lobster from fishery waters. It is also against the law to give, possess or expose the commodity for sale. Selling lobster is also prohibited, according to country laws.
The closure, according to the fisheries department, is closed annually as a means of ensuring that there are no disturbances to the lobster population so they can rebuild and contribute to sustainable livelihoods.
The laws protecting lobsters are key tools in ensuring that lobsters can continue to provide valuable income for local fishers, vendors and restaurateurs as well as a source of protein for the general public, the department said.
A lack of compliance will leave violators liable to pay up to $5,000 fines, for each offence. The department said it continues to be concerned about the lack of compliance with the closure of the Lobster Fishery.
“Members of the public, fishers, vendors and restaurant establishments that fail to comply with the closed season threaten the sustainability of the lobster population. As such, non-compliance with the closed season may result in the extended closure.”
“The department appeals to the general public especially purchasers to comply with the closed season and urge them not to purchase lobster during that period. Anyone caught violating the Fisheries Regulations may be fined up to EC$5000.00 for each offence,” according to a press release.
Persons wishing to make reports can do so to the marine police, their nearest police station or the Department of Fisheries.
Additional information can be obtained through the relevant agencies or the department of fisheries at 468-4135 or 468 4147.