- The Licensing Authority of the Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries wishes to advise the public that the annual Close Season for spiny lobsters commences on April 1 and ends on June 30, 2015.
- The Fisheries Division wishes to further advise that new Regulations governing the Close Season for spiny lobsters are in effect.
The Licensing Authority of the Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries wishes to advise the public that the annual Close Season for spiny lobsters commences on April 1 and ends on June 30, 2015.
The Fisheries Division wishes to further advise that new Regulations governing the Close Season for spiny lobsters are in effect. These Regulations stipulate that any person or entity planning to have spiny lobsters/spiny lobster parts or products either for storage, sale or other purposes during the Close Season must take note of the following provisions:
- A signed Declaration (official letter) 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 April 15 by the person in possession of such lobsters who wishes to sell, export or process the same within twenty-one days of the commencement of the Close Season. A Fishery Inspector will visit to verify the spiny lobsters/spiny lobster parts or products being declared and issue a certificate of inspection.
- 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).
- A licensed fisherman may seek permission for storage (for the duration of the Close Season) of any spiny lobster which is lawfully fished before the commencement of the Close Season, where it is his desire to make such lobster available for sale, export or processing, after the end of the said Close Season.
- Between APRIL 22 and JUNE 30, it is illegal for anyone to have any species of spiny lobsters/spiny lobster parts or products in their possession WITHOUT SPECIAL PERMISSION. 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 shall face prosecution under the law.
- An Authorization (special permission) may be granted to licensed fishers ONLY upon their formal application in writing to the Minister no later than April 15th to store spiny lobsters or parts thereof for the duration of the Close Season provided that those spiny lobsters have already been declared and were reasonably believed to be caught BEFORE April 1. The Application must describe the spiny lobster, include a Declaration that such lobster will be sold/exported/processed at the end of the Close Season, state the name and address of the intended approved storage facility and be accompanied by a valid export licence (where applicable). The applicant shall have no access to the lobsters in storage until July 1 when a formal release from an approved or authorized storage facility shall be granted.
- 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 7.62 cm) 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 paragraphs (1) to (7) above are liable to be seized and persons found in breach may be prosecuted in a Court of Law.
- Please submit declarations and applications for storage 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
Any queries or request for further information may be directed to a Fisheries Officer of the Fisheries Division at the contacts listed above or you may visit the website: www.moa.gov.jm