US - NOAA Fisheries reminds fishermen that fishing for or possessing queen conch on board a fishing vessel is prohibited from 12:01 a.m., local time, June 1 through October 31, each year in federal waters east of 64°34' W longitude, which includes Lang Bank east of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The queen conch fishing season is scheduled to open at 12:01 am, local time, on November 1, 2014.
The queen conch seasonal prohibition applies to the federal waters off Lang Bank in St. Croix, which is the only area in federal waters where fishing for queen conch is currently allowed. The federal waters around Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St. John remain closed year-round for all fishing of queen conch.
US Caribbean federal waters consist of those waters extending from the nine nautical mile seaward boundary of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the three nautical mile seaward boundary of the Territory of the US Virgin Islands out to 200 nautical miles offshore.
This action complies with regulations implemented under Regulatory Amendment 1 to the Fishery Management Plan for Queen Conch Resources of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to protect the queen conch resources. This Regulatory Amendment was developed by the Caribbean Fishery Management Council, in cooperation with NOAA Fisheries.
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