Fishermen eager to harvest native favourite
NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The wait is over for local fishermen as the crawfish season opens today.
Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Michael Pintard made the announcement yesterday at a press conference.
As the fishermen and other industry stakeholders prepare for the harvest, Pintard admonished all to adhere to law.
“As stakeholders prepare to take advantage of the season, the department admonishes all concerned to recall that the legal size limit for harvested crawfish is 5.5 inches for crawfish tails and three and on quarter inches for whole crawfish jacket, (carapace) measurement from the base of the horns to the end of the jacket.”
In 2018, the government reported that 4.2 million pounds of crawfish was caught, valued at $47 million, while 4.3 million pounds of crawfish was exporte at a value of $67.94 million
Pintard added that all commercial fishing vessels 20 feet and larger are require a license and any act against these regulations are punishable under law.
He also reminded foreigners within the industry that there are restrictions for them as well.
“The occupants of foreign-owned vessels that have been licensed for sportfishing purposes are reminded to adhere to the stipulated bag limits, inclusive of that which relates to the crawfish (spiny lobster) and the queen conch, which are enshrined on the rear of their permits.”
The minister also advised that dive compressor permits are only being reserved for citizens.
“As we indicated to commercial vessel owners one year ago, and as we have stated in our various meetings with fishers throughout the country the past 12 months, only Bahamian-owned fishing vessels are allowed in the sector,” Pintard said.
“Under no circumstances are we issuing compressor permits to persons on work permits. In the case of spousal permits, we have not issued compressor permits, but this does not prevent those persons from working in any sector of our economy that is not in law, reserved for Bahamians.”
Several fishermen Eyewitness News Online spoke to yesterday said there were ready to fish for the fishermen yesterday who are ready to haul the native favourite.
“We need it right now; the economy is bad,” said Livingston Cooper.
“Well I’m very happy that it is opening up tomorrow, because we’ve been home all summer and now it’s time for us to make some money,” said Garvin Carey.
“I happy to know it’s opening now because during the summer we wasn’t making nothing,” said Norwood Pinder.
The season ends on March 31, 2020.