As the end of crawfish season nears, the Department of Marine Resources issued a firm warning to fishermen Wednesday.
In a statement to the press, the department warned that, “Fisheries Inspectors will be vigilant to ensure compliance with the regulations. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to the department, the crawfish season closes April 1 and will reopen July 31.
“During this period, it is an offense for an individual to capture, have in one’s possession, kill or offer for sale or market any fresh or live crawfish,” the statement went on to say.
“Individuals possessing crawfish trapping permits, crawfish exporter’s licenses and permit holders authorizing the use of air compressors are reminded that these all expire on the 31 March, 2018.
During closed season, all crawfish traps must be stored on land while all crawfish processors, restaurant and food stores must file a report to the Department of Marine Resources stating the exact quantity of crawfish they possess before the deadline arrives.
Processors with intentions to export crawfish during the closed season are reminded that they must first obtain a special permit from the Department of Marine Resources.
“The utilization of an air compressor, during the off season, to aid in any fishing in The Bahamas is prohibited. Persons are to further note that during this time it is an offense to have marine resources and an air compressor onboard a vessel at the same time,” the statement noted.
The Department of Marine Resources requests the full co-operation of all fishermen towards it mandate of ensuring the sustainability of all marine resources within the country.