August 01, 2019
The Department of Marine Resources takes this opportunity to remind stakeholders and the general public that the crawfish season opens on Thursday, 1st August, 2019. As stakeholders prepare to take advantage of the season, the Department admonishes all concerned to recall that:
1. The legal size limit for harvested crawfish is
. Crawfish tails – 5 ½ inches
. Whole crawfish – jacket (carapace) measurement from the base of the horns to the end of the jacket – 3 ¼ inches.
2. All commercial fishing vessels being 20 feet and larger are required to be licensed for commercial fishing purposes by the Department of Marine Resources. It is an offence for any vessel being 20 feet or larger, commercial or recreational, to possess two hundred and fifty pounds (250 lbs) or more of marine resources without first being licensed.
3. The occupants of foreign-owned vessels that have been licensed for sportsfishing 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.
4. A dive compressor permit is required for the use of the mentioned fishing gear. Further, the device should only be used between the depths of 30ft – 60 ft.
5. The season ends March 31st, 2020.
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. 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.
This is not a new position entirely.
Further, in June of this year, the Department of Marine Resources in conjunction with the National Training Agency launched the first ever Diver Training program. The program was designed to instruct young Bahamians in the proper use of dive equipment, resulting in PADI certification for the participants. The training was conducted by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force master dive instructors.
On completion, students will be given a one month internship on commercial fishing vessels as facilitated by the Bahamas Commercial Fishing Boat Owners group. We expect some of these divers will be put to use this season.
The program was fully subscribed and we anticipate a continuation ofthis opportunity for Bahamians to enter the sector as trained divers.
The intent of this program is clear. More Bahamians trained as professional divers means more availability of divers, lessening the need for foreign workers to carry out these tasks.
The Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources and in particular, the Department of Marine Resources extends to all, a safe and rewarding crawfish season.