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HomeNewsArchivesFishery Council to Set Catch Limits Based on V.I. Data

Fishery Council to Set Catch Limits Based on V.I. Data

Aug. 19, 2008 — Local fishermen have gotten their wish: The Caribbean Fishery Management Council has agreed that when it comes to setting catch limits in the Virgin Islands, it will use fish-count data only from the Virgin Islands rather than using Puerto Rico data or combining data from the two territories.
"This was at the request of the fishermen," said Graciela Garcia-Moliner, a habitat specialist with the council, on Tuesday.
The council will break V.I. data down by the St. Thomas/St. John District and the St. Croix District, it decided last week in a meeting on St. Croix.
"St. Croix has a different and much more important parrot fishery," Garcia-Moliner said as an example.
Fish size will also be evaluated in an effort to determine whether the fisheries are growing or shrinking.
"Nothing might have happened," she said.
The fishing catch limits are required by the Magnussen Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. The limits must be in place by 2010, Garcia-Moliner said. Meetings will be held in 2009 to discuss the issue further.
Fish included in the count include Nassau, yellow fin and tiger grouper, silk, vermilion, black and black fin snapper, about a dozen species of parrot fish, and queen conch.
The fish-count numbers come from the fishermen who are required to report their fish counts to the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, according to Garcia-Moliner.
Local fishermen are concerned that the data being used to establish the catch limits is inaccurate, said Delegate Donna M. Christensen, who attended the meeting.
"The fishermen maintain that the fisheries in the St. Thomas-St. John district and the St. Croix district are significantly different," she said, according to a news release from her office. "I stressed to the council the need for data to be collected on V.I. fisheries and broken down by district and types of fish. Too often data is collected from Puerto Rico fisheries and then imposed on us."
Christensen said she will continue to work with the fishermen through the process, and acknowledged that they already face significant challenges with fishery regulations currently in place.
"I see an opportunity if the fishermen work together to be able to shape how this policy is to develop and how it is to be implemented," she said.
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Aug. 19, 2008 -- Local fishermen have gotten their wish: The Caribbean Fishery Management Council has agreed that when it comes to setting catch limits in the Virgin Islands, it will use fish-count data only from the Virgin Islands rather than using Puerto Rico data or combining data from the two territories.
"This was at the request of the fishermen," said Graciela Garcia-Moliner, a habitat specialist with the council, on Tuesday.
The council will break V.I. data down by the St. Thomas/St. John District and the St. Croix District, it decided last week in a meeting on St. Croix.
"St. Croix has a different and much more important parrot fishery," Garcia-Moliner said as an example.
Fish size will also be evaluated in an effort to determine whether the fisheries are growing or shrinking.
"Nothing might have happened," she said.
The fishing catch limits are required by the Magnussen Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. The limits must be in place by 2010, Garcia-Moliner said. Meetings will be held in 2009 to discuss the issue further.
Fish included in the count include Nassau, yellow fin and tiger grouper, silk, vermilion, black and black fin snapper, about a dozen species of parrot fish, and queen conch.
The fish-count numbers come from the fishermen who are required to report their fish counts to the Fish and Wildlife Division of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, according to Garcia-Moliner.
Local fishermen are concerned that the data being used to establish the catch limits is inaccurate, said Delegate Donna M. Christensen, who attended the meeting.
"The fishermen maintain that the fisheries in the St. Thomas-St. John district and the St. Croix district are significantly different," she said, according to a news release from her office. "I stressed to the council the need for data to be collected on V.I. fisheries and broken down by district and types of fish. Too often data is collected from Puerto Rico fisheries and then imposed on us."
Christensen said she will continue to work with the fishermen through the process, and acknowledged that they already face significant challenges with fishery regulations currently in place.
"I see an opportunity if the fishermen work together to be able to shape how this policy is to develop and how it is to be implemented," she said.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.