The Department of Planning and Natural Resources – Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds the fishing community of the rules and regulations of the conch fisheries for the 2009 fishing year:
V.I.C., Title 12, Chapter 9A, 316-1 and 316-4
Queen Conch size limit: Minimum size of 9-inch shell length from spite to the distal end, or 3/8ths of an inch lip thickness (see Appendix 1).
No harvest of undersized conch.
No possession of conch meats smaller than two-per-pound not cleaned or three-per-pound cleaned.
Harvest quota: 200 conch per day per registered commercial fishing vessel.
Six conch per day per recreational (personal use) fisher; not to exceed 24 per boat per day
Landing restrictions: Total annual landings of conch must not exceed 50,000 lbs. on St. Croix and 50,000 lbs on St. Thomas/St. John. Thereafter, the season will be closed until Nov. 1 of that year.
Must be landed alive and whole in the shell at final landing site
No disposal of shell at sea before landing. Taking conch to offshore cays and islands for purpose of removing from shell is prohibited. Transport of conch meat out of shell over open water is prohibited.
Sale restrictions: No sale of undersized conch shell or meat from undersized conch.
No sale of imported conch meat unless shipment is accompanied by a CITES export permit and shipment is cleared at the Port of Miami. (see Conch Imports, pg. 8 for exceptions and further information)
Closed season: June 1 – Oct. 31. Possession of queen conch during the closed season is illegal.