The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service has finalized new size limits for parrotfish harvested off St. Croix.
In a statement issued Tuesday, NOAA Fisheries announced it had approved the new minimum size limits for parrotfish, which have an effective date of Aug. 29.
According to the NOAA bulletin, the final rule includes a commercial and recreational minimum size limit of eight inches "fork length" – the distance from the snout of the fish to the fork in the tail – for redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum) in
federal waters off St. Croix.
It also sets a commercial and recreational minimum size limit of nine inches fork length for all other allowable parrotfish species in federal waters off St. Croix. Those include: redfin parrotfish, (Sparisoma rubripinne); redtail parrotfish, (Sparisoma chrysopterum); stoplight parrotfish, (Sparisoma viride); princess parrotfish, (Scarus taeniopterus); queen parrotfish, (Scarus vetula); and striped parrotfish, (Scarus iserti).
There is no minimum size limits for parrotfish harvest in federal waters off St. Thomas/St. John or Puerto Rico, according to the bulletin, which notes that harvest of midnight (Scarus coelestinus), rainbow (Scarus guacamaia), and blue (Scarus coeruleus) parrotfish remains prohibited.
Electronic copies of the amendment and final rule can be downloaded from the NOAA Fisheries Web site: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/caribbean/reef_fish/reg_am4/index.html or the Council Web site: http://www.caribbeanfmc.com