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NOAA Advises Mutton Snapper Seasonal Spawning Area to Close March 1

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries reminds the public that commercial and recreational fishing is prohibited in federal waters of the mutton snapper spawning aggregation area in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, from 12:01 a.m., local time, March 1 through June 30.
The U.S. Caribbean exclusive economic zone in the U.S.V.I. consists of those waters extending from the three nautical-mile seaward boundary of the territory of the V.I. out to 200 nautical miles offshore, according to the Southeast Fishery Bulletin and the NOAA Fisheries.
The area closure is bounded by rhumb lines connecting, in order, the following coordinates:
A 17°37.8’ N and 64°53.0’ W
B 17°39.0’ N and 64°53.0’ W
C 17°39.0’ N and 64°50.5’ W
D 17°38.1’ N and 64°50.5’ W
E 17°37.8’ N and 64°52.5’ W
A 17°37.8’ N and 64°53.0’ W
In addition, fishing with pots, traps, bottom longlines, gillnets or trammel nets is prohibited within the exclusive economic zone portion of the mutton snapper spawning aggregation area year-round.
This action complies with regulations and is necessary to protect these resources. The Caribbean Fishery Management Council, in cooperation with NOAA Fisheries, developed the amendments to regulate fishing mortality.
This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.
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