Three Spear-Fishermen May Be Charge With Catching Parrotfish After Closed Season; Fisheries Officer Urges Residents To Respect Marine Laws

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Three spear-fishermen have been caught fishing on Bird Island by Coast Guard officers, violating a number of the fishing protocols.

Tricia Lovell, the deputy chief fisheries officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, says the men were spearfishing in a protected area, possibly
without a licence, and caught parrotfish during the current closed season.

However, while these violations carry charges, it is still unclear whether the men have been charged or not.

Meanwhile, Lovell is calling on residents to respect the closed season as well as marine laws.

“The regulations and the conservation measures that we put in place is for the benefit of everyone and for the benefit of everyone and for the long-term sustainability of a sector. It
can’t be about individual gratification,” she stated.

She also explained that they are other options one can resort to instead of breaking the law.

“I recognize that people are saying that it’s a tough time. We have Covid and people might be without a job, but that doesn’t mean that you have to break the law because there are other options available to you.

“You don’t have to spear in protected areas … if you are hell bent on being a spearfisherman, then come into fisheries and regularize yourself by getting a license,” Lovell added.

The Fisheries Officer explained that protected areas are put in place as basically refuge areas saying “if you are fishing in these areas you are not allowing the area to do what they have been designed to do which is become a refuge for any marine species.”

She noted that the parrotfish is a critically important species for reef building and like other
species, their closed seasons which is between May 1 to July 31 “generally coincide with peaks and spawning”.

“If you are going to be violating closed season you are basically going to be harvesting species that would be spawning at that time and spawning is basically making sure that the population is able to replenish itself,” Lovell reiterated.

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Why “may be charged”? Sounds like you not sure if they will be charged. They have broken the law so charge them.

  2. How are they saying “come in to the fisheries to get a licence?”
    I went to the fisheries and was told that they no longer issue spearfishing licenses…also a “licened” fisherman can only shoot 6 fishes, please tell me how can one provide for their family with only 6 fishes?

  3. How is she saying “come into the fisheries to get a license”?
    I went to the fisheries and was told they no longer issue spearfishing licenses. Also they said ppl who previously had the license are only allowed to to shoot 6 fishes…so ppl tell me how we are to survive with only six fish during these hard times.

  4. For those who don’t understand the reason the restrictions are put in place, when you and your children and your children’s children and so on down the line go fishing and there is nothing to eat I suppose you will look back and ask yourselves why we didn’t listen. Then you will now truly wonder what you are going to eat. The French people are now fishing in our waters because they have decimated their fishing grounds and it seems apparent there are people here hell bent on doing the same thing.

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