National Marine Fisheries Service

02/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/22/2021 14:20

Seasonal Closure of Mutton Snapper Spawning Aggregation Area in U.S. Caribbean Federal Waters off St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

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WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHEN:

Annual Seasonal Area Closure

NOAA Fisheries reminds fishermen and the public of the upcoming seasonal closure on fishing for any species in federal waters of the mutton snapper spawning aggregation area in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (Figure 1). This closure begins at 12:01 a.m., local time, on March 1, 2021, and extends through 11:59 p.m., local time, June 30, 2021.

Year-Round Fishing Prohibitions

Fishing with pots, traps, bottom longlines, gillnets, or trammel nets is prohibited within federal waters of the mutton snapper spawning aggregation area year-round.

WHY THIS CLOSURE IS HAPPENING:

This seasonal area closure protects mutton snapper when they are spawning (reproducing) and more vulnerable to fishing pressure. The closure also protects the habitat that supports those aggregations.

The Mutton Snapper Spawning Aggregation Area is located off southwest St. Croix and is bounded by lines connecting the following coordinates:

A 17°37.8' N 64°53.0' W

B 17°39.0' N 64°53.0' W

C 17°39.0' N 64°50.5' W

D 17°38.1' N 64°50.5' W

E 17°37.8' N 64°52.5' W

A 17°37.8' N 64°53.0' W

Figure 1. Map showing the mutton snapper spawning aggregation area (hatched) off St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

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