U.S. Caribbean Seasonal Closures

Fishing years, seasonal closures, and fishery status for federally managed Caribbean species 

 

Species
EEZ Seasonal Closure
Red Grouper February 1 - April 30
Black Grouper February 1 - April 30
Tiger Grouper February 1 - April 30
Yellowfin Grouper February 1 - April 30
Yellowedge Grouper February 1 - April 30
Mutton Snapper April 1 - June 30
Lane Snapper April 1 - June 30
Black Snapper October 1 - December 31
Blackfin Snapper October 1 - December 31
Vermilion Snapper October 1 - December 31
Silk Snapper October 1 - December 31
Red Hind December 1 - Last Day of February
Queen Conch June 1 - October 31

(a) Fishing for or possession of queen conch in the EEZ is PROHIBITED in the U.S. Caribbean, with the exception of Lang Bank, St. Croix, USVI (east of 64°34’W) during the open season (November 1 - May 31)

 

Area (a) Seasonal Closure
Mutton snapper spawning aggregation area March 1 - June 30
Lang Bank Red Hind Spawning Aggregation Area December 1 - February 28
Tourmaline Bank December 1 - February 28
Abrir La Sierra December 1 - February 28
Grammanik Bank (b) February 1 - April 30
Bajo de Sico (c) October 1 - March 31

(a) For coordinates of each closed area, please see the Caribbean Closed Areas Coordinates.

(b) From February 1 through April 30, each year, no person may fish for or possess any species of fish, except highly migratory species, in or from the Grammanik Bank closed area.  For the purpose of paragraph (a)(4) of this section, “fish” means finfish, mollusks, crustaceans, and all other forms of marine animal and plant life other than marine mammals and birds. “Highly migratory species” means bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin, albacore, and skipjack tunas; swordfish; sharks; and white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, and longbill spearfish.

(c) From October 1 through March 31, each year, no person may fish for or possess any Caribbean reef fish, as listed in
Table 2 of Appendix A to part 622, in or from those parts of the Bajo de Sico closed area that are in the EEZ.

Please Note: This summary is intended to provide appropriate information to fishers about regulations and the sustainable use of marine fishery resources in the U.S. Caribbean. This summary is for general information purposes. Fishery Regulations are subject to changes. For more information on fishery regulations consult the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 622 or the NOAA Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office Fishery Regulation website.

This page provides only a summary of the information regarding the existing regulations. Any discrepancies between this information and the regulations as published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.