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|Crawfish Season Closes|
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|Posted by:||Apr 1st 2003, 05:36:31 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||Monday marked the close of the crawfish season and local fishermen who violate closed season rules will face hefty fines and even imprisonment, officials have warned.
The closure of the eight-month long season gives the popular shellfish much needed time to spawn before the season reopens August 1.
During this time, fishermen are only permitted to have or sell frozen crawfish.
Director of the Department of Fisheries Michael Braynen pointed out that convicted persons will be required to pay a fine of up to $3,000 or face a prison sentence of up to one year or both.
In addition, Mr. Braynen said any trap or other device used to harvest the seafood during that time would be confiscated.
Despite the setback - which according to Mr. Braynen does not necessarily mean that a large number of fishermen will take home less income - provisions are in place to accommodate the sale of frozen crawfish harvested during the open season.
There is however, one requirement.
"Persons who have stocks of crawfish at the close of the season, must report them to the Department (of Fisheries), so that we are able to monitor and determine whether or not any crawfish being traded during the closed season was in fact harvested while the season was open," Mr. Braynen said.
The Department will be carrying out regular inspections at various landing sites throughout the capital and the Family Islands during the closed season to ensure that no more crawfish is in fact being landed.
-- Bahama Journal, www.jonescommunicationsltd.com
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