Recreational lobster fishing licences cut
The number of recreational lobster diving licences has been cut by 75 to 375 for the new season in a bid to conserve the crustaceans.
The move by the home affairs ministry came after statistics for the 2018-19 season showed a 2 per cent decrease in the number of inshore lobsters compared to the average for the previous 20 years.
A spokeswoman for the ministry said: “The number of lobsters caught per trap in the commercial fishery is a standard measure that is an indication of the lobsters’ abundance.”
“According to catch data from the past 20 years, this past season was the sixth consecutive season of below-average commercial catches.”
Delvin Bean, of the Bean family fishery, said recreational lobster divers posed a threat to the commercial trade.
He added: “I would most definitely like to see the recreational divers cut back a little more.
“Of course, it’s a threat to our income.”
Mr Bean and his family, who carry out business from their boat, Nothing’s Easy, sell most of their catch of fish and lobsters to restaurants.
Mr Bean warned that some recreational divers misused their licences for profit.
He said: “We do have people breaking the rules. Right now you have a bunch of recreational divers out there that are making it into a business.”
“They are catching lobsters by day and they’re selling them.”
Mr Bean added: “It has been brought to the attention of the appropriate people to deal with it.”
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