Government outlines protected fishing areas
Local fishermen have been warned to stay away from protected marine areas, known as the “hind grounds”.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced today that the areas were closed to all fishing activities as of May 1.
These areas provide sanctuary for hinds and groupers when they gather to spawn during the warm summer months, explained the department, and fishing in these areas is prohibited through August 31.
The two large protected areas (see maps), one to the southwest and one to the northeast of the island, both contain square-shaped extended closure areas, which are closed to fishing until November 29 each year.
They have existed in various forms since the 1970s and, together with other fisheries regulations, are part of efforts to help to conserve local fish stocks, and protect them from overfishing.
As the spawning season begins, maps of these important fisheries management areas are posted as a reminder, along with their co-ordinates, said a department statement.