The Department of Marine Resources takes this opportunity to
remind stakeholders and the general public that the crawfish season
opens on Thursday, 1 st August, 2019. As stakeholders prepare to
take advantage of the season, the Department admonishes all
concerned to recall that:
- The legal size limit for harvested crawfish is
Crawfish tails – 5 ½ inches
Whole crawfish – jacket (carapace) measurement from the
base of the horns to the end of the jacket – 3 ¼ inches.
- All commercial fishing vessels being 20 feet and larger are
required to be licensed for commercial fishing purposes by the
Department of Marine Resources. It is an offence for any
vessel being 20 feet or larger, commercial or recreational, to
possess two hundred and fifty pounds (250 lbs) or more of
marine resources without first being licensed.
- The occupants of foreign-owned vessels that have been
licensed for sportsfishing purposes are reminded to adhere to
the stipulated bag limits, inclusive of that which relates to the
crawfish (spiny lobster) and the Queen Conch, which are
enshrined on the rear of their permits.
- A dive compressor permit is required for the use of the
mentioned fishing gear. Further, the device should only be
used between the depths of 30ft – 60 ft.
- The season ends March 31 st , 2020.
As we indicated to commercial vessel owners one year ago, and as we have stated in our various meetings with fishers throughout the country the past 12 months, only Bahamian-owned fishing vessels
are allowed in the sector. Under no circumstances are we issuing compressor permits to persons on work permits. In the case of
spousal permits, we have not issued compressor permits but this
does not prevent those persons from working in any sector of our
economy that is not in law, reserved for Bahamians. This is not a new position entirely.
Further, in June of this year, the Department of Marine Resources in
conjunction with the National Training Agency launched the first ever
Diver Training program. The program was designed to instruct young
Bahamians in the proper use of dive equipment, resulting in PADI
certification for the participants. The training was conducted by the
Royal Bahamas Defense Force master dive instructors.
On completion, students will be given a one month internship on
commercial fishing vessels as facilitated by the Bahamas Commercial
Fishing Boat Owners group. We expect some of these divers will be
put to use this season.
The program was fully subscribed and we anticipate a continuation of
this opportunity for Bahamians to enter the sector as trained divers.
The intent of this program is clear. More Bahamians trained as
professional divers means more availability of divers, lessening the
need for foreign workers to carry out these tasks.
The Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources and in particular, the
Department of Marine Resources extends to all, a safe and rewarding