Fishing interests, restaurants and the general public are reminded of the opening of Crawfish Season next month. As has been the case for the past five seasons, the Crawfish Season will open on 15th August. This has proven successful in reducing the quantity of egg-bearing lobsters landed, and is believed to have contributed to increased abundance and landings of crawfish. The last day of the Crawfish season will be 31th March, 2018.
“The past few seasons have seen an increase in the catch per unit of effort, a reassuring statistic suggesting a healthy and rebuilding crawfish stock. This will provide social, economic and environmental benefits to the Turks and Caicos Islands. We need to continue to implement the measures we have in place which includes enforcement and monitoring the fishery, to assure our actions are guided by strong science.” said Ethan Griesbach, Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) Acting Director.
Restrictions relating to crawfish, as per the Fisheries Protection Ordinance, are listed below:
- Crawfish size restrictions are as follows:
- When whole, a length of 3.25 inches measured from the front of the groove between the horns directly above the eyes, along the middle of the back to the rear edge of the back shell; or
- When the tail has been separated, a tail weight of 5 ounces whether processed or not;
- Fishers are not to be in the possession of any egg-bearing crawfish;
- Fishers are not to remove eggs from egg-bearing crawfish;
- Fishers are not to take or be in possession of moulting / soft-shelled crawfish or crawfish in early stages of spawning (described as appearing ‘tar-spotted’); and
- Fishers are to ensure that the crawfish are landed unharmed (except for those taken by hook) and landed whole prior to being processed on land (at a processing plant or at home), unless processed at sea as per the terms of the processing license.
- The use of any noxious substance (e.g. bleach, detergent, gasoline) for capturing any marine product is prohibited.