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Stone crab fishing season opens on October 1

Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2023. 8:36 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Belize Fisheries Department informs all fishers and the public that, in accordance with the Fisheries Resources Act and Statutory Instrument No.108 of 2022, the Florida Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria) fishing season opens from October 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.

Fishers and the public are encouraged to follow the Stone Crab fishery regulations:

A person who intends to fish or export stone crab shall apply to the Fisheries Administrator for a stone crab fishing or export license.

A person who intends to fish for the stone crab using a trap shall apply to the Fisheries Administrator for authorization.

No person is authorized to take stone crab using a plastic trap shall take stone crab unless the trap has:

An escape gap of the aperture of not less than 2 3/8 inches along one side of the trap, other than the mouth; and A biodegradable panel

No person shall fish, sell, display, offer for sale, buy, or have in his possession any stone crab during the period from 1st July to 30th September. A person licensed to fish for stone crabs may set a trap in the fisheries waters of Belize from the 15th September but is not allowed to harvest any crab.

No person shall retain on board, tranship, store, sell, display, offer for sale, buy or have in possession:

  1. a) Claws with a propodus length of less than 3 inches; and
  2. b) The carapace or body of a stone crab

The Fisheries Department noted that the mission is to provide the country and the people of Belize with the best possible management of aquatic and fisheries resources, with a view to optimize the present and future benefits through efficient and sustainable management.

The Fisheries Department advises the Public to report any illegal fisheries activity by calling 224-4552.


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