Nassau Grouper Season Closed to March 1

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Nassau Grouper Season Closed to March 1

Post  Admin on Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:10 pm

The harvest season for the Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) closed on Saturday December 15 and will not re-open until February 28, 2008. The Department of Fisheries said the process is simply a continuation of efforts which originally began in 1998, to provide protection for the Nassau Grouper during its mating season.

And while the department said this move is in the best interest of the entire Bahamas, some fishermen say it is simply a hindrance to their income. However, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources Larry Cartwright said this closure comes at the time of year when the Nassau Grouper needs to form large schools or aggregations in distinct locations of The Bahamas to reproduce.

"This is a most critical period for the Nassau Grouper as it is then most vulnerable," he said. "It is the time when these fish are found in large quantities and swollen with eggs. And The Bahamas is one of the last areas where the Nassau Grouper may be found in any abundance. Elsewhere in their former range, they are rare and most of the commercial fisheries that once flourished have disappeared."

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