Clement Campbell, Assistant Superintendent of Fisheries with the Ministry of Marine Resources in Grand Bahama, yesterday, announced that seafood vendors and restaurants that carry lobster have until the end of April to register their inventory before the close of lobster season.
Campbell made this statement during an interview with this daily Wednesday (April 6) at his office in the Ministry of Marine Resources.
“We’re trying to establish a system, where every vendor, restaurant and fish house report to the office what they have for the closed season,” he said.
Campbell added that the department has discovered that persons are still selling lobster in April, May, June and July, which they are claiming they had when the season ended on March 31 and there was no way to prove otherwise, until now.
Each vendor would have to fill out a form, of which a copy would remain with the department and the other with the vendor.
“This is so when we go back there and you say that you had 20 bags of lobster, and when we check you still have 20 bags of lobster something is wrong with that,” he said.
Campbell revealed that officers in the department are assisting people with the forms.
He noted that boats that are currently out to sea cannot bring in any lobster.
“If they have it out there now, they must report it to the nearest port of entry,” he said.
Campbell reiterated that although there is no exact day for forms to be submitted, all must be in by the end of the month.
He also explained what information is needed on the forms.
“On the form you must put how many units you have,” he said.
Campbell informed that units are the number of bags.
“If you have 20 units, that’s 20 pounds a bag, that’s 400 pounds,” he said.
Persons must also write down the names of their fish processor and sign the form before submitting it.
Campbell told this daily that the purpose for this system is ultimately to preserve the lobsters that are spawning.
He added that the same conditions would apply to stone crab season, which closes in May and Grouper season, which closes in November.
Campbell stated that the department wants to get this information to the public as soon as possible, so all fish houses and restaurants would be notified. This would prepare them for department check-ups.
Published Thursday, April 6, 2017