Fishing Regulations

 

FISHING REGULATIONS

Anglers in the U.S. Virgin Islands: Have you read through the U.S. Virgin Islands Commercial and Recreational Fishers’ Information Handbook yet? The handbook provides a summary of fishing regulations in local (Territorial) and federal waters around the USVI. Included are species-specific regulations, closed seasons and managed marine areas, general policies, and other educational information.

DFW Fisher Handbook 2019  ** Coming soon: the DFW Fisher Handbook 2022!

Fishing regulations are subject to change. It is your responsibility to become familiar with the latest territorial and federal regulatory updates and to comply with the current official regulations.

USVI Territorial Waters (0 – 3 nm from shore)

USVI territorial waters extend from land to 3 nautical miles offshore and are managed by the USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources. Official fishing regulations for USVI territorial waters are presented in the Virgin Islands Code (http://www.lexisnexis.com/ hottopics/vicode/). For additional and updated regulations concerning USVI territorial waters, contact the USVI Division of Environmental Enforcement at 340-774-3320 (St. Thomas/St. John) or 340-773-5774 (St. Croix).

Federal Waters (3 – 200 nm from shore)

Federal waters around the USVI are those from 3 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles offshore. Regulations pertaining to federal waters are presented in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (https://gov.ecfr.io/cgi-bin/ECFR). For current and specific regulations for fishing in federal waters, fishers should contact the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) Southeast Regional Office at 727-824-5305 or consult official sources of information, such as the Federal Register. Fishers with questions about Atlantic Highly Migratory Species should call the Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division at 727-824-5399 (Spanish or English) or 301-427-8503 (English only).

Fishing Registration

Annual fishing registration occurs formally in July. For more information or make an appointment for late registration, contact the Division of Fish and Wildlife in St. Thomas at 340-775-6762 and in St. Croix at 340-773-1082.

All those who wish to obtain a new commercial fishing permit for the 2022 registration year must submit the appropriate forms and materials as required by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources: Commercial Fisher Application & Assessment

Information on policies related to the moratorium: Commercial Fisher Briefing

Stakeholder feedback from the Fisheries Advisory Committees related to the moratorium on commercial fishing licenses:

Date District Recording Link Key Topics
October 7, 2020 St. Croix https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/bfbe418411e8a2e8696cb882db1894d5045a2ad56f1907d495a05dabee3e8410

 

109 minutes

 

Measures to be implemented prior to the ending of the moratorium on commercial fishing licenses
January 13, 2021 St. Croix https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/cf2c933aa4d237b2c3ec50921d1e8e460c0dc559c62f4526979b890d1507abd1

131 minutes

Presentation by Allie Durdall on “Great Pond, a critical marine fish nursery habitat in St. Croix: reassessment after two decades of mangrove gain and loss, invasive species, hurricanes, and drought impacts”

 

 

February 10, 2021 St. Croix https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/177b77a0fc4fd295798deee968e6783f98697397b566aa1d9ea8e47dae62b8c5

114 minutes

Key definitions for commercial fishing
March 10, 2021 St. Croix https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/a0b3a39a322cbfcf770a9941f34fbd8cb8543cb06a945a68ce233473801ee672

215 minutes

Voting on key definitions for commercial fishing
March 11, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/e498a0eaecc1672f6904394e4c7178df083af84bf0a55a51a1e1b380049fa0db

108 minutes

Key definitions for commercial fishing
March 25, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/1355e780df38ce162bf5048cfd120e529a477d6f10c4014d5c6ff2e9310a800c

175 minutes

Voting on key definitions for commercial fishing.
April 8, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/d24360d4c5dd8296a98da3758cf461f6c8d2032f293af3e4abd8c0ffeea53fce

94 minutes

Recreational fishing regulations; CARES Act
April 14, 2021 St. Croix https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/a40e772410200341943a4d15a70579ddaf5f9c106b46f7cfb207c0a623acbc99

126 minutes

Recreational fishing regulations CARES Act; FAC subcommittee
May 13, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/66d4fb213807b23f96ab71d9f32b03d63c1c70ff91cea67785520e6b78d0bb44

64 minutes

Fisheries data collection
June 9, 2021 St. Croix https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/fde6f6285f962aa1ad8133c53a55cfc13230b9d8d34dd2479efe2a2abd2d4b5d

112 minutes

Reef responsible; subcommittees
June 10, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/18a96174bc8a3fea23653058b3640dcf082afe13a408e4826da71f84a86640c4

94 minutes

Reef responsible
July 21, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/4e694e6f2529ca614543c49499ac8e050f4542a53c92f757c751fd275f6bbc41

65 minutes

Recreational fishing regulations
August 25, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/1c4ff149e7475d513c7cdce56f501c09f46489aa030cf6f9a6c26be2e59edf68

130 minutes

Priority items
September 8, 2021 St. Croix https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/665e7b986b1ad7701fb83dd2f3f70ec8762f9a7b7f20d0a2c25e2f2c3a9b8a70

108 minutes

Compatible regulations
September 9, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/d397f8e76514a1a07e468d7fc63feebcd55a88fe744edba2fb652c6d6bc44f45

97 minutes

Compatible regulations
September 16, 2021 St. Thomas / St. John https://transcripts.gotomeeting.com/#/s/8d0fa8e049675021bdc2a8a66e5c0f5378c51d40213928002dbd990a8f24e32d

136 minutes

Compatible regulations