For visitors to the island of Antigua, please be aware of the fishery's policy regarding the following species. Please respect these regulations which are there to protect the sustainability and viability of Antigua's marine ecosystem:
Spear/ Pole Fishing:
Spearfishing/ use of spearguns is prohibited by those without a specific licence. The licence is only available to Antiguan Citizens.
Pole spear fishing is allowed for Lionfish.
Collection of lobsters by diving (whether scuba, snorkelling or freediving is prohibited).
Prohibited Fishing Areas/ Reserves
The current situation in Antigua regarding fishing restrictions is complex and involves several Agencies (variously Fisheries, Environment and National Parks). Having spoken to a really helpful official on the ground, the current state of play is:
1). Marine Reserves There are 2 of these, Cades Reef and Diamond Reef. Fishing is prohibited in these areas.
2). North East Marine Management Area This is divided into zones, with different zones having different levels of fishing prohbition. The exact details are not easily available and are currently being actively revised.
3. National Parks Currently the Nelson's Dockyard Area is a designated National Park. At the time of writing (June 2017) there are no specific fishing prohibitions, but this situation is currently being actively revised/ reviewed.
4). Community Marine Reserves There has been a pilot initiative to establish a Community-Manged Marine Reserve by the Environment Department at Windward Bay (Falmouth/ English Harbour Area). It is hoped that fishermen (both recreational and commercial) will respect this initiative to provide a refuge for breeding/ juvenile stock in this hard pressed area.
Marine Protected Areas are governed by the Fisheries Act 2006/ 2013 and subsequent notices, which ban fishing in decreed areas under Sections 52 and 53.
The full regulations are here
Taking of the following species is illegal during the following periods (and also lists year-round restrictions on sizes etc).:
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