Earlier Closure Period For The “Hind Grounds”

April 4, 2017

The Ministry of the Environment advises that fishing in the Seasonally Protected Areas, also known as the “Hind Grounds” and “Grouper Grounds”, will be prohibited from 15 April 2017 in order to protect spawning Red Hinds.

A spokesperson said, “In recent years, there appears to have been a shift in when Red Hind first aggregate for the season, and large catches of Red Hind were taken from the “Hind Grounds” last April, and also in April 2014. Technical officers of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources think that Red Hind are gathering to spawn earlier because of increased seawater temperatures.

Fisheries Seasonally Protected Areas Bermuda April 2017 (1)

“Following consultations with stakeholders, it was agreed that the Red Hind aggregation sites needed greater protection and it was decided to move the closure period for the Seasonally Protected Areas forward by two weeks to 15 April.

“Legislation will be proposed to open these areas on 15 August 2017, and make the early closure date permanent, creating a closure period for the “Hind Grounds” from 15 April through 14 August every year.

“The exact boundaries of the Seasonally Protected Areas are shown in the two accompanying maps, which also include the GPS co-ordinates for the four corners of each area. Notice of this early closure, with the full legal details of the boundaries, is also published in The Official Gazette of 31 March 2017.

“The current bag limit of ten [10] Red Hind per boat per day from 1 May through 31 August will remain in place for commercial fishermen but, going forward, this limit will now apply to recreational fishers throughout the year. In addition, a bag limit of 50 Red Hind per boat per day in April will be implemented for commercial fishermen.

Fisheries Seasonally Protected Areas Bermuda April 2017 (2)

“The early closure of the Seasonally Protected Areas will also afford greater protection to Black Grouper spawning aggregations, and the public is reminded that there is a bag limit of one [1] Black Grouper per boat per day year round for all fishermen.

“Fishers are also reminded that Marine Resources officers are conducting tagging studies on Red Hind and Black Grouper to better understand their movements around the Bermuda Platform, particularly at spawning aggregations sites. All fishers are encouraged to contact the Marine Resources Section at 293-5600 or fisheries@gov.bm if you catch a tagged Red Hind or Black Grouper. All tags taken from examined fish will be entered into a draw. A $500 Masters Ltd. gift certificate will be awarded on each of the following draw dates: 1 June 2017, 1 December 2017, 1 June 2018 and 1 December 2018.

“The Ministry urges the public to familiarize themselves with the Seasonally Protected Areas and abide by the Fisheries Regulations in order to help conserve our Red Hind and Black Grouper populations.

“For more information contact the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Section at 293-5600 or fisheries@gov.bm”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Guy Smiley says:

    We need to do more to protect our fish and allow future generations to be able to fish…or at least catch fish.
    Not taking away from livelihoods but trying to keep them going for a longer period of time.

  2. Ok um got a week to hit um.

  3. johhny.galt says:

    Increased water temperatures? Based on what readings and compared to when? Sounds like a bunch of made up global warming crap to me. Some years spring turns to summer a little earlier or a little later, so just set a limit and actually set it. Rather then be controlling little busybodies always trying to be in charge and constantly changing the goalposts.

  4. drunken ursula says:

    what are you saying…. climate change my boy Trump thinks its a hoax !