Press Release

Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change
Release Date:
Thursday, 21 March 2024 - 5:11pm

Local fishers, other stakeholders and the public are reminded that fishing season for the  Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) will be closed from  April 1 to November 30.

Director of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Mr. Theodore James said according to Regulations 26 of the Fisheries Regulations 2003, turtle fishing and the sale of turtle meat shall cease until December 1, when the fishing season opens.

Mr. James said Regulations 22 states:

  1. No person shall disturb, remove from the fishery waters, expose for sale, sell, purchase, or have in his possession any turtle eggs.
  2. No person shall interfere with any turtle nest or turtle that is nesting.
  3. No person shall remove from the fishery waters, expose for sale, sell, purchase or have in his possession any undersized turtle or catch a Leatherback Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) or Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) on which there is a moratorium.
  4. No person shall set within 100 metres of the shore of the Virgin Islands any net, seine or other article for the purpose or with the intention of fishing for, catching or taking a turtle.
  5. No person shall fish for, remove from the fishery waters, or at any time have in his possession, expose for sale, sell or purchase any turtle.

The Director added that persons who contravenes any of the provisions or any directive given commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries encourages the public to report illegal turtle fishing, selling or purchasing activity to the department during the closed season by calling telephone number 468-9195 and by emailing pictures and message details. Persons are also invited to telephone the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force at 311, land matters at 368-5371 and marine matters at 368-9462.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is responsible for ensuring food is safe, nutritionally sound, produced and harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner that builds resilience to internal and external shocks while contributing to the economic growth, social well-being and protection of the natural environment.  


Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740