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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Catch & Release Bonefish & Permit in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has followed Belize's lead in protecting bonefish and permit with a catch and release law.  Effective late December 2010 bonefish and permit join tarpon as a protected species.  Fishing for tarpon has been catch and release since 2004 in Puerto Rico. 

Here's the press release issued by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources:

In order to update and improve management measures for commercial and sport fishing resources in Puerto Rico waters, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources has prepared a new fishing regulation, which will go into effect in late December 2010. The new regulations build upon the previous version approved in 2004. 

The sport fishing community participated very actively in the numerous public hearings around the island, and enthusiastically supported the new measures to protect bonefish and permit as catch and release species. Tarpon have enjoyed this same protection since 2004. Common snook are protected in Puerto Rico through a slot limit that prohibits their retention below 22" and above 38" fork length.

With these and other progressive fisheries measures, Puerto Rico seeks to satisfy the marine sport fishing expectations of visitors and residents alike, as well as to conserve commercial fisheries resources for future generations.