Keeping things legal…

Where fishing and spearfishing are concerned, I’m just a little bit compulsive about following the existing fishing laws. Of course, down here in the Caribbean that is not always easy…

For instance, whenever we clear in to an island we always ask where to find information with the rules, limits, and information on seasons for various species. More often than not, the answer we get is fishing is not a problem or, if someone does give us information, almost always we find it is incorrect. Which is problematic as what is OK with the guy in immigration/customs may be not alright at all with the local fisheries guy who has the power to do things like give you BIG fines or even seize your boat.

In some places you cannot even trust stuff printed up by the agencies in question as the other day I noticed that the “official” U.S. Virgin Islands Fishing Regulations lists the Conch season incorrectly.

As it happens, I also noticed that the minimum size for lobsters is 3.5″ carapace length rather than the 3.25″ (California/Florida size limit) that most lobster gauges show as legal. That little 1/4″ difference could result in a $500 fine so it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Which is why I was looking for lobster gauges the other day…

The bad news is no one seems to make a 3.5″ lobster gauge.

The good news is I found a lobster gauge I really like.

The inclusion of a shackle key…

and a bottle opener is really cool!

With a price of only $8.00, the fact that I have to spend five minutes with a hacksaw/Dremel tool to make it into a proper street legal USVI lobster gauge is a minor consideration.

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