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Term Closed season

It refers to periods when the capture of certain plant and animal species is prohibited in order to protect their populations and to ensure their survival in their areas of geographical distribution. In the Dominican Republic, closed seasons are regulated by Law No. 64-00, the Fisheries Act No. 5914-62 and other resolutions issued by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.1 The following species are protected:

1. Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus)

Decree No. 316-86:

  • Prohibits the capture and sale of lobster meat during the period from April 1 to July 31 of each year.
  • Prohibits the capture of egg-laying females.
  • The minimum catch size is 120mm, not inclusive of tail (without the telson) and 240 mm total length.

2. Conch (queen conch, Strombus gigas; hawk-wing conch, S. Raninus; milk conch, S. Costatus; rooster tail conch, S. Gallus)

Decree No. 833-03:

  • A national seasonal closed period, bans the capture and trade of conch meat between July 1 and October 31 of each year.
  • The minimum catch size is 180 mm in shell length (total length).
  • Designation of certain areas as reserves, in the Catuano Channel within Este National Park, Alto Velo Island, and Jaragua National Park, rendering them closed for the capture of conch, within the following coordinates:

         a. Lat. 17° 32 80'N / Long. 71 ° 30 00'0
         b. Lat. 17° 33 50'N / Long. 71 ° 27 60'0
         c. Lat. 17° 32 15'N / Long.71 ° 29 20'0
         d. Lat. 17° 34 30'N / Long. 71 ° 28 35'0

3. Crabs (Blue land crab Cardisoma guanhumi ; swamp ghost crab Ucides cordatus; and purple land crab Gecarcinus ruricola)

Fisheries Act No. 5914 of 1962:

  • A closed season spanning the whole country, prohibits catching crabs during the period from December 1 to April 30 of the following year.
  • In addition, the fishing and capturing of female crabs is prohibited from June 1 to August 30 each year.
  • Fishing, capturing, killing and marketing of all crab species listed that are smaller than the size indicated below is prohibited:

  a. blue land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) minimum shell length: 10 centimeters
   b. swamp ghost crab (Ucides cordatus) minimum shell length: 8 centimeters
   c. purple land crab (Gecarcinus ruricola) minimum shell length: 10 centimeters

4. Hispaniolan freshwater crab (Epilobocera haytensis)

Resolution No. 07/2003:

  • Closed season for crab fishing is from June 1 to September 30 each year.
  • The capture female of crabs who are laying eggs at any time of the year is prohibited.

Since 1931, sea birds have also been protected by Hunting Act No. 85. This law permanently prohibits hunting for gannets, frigate birds, flamingoes, boobies, herons and kingfishers, as “hunting them constitutes a cruel act.” Additionally, closed seasons were established for various species of herons and ducks, such as the West Indian whistling-duck. In 1978, around 22 species of coastal and marine birds were protected; they could no longer be hunted at any time. In 1980, pursuant to Decree No. 214, all wild birds were protected, with the exception of some species of ducks, coots and doves, which can be hunted during certain seasons, but only in a specific number.

1 Secretaría de Estado de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. Ley general de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales 64-00. República Dominicana, 2000.


Additional Information
PhotoClosed season
PhotoClosed season
Topic  Environmental managementProtected areasResources coastal / marineLegal and Institutional