GILLIGAN ISLAND, Florida — U.S. Virgin Islands President Joe Garcia has signed an executive order to allow fishermen to return to their traditional fishing grounds, but officials have cautioned that recreational fishing will be limited.
The president’s order allows the federal government to impose restrictions on fishing, including on fishing on protected areas, including waters off the U.K.’s coast, where it is legal to fish and harpoon.
Garcia’s executive order will also prohibit the federal Department of the Interior from establishing a National Wildlife Refuge and Marine Sanctuaries.
The U.N. agency says that includes the U,W, and the G.I. Bill.
The U.W. says the move to close the UVA is part of a concerted effort to close public access to its iconic waters.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the UVM’s decision to close fishing is particularly disappointing, because it comes at a time when the federal agency has invested millions of dollars in restoration efforts in the area.
In a statement, ACLU executive director and legal director Rebecca Katz said, “the closure of the UVAs waters is a drastic step that will have devastating effects on fishermen and the UVS’ marine ecosystem, including impacts on a key nesting site for threatened species.”
Garcia’s executive orders also set a goal of cutting down on the number of visitors from the UVI to Florida, as well as the number who stay at hotels on the island.
The administration says it is working with local officials to find ways to keep visitors and visitors from visiting.
“We are confident that these efforts will lead to a more harmonious relationship between the federal and local governments,” Garcia said.
Garcias executive order is effective from Dec. 17, 2019.