The Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, established January 17, 2001 by Presidential Proclamation, consists of 12,708 marine acres. The area was selected to protect the biological communities of the monument which live in a fragile, interdependent relationship and include habitats essential for sustaining and enhancing the tropical marine ecosystem: mangroves, sea grass beds, coral reefs, octocoral hardbottom, sand communities, shallow mud and fine sediment habitat, and algal plains.As part of this important ecosystem, the monument contains biological objects including several threatened and endangered species, which forage, breed, nest, rest, or calve in the waters. Humpback whales, pilot whales, four species of dolphins, brown pelicans, roseate terns, least terns, and the hawksbill, leatherback, and green sea turtles all use portions of the monument. Countless species of reef fish, invertebrates, and plants utilize these submerged lands during their lives, and over 25 species of sea birds feed in the waters. Between the nearshore nursery habitats and the shelf edge spawning sites in the monument are habitats that play essential roles during specific developmental stages of reef-associated species, including spawning migrations of many reef fish species and crustaceans.
For the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, the Secretary of the Interior prohibits all boat anchoring, except for emergency or authorized administrative purposes.All fishing or take of any kind are prohibited by the Secretary of Interior, except by permit, when on a designated fishing mooring for blue runner,Mackerel, Tuna & Bonitos.
Read the Proclamation 7399 of January 17, 2001 here.