Grouper ban still in place at spawning sites

| 29/11/2010

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Marine Conservation Board has issued a reminder that the ban on taking Nassau grouper from a designated spawning area during the months November through March is still in effect. It is also illegal for grouper to taken with a spear gun in Cayman waters at anytime. Members of the board said that the public can report violations of the Marine Conservation Law confidentially to the DOE at 949-8469, Marine Enforcement Supervisor Mark Orr at 916-4271, or Emergency 911. Anyone who takes, receives or has in his possession any Nassau grouper from these areas if convicted, is liable to a penalty of CI$500,000.00 and one year in jail.

The grouper spawning areas are in Grand Cayman – East End ‘Coxswain Bank’; South West Point ‘Sand Cay’, Cayman Brac – East End and West End, Little Cayman –East End and West End, 12 Mile Bank-Northeast and Southwest ends. More information on the locations is available at the Department of Environment Offices on North Sound Rd. George Town.

A ban on fishing in grouper areas was introduced in the Cayman Islands in 2001 to try and preserve the fish which is now listed as endangered. Despite the fact that the Department of the Environment works closely with the RCIPS Marine Unit to enforce the ban there are still a number of people illegally catching the endangered fish in local waters with spear guns and taking from spawning areas.

DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie warned earlier this year that the more illegal fishing that takes place, the greater the impact on the aggregation. Ebanks-Petrie said that, at the moment, the ban on fishing grouper in designated spawning areas remains in place until 1 January 2012.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Science and Nature

About the Author ()

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    In almost two decades, I can’t recall anyone ever being caught and fined $500,000, nor can I recall anyone ever having their vessel impounded for illegal catch.  Until that actually starts happening with frequency, the poachers will continue to cheat nature and their neighbour and deplete the stocks of themost cherished edible life.  Divemasters and other boaters should feel duty bound to call in these cheaters when you see them over the gunnels in the replenishment zones.  Enough is enough. 

    • Anonymous says:


      Is it illegal for expats to be fishing from the shores of the Cayman Island while on a work permit, these are the people that are depleting the marine life and nothing is being done about it, we see it every day and night how come DOE can not see and prosecute these law breaker, oh forget expats look out for expats.   


      • Anonymous says:

        I am sad to dissapoint you, but no, it is not the expats that are depleting the numbers. Look closer to home. Who do you see when something is done on the problems with Lionsfish, ect., the expats are there to protect the environment! 

  2. Bobby Anonymous says:

    If the Government would give some powers and equipment to these guys trying to protect our future marine life then I am sure that a lot more would be done.

    Can you immagine approaching a poacher in the dark that has in their possession a knife, spear gun, hook stick pole spear or what ever and you are all alone with………………………………………..wait for it…………………………………………….a pen.

    Why is it that police are armed to deal with these exact same people yet the powers to be, don’t seem to thing Conservation officers need the same protection when 99% of ALL marine life taken illegaly on this Island is to feed drug habbits.  It’s only a matter of time before an officer gets hurt or worse.

    Sad but True.

    It makes you wonder why MLA’s won’t pass the new conservation Law.

  3. Anonymous says:

     I think that the DOE and marine police needs to do more random boat stops (and do the unexpected, do these in unmarked boats during their stops at the reef in the north sound!). No matter how many tourists are on-board to check for conch and lobster on deck. These boat captains and deck hands are taking more than the daily quota. They are also fishing in the protected marine areas where they are taking their conch and lobster catches. 

  4. A Concerned Young Caymanian Father says:

    I honestly would like to see the ban around for 10 – 15 more years, honestly. But, what’s more important is for them to actively patrol the known poaching areas and to STRICTLY enforce the ban by HEAVY fines, loss of boat/vehicle and possible imprisonment or at least 3 years probation.

  5. peter milburn says:

    Please DOE extend the ban for at least 5 more years and while you are it include lobsters and wilks.Give them a fighting chance to bounce back.Our people should be willing to make these sacrifices for our future generations.The more people we add to our numbers the faster the stocks will dwindle.One last thing PLEASE make Little Cayman a complete Marine Park.That should be our Replenishment area.

    •  come on I share your enthusiasm,but we surely cant make the whole island a marine park.what about the few people living there,they may want to throw a line every now and then,are we saying that they should go to the Brac to fish or eat a lobster/wilk?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Peter and DOE, Why Is man always putting a limit on God creation, God created the heavens and the earth and every living creature and give us to eat and not to put a limit on or for the next generation, do you think there will be a next generation after this one, do you think that God did not now what he was doing when he created this world who are you ( DOE), do you think that these GROUPER stay here after the spawning seasons, NO they don’t, so who are we saving them for ? I am sick and tried of the DOE that department need to be push down they have on use, right now they should be leading the way on this port that will cause more harm then good to the country, all you can hear is GROUPER, GROUPER, GROUPER, to Peter and the DOE as long God give me life and my boat are working I will eat my Grouper each and every year I was raise up eating GROUPER, CONCH, WHELKS, LOBSTER and until the GOOD LORD say come my son come it is time to come home I will eat and eat till I cant eat any more. God Bless You All.  

      • Anonymous says:

        8:05, you are either part of the solution or you are part of the problem. I think it is fairly clear which part you are.