Nassau grouper starting to recover off Cayman Islands

| 18/03/2011

(Scuba Diving): Scientists studying the Nassau grouper, an iconic Caribbean reef fish decimated by over-fishing, say the species is showing tentative signs of recovery off the Cayman Islands since the local government imposed protective restrictions eight years ago. However, their research also shows that the groupers’ behavior during spawning – and subsequent dispersal of their larvae – may threaten the long-term viability of the species without further protection. “Nassau groupers form large aggregations to spawn,” said Scott Heppell, a fisheries ecologist.

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  1. Bracker Fisherman says:

    I agree that there were two men who let their greed over ride common sense some years back.  I also agree had there notbeen a ban on fishing these species, in specific areas and specific times, our fish population would be in trouble.  Trust me, we have more than 2 men who would love to brag about catchinh out all the groupers.  This way they would get to boast about how good grouper used to taste, how much fun it used to be to catch them and how they were stronger than the younger generation who couldn’t catch any-hence this made them better.

    I am a young fisherman.  I agree that i wouldn’t and couldn’t handle the weather conditions usually expirienced with the boat and equipment used in the days of my fore fathers.  I agree that groupers are tasty and that yes catching them are a part of my heritage.  I have kids who I’d like to expirience this also.  

    All this being said and all things or both sides being considered, I beleive that we should focus on a few things for the greater good;

    1) Licenses should be issued to the fishermen.  Only Caymanians can fish in the designated areas.

    2) Limit 8 groupers per boat (even though all people on the boat have to have license) per day.

    3) Open Season is open until the Females actually begin to lay or the eggs are "fit". This can be noted by DOE.  TImes declared opened and closed by DOE only!

    4) All grouper holes open except for the West End of Little Cayman.  This area should be closed for another 4 years and re-evaulated at that time.  This area has all the studies taking place there and it’s important that information-sufficient- is received and disbursed without bias.  This should also be evaulated by an indpendant examiner and reps from both side of the agrument be present (DOE, FISHERMEN AND INPENDENT EXAMINERS).

    5) DOE reps and volunteers should be in all areas during open season.


    I am a fisherman, not a scientist nor a diver’.  I’d love to have some grouper for dinner- caught by the sweat of my brow, but I’d also like to know that they are not deplited anytime-especially anytime soon or by my generation.


    • Rorschach says:

      +1 on your comments Brac Fisherman….I am extremely proud of the thought you have put into your comments and the views you are taking on preserving the natural environment of the Islands…in particular, Cayman Brac, if MORE young persons would look at things this way, Cayman would reap the benefits in the long run…(Please don’t take offense when I say "Cayman"…as I mean all 3 Islands…NOT just Grand…)

    • Bracker Fisherman II says:

      Hey Buddy!

      Sounds good.

      Now I know you made a mistake on (#2 above)-beacuse you hinted last evening that you liked the number on 8-12 PER SEASON better and would probably reccommend this. I SUPPORT YOU! We are a different breed than some of the other folks there and ought to be proud that we are doing our part to help preserve the groupers for generations beyond ours!

  2. Green Hornet says:

    It seems  that in some parts of the Caribbean the Nassau Grouper likes to eat Lion Fish. Let’s train our fast, guys, before the LFs eat everything on the reef.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Unless the government continues to out law grouper fishing at and during spawning times there are those who would gladly fish them out and be proud for doing it.

    I will never forget hearing the grouper fisherman who fished out the grouper during spawning season off the Brac leaving 100s of pounds of eggs on the dock to rot after cleaning his catch. He was proud of himself and did it again the following year.

    He is still around and ready to fish them out unless they are protected.

    • Anonymous says:

      This story shows the type of scum that we have to protect these creatures form.  Others may complain that they are more careful but if they really cared about the creatures they would accept that complete bans and prison sentences are the only acceptable route.