Cops catch conch poacher

| 06/01/2009

(CNS): Officers from West Bay have arrested a 39-year-old man who was found in possession of 45 conchs – 40 more than the daily allowance prescribed in law. Police said that the officers were on patrol in the Barkers area when the man was spotted and searched. “Due to the amount of conchs this man had, it’s highly likely that he was supplying  people or restaurants," said Sergeant Everton Spence."Chances are they were buying more than they are allowed.”

He added, “Restaurants should be reminded that this is a criminal offence.”

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) said it was warning people that they must obey the marine conservation laws or they will as in this case face arrest. The daily allowance for conch during the season is five per person or ten per boat, whichever is less.

The law further stipulates that no-one may purchase or receive more than five conchs from Cayman waters in one day – this includes restaurants. The conch and whelk season opened on Saturday, 1 November 2008 and runs until 30 April 2009. The open season catch limit for whelk is 2.5 gallons in the shell or 2.5 pounds of processed whelks per day. Also, as with conchs, no-one may buy or receive more than this quota.

Police also said that the public should remember that no-one can take conch or whelks from any marine protected area and that chitons, periwinkles and bleeding teeth may not be taken from Cayman waters at any time.

Violating the marine park regulations and conservation laws carries a maximum penalty of CI$500,000 and one year’s imprisonment. If convicted, the court can also order the forfeiture of a person’s boat or other equipment used.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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  1. Our world is sufficient for every man’s needs, but never enough for everybody’s greed. It’s sad to see how people can be so insensitive to our resources for the sake of earning money. These gifts from nature are priceless and must be treasured.

  2. Common Sense - not all that common anymore! says:

    This man should be charged to the fullest extent of the law.  Restaurants and businesses purchasing illegal conch should also be charged to the fullest extent of the law.

    Whether this is a Caymanian or not, all residents and visitors in Cayman should understand that in order for us to continue enjoying conch, we need to leave enough there to reproduce, to grow, so that there’s some there next time.  Being greedy and breaking the law now will only result in future extinction or total protection of conchs.  The season is set for a reason, the number of conch one can take is set for a reason.  Some people however think they’re the only ones who should enjoy the conch, whether it’s in a marinate conch, conch fritters, conch stew or cash in his pocket for selling off conch.

    Shame on you. 

    “A Native American grandfather talking to his young grandson tells the boy he has two wolves inside of him struggling with each other. The first is the wolf of peace, love and kindness. The other wolf is fear, greed and hatred. "Which wolf will win, grandfather?" asks the young boy. "Whichever one I feed," is the reply.”
      — Native American Proverb