Video spells out need to retain grouper ban

| 19/06/2011

(CNS): As part of the campaign to maintain the fishing ban around the Grouper Spawning grounds the REEF Grouper Moon Project has produced a short video spelling out the desperate need to keep the protection which is due to expire this December. The video involves local fishermen as well as experts from REEF and the DoE. Having been fished to the point of extinction the campaigners are pushing hard for more protection in the hope of allowing the fish to regenerate. The video offers a haunting reminder of how the fish was almost lost forever through over fishing during spawning.

Nassau grouper are an important driver of healthier coral reefs and the more of them we have the healthier the local reefs. Cayman Island spawning aggregations have been seasonally protected from fishing for the last8 years at all current and historic aggregation sites.

The status of future protections for the aggregations is still uncertain. Based on the research and findings of the Grouper Moon Project, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment has recommended a permanent seasonal closure during spawning season for Nassau grouper. 

“There has been some vocal opposition, but we are hopeful that science and common sense will prevail,” experts at REEF said.

The primary objective of the Grouper Moon Project is to evaluate the importance of Nassau grouper spawning aggregations to local fisheries and coral reef ecosystems. Little Cayman Island in the Cayman Islands is home to one of the last known, and largest, spawning aggregations of the endangered Nassau grouper.

For ten days following winter full moons, thousands of large grouper meet at known reef sites for short periods of time and release their gametes in massive spawning bursts. Since 2002, REEF has coordinated annual efforts to monitor and study the Little Cayman Nassau grouper aggregation.

The project has grown in scope to include an ambitious acoustic tagging research project, juvenile habitat and genetics studies, and oceanographic connectivity research.

See the video here

For more information on the Grouper Moon Project visit here see

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  1. Libertarian says:

    CNS, since I became a member "Libertarian", what is the easiest way I can search for a previous comment I made?

    CNS: We haven't set it up yet, but we're planning to expand registered users' profiles so that it will be easier to find comments by a particular author. At the moment, I'm afraid, the search function is the best way.

  2. Born Caymanian, without HATE says:

    When I was 7 years old (29 long years ago….) I caught my first grouper. Immediately my Father gutted it to check if it was spawning. Why Daddy? I want to show Mom! "son, if it is full of roe, we can't catch anymore…." This was Loooooong before the "tree hugging/global warming/enviromental protection laws etc". When we went fishing, it was for enjoyment, and filling ones pot, not a commerical business. We probably encountered 7-8 fish pots total, Now? Good luck not getting a fish pot bouy caught in your motor every 22 yards when travelling through the north sound. I am a born Caymanian, and i shudder to think that i will never have this same experience with my own children. Not because I'm not as doting a Father as my own, but because our natural world is being pillaged in search of the Almighty Dollar. I admit, I love the progress, and the other opportunities presented to me and future generations of Caymanians (Lets not forget that 60 short years ago, we as a country were forced to travel the globe for suitable employment as sailors), but we are gaining the world for the cost of our souls. We hear about dredging for Mega-Yachts, Cutting a wound in our shoreline for a "Cargo Depot", giving an economic 'boost' , all the while giving these developers more concessions than can be counted, and passing the bill on to yet unborn Caymanians. Thank-you to ALL persons whom are concerned with preservation of these Beloved Isles Cayman, Caymanian & Expatriate Guests alike. And a special Thank-You Dad, for having the foresight to teach me a lesson that took 29 years for me to fully understand. For a 'simple-towner', you were truly ahead of your time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Irresponsible fishermen need to be restrained from destroying the remaining grouper spawning sites and this can only be done by legislation.

    Do not be fooled by promises of moderation because it only takes one or two irresponsible fisherman to do serious and maybe irreparable destruction to this vital species of fish.

    • Anonymouse says:

      Exactly. Moderate fishermen aren't the problem. its all them other ones. So we need laws.

    • Anonymous says:

      Irresponsible fishermen are like irresponsible developers – they must both be stopped.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am heartened to see so few comments aboutthis post.  To me it shows that protecting the Nassua groupers is not a controversial issue to the CNS readers and posters.  Hooray! 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great video. Lets hope we can save these creatures. I find it scary what will happen if we lose grouper now we have lionfish. I still think eventually the grouper will play an important part of controlling our lionfish populations as they must surely learn to eat wild lionfish soon enough. But it does seem the easiest way to overfish a species here on cayman is to tell people your not allowed to take that.