Local artist’s film pushes to keep grouper ban

| 01/09/2011

(CNS): Local marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey has teamed up with award-winning filmmaker George Schellenger to convince the environment minister to keep the current grouper fishing ban at the spawning hole, via celluloid.  “The Mystery of the Grouper Moon” — shot entirely in the Cayman Islands and supported by REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment the 45-minute documentary which covers what scientists call one of earth’s “great migrations” is scheduled to premiere on September 13 at the Harquail theatre.

The film is part of an al out campaign to keep the crucial fishing ban at the spawning aggregate in order to give the Nassau Grouper a chance at survival. The spawning ground on the West End of Little Cayman is one of the last-known intact spawning areas for the Nassau Grouper in the world. An eight-year ban on fishing at the aggregation introduced in 2003 by the Cayman Islands Marine Conservation Board is due to expire in December of this year.

“The Nassau groupers in the Cayman Islands used to congregate over the full moon in January and February at eight specific sites,” said Harvey. “Local fishermen have known about these sites for years, but recently, overfishing at these sites has led to the rapid decline in this species. Today, one active site remains in the west end of Little Cayman.”

Harvey said that thanks to the ban at this site and other locations, colonies are beginning to grow again, thus helping the Nassau Grouper populations to recover.

“Part of our awareness effort is to enlist the support of residents, especially school age children, to send e-mails to Mark Scotland… (environment minister) to express their wishes to see the extension on the protection of the grouper holes,” added Harvey.

Two showings of the documentary are planned, with the first starting at 6 p.m. The general public is invited and Harvey will be distributing “Save Nassau Grouper” posters to those attending the screening as well as to students on subsequent school visits in October.

To see film trailer go to www.guyharvey.com

For more information on the Nassau Grouper visit www.reef.org

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Category: Science and Nature

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep on the ban if not for this generation, please do it for the next so that they will know what a grouper look like and may even get the opportunity to taste some in a good stew dinna.

  2. Wayne Panton says:

    If this Cabinet does not extend the ban on fishing in the spawning aggregation sites of Nassau Groupers it will represent an egregious failure on their part and may condemn the Cayman Islands to the loss of an incredible asset of this country and the region.

    The Caribbean basin is littered with failures to use our God given intelligence and heed science to maintain and protect our marine assets. We spend millions on a Department of Environment who do stellar work and produce compelling evidence of the best way forward to ensure sustainable use of our marine environment.  Do not add our name to the list of failures by ignoring these experts!

    I encourage everyone to go and see this documentary. I am sure you willl be inspired to do what is right and call on the Cabinet through Mr. Scotland ( Mark.scotland@gov.ky) as the Minister responsible for the Environment to follow the recommendations of the DOE and other experts like Guy Harvey and extend the ban.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I am in full support of the Grouper ban, at this point in life a live fish is worth more than a fish in the plate.

    Save our Seas, one fish at a time, 2011 is hopefully the year of the Grouper.

  4. Anonymous says:

    With the command  "to rule over" comes the responsibilty  "to look out for".  You can not rule over something you alow to become extinct.. 

    As an aside , maybe our government need to look out for those they "rule over" in this same light.

  5. Hello Please says:

    Guy Harvey is such a good man.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Another lost cause.  Maybe a grouper farm?  Complete with Government bailout at $10 million a year?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wow!! what a beauty, please keep the ban on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Jesus also said to "be fishers of men" .so get out and fish for men for a change.  As far as our ruling of the earth I am sure He meant for us to be wise and careful not kill off every damn thing he created.  Its because of ignorant morons like you 13:29…why thats exactly whats happening.  Thank you Mr. Guy Harvey for trying to enlighten the unenlightened and be sure to know many are supporting this cause and will do all to continue the grouper ban.  I wil also join the patrols during grouper season to make sure such indigents don't continue to do there what they do with the turtles that come to nest on our shores…and we know where most of these morons come from…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, I agree with all you say, 13.29, but my guess is that you're a joker.  However, I'm going to rise to the bait because that's the mood I'm in. If you are serious,  you're quoting from a philosophy of the  Bronze Age. We live in the Space Age now, and we can look down at our little blue  planet from orbit, just like God could all those years ago, when he spent a lot of time floating on the clouds, booming down to Moses with instructions to commit genocide against the Ebionites, massacre their livestock and rape their pretty women. He told them it was okay to murder the rejects, you know, the ugly ones, and the children, too. It's so nice to have a free hand sometimes.

      There have been quite a few interesting books printed since the Holy Bible, perhaps you should try reading a few of them. Things have moved on a bit since burning bushes and sticks turning into snakes and such like. We've had  Gallileo, Newton, Leibnitz, Darwin,  Kant, Einstein, Bohr, Dirac, Dawkins, E.O Wilson, Cousteau, Hawking, you know, guys with a bit of smarts.

      You might want to try talking to some of the dive masters who have been here for thirty years. It's not a pretty picture on the reef, the cumulative damage is apalling. What with the recent arrival of the voracious Lionfish, the viral destruction of the sea-urchins, bleaching and the removal of most of the predatory and sand-producing fish, your reefs are ina bad way, and at this rate they'll be followed by your beaches.


      So the idea of allowing the eradication of the last remainingg Groupers, so essential to the health of the reef, when something like 43 of the 44 spawning holes have already been destroyed by the fishermen, who should know better, looks like pure lunacy from where I'm standing. But perhaps your God, having had a go at the Ebionites, would't care if a few fish were eradicated, though the tourism industry and your jobs might suffer a bit. You can understand that bit, can you?

      • Anonymous says:

        The ocean ecosystem is falling apart, and we fail to see the chain reaction that connects the oceanic ecosystem to the rest of the world's environmental woes. Future generations will see us as a bunch of barbarians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes i am glad that you know Jesus say you must not kill so why are you guys trying killing out all the lionfish for we also need to put a ban on these lionfish too you morons, please go back where you come from.

      • Fish Pot says:

        20:45 have you ever heard about removing weeds from your garden.  Well the Lion fish is a Weed that has to be removed,.  A foreign weed that has envaded Cayman waters called Matar Piscado and they need to go.  Pull them out and destroy or pull them out and eat them.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for the invitation. KEEP THE BAN.

    HOWEVER THE areas will have to be patrelled during spawning to insure their survival.

  10. Brit says:

    I agree the ban should stay.

  11. Anonymous says:

    To all you guys that want to keep grouper fishing ban, i would encourage you to get a Bible if you have one and go to Genesis chapter 1: 26-28 and read it and stop trying To be God and taking control of his kingdom and read this 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

     27 So God created mankind in his own image,
       in the image of God he created them;
       male and female he created them.

     28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”


    • Anonymous says:

      Yes "rule over them" – it does not say kill them off. We are ruling over them and also protecting them so we will have them to rule over them.

    • Anonymous says:

      By making rules over the fish of the sea… aren't folks ruling over the fish of the sea?

      Or are you saying to not make rules in order to rule?  Or is it different rules that allow us to rule?



    • Anonymous says:

      It doesn't say "fish their spawning grounds, it's like shooting fish in a barrel." Morons like you would catch the last fish in the sea if you could.

    • Anonymous says:

      Boy did you miss the boat or what?  Where in there is the saying kill anything and everything you feel the need to? You are the kind of person everyone needs protection from.  The kind that belives he is above all rules, laws, regulations and common sense because you think God has told you so.  Lots of that happening here.

    • Anonymous says:

      cayman kind…zzzzz

    • Double Entry says:

      Let us slaughter the little animals.  The Bible tells us so.

    • hopeful eediat says:

      Dude/Dudette, there is a beautiful little multicoloured creature that moves on the ground in Central and South America. It is of the Dendrobitadae family, typically called the poison dart frog, that I wouldnt advise you to try to subdue between your molars!