DoE urges people not to support poachers

| 04/11/2016 | 10 Comments

(CNS): As the conch and whelk season opened this week, officials from the Department of Environment urged people not to support poaching and abide by the catch regulations to help preserve stocks. DoE Senior Research Officer John Bothwell explained why the limits are important even during open season. “Only responsible consumption of these species can ensure their existence for future generations,” he said. “We urge persons to not support poaching. Don’t buy from individuals who have taken more than the daily limit. It is a crime and should be reported to authorities.”

While it is illegal to take or buy any conch or whelks from local waters between May and October from 1 November until the end of April people can legally fish for conchs and whelks but there are strict limits.

Only queen conch (Strombus gigas) can be taken, limited to either five conch per person or 10 per boat with two or more people aboard. Up to 2.5 gallons of whelks in their shells or 2.5 pounds of processed whelks are permitted per person per day. The chiton, periwinkle and bleeding teeth species cannot be taken at any time.

Members of the public who wish to report suspected poaching or poachers can call 911, or DoE enforcement officers directly. For Grand Cayman call 916-4271, On Cayman Brac call 926-0136, and on Little Cayman call 916-7021.

For more information on conch and whelk seasons, contact the DoE on 949-8649 or email

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Jeez, are the poachers standing for election now?

  2. Breaker 119 says:

    The minister of environment ain’t worried about fools like unnah.He has an election looming and the votes will count!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The following is a true story. I once had the opportunity to observe a man in the water who appeared to be in distress close to the reef near the White House in Bodden Town. A group of offical looking people were waving at the guy to come into shore.

    Those offical looking people happened to be Conservation Officers and RCIPS who as I later found out, were worried about this guy poaching sea life. It turned out the gentleman was genuinely swimming and happened to get into grave distress so I went out to help him on my kayak. I brought the guy back in to shore for which he was so ever grateful (after he finished throwing up seawater) and those lazoids on shore who mind you hadn’t got so much of an ankle in the water just walked away.

    The guy was in bad shape and he would have been gone if not helped. Unfortunately for him the only people who should have helped him were too reluctant to.

  4. Sharkey says:

    I think that these Law makers and DOE need to go to Florida and see their marine conservation Laws , and see how they enforce their Laws .

    I think that these Marine Conservation Laws are the biggest problem in the depletion of the marine resources.
    Just look at the conch issue , one person can take 10 couch per day times 7 days per week = 70 per week × say 100 people out of population of 60,000 , how can the conch exist for the future ?

    I know that it was hard to find 10 conch outside the marine park back in early 90’s , so i would think it’s harder today .

    I know that this would be very harsh , but if we want to make sure that marine resources are not going to be depleted , we should all be prepared and except Government to put a ban/ stop on taking any marine life for a minimum of one year , then after open season for only one month per year , and be prepared to help Law Enforcement enforce the Laws and resources for the future .

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why are supermarkets allowed to import and sell 3 inch long spiny lobster tails? What kind of message is that to poachers that we would turn a blind eye to illegal catch from anywhere else?

  6. Anonymous says:

    DOE – Don’t support poachers, but support the government in destroying the natural habitat for the marine life. Seems legit.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about a restriction by weight all year round. No conch less than 5lbs including the shell. No whelk less than 1/2 lb including the shell. Thanks that would work?

  8. Anonymous says:

    People urge DoE to be out in full force, spot checking boats for catch limits and size.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Until the judicial system actually fines a poacher with the max penalty the laws are just a joke. It is time to start throwing the book at these lawless individuals. They should also be forced to puck up all the dead conch shells that they leave behind in the water

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