Marine offences increase over 60%

| 08/05/2019 | 36 Comments
Cayman News Service

Illegally caught marine life seized 19 Jan 2019

(CNS): As the Cayman Islands awaits the promised expansion of its marine park laws, the police have revealed that marine offences increased by 62% last year when compared to 2017. Although the police do not routinely record animal-related offences in their annual statistics, because of an increase in public interest surrounding these types of crimes the RCIPS included figures in the 2018 crime report. Between the RCIPS Joint Marine Unit and Department of Environment enforcement officers, 34 marine conservation offences were recorded last year compared to 21 recorded in 2017.

While these figures are more likely to reflect increased enforcement rather than a spike in illegal take, it serves to illustrate the need for more marine protection to prevent people from taking marine creatures out of season and from protected areas.

The long hoped-for enhancements to the marine parks will simplify the law and make it easier for both DoE officers and police to spot illegal fishing and help them to increase enforcement.

But the RCIPS has said that the new Cayman Islands Coast Guard, which is expected to be up and running within the next year, will also be conducting marine enforcement in partnership with the DoE.

JMU officers are enforcing conservation laws during their water patrols, catching people committing crimes like turtle poaching and taking massive hauls of conch or lobster out of season. But uniform officers also make arrests on shore around replenishment zones or when witnessing the taking of marine life out of season.

On land the police are increasingly involved in tackling animal control and abuse alongside the Department of Agriculture. As a rule, the RCIPS takes a lead investigative role in incidents where owners have failed to control their animals, but the Department of Agriculture takes the lead in animal cruelty complaints, police said.

In 2018 they partnered up on several operations targeting gambling and cockfighting. Last year there were 14 arrests for these types of offences compared to just three in 2017, which was a result of the police prioritising anti-gambling operations.

While tackling cruel sports like cock fighting, which is often linked to other crimes, the majority of animal offences addressed by the DoA and police relate to ferocious dogs at large or dangerously out of control. In 2018 the RCIPS received 194 such complaints, a 5% increase over 2017 and an indication that this is a common problem.

The police and DoA have joined forces to address this island-wide issue through public awareness as well as enforcement.

Throughout the year community police officers conducted multiple walkthroughs with DoA animal welfare and control officers in different neighbourhoods of West Bay, George Town, Bodden Town and East End to distribute a joint informational brochure on responsible dog ownership and speak to residents about how to properly license and care for animals.

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Category: Crime, DoE

Comments (36)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    When are we going to stop cows and beef joints from selling at fast food restaurants and solve the worlds climate change. There is a young lady in NYC that has become a senator. She has proposed the New Green Deal. In this new deal we need to stop the production of cows because they create large amounts of Methane gas. They burp and fart methane gas. It’s very bad for the planet. Also she says they need to stop airplanes from flying. A tremendous amount of exhaust is polluting the atmosphere. So of course cars, trucks, boats ships. Trains are not as bad, choices people, choices. We need to get onboard with these new sanctions and get us doing the right thing for the planet. Everyone should do their part. I forgot, they want to knock down all buildings who don’t qualify for LEEDS certification. They say that scientists say less than 15 years before the planet is destroyed and all life will end.
    Her videos are on Youtube.

  2. Anonymous says:

    in most places you get arrested for just having alcohol onbord a boat? must be a reason for that…police?

  3. Anonymous says:

    34 offences recorded in a year!? whoop d freaking doo!

    If they actually tried to catch people poaching they could catch 34 in a weekend!!

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      I say catch and lock up and keep locked up until they learn , and marine life will be able to grow and replenish again .

      • Anonymous says:

        Typical crab in the bucket mentality! Stop trying to imprison good Caymanians just trying to support themselves.

        • Anonymous says:

          I cant wait until you idiots fish the ocean empty and then we will see how you support yourself!!! Please, go ahead, i want to read about your whining and crying so I can laugh at your ignorance.

        • Ron Ebanks says:

          If that is what you do to support your self , then you should try to get a job . What are you going to do when there’s NO LOBSTER CONCH AND FISH in the ocean ? Don’t feel that they can’t finish , because I have seen from an abundance to very scarce in 30 years of everything .

          • Anonymous says:

            Too many people in Cayman Is. The small sea banks around these islands can”t support 66,000 people with sea food, if you all think its bad, wait until the Premier gets 100,000 plus people here

        • Anonymous says:

          If only that were the case… Most of the poachers out there are supporting drug and alcohol habits!

        • Anonymous says:

          4:45…Really!!!! Good Caymanians won’t go out there and poach hundreds of conch or lobsters! Only the POS criminals do! – but I guess you wouldn’t know the difference due to the thick fog of ignorance that surrounds you.

        • Anonymous says:

          4:45 support themselves!? are you stupid? It’s against the law! utterly no excuse to poach. There are other ways of making money. These lazy scum just dont want to work for it. and 9/10 times they are Caymanian and re-offenders. and before you tell me to “get of your island if I dont like it” I am Caymanian.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m so tired of hearing “Well at least they ain’t sellin drugs!”


    Because someone isn’t murdering someone else on the street, doesn’t morally justify them to steal someone else’s stuff.

    Likewise, just because someone isn’t selling drugs, doesn’t morally justify them to poach.

    Have some respect for others and stop poaching. It’s no different than stealing.

    • Here first says:

      Too bad the older generation lacked respect for the marine environment. Their way or the highway is a big contributor to the decline in marine species and, now those who go in search for food at sea, the sea which no one owns, are seen as no good poachers. We suffer for the mistakes of others before us. How about have some respect and my your own business if people want to eat seafood.

  5. Anonymous says:

    These draconian restrictions are choking the life out of our once thriving fishing industry. I call on my fellow Caymanian fishermen to loudly voice opposition to this unjust expansion.

    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Draconian? Really? You all think you can take what you want like our forefathers did? Let me tell you something. Our parents and theirs took a lot of marine life, but they always left enough to continue the growth, because they understood that their lives depended upon what came from the sea. They were feeding their families, not selling it to restaurants.

      When I was a boy, there were always whelks to eat, because we were taught to walk the shoreline and take a few from here and a few from there. Once the open market was set for whelks, now most of them are gone, unless you snorkel for them.

      My Daddy would never have taken grouper from the east end of the islands during spawning. He considered that a sin. He taught me to never take grouper from the east ends of the islands, ever, and I don’t. Caymanians need to step up and understand and embrace conservation. You seem like you want to take what you want when you want it, and that doesn’t work anymore, because others like you want the same, and we simply don’t have the resources.

      So what’s the answer? You have to follow the laws. Just as simple as that. The marine laws may not be perfect, but they are designed to preserve the marine life in a way that is sustainable. We can’t wipe out everything and just shrug about it.

      When I was a boy, I could fish and catch what I wanted. I fed my family. Times have changed. There are too many people and too many hungry mouths at the restaurants that want to pay for ‘catch of the day’. Well, we are too small to feed everyone, and enforcement of the laws must take place to preserve what little we have.

      Draconian? What do you want left for your children, or theirs?

      • Anon says:

        4 52
        Old Caymanians have also taken sand from some beaches until there is just ironshore. Please people. Save the soil and start saving your leaves and biodegradable to enrich your soils. Education must happen to keep the Islands beautiful and clean.

        • Anonymous says:

          8:20 pm, old Caymanians did Not take all the sand from the beach, all they had was baskets, modern trucks and loaders did , think before you put your mouth in gear, ok.

      • Anonymous says:

        Draconian is limiting a livelihood and criminalizing it while
        victimizing good Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can’t wait to get my gill net out East End. Cha ching!$$!

      • Anonymous says:

        Excellent response! You, sir, explained the issue simply and eloquently, and I hope you have a say in the decision making process with regards to Marine law.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Failure to properly enforce the current laws, will result in the DoE eventually banning fishing and taking of conchs and lobsters altogether in the Cayman Islands by using more and more limiting zones. Maybe that’s the goal.

    Ecowackos already calling for it.

    Enforce the law! hundreds of dead conch shells and lobster shells all over the marine parks! How hard can it be to patrol these areas?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Humans are the end of us all and the saviors as well. People, wise up. Gay marriage isn’t an issue you should be fighting. Environment is what you should be fighting to keep, because when it goes you won’t be here to protest anything anymore.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We should ponder very carefully why….. and its mostly done by locals

  9. Anonymous says:

    If there are no fish/lobster/conch/turtles in the sea, what are the divers coming to look at?

    Diving is a huge industry in Cayman for locals/expats and tourist alike.

  10. Anonymous says:

    No one fears getting caught and if they do get caught they only get a slap on the hand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t blame DOE or DOA for that. They can catch the criminals but it’s the court of law who gets the final say. People are very quick to blame these departments but the real heat should be put on the courthouse to actually fine/imprison the people who are caught poaching/being cruel to animals!

  11. Anonymous says:

    why arent police stopping those drunks from driving high power boats in north sound on week ends? they go rum point, get drunk, then get vehind the wheel..making it dangerous to even boat in the north sound? this is more dangerous than driving a car drunk?????

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