Landowner files suit over fish market

| 18/11/2020 | 196 Comments
Fish market in George Town

(CNS): Fishermen and sellers who have been plying their wares from the George Town fish market at Red Spot Bay for decades are facing legal action as the landowner has filed suit in an effort to evict them. However, the fishermen and those who sell the fish at the waterfront location have vowed to fight to keep the market where it is, as they believe they have a prescriptive right to remain there and retain an important piece of local culture.

Fish has been sold from the location for at least 50 years, according to the fishermen and other locals, who say that the market was at this spot when their own fathers and grandfathers brought in their catch to sell. Given the historic legacy, the fishermen and others believe they do have what is known as a “prescriptive right” to remain and that they have significant public support.

Well known to local shoppers seeking a choice of fresh, well-priced fish, the market has also become popular with visitors in recent years. But it is the historic nature of the site and the cultural symbolism, at a time when Caymanians are witnessing more and more of their traditions being trampled on, that could see this small site become a big issue.

The longtime landowner, Chris Johnson, is believed to have plans to turn the waterfront area into a recreational beach park. He therefore wants to evict the fishermen and those who sell the fish from the site on their behalf. The law suit names three local fishermen and “persons unknown”. CNS understands that efforts were made Wednesday to serve some of them with the legal documents but it appears the bailiffs were unsuccessful.

The law suit was filed in Grand Court on Friday by Johnson’s attorneys. It claims the fishermen entered the property without consent around the end of October after they returned from a temporary location where government had asked them to go to during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The fisherman had been asked to move to the port’s South Terminal as a temporary measure in order to adhere to social distancing and safety protocols during the restrictions. The fishermen now believe this was an effort to permanently remove them from the traditional site. At the time they told the authorities that the move was not necessary because they were able to maintain all the health and safety measures required at Red Spot Bay without any difficulty.

But with the restrictions lifted now in any event, the fishermen returned to the traditional site. They believed they were losing business in what is an already difficult time because they were out of sight of their customers at the temporary locations and people didn’t know where to find them.

Following their return they became aware that the landowner was seeking their removal.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly during the last sitting, Commerce Minister Joey Hew said government was looking at an alternative site for the fisherman, though no location has been confirmed. Hew reportedly met with the fishermen on Wednesday and the sellers are still hopeful that government can step in to preserve the site.

CNS understands that government has offered to buy the plot but Johnson has refused.

In his suit Johnson alleges that those named as the plaintiffs are not the fishermen but are agents engaged in a commercial enterprise without a trade and business licence and without his permission to use the land. He claims that with no running water, electricity or toilets, they are also committing a statuary nuisance and breaching environmental health laws.

But under the current rules the fishermen don’t require a trade and business licence. They also argue that they keep the market, which is very close to the sea, very clean and hygienic.

Check back to CNS for more on this story.


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Category: Business, Retail

Comments (196)

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  1. A. Magpie says:

    Any vendor selling imported frozen fish pretending to be alocal fisherman is just a con man. The owner needs to get them off his land right now

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am appalled at all the vindically remarks expressed I the media against Mr Johnson. That included Marl Road which is a trash can, and the Compass. Neither made any effort to get his side of the story whilst Cayman radio stuck their knife in followed by the Marl Road live broadcast. Of course we all know where that owner is heading.

    .
    It is sad when people are determined to pillerize someone without the media giving the full story. But that is Cayman style.

    Luckily although CNS did not give his point of view enough people have expressed their own views on the illegal and unsanitary fish market. It is paradoxical that not only do many people support Mr Johnsons view but clearly due to these many blogs the fishmongers ( not fishermen) can expect a serious decline in sales.

    Hoisted by their own petard comes to mind. But wait maybe they were aided and abetted by a well know George Town politician who knows nothing of the history. Rather than giving fridges away he is vote gathering by supporting t he fishmongers better known as the warmongers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    WHERE IS THE CAYMANKIND ?

  4. Anonymous says:

    CIG can squander millions on the Turtle Farm, and were about to waste much more on a Cruise Port but can’t even spare a measly fraction of that for a small fish market near the GT waterfront? Why don’t these guys take up their argument with their new MP and see if they can at least get a promise of a new venue in writing for Christmas

  5. Vinnie says:

    I bought a fish there last week. it was still alive and started shouting all kinds of Spanish bad language before i could get it into the oven.

  6. Big Pappa says:

    LOL. Squatters, plain and simple…downright rude ones. They have no moral right to the use of this land. Just because I pissed in the Burger King toilet for the past 30 years, doesn’t mean that it now belongs to me. Sandra needs to get another hobby. I defended her in the past, but instead of encouraging the squatters and the like from claiming what is not theirs, she ought to encourage them to learn that the Universe does not owe them anything. Neither God, nor government, nor businessmen owe these people anything, certainly not the land that they’re squatting on. This mentality of getting stuff for free has to go. Want to use the land, buy it, just like everyone else.

  7. ELVIS says:

    welcome to 2020 fishermen well…..now really fishermen to be honest. businessmen making as much money from Honduras old fish. go rent some land and pay rent like rest of us why don’t you.

    • Anonymous says:

      But…but…but….this is their island and they are entitled to do what they want, where they want, when they want…

      • Anonymous says:

        The North sound boat captains certainly think so, refusing to pay any rent for using their marina.

    • Anonymous says:

      4. (1) When any beach has been used by the public or any class of the public for fishing, for purposes incident to fishing or for bathing or recreation, and any road, track or pathway passing over any land adjoining or adjacent to such beach has been used by the public or any class of the public as a means of access to such beach, without interruption for twenty years, the public shall, subject to the provisos hereinafter contained, have the absolute and indefeasible right to use such beach, land, road, track or pathway, unless it appears that the same was enjoyed by some consent or agreement expressly mad

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr Johnson has encouraged all to use the beach. That does not entitle one to start a retail business there. By the way there is no fishing dine there as there are few rush unless you refer to those that are frozen😎

      • Anonymous says:

        Which dos not include commercial purposes, anywhere. I guess you will argue that running a fish market is incidental to fishing? On that basis you could argue that renting jet skis or deck chairs is incidental to bathing and recreation, right? You realise that Chris Johnson is trying to develop this a s a beach for recreational purposes by all, not a commercial venture, and not like his neighbour or indeed the fish market vendors. In any event, the removal of the market to another location during the pandemic may constitute an “interruption”. As he has filed a suit on the matter I guess the court will decide the point in any event.

        • Anonymous says:

          i’ll wait to see what the “recreational beach” looks like and how welcome locals will be to that beach and then chime in…you don’t seriously believe all you wrote, do you?

      • Anonymous says:

        That does not exempt them from Trade and Business licensing. (Unless they caught the fish themselves they are not exempt).

      • Anonymous says:

        They are not there for the beach.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m looking…which beach? I’m shocked that people really believe this recreational beach story, Go listen to Minister Hew’s debate and the mention on high rises with terraces, “areas such as Rock Hole” and so on. Wake up. This isn’t about beach, fish nor sand. It’s about money/GT Beautification Project, which has no place for Caymanian and the common class locals…and here come the super rich Chinese who’ll need high rise accommodations as well…make way!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, except this isn’t about beach access or shore fishing.

    • Sharkey says:

      Why not give them a purpose built fishmongers by the farmers market…plenty of parking, nobody to annoy and hygienic facilities undercover.

  8. Anonymous says:

    When’s the last time they paid duty on these imported products?

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! I wonder whether this is one of the examples of overt corruption we all seem to have to live with? Is import duty paid or not, and if not, why not? And where are their business licenses?

  9. Anonymous says:

    doesn’t matter if its been there for donkey years…the owner of the property is the owner of the property plain and simple…in past yrs they were ok with the fish market operating there and that was their choice….now the owner wants to utilize the property in a different matter and that’s their choice….there should be no beef or fish….no pun intended lol if the land owner choices to use his OWN land in a different fashion…relocate your fish market and be thankful that you were able to use someone else private land to make a living free of charge all these years

    • Anonymous says:

      Dump them and their stinky rotted fish!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree – there is a fundamental difference between the public enjoying the beach for personal enjoyment and people making money off it without being subject to controls and business costs that everyone else faces just because they base their activity on a beach. Its the public beach vendor argument all over again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Craft Market is available.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Watch out. Maybe another virus about to happen.??? Spoil fish

    What happened in China ???? COVID-19

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why is this even a debate? Fisherman squatting on someone else’s land with no health and safety laws being followed. Kick them off, make them pay market rents for legal trading venues at a proper market or a proper fish shop. I can’t just go and start selling a product without a trade and business license and on someone else’s land whilst urinating everywhere!

    • Caveat Emptor says:

      @ Anonymous 1.50pm
      Yes it can just look at what Moses Kirkconnell Joey Hew Juliana O’Connor-Connolly and Alden McLaughlin have allowed to happy on the seven mile public beach since 2013. There is no regulation no need for insurance, T&B license and it’s become a special economic zone bazaar. All for a few votes. This is now a test for Minister Hew that will cost him in 2021 will he support the fishermen or the wealthy developer?

      It is important to note the fishermen of Cayman have been operating at that spot for over 50 years. It would appear a “prescriptive right“ has been developed over several decades. This matter will likely need to go to court.

      Will the government assist the fishermen in their case against Chris Johnson?

      • Anonymous says:

        They’re not fishermen, they are selling fish brought in from Honduras and Nicaragua.
        Why don’t you Just let them sell fish from your property without paying rent… because that Is what is happening.

  13. Simon says:

    This property was a fish market well before Ken Spraggen sold the land to Mr. Johnson, he (Mr. Johnson) knew what he was getting into.

    It is not just the fisherman but the general public (who also access the land to get to the market) who enjoy a prescriptive right of access to the land.

    I have never seen a no trespassing sign, a gate, a fence or anything else to restrict access. I expect most Caymanians were not even aware that this 0.15 acre scrap of land was in the hands of a private owner.

    • Anonymous says:

      When did Ken Spraggon buy it, Simon, and from whom? Not a trick question, I’m genuinely interested.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ken and Chris purchased it in the early seventies. That I know. Chris himself did all the negotiating and knows the history. In fact he knows more about Cayman history than most Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Simon, perhaps we can let the fishermen sell from and occupy your land rent free while trashing it. They’ll need a place to go after they’re forced to leave.

      • Simon says:

        I appreciate what you are saying, but I wouldn’t buy a piece of land that has been in continuous and active use by the fisherfolk and accessed by the public for generations…unless I had come to Cayman as an adult, made a vast fortune here and then I might buy it and give it to the people in gratitude for the opportunities presented to me. I expect the amount paid to Mr. Spraggen was less than 55k.

        • Anonymous says:

          but it wasn’t a fish market before Ivan, the tent(s) showed up a few years ago. Before that fish was sold by a guy from a 2x piece of wood off the ironshore. It certainly hasn’t been in continuous and active use for generations. That’s factually incorrect.

          • Anonymous says:

            Correct. The location next door formerly Hammerheads, has been used by various dive companies over the years. Surfside watersports back in the 80’s thru the 90’s, then Mervin Cumber ran Don Fosters from the location during the 90’s. I don’t recall ever seeing fish being sold from that beach during this time frame, so any claims it has been used for ‘generations’ is total horse shit.

        • Anonymous says:

          Bit of a slap at Mr Johnson, Simon, nuh true? Yes he came here long ago and made pots of money, unlike others of us who came here then too. But he has contributed a lot over the years. Not sure that the price paid to Ken Spraggon ( with an “o” I think you’ll find) is relevant either. I recall in the early 70s genuine fishermen landing boats, cleaning fish and selling them in this area but like so many other things in Cayman in general and this spot in particular, things have deteriorated over the years and the charming scene of the 70s and 80s has been replaced by tawdry phoneyism.

          • Simon says:

            I have a lot of respect for Mr. Johnson. Really I do. He has contributed a lot to the financial services industry, the community and I just think he is wonderful man in a lot of ways – he is certainly a dynamic character. I just feel very strongly that in this very specific instance that our prescriptive rights are at stake and a very significant part of our culture is in jeopardy- I would think that Mr. Johnson should be given a fair price for this land which is important not just to our fishermen but also for our tourism product and our identity. It feels like something Important is at risk here and I hope some solution can be found that is fair, but doesn’t result in this part of George Town disappearing. It has to be worth a lot of money so close to the dock, on the water and in the capital but it is our fish market. It is a key part of the George Town identity. It makes me feel sad to see the fishermen driven off those rocks. I am hoping that Mr. Johnson who indeed owns the land, can find a just way forward, because I know for sure our people have also earned some rights of access.

            character

        • Anonymous says:

          You mean, as opposed to buy it and develop a beach park for free use by the public who cannot use it at the moment because it is being used as an unregulated fish market …oh wait.

          To say nothing of spending your own money to challenge the fundamental failures of the CPA to control the activities of the developer in relation to the neighbouring plot, where public access which cut off and replaced with pay to play? Or spending your own money top repair the sea wall and put in a proper sidewalk?

          You clearly have a beef with Chris – it seems to be clouding your perspective ever so slightly. Perhaps something to do with his making a “vast fortune”?

          • Simon says:

            No beef with Mr. Johnson. I respect him and it is okay to make a lot of money – I have no issue with that.
            What matters to me is prescriptive rights – same as that access to the Seven Mile Beach. After a certain period of time with free and unimpeded access (which I believe was established even before Mr. Johnson bought the land), there are prescriptive rights. He bought it knowing it was a public fish market.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      For your edification the late Mr Spraggon and I purchased the land at the time Hampstead Ltd commenced the first office supply in about 1973. The building that housed it was on the opposite side of the road. Prior to that the land was owned by the Bird family who lived on hospital road. Later Mr Spraggon bequeathed me his interest.

      At that time there was no fish market but local people did sometimes bring their boats in with fish which they sold but S I said there was no market.

      End of story.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks Mr Johnson, that is how I remember the activity there. I was as I said in my earlier post genuinely interested in how the land came into Mr Spraggon’s and your hands and who originally owned it.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no prescriptive right of access to a fish market. No one is objecting to people going swimming or shore fishing there.

  14. Anonymous says:

    These guys aren’t fishermen, they aren’t caymanian, they aren’t anything but con artists selling 10 day old fish from Honduran trollers.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone thought of the scale of the problem? The fishermen look like they are having a whale of a time. What exactly is the porpoise of is dispute? I personally don’t see anyfin wrong with it…..I’ll get my coat…

  16. Anonymous says:

    They are saying over 50 years that Dora’s Bay (traditional name) has been used by fishermen. But it has been more than 85 years. Next question will be “Who owns Hog Sty Bay”?
    Over those years the sea and elements has worn away alot of the rock formation and now more than likely cement will fill what is left.

    • anonymous says:

      It is actually called Red Spot Bay.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can anyone explain how compulsory land acquisition works nd if it would be an option the CIG could take here as they do when conducting road works?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ask them how that’s working out down by Bobby Thompson Way while you there.

        • Anonymous says:

          Compulsory land acquisition doesn’t work when your father is the Minister of Finance. The bottom line is the “Equestrian Centre’ needs to relocate and let the NRA correct the fatal curve of Linford Pierson Way. Maybe this time they will comply with the laws and get planning permission for buildings and infrastructure. (check the records I will wait here)

          • Anonymous says:

            “Fatal curve” ? Learn to drive. It’s no worse than a round-a-bout curve.

            • Anonymous says:

              What’s your PO Box? I’m happy to mail you a dictionary so you might understand the definition of the term fatal.

          • Anonymous says:

            A curve! God forbid you learn how to drive round a bend. What is this, Manhatten? Seriously please stay off the roads.

      • Anonymous says:

        Without benefit of reference; There is a Compulsory Acquisitions Law. It sets out on what grounds and how Govt may acquire your land. e.g., for a road and they have to pay determined market value. (Determined market value is not a technical term, but people don’t always agree with the value.) I don’t now the various grounds but, as it is an old Law, they are probably fairly broad and general. Therefore I suspect that whether Compulsory Acquisition would be an option is more a political question than a legal one. I believe the Law is rarely used outside of roadworks as the public aren’t too supportive of the idea of the use of the Law in general.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Just a few points to consider-
    -The site attracts undesirables. People sleep, drink alcohol and sell ganja there. Look at the surrounding properties, it’s having a direct impact on the surrounding commercial businesses.
    -The site is intimidating. Take a look around, it’s about a 10:1 man to woman ratio and 20:1 man to child ratio. Would you take your family there?
    -There’s no bathroom. The fishermen don’t wash their hands, they pee on site behind the wall, they wash their cutting boards with bleach because they don’t have running water.
    -Beyond health, the site is dirty and looks terrible. The waterfront and George Town deserve better. The beautiful site needs to be treated with respect. It is a shanty town mess with built it yourself benches, old signage, old shopping carts dumped onsite. It’s all spilling onto the sidewalk and impeding on pedestrian right of way. This will only get worse and is the opposite of GT rejuvenation efforts. This is the first impression tourists have of the island. We should be proud of our natural bounty and take care of it.
    -There’s no Parking, traffic on busy N Church Street is stalled and slowed down. The fishermen park their trucks on the north bound lane to collect and drop off fish completely stopping traffic in one lane. Customers sometimes do the same thing. This is a major infrastructure problem which will only get worse in the future.
    -The fishermen know the cement truck drivers and over the years, incrementally, they stop by after a delivered job and empty the cement slag on the beach to create surfaces to sell fish on. This is site vandalism and because no authorities have regulated it, it is also dangerous. Exposed rebar sticks out plenty of it on uneven surfaces, a perfect scenario for a bad accident. Why should the landowner risk this liability?
    -Rotten fish. Periodically rotten fish is sold on site because it’s often old coming off boats been out to sea for a week. Current health conditions on site and without regulation can’t intercept these situations before they happen.
    -They have not been there for 50 years. The tent(s) have only been there for only a few years. After Ivan a guy standing in the water would sell fish off the Ironshore, off a plank of wood.
    -What would our real estate market think if GT waterfront property was handed over to the fishermen even though they don’t have prescriptive rights. It would be bad for investor confidence.
    -No rent has been paid over these years (nor can the fishermen afford it), yet the landowner is being victimized
    -It’s good that the CNS and CI Gov are finally looking into this situation which has been turned a blind eye to over the years.

    • Anonymous says:

      Great points and I agree on all of them – but what’s the solution in 2020?

      • Jotnar says:

        Provide the vendors – they are not all fishermen – space at a proper market, one with electricity for fridges and water for washdown, and subject to public health inspection. Offer it rent free if that is the deterrent. Fail to see why the vendors at public beach have infrastructure built for them but these guys do not.

        If the vendors then say no, well you can form your own view on how reasonable they are being and whether its a lot more to do with them being able to run a completely unregulated or controlled business with public health implications than being turfed out of the site – which frankly isn’t much good for them in terms of customers given the lack of parking.

        • Anonymous says:

          Without ice, these fish and juvenile Honduran lobsters are mishandled and spoiled as human food – teaming with bacteria before they reach the shore and point of sales. Freezing them later doesn’t fix it. DEH should be random lab testing the fish and licensing the handling process and sales to approved anglers only, condemning all activity by unhygienic third world fishing in our region. It’s a waste of fish, time, and energy.

        • Anonymous says:

          The vendors at Public Beach have some high powered West Bay politicians on their side.

      • George Ebanks says:

        Move the market to public beach and put forth a coastal works application so that the construction of a dock can be allowed so fishing boats can safely offload their catch. Also this dock could be used for tourists to board pleasure cruises!

      • Anonymous says:

        The only thing to do is to move them of course because these issues will only get worse if they stay. It will attract more undesirables, there will be more traffic jams on the road because of no parking, more people will get sick because there is no health regulation or even bathrooms. The site will get more intimidating to visit, it will start looking worse because they don’t take care of the site. It will become an even bigger blemish in the heart of GT, it’s actually the opposite of rejuvenation and it has already had an effect on surrounding business such as Hammerheads / Cabana restaurant. Look, they need a proper facility with more area, more parking and the current site cant provide it. They need government assistance and finance to relocate and construct a proper facility elsewhere. If done properly it will be enjoyed by all, better functioning and better for GT.

    • Anonymous says:

      While some of your points are notable. I took my kids and wife there to see what Island heritage is like. Cayman doesn’t seem like a Caribbean Island but more of a big city in the US. “The shanty” you speak of is what makes Caribbean Islands beautiful. After reading the comments this has been here for years why not work with the fishermen and preserve the little Cayman has. Let’s be honest here there isn’t much Island Life pass 7 mile beach and even that is overcrowded with these big hotels and security telling you what piece of sand is accessible.

      • Anonymous says:

        So we can only have shantys? – I know that’s not what you are saying. But there is a reason we don’t want Cayman to look like our shared idea of other Caribbean islands, i.e., shantys.

    • anonymous says:

      Thanks for putting things in context.

    • anonymous says:

      How soon we forget. It was only five years ago that Mr Johnson and his family removed the crumbling sea wall, replaced it with a fence and built the sidewalk. Did government pay for this? Hell no. Mr Johnson was concerned that an accident might happen on that stretch or road and thus he paid for it.
      So folks please remember that.

    • Anonymous says:

      So whoever you are, you have made some keen observations huh. Tell me why is it that only now you find the time to make these so called observations; of course you are afraid to put your name to the post for then all would know your true intent or perhaps your direct involvement in the dispute?.

      There are a lot of people who are not going to standby without a fight on this so you and all of your 72 likes if you got any guts buckle up. See ya in court, unless this witless government we have finds a fair and balanced solution.

      • Anonymous says:

        And who are you to ask some blogger their name? What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
        By the way it is not 87 thumbs up.
        Having read all blogs how unsavoury this location is, I will never ever buy fish their.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Mr Anonymous 6:35, please respect this forum with some constructive criticism. Look, people have different perspectives and opinions and it’s what makes the world go around. I respect your opinion even though it doesn’t align with mine. The current site isn’t working out to sell fish because its too small, has no parking and no facilities. The fishermen deserve a better facility and a better site with parking so everyone can visit and enjoy it. It could be great for George Town but in it’s current location, imagine it in a few years -these problems are going to get much worse for everyone.

  18. Cayman Mon says:

    As far back as I can remember fishermen have been selling fish from this same spot. I fail to see why this is now a problem. The Government needs to get involved on behalf of the fishermen. Another Cayman tradition down the drain; CI Govt. where are you?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, the government needs to enforce laws and this is an unsanitary, derelict, piss filled squatters camp. They need a new spot to fit the times. Government needs to step in and move them again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well dumbass the government needs to intervene on behalf of the fishermen due to the fact that the property is for the crown (public) on the terms that anything below the high water mark remains to the public and we all know that that mark reaches to the road.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman Mon…… Have you checked the bars?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Throw them out!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Are we not allowed to mention XXXX

    CNS: Not yet.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Regularize and regulate this market. Get them to pay market rents or go elsewhere. We need to move into the 21st-century folks…

  22. Anonymous says:

    I can only smell one thing when I drive past there everyday and it ain’t fish!

  23. Anonymous says:

    These guys have a prescriptive right without doubt.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Something fishy going on here.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Expensive, orchestrated prelude to raiding the Environmental Protection Fund again.

  26. Anonymous says:

    If the land is not owned by these so called fishermen and the land owner does not want them on the property then what is the problem?

    The people selling fish are trespassing. Simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t see how anyone can own that property but the crown, it’s supposed to be for the public.
      Maybe they need to do some measurements and shift slightly more to the west just to make sure they are on public property and then the government and them can make it a national trust issue since they’ve been there for over 50 years.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Wait wait. I finally figured it out they want a 10 story built there…

  28. Anon says:

    That beach was used for well over 50 years by Caymanians to buy and sell fish! I believe that was way before Mr. Johnson’s time. … I’m curious… is this a way to get Caymanians more relied on the Supermarkets and close down small businesses???

    • Anonymous says:

      They can move elsewhere that doesn’t cause traffic or sell unsanitary fish because of no fresh water/soap/bathrooms. These men touch their peen to piss on the wall then go back to handling your snapper. No thank you.

    • Roger Davies says:

      5.42am Mr Johnson arrived here in 1968 (52 years ago to save your mental arithmetic),and I arrived in 1969. I certainly do not recall fish being sold there then, I do recall all the turtles being landed at Hogsty Bay at that time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Check the maths. Mr Johnson came here in 1968 and has done more for Cayman than you ever did.

  29. Anonymous says:

    It doesnt matter if the fish market was there for 100 year. The fishermen do not own in the land.

    The man should not have been oing to court.

    The fishernen had 50 years to approach the owner andxask if he would sell.

    I really cant believe this.

    • Anonymous says:

      The successive owners had 50 years to tell them to get off…they have a right by the law of adverse possession now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not if they are creating a public nuisance and wont remedy that. And there is the added factor, in that they have been operating from another location for some time now. I thought usage had to be uninterrupted to establish a prescriptive right?

      • Anonymous says:

        Their possession has not been exclusive or adverse or continuous and no individual one of them has any rights of adverse possession.

  30. Anonymous says:

    How can a beach be privately owned?

    • Anonymous says:

      go read the law and educate yourself.

    • Anonymous says:

      because CIG changed the laws years ago. Crown land extends only to the high water mark. As usual this can all be laid at the feet of CIG’s greed.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is not privately owned and Mr Johnson has always advocated it should be used by the public. Conversely there was a sign next door at Balboa Beach that said Private Beach where Thompson rented out his chairs.
      The fishermen should clear off.

      • Anonymous says:

        9.33 Balboa ‘beach’…..oh my aching sides. That is an embarrassment to Cayman and a total con to rent chairs there.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was wondering the same thing. Where is the high water mark? Lately it has been the road!

    • Anonymous says:

      My point exactly, in the Cayman Islands there is no such thing as a private beach, but people don’t realize that and the fishermen are ignorant towards it, all they need to do is shift slightly more to the west and nobody can’t say anything.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Two words – ADVERSE POSSESSION! Look it up! It’s the same as the so-called beach access paths. A temporary edict by government during a health emergency does not break the chain of occupancy. How many more Cayman Traditions and cultural icons have to be quashed and destroyed before the public WAKES UP??

    • Anonymous says:

      There was and is no health emergency.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not a lawyer but that doesn’t sound right; in the UK adverse possession aka squatters rights gives squatters possession of property they have occupied and denied the rightful owner access to for at least 20 years. I’m not sure the ‘fishermen’ are claiming the land is theirs by adverse possession are they? If the land is public access then you can’t claim adverse possession over public access land.

      In any event is selling imported fish on the beach really a Caymanian tradition?

    • Anonymous says:

      All the fishermen that can prove they’ve been using that piece of land for 12 years or more can claim that land as theirs under the laws of adverse possession. The fishermen concerned need to engage a lawyer to help their case. Seek Legal Aid if needed.

  32. Anonymous says:

    They sell trash. Kickem out

  33. Anonymous says:

    His land, his right! Why do people think they have the right to run businesses on other peoples’ property…without permission no less. It happens all over the island but it isn’t right.

  34. Anonymous says:

    The one time I bought anything from there it was still part frozen. God knows where it came from. Wasn’t cheap either.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I have been buying fish from there for nearly 40 years. Never been poisoned yet nor have I ever got spoiled fish. What a load if crock

    • Anonymous says:

      the lady who sold fish there sold a lot of rotten fish which poisoned several people about 3 years ago.

      • Anonymous says:

        So why should Mr Johnson have this liability. I do not blame him if he wants this liability off his shoulders.

        Why give the man a hard time when he built the sidewalk and the new seawall.

        Cayman Marl ( trash news) Road is a total disgrace and the Compass not much more. Neither explained Mr Johnson’s plans for the property which are only beneficial to Cayman.

        When you find out u will be retracting your crap.

  36. Anonymous says:

    do the the ocean a favour and boycott these scamsters….

  37. Anonymous says:

    Ok here is something to add to this situation. Dont all reatraunts and bars need to have a safe food handling process? How is this fish handled safely outdoors and open to the elements? Why dont these guys approach the government to build a safe, clean facility for them to peddle their fish. They could rent space for a hopefully low price and move the location to somewhere conventional and easy to access. That will make it more profitable for the fisherman and safe for the people buying it. If these guys dont have a contract to be on the land, they should have had one. Business is business, you need to have a contract or a clear understanding of where you sit with your landlord so you dont end up in this kind of mess.

    • Gray Matter says:

      This is traditionally our style CAYMANIAN WAY.. don’t like it go back to where you come from.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you’ll be very sad if everyone left who was forward thinking. Sorry I mean poor. Very poor and your island will turn very dangerous when Jamaica eats you up.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well talking from experience I’d rather it be eaten up by Jamaica than America, which is 100% more dangerous

  38. Debbie does Dullards says:

    Tell the police to move out the squatters.
    Hope your chopped down grape trees are doing well. Best wishes Mr. Johnson.
    Debbie Does Dullards

  39. Anonymous says:

    Fish is unsafe. Restaurants have to have temperature logs, inspections, and this sits in the sun all day….nasty

  40. Anonymous says:

    Fishermen my ass.

  41. Big Pappa says:

    Fishermen? Lol. That’s like calling all commentators on this website “authors”.

  42. The fishermen are good friends with another property owner in the area and he doesn’t like that.

  43. Anonymous says:

    This is a property rights issue. The land owner has every right to their property and to make use of their property as allowed by law. Nobody reading this article would want to be denied the use of their property by individuals who have decided to, whiteout explicit permission, use their property to engage in a commercial operation.

    • Hubert says:

      I had assumed all these years that the site was owned by the Cayman Islands Government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Chris Johnson never had a problem with it being used by them for 50 years so why now? Plain greed. He also objected to the Thompsons developing their small waterfront property nearby. But now he wants to develop his which is smaller. Ahhhh boy

    • Inspector Clouseau says:

      Mr Johnson knew that those fishermen have been there for years. Even when he started his little beautification project with the sidewalk by the fish market.

      What exactly can he put down there now that he couldn’t put down there before.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Many of the persons involved are not fishermen selling their catch but resellers of fish. Such activity requires licensing. If they do not have licenses they are breaking the law. Why has the DCI not shut them down?

    • Anonymous says:

      …and where is the DEH who is supposed to ensure food safety?

      • Inspector Clouseau says:

        Really now, you wanna bring food safety into this??

        Should DCI also clamp down on these “bake sales” at schools too or that’s a bit extreme??

        People take the fish home to clean it before they cook it.

        The fish are caught in salt water and cleaned with salt water and then rinsed with salt water.

        Any little excuse to help fuel someone’s desire to rid these guys from that spot would be used.

        • Anonymous says:

          Are you serious? Do you know any health and safety laws that restaurants need to follow?

          • Inspector Clouseau says:

            Are the fishermen operating a restaurant or a open air fish market??

            Come on, get real!

            Anything to keep someone down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanian Fishermen do not need TBL

      • Anonymous says:

        Which is why the OP specifically mentioned reselers. That’s like saying Foster’s don’t need a licence to sell salmon.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Come see what he what to put they!? Nobody give a shit about this country.

  46. anon says:

    I thought the fish sold there come from commercial fishing boats bringing their catch to Cayman so it would not be appropriate to call the vendors fishermen. Years ago the boats moored along the ironshore or in the harbour and sold their catch right off their boats.
    When I first arrived 50 years ago the Caymanian turtlers offloaded their catch at the harbour and it was a common sight to see all the turtles lying on their backs awaiting transport around the island.
    The current location apart from being privately owned is not suitable as in addition to the reasons given by Mr Johnson there is no suitable parking.
    Undeniably there is a strong demand for the fresh fish sold there, but Govt should provide a modern hygienic facility, perhaps at the G.T farmers market.

  47. Anonymous says:

    You would have to be crazy to buy fish from these guys.. Most of the fish they sell comes from down south near Honduras. The snapper boats from here go out for up to 10 days. So some of the “fresh” catch can be 2 weeks old by the time it makes its way on to your plate.
    Also, these guys don’t know a thing about health and safety. They leave fish outside on display in the Cayman heat then put it back in a cooler with a handful of ice cubes over night only to try and flog it off to some poor fool the next day.
    Lastly, when was the last time inspections were done at the market to ensure best practices are being followed? Has government ever once in the 50 years of the markets history ever checked the temperature of the fish with a probe? Thought not!!

    • Anonymous says:

      So we need a fish market, but not this one with these guys.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spot on. Locals might be doing the selling, but most of those fish are caught far from Cayman waters, imported into Cayman, and resold at this site with absolutely no oversight of food safety by DEH. Supermarkets have to condemn and destroy any fish that is temperature checked and found to be above 40 degrees for good reason. I’ve seen large grouper and snapper out on a table at this site for hours. Buy at your own risk but don’t fool yourself into thinking you are buying fresh local fish.

    • Anonymous says:

      Clearly there are many crazy enough according to your definition. Do you even live in Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      Is that so?🤬🤯 Thank you for letting people know.
      I wonder where cooked fish sold at store’s hot bars comes from.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, those coolers have large amounts of ice cubes.

  48. SSM345 says:

    I like war and here’s a good one.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Not sure why this is all the sudden an issue, Mr. Johnson? If you are, as you say, doing something philanthropically, like making a beach park, could you not include the fishermen?

    Could you take a financial cut from the fishermen as the land owner?

    Alas, you are indeed the landowner and should do whatever is in your allowed rights……..

    Government: both you and the Realtors around Cayman promise no-squatting on privately owned land. That is a reason why, supposedly, owning real estate in Cayman is so attractive. If you tout such things, and see no problem with them fishmongering on Mr. Johnson’s land, then perhaps you would allow them some prime real estate from your own portfolio? Maybe the beach in front of the Governors House…

  50. Anonymous says:

    CaymanKind.

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