Shore fishing allowed in over half local waters

| 09/04/2021 | 37 Comments
Photo by DoT

(CNS): Local fisherfolk are still free to fish from the shore around the Cayman Islands along more than half of the country’s coastline. The Department of Environment said there was some misunderstanding in the community about the recent rule changes to the Marine Park regulations and noted that fishing from the shore was still allowed in many, many places. The 8” size limit for fish still applies in all ‘open zones’, as well as other general species protections, such as the limits on conch and lobster. And it is, and has been for several years, illegal to kill sharks or rays. But people can fish in over half of Cayman’s near-shore waters out to 150ft deep.

Some line fishing zones within the enhanced marine parks system have even been combined with ‘no-diving’ overlay zones to preserve fishing access in those areas, while balancing user demands on the limited and fragile marine resources.

The marine reserve zones do not allow shoreline fishing, the Marine Parks system was designed with alternating marine reserve and ‘open’ or line fishing zones. This is to allow fish to build up and then move out from the marine reserves into adjoining zones as a means of promoting sustainable fisheries in the Cayman Islands. Sustainable fishing from shore is included in these ‘open’ and line fishing zones.

“The enhanced Marine Parks regulations recently approved by the Cabinet includes, among other areas, designated line fishing zones,” said Dwayne Seymour, the minister with responsibility for the environment. “There are also many areas of coastline around all three Cayman Islands that do not fall within the Marine Parks system. They are ‘open zones’ where fishing is allowed.”

The maps and rules of the marine parks are available for download from the Department of Environment website here.

The DoE is available to talk to anyone with questions about the rules either individually, or in group settings.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (37)

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  1. Guido Marsupio says:

    The question of catch-and-release has not been addressed. Where, unless it’s everywhere, can you legally practice catch-and-relase? I see people in the Marine Park Zone who say they do not have a bucket and have a casting line and are doing CaR – it that intended to be legal, or not? I looked carefully at the marine parks brochure and the “Fishing Licenses” section has been removed. It used to say “no license required for catch and relase?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think that maybe, the DoE should have town hall meetings throughout the islands and inform the people. (Not the Ministry please, but someone that can actually deliver a presentation).

  3. DBH says:

    We own property in Grand Cayman and we often spend a couple of months there in the summer. When my son was younger he loved to line fish. He was fishing legally in an area where fishing was permitted and he always practiced catch and release. I can’t tell you the number of adults that told him fishing was not legal in Grand Cayman. He was 12 at the time but looked younger and many of the adults actually stopped and yelled at him. Many of these people were vacationing, some were locals walking along the beach and one was a grumpy man that lives in a huge home next door to our condo complex…regardless I ended up having to keep a copy of the DOE marine park map/rules with me at all times so I could show the adults that my 12-year-old son was not breaking any laws. My point in sharing this is some people will try to enforce the rules that they know nothing about and have no authority to enforce. Some people will do what they want regardless of the rules and others will respect the rules. In the long run, nothing will likely change…people will fish legally or illegally. During the years my son fished along the shore not once did an official from DOE come by and question him. It’s hard to enforce rules when you don’t have the staff to check every area of the island for illegal fishermen.

    • Anonymous says:

      The amount of times since 80’s that I and my friends have been approached by police because someone called to report us fishing / hunting illegally in a perfectly legit area is mind-boggling when all they had to do was check the location of call against the map………

      Thats what the DOE did; and when they were informed of individuals promptly informed the callers/police to stop wasting their time as we were known to them.

      Even better was when we used to carry the map and produce it to them and then we had to point where we were to callers / police….

      Even better were the responses they were given when asked “what are you doing” as 5 youths clean conch and fish in a legitimate area…..My favorite was always:

      “What the F does it look like we are doing?”.

    • Anonymous says:

      DBH – the law provided for years that only Caymanians or persons with a license could fish. Of course the police and enforcers ignored the law. That is why you faced much of the unfortunate treatment you describe. The law has since been changed so no one has to enforce the question of who is fishing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    They need to simplify the guide better. It has become choked with too much information to decipher easily. A map showing where you can and cannot fish would help greatly.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good thing that the respectful divers do not take conch, lobster or fish illegally.
    We need to rebalance our debt to mother nature.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Humans don’t need to eat any animal protein, at all – least of all, mercury-laden fish. Teach a man to watch Seaspiracy on Netflix.

    • Anonymous says:

      incurable diseases and conditions disappear once people become carnivores. Hundreds of testimonies with photos and stories of lifetime suffering speak for itself. Meatrx, check it out. Animal protein is a must in human diets.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “sustainable fisheries” do not and will never exist; its a nice buzzword for developers and those raping the seas.

    • Like_Budda says:

      The term “fisheries” implies commercial fishing which isn’t being discussed here.Nirmal sport fishing has little impact on species populations. Pull your head outta…

  8. Anonymous says:

    8.08 why not say it like it is. Jamaicans are the invaders trying to turn Cayman into the place they ran from.
    Chris Saunders should have a word with his people.

  9. Sunrise says:

    “This is to allow fish to build up and then move out from the marine reserves into adjoining zones as a means of promoting sustainable fisheries in the Cayman Islands. Sustainable fishing from shore is included in these ‘open’ and line fishing zones.”

    We won’t have to worry about this when all the mangroves are torn down for development!! Three times stupid and stuck on dumb!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    What about the Honduran commercial fisherman living aboard in Port Zone that are filling buckets and buckets with sprats caught using large cast nets in GT Harbour? Maybe there should be some catch limits or resource management guidelines before it’s all gone? Why are those boats/people/foreign dogs allowed to moor there indefinitely?!?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Laws don’t make any difference to those that break them. It only prevents the honest person from catching fish legally.

    If no one enforces the law, you will have poachers continually depleting the fish, conchs and lobsters, and all of the poachers that have been caught were always Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:55am – Caymanians are the only ones caught – it seems but certainly are NOT the only poachers!! Seems like something is wrong with that picture.

      Just recently I saw a man from a neighbouring Caribbean island fishing on the rocks near Grand Old House, with a 5 gallon bucket filled with small fish – nothing larger than 4 inches!! I told him if they weren’t already dead I would’ve kicked the bucket into the sea. I should’ve done so anyway!!

      But like many other BS situations in Cayman, laws are on the books but there’s no enforcement! Anything goes, unless you’re an unemployed Caymanian trying to get a meal by poaching!

      • KWilliams says:

        One of the biggest problems facing Cayman is the lack of balls and by that I mean lack of enforcement. First prize goes to the CPA who do not understand the word. They waive setback restrictions like it is Xmas. They fail to control applications being made after the fact that all and sundry are doing. The greatest example is the debacle on the waterfront where the owner runs riot on a regular basis. The concrete slab he poured without permission now has a surrounding fence and a bandstand right on the water. This must contrary to our laws. His application to fill in the sea was turned down. Bravo! So it was appealed and the matter now rests with the tribunal. Let us hope common sense and a proper interpretation of the law is applied.
        This is only part of the problem as the adjoining car park breached the regulations. Luckily the tribunal told the owner to reapply. No doubt he will succeed bearing in mind the new projects being introduced to Cayman in the medical field by the same family.
        Nepotism is alive and well here and I doubt that the new government will succeed in eradicating it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you Miss Williiams for your remarks.
          In the matter of the Waterfront fiasco you are dead correct. There is no respect for the sidewalk there. Buses and cars park on the sidewalk and no body cares a shit. NRA and CPA just ignore the breaches.
          It is all a joke. The CI Goverment really do not care. Kenny you have made this situation you missive for gods sake.
          Do something about o

        • Chris Johnson says:

          I think you hit hat one on the head Miss Williams.

        • Diver says:

          Amen to that. You hit the nail on the head!

    • Anonymous says:

      To be honest. Who are any of you to tell me where I throw my line from shore to catch a fish?

  12. Anonymous says:

    What happened with fishing licenses and restrictions on non Caymanians fishing? I have seen foreign nationals catching buckets of undersized fish to stew up for “fish tea”. Fish populations have already collapsed. Why are we not doing more to protect and enhance not only the environment but a key aspect of Cayman’s cultural heritage?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you see people catching undersized fish, call 916-4271 and report it to the DOE.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can we please get a link to the legal fish sizes in Cayman? Although I do not catch a bunch of 4 inch grunts to eat, I do catch one or 2 to use as bait.

        • Anonymous says:

          “The maps and rules of the marine parks are available for download from the Department of Environment website here.” (Sorry, the link from the bottom of the CNS article did not paste over.)

          Which includes the 8″ size limit. On all fish except fries, sprats, goggle-eyes. (And Nassau grouper of course, but that size limit goes the other way around.)

          • Anonymous says:

            after looking at the map the area marked line fishing certainly is a lot less than half of the shoreline.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:03am – Report to DoE for what purpose? By the time they respond any offender has already eaten his catch! They’re useless at monitoring or enforcing shore fishing and fishing license breaches!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why not immigration? Isn’t that what you are supposed to do when foreign nationals break the law here? DOE are under resourced and ineffective.

        Oh, sorry. I forgot. We do not do enforcement.

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