Conch season ahead but restrictions remain

| 27/10/2022 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service
John Bothwell measures a queen conch (Photo courtesy of April Cummings)

(CNS): The local conch season opens next Tuesday but officials from the Department of Environment are reminding people that restrictions remain in place limiting the catch and where conch can be taken. Marine Park rules and boundaries remain in full effect at all times and no conch may be taken from within the Marine Reserve even within the season, which lasts until April. The daily catch limit is five conchs per person or a maximum of ten per boat with two or more people aboard.

No one can or allow anyone else to take purchase, receive, offer for sale, exchange or donation, or possess more than five conchs from Cayman waters. Only queen conch may be taken.

Queen conch remains under threat in our region and the wider Caribbean. NOAA in the United States is currently going through a consultation process about listing the queen conch as an endangered species due to its decline across its range. Here in Cayman, the mean density of conch has been decreasing for many years, despite efforts to protect it, as a result of poaching.

Suspicious behaviour in action can be reported to the DoE Enforcement on 949-8469 or 916-4271 or 911.


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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Or, option B: just leave the conch and lobster in the water to thrive, choosing not to take any of them.

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  2. WBW Czar. says:

    When I rely on the sea for a living then nobody should tell me what to take and or how much.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Laws and zones mean nothing to unrestricted self centered poachers. In fact, it only give them a means to pillage more effectively.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And who supplies restaurants year round with fresh lobster tails?
      As the season opens all we find are their heads wrung out, and happy divemasters Al around.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    You don’t have enough areas for conch to grow to supply all the people here now. Need to eliminate the duty on imported conch and take some of the pressure off the local ones.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Divers. On and off season pillagers of the seas. nothing produced…just taken.
    Dive sacks full of lobster tails wrung out.
    Attracting sharks.
    shame on them all.

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    • Anonymous says:

      what are you talking about? divers are the only ones that went to preserve the oceans here because no one else seems to give a crap.

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      • Anonymous says:

        it would appear to be a rey to the 1:01pm anti-fishers comment.

        pair of ignoramouses the both of them.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Good luck DOE! The poaching is at an all time high! Even government employees are advertising conch and lobster for sale as recent as today.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why does the private sector workers continue to break the marine laws and then complain that the civil service is too large.

      The Civil service is growing because the private sector can’t get its act together.

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    • Cottage Pt says:

      We need proper enforcement and harsher penalties. The slap on the hand conviction is not enough. Our marine laws should be equal to our gun laws. Absolutely no tolerance.

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    • Anonymous says:

      send them the link, nah?

  7. Anonymous says:

    DOE isn’t capable of enforcing any rules, one old panga that I haven’t seen in a long time. But they sure are good at putting that boat is at lobster pot so everyone can go for a dive…
    Waste of time

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    • Anonymous says:

      That boat that goes in at Lobster Pot is full of a team of divers going out to try and save whats left of our reefs from this new desease thats threatening our corals. Instead of calling it a waste of time you should be applauding the efforts of the team of divers putting their lives at risk to try and save possibly one of the most unapreciated but important resourses we have. the DOE is unfortunately one of the most underfunded govenrment departments we have and thats unfortunate for a country that has one of the best diving areas in the world. educate yourself before making comments like that. a big round of applause for the team trying their hardest to save our reefs. dont worry about the haters there are allot of us out here who appreciate what you guys are doing

  8. Anonymous says:

    just bring in a full 2 year ban. i think people will just about survive.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    fishermen…pillagers of the seas. nothing produced…just taken.
    shame on them all.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    It’s a free-for-all out there. Expanded parks with no enforcement officers on patrol is a complete waste of time.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Doubt they have enough DoE Officers to patrol round the clock or island.

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    • Ìioo says:

      The problem Cayman has too much people. Its not enough reef and banks around these islands to support the amount of peope that these islands have.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The marine park in front of my place was completely cleaned out three years ago. Had to be a weeks worth of nighttime piaching or more. It was a real shame. There were big conchs every 15 ft. all over.

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  12. anonymous by necessity says:

    The DOE is, at the very least, culpable of extreme dereliction of duty for not proactively protecting this and other resources even when they have been given direct and explicit information when and where large scale poaching takes place. There is evidence of, at the very least, tacit complicity with those who engage in poaching activities. This terrible situation is their doing. There is evidence of corruption within the ranks of some in the enforcement division of DOE, and that corruption goes beyond DOE officers who more often than not can be seen in bars while on duty as opposed to doing the job which they should be doing and are highly remunerated for. This is an issue which has yet to be taken seriously, let alone rectified.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You can add the RCIP to the list of complicit agencies. They once pulled me over for speeding in a boat, as well they should have. They were professional and dealt with me appropriately in relation to speeding too close to shore, in a marine park.

      They made no comment on the 3 dead fish and speargun openly in the boat. Plainly “not their job and not their concern.”

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      • Anonymous says:

        27 @ 3:04 pm. So, you’re poaching in a marine park with an illegal speargun. You’re part of the problem! Hope you’re real proud when you can’t even show your kids or grandkids a conch, or lobster, or fish for that matter! Disgusting!

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        • Anonymous says:

          No. Legal speargun. Licensed. No fish taken from park. But the police knew none of that. They didn’t even ask for the license.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If any of what you say is true and you have or ever have evidence you need to put it out there. That is the only way to hold anyone accountable. We keep talking about things in this space but that won’t effect change. Personally, I would report any indiscretions I see especially when it comes to a gov dept. Put the evidence in the public space if nothing is being done!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Only Caymanians should be allowed to geint Conchs and Lobsters in Caymanian waters

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        • Anonymous says:

          That was effectively the law. The attorney general declined to enforce it.

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        • Orrie Merren says:

          I agree.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Sure, if Caymanian’s actually obeyed the rules and respected the complete demise of marine life in local waters, then that might make sense. However, because Caymanian’s are mainly the ones at the front-end of destruction, why does it matter? Should they be only the group allowed to destroy? Would that make them sleep better at night??

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        • Anonymous says:

          Define “Caymanian”, I dare you.

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          • Anonymous says:

            28 @ 9:02 am – Anyone born in Cayman to parents who have made Cayman home more than 30 years ago, OR, anyone who has made Cayman their single or primary place of employment, residence and expenditure consistently for the past 50 years, raised at least one generation of children here and has assimilated to have at least 2 dozen Caymanian-born friends would suit the Caymanian definition for me!

            Acquiring some measure of Caymanian accent is a plus!!

            Forget all the “points” and other legal BS required – that is a failure, just an opening to simply “grow” the population.

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          • Orrie Merren says:

            A “Caymanian as of right” should be allowed to take conch and lobster (as well as fish) in the Cayman Islands jurisdictional boundaries, at the very least, with reasonable defined limits, but not other persons unless they are on a chartered fishing tour with a Caymanian owned and controlled.

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        • Say it like it is says:

          6.27pm and who primarily are the poachers of conch, lobsters and turtles and of all protected species in the Marine Parks?.

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          • Orrie Merren says:

            Caymanians (as well as other nationalities) do poach.

            Public officials (and other high-profile individuals) do purchase.

            Seen it with my own eyes over the years.

            Facts!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      May I congratulate the poster on their frank assessment of DOE Enforcement. This is a department that is riven by corrupt practices overseen by an Asst Director who was due for retirement a couple of years ago. He has singularly failed to get a grip of the appalling indiscipline within the department, and his own ineptitude as a law enforcement official responsible for the protection of our precious environment.
      As a former DOE officer I would be proud to stand and present the evidence that I collated during several years of service, identifying systemic corrupt practices by senior staff who have managed this unit for themselves and not the wider public. Hardworking and decent staff have been lost because of a culture of bullying, victimisation, racism, and a feeling that nothing will change under the present management.
      When managers actively try to hide evidence of incompetence and working practices that led to their staff and the public being placed in lethal danger, then we all know there’s a serious problem.
      DOE be on notice, my evidence and that of others is coming, names will be given, incidences of dishonesty and collusion will be public knowledge.
      The Cayman Islands environment isn’t being protected, incompetence and corruption is and it needs to stop.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmm, interesting! I have wanted to work there for so long, but now hearing that its discouraging.

        • Anonymous says:

          The sad thing is that the job is one of the best in the world, and a few DOE officers are a real credit to public service, if it weren’t for incompetence and undoubted corrupt behaviour, it could remain so.
          When so called managers ignore evidence of corrupt work practices, such as running private businesses whilst taking public money and using government vehicles. Or covering up the behaviour of some their staff whilst another was trying to save life and sustained multiple injuries as a result. Or, If they can witness serious bullying and victimisation and actually fire the victim for having the guts to confront them, then there is no hope for decent officers to make their mark.

      • Anonymous says:

        No doubt there are those who are running side business while on shift and in government vehicles.

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