28 February – The Cayman Islands lobster fishing season closes Friday, 1 March.
The National Conservation Law (NCL) sets the closed season dates for lobster fishing from 1 March through 30 November each year. No one may take lobster from Cayman waters, or purchase, receive or possess lobster taken from Cayman waters during that period.
The closed seasons for various protected species, including lobster, are set to allow these creatures a chance to repopulate in the wild.
“We’ve already warned for prosecution a number of individuals for exceeding take or possession limits during this open lobster season,” said Department of Environment (DoE) Chief Conservation Officer Mark Orr. “Those caught illegally taking lobster or other protected species during a closed season will face potential prosecution and may be fined or imprisoned.”
The NCL sets a general penalty upon conviction of up to four years imprisonment and/or up to $500,000 in fines for the illegal removal of marine protected species from the environment.
The DoE also wishes to remind residents and visitors that the closed season for Nassau Grouper continues during their spawning season through 30 April and that the penalties for illegal take or possession are the same for that species.
“These rules are in place for a good reason, that is to help ensure the sustainability of our marine species for more generations to come,” said Hon. Dwayne Seymour, Minister for Health, Environment, Culture and Housing. “This is also in line with our Unity Government’s Broad Outcome of Ensuring Caymanians Benefit from a Healthy Environment.” For further information about the NCL, species protections, closed seasons or fishing rules, you may email the DoE at Doe@gov.ky or check our website at the following link: http://doe.ky/conservation-law/marine-park-regulations-maps-and-conservation-laws/catch-limits/ for further information.