18 September, 2018
During an operation off Barkers in West Bay Sunday, 16 September, Department of Environment [DoE] conservation officers recovered dozens of conch and some lobsters that were illegally taken from Cayman waters.
Officers had earlier noted two men on board a vessel offshore who appeared to be acting suspiciously and intercepted the men when they came on land.
DoE officers recovered a total of 43 conch and seven lobsters, all of which were taken out of season. Cayman’s lobster season begins on 1 December each year and closes 1 March. Conch and whelk season opens 1 November and closes 1 May.
The two men were warned for intended prosecution. Under the National Conservation law, anyone who takes lobster, conch and whelks out-of-season faces high fines, imprisonment and possibly forfeiture of their vessel, vehicle or equipment used in commission of the act.
The seized conch and lobster from Sunday’s incident were donated to the Pines Retirement Home, conservation officers said.
The DoE would like to remind the public that the closed seasons for our various marine species coincide with each species’ peak reproductive season. The closed season is put in place to allow each species the time to reproduce, in an effort to ensure a healthy population of each species for future generations.