The Department of the Environment has become aware of enquiries by members of the public concerning whether a recent rule change outlawed fishing from the shore everywhere in the Cayman Islands.
The Minister for Environment and the Department of Environment wish to assure the public that this is not true.
“The enhanced Marine Parks regulations recently approved by the Cabinet includes, among other areas, designated line fishing zones. 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 Hon. Dwayne Seymour, Minister for Health, Environment, Culture and Housing pointed out.
The 8” size limit for fish still applies in these ‘open zones’, as well as other general species protections such as the limits on conch and lobster. In addition it is illegal to kill sharks or rays, etc.
The Department of Environment, can further confirm that the regulations allow fishing in over half of the Cayman Islands’ near-shore waters (from the shore to 150ft deep).
Some line fishing zones within the enhanced marine parks system have even been combined with ‘no-diving’ overlay zones. This approach was developed as a means of preserving fishing access in those areas, while balancing user demands on the limited and fragile marine resources of the Cayman Islands.
While 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 maps and rules of the marine parks are available for download from the Department of Environment website and the Department is available to talk to anyone with questions about the rules either individually, or in group settings. http://doe.ky/marine/marine-parks/