Cayman Islands: DoE Reminds Residents Of Fishery Seasons

Last Updated: 18 November 2016
Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2019

The Department of Environment (DoE) wishes to remind the public of open and closed seasons which occur at this time of year for a variety of species.

According to the DoE, everyone should make an effort to be aware of the seasons, and to comply with them, as they have been put in place as a means of ensuring the long-term and sustainable use of our marine resources.

In August of this year, improvements were made to the Cayman Islands fisheries regulations. All of the species rules now make both take and possession illegal outside of the open seasons. This means that both the person taking marine life illegally and the person receiving/purchasing this marine life will be committing an offence.

'This is a loophole that our officers, and the public who support conservation, have struggled with for a while and we are happy it has been resolved', said DoE Chief Conservation Officer Mark Orr observed.

Catch limits remain unchanged.

The rules for Nassau grouper have also undergone significant changes with the take of Nassau Grouper anywhere in Cayman waters now prohibited between 1 December and 30 April. As the weather cools, Nassau grouper begin to aggregate in preparation for spawning early in the New Year. These annual aggregations have made the species susceptible to overfishing in Cayman and around the Caribbean.

'While we still have one of the largest Nassau grouper populations among the known spawning aggregations remaining in the Caribbean, we have effectively lost over half of our traditional spawning aggregations in the Cayman Islands,' said DoE Research Officer Bradley Johnson. 'Fishing on a spawning aggregation is not and never has been sustainable for any level of take as shown by DoE's research, as well as the decline of spawning aggregations across the region.

'The current regulations are meant to ensure that we have Nassau grouper on our reefs into the future. This is the same strategy applied to other marine species like conch and lobster. During the open season (1 May through 30 November) fishers may take no more than five Nassau grouper from Cayman waters per boat per day', he said.

Persons are encouraged to make themselves aware of the full provisions of the regulations. The DoE is distributing free Conservation Rules Brochures at a variety of places around all three islands and these brochures may also be downloaded from

Another tool developed to help the public stay informed is an app for iPhones and Android smartphones. While this is still a Beta version of the app, some of the features include interactive maps which allow the public to know where they are located in relation to the marine park zones, what the rules are in the area in which they are located, and to send feedback to DoE on anything they deem to be important or of concern.

Persons can download the app by searching their smartphone store for 'Cayman DoE' and are encouraged to report any technological glitches to the DoE so that they can be rectified.

The public is reminded that the app is still a form of electronic communication and, as such, if there is an urgent situation they should either report the matter to 911 or directly to DoE at any of the numbers listed below.

'We know that enforcement will always be an issue with any law and that our efforts will always be constrained by the number of officers we are able to employ', DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie said. 'So we have to work smarter, both through the use of technology and by trying to ensure that our regulations are structured to optimise conservation objectives and enforcement capability'.

Persons who see suspect poaching can call 911, or DoE enforcement officers directly:

  • Grand Cayman: 916-4271
  • Cayman Brac: 926-0136
  • Little Cayman: 916-7021

Below is a list of species and information related to their season dates and catch limits:

  • LOBSTERS (Panulirus argus )
    • Closed season: 1 March through 30 November.
    • Open season catch limit: Three per person or six per boat per day, whichever is less.
    • Size limit: Six inch tail minimum size.
    • Only spiny lobster (P. argus) may be taken.
    • In any one day, no one person may take or permit another person to take, purchase, receive, offer for sale, exchange or donation, or possess more than three lobster from Cayman waters.
  • CONCH (Strombus gigas)
    • Closed season: 1 May through 31 October. 
    • Open season catch limit: Five per person or ten per boat per day, whichever is less. (10 per boat with two or more people.)
    • Only queen conch (S. gigas) may be taken.
    • In any one day, no one person may take or permit another person to take, purchase, receive, offer for sale, exchange or donation, or possess more than five conch from Cayman waters.
    • Closed season: 1 May through 31 October.  No one may take whelks in Cayman during these months.  No one may purchase, receive or possess whelk taken in Cayman during these months.
    • Open season catch limit: Two-and-a-half gallons in the shell or two-and-a-half pounds of processed whelks per person per day.
    • No one may purchase or receive more than two-and-a-half gallons in the shell or two-and-a-half pounds processed whelks from Cayman in any one day.
    • Chitons, periwinkles and bleeding teeth may not be taken at any time.
    • Echinoderms (includes starfish, sea eggs/urchins, sea cucumbers and sand dollars) may not be taken from Cayman waters at any time.
    • No one may disturb, molest or take turtles in Cayman waters or on Cayman's beaches without a licence.
    • Possession of turtle eggs is prohibited.
    • For licensed fishermen, closed season runs from 1 April through 30 November.
    • May not be taken from Cayman waters at any time.
    • No one may feed, attempt to feed or provide or use food to attract any shark in Cayman waters.
  • NASSAU GROUPER (Epinephelus striatus)
    • Closed season: 1 December through 30 April 
    • Open season catch limit: Five per person or five per boat per day, whichever is less.
    • Size limit: Only Nassau grouper between 16 inches and 24 inches (inclusive) may be taken from Cayman waters.
    • No one may take, purchase, receive, permit or possess Nassau grouper from Cayman waters taken in contravention of the above rules.
    • Protected fish: Jew fish (goliath grouper), tilefish (whities), filefish (pipers) and angelfish, including Grey, French and Queen angels (old monks), may not be taken from Cayman waters at any time.
    • Size limit: Eight-inch minimum size on all other fish except goggle eyes, sprats (herrings, anchovies) and fries (including loggerhead and fine fry; silversides or anchovies). Or lionfish.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Cayman Islands Government
Cayman Islands Government
Cayman Islands Government
Cayman Islands Government
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Cayman Islands Government
Cayman Islands Government
Cayman Islands Government
Cayman Islands Government
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions