Dozens of Bodden Town residents gathered Wednesday night wondering what disaster had occurred as a police truck, a squad car, and a helicopter converged on the shore line just south of the Bodden Civic Center.
When all was over, two men had been arrested…for illegal lobster fishing.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service said a 29-year-old Jamaican national and a 36-year-old Honduran were arrested for possessing an unlicensed spear gun in the form of a hook stick. Three other men were detained and questioned about the incident, but were not arrested.
‘You can only use hook sticks or spear guns or any type of piercing instruments, if you’re in 20 feet or more depth of water,’ said RCIPS spokesperson Deborah Denis. ‘These guys were just off the shore, so they shouldn’t have been using these hook sticks.’
The Cayman Islands Marine Law also requires people who use such devices to be licenced.
Police said a group of men was spotted acting suspiciously on the beach near the Bodden Town police station by an off-duty customs officer on his way home.
Marine officers, police from Bodden Town, and a helicopter responded and officers determined the men were looking for lobster. Two men were in the water fishing, the other three were on the shore.
The helicopter was called to the scene for air support, according to an RCIPS press release.
The Cayman Islands also has strict limits about how many lobster or conch can be collected on a fishing trip, but Ms Denis said it appears the men were not in violation of those laws.