At the end of October we carried a story about a man being caught with 94 illegal conch.
We even editorialised on how wrong it is to illegally take conch.
So we were amazed to learn that last weekend there was a conch eating contest on Grand Cayman.
We have done so much to protect conch in this country so that supply doesn’t run out for future generations.
Replinishment zones have been established in which it is illegal to take conch and there is a cap on the number of conch anyone can take from the sea.
It seems odd that we go out of our way to protect conch and then have a contest to see who can eat the most of the delicacy.
In all fairness we are told that the conch consumed at the contest came from another country; that the conch wasn’t taken from our waters.
But frankly, it doesn’t matter.
Protecting conch in the Cayman Islands is the right thing to do, but if something is right it has to look right too.
Holding a contest to promote eating something we as a country are trying to protect is wrong; it doesn’t look right.
This was not a celebration of conch in the Cayman Islands, especially if those participating weren’t consuming Cayman conch.
And thank goodness they weren’t.
The contest was billed as the first one to be held in the Cayman Islands. We hope it is the last.
It may have seemed like a good idea and apparently did draw a good crowd, but we would hope that in the future those planning such events would consider Caymanians, our heritage and efforts to preserve dwindling sea life like the conch.
Would they have a panda eating contest in China?
We think not.
Frankly, there should be a ban on an eating contest involving any animal that is considered to be endangered.