More poached conch found

Two men were arrested last week after they were found with 64 conch and one lobster in the second major conch poaching incident of this season.

Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers stopped a van in the East End area Tuesday and found the conch and lobster during a search of the vehicle.

The men, aged 35 and 33, were arrested on suspicion of taking conch over the prescribed limit and taking lobster out of season.

‘They said it was for a party they were going to have,’ said Department of Environment Marine Enforcement Supervisor Ronnie Dougall. ‘They were going to cook them up for the party.’

Mr. Dougall said the van the men were in was a company vehicle. He did not identify the company.

‘The law states they can seize the vehicle,’ Mr. Dougall said. ‘If you get your company vehicle taken from you that’s your job and everything isn’t it?’

Conch season started on 1 November; however no one person is allowed to take more than five conch from local waters on a given day. Lobster season opened Saturday.

In late October, a 60-year-old man was taken into custody after DoE officers found him with 94 conch along the beach off Old Prospect Road. He was arrested for taking conch out of season, taking conch over the prescribed limit, and taking conch from a designated replenishment zone.

Cayman has made efforts in recent years to limit the taking of conch and lobster because of concerns about the reductions in the local populations over time.