Lobster season begins

The Department of Environment advises the public that open season for lobster began on Tuesday 1 December, 2009 and will run until 28 February 2010.

During the open season, the catch limit for lobster is three per person or six per boat per day, whichever is less.

Lobsters caught must have a minimum tail length of six inches and only spiny lobster may be taken. They may not be taken from any marine protected area at any time.

The Department of Environment also reminded the public not to use spear guns, including Hawaiian slings, pole spears, harpoons, hook-sticks or any device with a pointed end which can be used to impale, stab or pierce any marine life, without a licence from the Marine Conservation Board. The only exception is a striker – a wooden pole, no shorter than 10ft, with two or fewer barb-less prongs to one end.

It is also a violation of the Marine Conservation Law in Cayman for anyone to take marine life alive or dead while scuba diving, to wear gloves while diving or snorkelling, and to fish with gill nets, poison or other noxious substances.

A violation of the Marine Conservation Law carries a maximum penalty of CI$500,000 fine and one year in jail. Upon conviction, forfeiture of the vessel or other equipment may also be ordered.

The Department also warned that venomous lionfish may be present in holes where lobsters hide. If stung, individuals should seek medical attention immediately.

To report violations, contact the DoE at 916-4271 (Grand Cayman), 926-0136 (Cayman Brac), or 926-2342 (Little Cayman) or call 911.