Jail in conch offence

Two men entered pleas of “guilty with explanation” on Tuesday when charged with taking seven conch during closed season.

After hearing them explain, Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale ordered them to serve 14 days imprisonment.

James Douglas Ebanks, 57, and Phil Kenrick Reynolds, 54, said they were unemployed and wanted the conch to eat.

“Why do we have a conch season?” the magistrate asked. “To preserve the stock for future generations. If everybody without a job took seven conch, by the end of one year there would be no conch left and your children’s children will not know what a conch looks like.”

She suggested the men raise produce.

One defendant replied that he didn’t have any land.

The men admitted taking the conch from waters in the Barkers area of West Bay on 16 September, 2010.

Closed season is May to October, inclusive.

A summary of facts indicated that the men were seen in a boat.

As a police vessel approached them, someone threw conch overboard and the boat moved away.

The suspect boat was stopped and an officer snorkelled from it to where it had been anchored.

The officer found seven conch on the seabed.

They were photographed and returned to a replenishment zone nearby.

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