50 years ago: Fishing and marine conservation

In the Feb. 9, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, Cayman Brac correspondent Lilian Ritch reported:

“Dr. and Mrs. C.P. Idyll made a brief visit to the islands a fortnight ago. Dr. Idyll is chairman of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Miami, member of the faculty of the University of Miami Department of Research and Fisheries and instructor of marine science.

“On Jan. 25, there was a public meeting at the court house, Stake Bay which was well attended.

“The Chairman was Mr. D.H. Foster, District Commissioner. Mr. J.A. Ryan, who officially represented the Cayman Islands a the International Conference on Tropical Oceanography in Miami Beach in November last year, introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Idyll.

“Dr. Idyll led a stimulating discourse on the ‘Conservation of Fisheries.’ The best concept is ‘Wise Use,’ meaning the fisherman must know how to catch the maximum professionally, while enabling the stocks to maintain themselves.

“The sportsman wants desperately to conserve the fish population – he seeks the pleasure of mastery and release, the commercial fisherman of necessity brings the population down to its lowest level.

“Where interests are simultaneous the protective measure is priority – the yielding of one group to the other, in the use of a particular bank.

“He explained conservation laws and the essentiality of international cooperation to protect spawning grounds. In questions and answers he gave useful information.”