The annual conch and whelk season, which opened on Tuesday, Nov. 1, continues until April 30, 2017, according to the Department of Environment.
“Only responsible consumption of these species can ensure their existence for future generations.”
The department advises that only queen conch can be taken. The catch limit is either five conchs per person or 10 per boat (with two or more people), whichever is fewer.
For whelks, 2.5 gallons in shells or 2.5 pounds of processed whelks per person are allowed each day. The chiton, periwinkle and bleeding teeth species cannot be taken at any time.
“Now that the open seasons for conch and whelks have begun, it is important that persons in the community abide by the catch regulations,” said DoE Senior Research Officer John Bothwell. “Only responsible consumption of these species can ensure their existence for future generations.”
The closed season for conchs and whelks is May 1 to Oct. 31. During the closed season, it is illegal to take, purchase, receive or possess conchs and whelks originating from Cayman waters.
“We urge persons to not support poaching. Don’t buy from individuals who have taken more than the daily limit. It is a crime and should be reported to authorities,” Mr. Bothwell said.
Anyone who suspects poaching of conchs and whelks can call 911, or DoE enforcement officers at 916-4271 on Grand Cayman, 926-0136 on Cayman Brac or 916-7021 on Little Cayman.
For more information on conch and whelk seasons, contact the DoE on 949-8649 or email DoE@gov.ky.