Lobster season has come to a close.

The National Conservation Law sets the closed season for lobster from March 1 through Nov. 30, and nobody is allowed to take lobster from Cayman waters during that period. People are also prohibited from purchasing, receiving or possessing lobster taken from Cayman waters during that time.

The closed seasons are designed to give a protected species a chance to repopulate in the wild.

“We’ve already warned for prosecution a number of individuals for exceeding take or possession limits during this open lobster season,” said Mark Orr, chief conservation officer for the Department of Environment. “Those caught illegally taking lobster or other protected species during a closed season will face potential prosecution and may be fined or imprisoned.”

The National Conservation Law sets a general penalty of up to four years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500,000 for successful prosecution related to illegal removal of marine protected species.

The DoE warned the public Thursday that the closed season for Nassau grouper continues during spawning season through April 30. The penalties for taking or possessing grouper are the same as for lobster.

“These rules are in place for a good reason, that is to help ensure the sustainability of our marine species for more generations to come,” said Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour.

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