(CMR) Four men could be charged with several offenses after they were caught fishing in the Marine Reserve near Rum Point Channel last Wednesday, 2 February. The Department of Environment said conservation officers seized a boat and a Honda CRV, which the men were using.
Reports are that the DoE conservation officers responded to a report from the public of suspicious activity in the protected Marine Reserve.
A vessel was intercepted with persons in the water in the area. An Officer searched the area around the boat and recovered two net bags containing 51 fish of various species and 8 lobster, which all appeared to have been taken with spear guns from within the Marine Reserve. The seized seafood was donated to a local charity.
Four men are now facing several possible charges, including taking marine life from a Marine Reserve, possession of an unlicensed spear gun, Taking marine life with an unlicensed spear gun, taking lobster above the daily limit, and taking fish under 8-inch length.
Had the spear guns been licensed, the DoE said the following charges would also have been applicable: taking parrotfish with a spear gun, taking lobster with a spear gun and, exceeding the daily limit of fish that may be taken with a spear gun.
The public is reminded that violations of Marine Park, spear gun license, and catch limit regulations are criminal offenses that will be prosecuted. Breaches of the National Conservation Act should be reported to DoE Conservation Officers at 916 4271. Active poaching can also be reported to 911.
Persons can download the DoECayman app to know the Marine Park boundaries, fishing season, and catch limits in seconds on their phone or visit doe.ky/marine-parks.