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Cayman Island Nassau Grouper Fishing Ban...


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#1 wydeangle

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 04:04 PM

...is expiring. Care to help?

I got this announcement today from REEF. Please help if you can!

Dear friend of the Nassau grouper,
We need your help to save the Nassau Grouper. An 8-year ban on fishing at spawning aggregations in the Cayman Islands is due to expire this year. You can help support permanent protections during the spawning season so that this endangered species can continue to reproduce. This will ensure that the Nassau grouper will continue to be an icon in the Cayman Islands for generations to come. Please make your voice heard by sending a letter to the officials listed below. Action is needed by March 31st, 2011.
Premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush – McKeeva.Bush@gov.ky

Minister of Environment, Hon. Mark Scotland – Mark.Scotland@gov.ky
Leader of the Opposition - ppm@candw.ky and mclawcayman@gmail.com
Marine Conservation Board, Chairman, Don Foster – dfoster@candw.ky
Marine Conservation Board, Secretary, Phillippe Bush - Phillippe.Bush@gov.ky
Director of Department of Environment, Gina Ebanks-Petrie –
Gina.Ebanks-Petrie@gov.ky
If you would prefer to mail a hard copy of your letter, please mail it to: Department of the Environment, Gina Ebanks-Petrie, Cayman Islands Government, PO Box 486, Grand Cayman KY1-1106, Cayman Islands
Here is a sample letter. Please take a moment to personalize it, or just simply send it as is:

***********************
Dear Honorable Officials of the Cayman Islands:
Please enact permanent protections to save the iconic Nassau grouper before the existing prohibition on fishing the aggregation sites expires. Don’t miss this opportunity to continue to be at the forefront of Caribbean marine conservation.
The Cayman Islands is recognized as a leader in the region, starting 25 years ago with the establishment of an extensive network of marine parks. In 2003, this tradition was continued with the forethought to protect spawning aggregations of Nassau Grouper through a ban on fishing at these important sites. These actions collectively have lead to the Cayman Islands having some of the healthiest reefs throughout the Caribbean, including the largest known population of Nassau Grouper in the world and one of the last healthy spawning sites in the Caribbean.
Intensive research conducted on Nassau grouper over the past 9 years as part of Grouper Moon Project by the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment and REEF has indicated these actions are indeed working. The ban has resulted in higher numbers of this endangered species in Cayman waters. This benefits everyone, including the future generations of Caymanians, divers and snorkelers, and fishermen. A healthy population of Nassau Grouper is also critical for healthy and productive coral reefs.
Other countries such as Belize, Mexico, and the Bahamas have already taken decisive action to protect what remains of their spawning populations. If the Cayman Islands fail to enact permanent protections, the last remaining viable spawning aggregation of Nassau Grouper in the Caribbean will be lost. As you may know, these fish only reproduce during their spawning season and only at specific sites, therefore protection during this critical time period is essential.
A fishing closure for Nassau grouper during the spawning season should be implemented. I urge you to take this critical step -- please protect this vital part of the Cayman Islands’ economy and cultural heritage! Thank you for your consideration and attention.



#2 Giles

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 06:45 PM

I am not sure this is true ... the Dept of Environment just extended there previous ban on grouper hole fishing .. to the disgust of local fishermen and the joy of everyone else.

http://www.compassca...wns-discontent/
Excerpt below:

East End fishermen are angry after a meeting with environmental officials revealed that it might be another eight years before they can fish Coxswain Bank – a breeding ground for groupers.

The eight-year ban on fishing Nassau Grouper breeding grounds was first considered in 2003 and scheduled to come to an end this year.

Fuming fishermen dominated the recent meeting despite attempts by Department of Environment officials to keep order.


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#3 wydeangle

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:56 AM

Giles,

Not sure what is true????

Here are quotes from the article you cited:

The eight-year ban on fishing Nassau Grouper breeding grounds was first considered in 2003 and scheduled to come to an end this year.

and

It’s still being determined whether the ban will be lifted after 2011.

Please clarify your comment?

Tom

I am not sure this is true ... the Dept of Environment just extended there previous ban on grouper hole fishing .. to the disgust of local fishermen and the joy of everyone else.

http://www.compassca...wns-discontent/
Excerpt below:



#4 Giles

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:29 PM

I meant to write they plan to extend the ban on grouper hole fishing.

And yes I guess it is true that the ban is expiring, but I was under the impression it was just another 8 year ban they were looking for not a permanent protection. Thats why the fishermen were complaining it would be 16 years of not fishing the grouper holes. Just the time period I was querying. Permanent would be great but another 8 years would definitely not be a bad thing either.

http://www.cayman27..../news/item/8590
tv interview with the DOE there.

interestingly though when i watched this the DOE are talking about a permanent ban
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#5 adamhanlon

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:23 PM

Hi all,

There is a petition that will be put in front of the Cayman government on this issue:

Every year, thousands of endangered Nassau Grouper assemble on a single reef on Little Cayman for an annual spawning aggregation (SPAG) of epic proportions. These SPAGs happen only once or twice a year, and are the species' only way of repopulating - no other mating occurs. Thousands of fish assembled at one point for up to a week make an obvious target for fishermen, and hundreds of similar spawning aggregations throughout the Caribbean have been wiped out by intense fishing pressures. Consequently, the Nassau Grouper has become an endangered species and is increasingly a rarity in Caribbean waters. The SPAG on Little Cayman has been protected for the past seven years, resulting in tangible and significant increases in the island's grouper population. Come December 2011, this critical protection will end unless the Cayman Islands' government passes legislation banning fishing of this aggregation. Help us keep the Little Cayman SPAG - the last of it's kind - healthy for future generations of divers and fishermen alike! less


It is available to sign here.

Adam.

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