Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fishing ban extended for the Nassau Grouper

BYM Marine Environment News
December 17, 2011

Dr. Guy Harvey applauds decision but says more needs to be done.
A groundswell of public support generated by Guy Harvey¹s latest film The Mystery of the Grouper Moon has prompted the Marine Conservation Board of the Cayman Islands to extend a ban on fishing the Nassau grouper spawning aggregation site near Little Cayman.

The Board, this week, voted to extend the current moratorium another eight years after reviewing extensive research conducted by REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) and Oregon State University and a public education campaign supported by the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE). The existing ban, in place since 2003, was due to expire at the end of the year. The penalty for catching Nassau grouper in a spawning aggregation site between November and March is up to one year in prison or up to $500,000 in fines.

"The Cayman Islands are celebrating the 25 anniversary since the formation of the first marine park here, so it is fitting that such a strong conservation effort has been made by the MCB and that common sense has prevailed," said Dr. Harvey.

In filming the research work being conducted by REEF, Guy Harvey and award-winning filmmaker George Schellenger created a compelling and informative 45-minute documentary The Mystery of the Grouper Moon. The film's purpose was to document the research and make the results available in layman's language to the residents of the Cayman Islands. The documentary (for a preview go to was shot entirely in the Cayman Islands and was supported by REEF and the DOE. The GHOF also supported the education campaign with custom artwork.
More work, however, needs to be done, according to Dr. Harvey, an internationally celebrated marine artist and a professor of marine biology, who makes his home in the Cayman Islands.  See the whole story here.

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