and were strengthened in 1993. The rules prohibit destructive acts such as
damaging coral by anchor, chains or other means anywhere in Cayman
waters; the taking of any marine life while scuba diving; the taking of any
coral, sponges, sea fans or other marine specimens; the use of a spear gun
or seine net; fishing with gill nets or poison; dumping anything into the
water; exporting any form of marine life.
MARINE PROTECTION AREAS
The laws designate four special areas of protection: marine park
zones, replenishment zones, environmental zones, and no-diving
In marine park zones it is illegal to take any marine life, alive
or dead, except by line fishing from the shore or beyond the
drop-off. Anchoring is permitted only at fixed moorings in-
stalled by the Department of Environment's Protection and
Lobster and conch are protected in the replenishment zones .
Spear guns, pole spears, fish traps, and fish nets are prohibited
in these regions; only line fishing is allowed. Anchoring is per-
Environmental zones receive some of the strictest protection
under the law. Here, no marine life may be taken or disturbed;
anchoring is prohibited, as are all activities in the water. Part of
the North Sound on Grand Cayman is covered by these strin-
gent rules in order to protect breeding areas for fish and other
No-diving zones were created to protect the cultural heritage
as well as the environment of the Cayman Islands. This desig-
nation marks a region as off-limits for scuba diving to protect
the waters for traditional Cayman fishing. These special zones
have been set aside off the north coast of Grand Cayman.
Marine laws also limit the amount of catch. Lobster can be caught only
during season (August 1 through January 30th). Even then, only adult
spiny lobsters with a six-inch minimum tail size may be taken. Each per-
son may take up to five, but no more than 15 per boat, per day. Up to 15
conch may be taken per person (or 20 per boat), per day. Only adult
conchs, those with fully developed lips, may be harvested. Grouper are
protected during the winter spawning season (January).
For more about the Marine Conservation Laws, ask for a copy of the bro-
chure Marine Park Rules and The Sea Code in the Cayman Islands ; or call
the Cayman Islands Dept. of Environment's Protection and Conservation
Unit on Grand Cayman at
345-949-8469 or fax 345-949-8912.