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Grouper Moon success shows value of science-driven conservation policy

Scientists on the long running Grouper Moon project told Cayman 27 this years turnout of some 5,000 to 7,000 thousand Nassau grouper at the Little Cayman spawning aggregation showed the value of science-driven management policy.

Dr. Scott Heppell of REEF and Oregon State University joined the Grouper Moon team in 2005. He said what was an impressive site back in those days, when the population was somewhere around 2,000 fish, is now a spectacle on a grander scale.

“It demonstrates that the path forward that the Cayman government took, through the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Environment, working with REEF, working with the academics to generate the information they needed to make appropriate decisions, and then actually making those decisions has really benefited the number of fish that are out there,” said Dr. Heppell.

The DOE told Cayman 27 Cayman Brac’s spawning aggregation is showing positive signs, but Grand Cayman’s reproductive population is beyond struggling.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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