Culture Environment News

Anonymous tip comes to DOE showing slain shark evidence

The Department of Environment said a photo was reported anonymously Saturday, showing at least seven dead sharks.

Just days after DOE officials made a plea on Cayman 27 last week to let sharks live, a photo showing the carcasses of at least seven Cuban dogfish was reported to DOE.
The DOE told Cayman 27 they are Cuban dogfish (squalus cubenisis), a deep-water species that usually occur around Cayman. The DOE said there is very little information about Cuban dogfish populations or the population, but said like most sharks they produce few offspring which make them vulnerable to fishing.

“Deep water shark populations such as the Cuban dogfish are particularly vulnerable because we know even less about them compared to our coastal and pelagic sharks in Cayman,” said DOE Shark Researcher Johanna Kohler in an email.

“Let the sharks live when you accidentally catch them,” DOE Senior Research Officer John Bothwell told Cayman 27 last week. “Just cut the line as close as you feel comfortable and let the shark swim away.”
This report comes days after DOE officials released a reminder to the public that all shark species are protected in Cayman’s waters. That warning was prompted by multiple incidents of illegal shark take and reports of injured sharks  on Cayman Brac.
One such incident on Cayman Brac went viral back in March when Reef Divers’ instructor Brett Johnson was filmed removing a 12 inch knife from a nurse shark’s head.
Penalties for taking protected species like sharks and rays can reach up to $500,000 and four years in jail, and the seizure of any boats or equipment involved.
Tags conservation cuban dogfish protected species shark populations sharks

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 or send an email to

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