The Department of Environment told Cayman 27 improved Nassau Grouper regulations in the National Conservation Law satisfactorily address local threats, even as the species was re-designated as critically endangered last November.
These regulations included instituting the current five-month closed season for Nassau grouper fishing (from 1 December through 1 April,) as well as, bag and size limits during open season.
The DOE said it will keep these regulations under review, to be informed by results of its annual Grouper Moon study.
“The critically endangered designation does reinforce that the Cayman Islands must remain vigilant regarding the number of Nassau Grouper that may be taken at one time in the open season. The Cayman Islands cannot relax our Nassau grouper regulations if we are to achieve a healthy population in the future,” said DOE director Gina Ebanks-Petrie in a statement.
Scientists from the DOE and the Reef Environmental Education Foundation are continuing the long-running Grouper Moon research project on all three islands through the end of February.