We are very excited to share some great news from our Grouper Moon Project colleagues at Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE) – on April 1, 2019, the Cabinet of the Cayman Islands approved the most significant expansion and enhancement to Cayman’s existing marine parks system since the areas were established in 1986. The “no take” zones, including marine parks/reserves, environmental zones, and wildlife interaction zones, will increase from a national average of approximately 14% to 48%.
DOE staff have been working on this law for almost 10 years, and its passage is a great accomplishment. As shown by their progressive management of Nassau Grouper in the passage of the National Conservation Law in 2016, the Cayman Islands are again leading the pack in the Caribbean for progressive, science-based protections. In addition to an extensive network of use zones, as part of the new law, all current and historical spawning aggregations will be completely closed to fishing for any species during spawning months of December through April. Not only will this help protect the Nassau Grouper, but also the 20+other species that our Grouper Moon team has documented using these special places to reproduce.
For more information on the new Marine Parks Law, visit the DOE webpage.