The Department of Environment (DoE) reminds the public that persons can legally fish for conchs and whelks from Tuesday, 1 November 2016 to Sunday, 30 April 2017.

Only queen conch (Strombus gigas) can be taken. The catch limit is either five conch per person or 10 per boat (with two or more people), whichever is fewer.

For whelks, 2.5 gallons in shells or 2.5 pounds of processed whelks per person are allowed each day. The Chiton, periwinkle and bleeding teeth species cannot be taken at any time.

'Now that the open seasons for conch and whelks have begun, it is important that persons in the community abide by the catch regulations', said DoE Senior Research Officer John Bothwell. 'Only responsible consumption of these species can ensure their existence for future generations'.

The closed season for conch and whelks is 1 May until 31 October. During the closed season, it is illegal to take, purchase, receive or possess conchs and whelks originating from Cayman waters.

'We urge persons to not support poaching. Don't buy from individuals who have taken more than the daily limit. It is a crime and should be reported to authorities', Mr Bothwell said.

Persons who suspect poaching of conchs and whelks can call 911, or DoE enforcement officers directly:

  • Grand Cayman: 916-4271
  • Cayman Brac: 926-0136
  • Little Cayman: 916-7021

For more information on conch and whelk seasons, contact the DoE on 949-8649 or email

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