Visitor wants licence to fish in Cayman

| 06/08/2018

I will be visiting in September. I would like to buy a fishing licence so I can fish from shore. Where can I buy one for a non-resident?

Advance ChevroletAuntie’s answer: There is no requirement to get a fishing licence in the Cayman Islands, either for residents or visitors. A Department of Environment (DoE) official explained that Cayman has never required a licence to fish, though there are certain rules that need to be followed when fishing from shore, which you have asked about.

You can read a copy of the DoE’s “Rules for Cayman Islands Protected Areas” here, which specifies where fishing is allowed and where it is prohibited.

The document summarises the conservations laws here, which clearly set out what you can fish for and any minimum size limits. It also details what fish are protected and the dates for the various open seasons, as well as what marine life you must absolutely leave alone, such as turtles, sharks and rays. By the way, if you do accidentally catch a shark or ray, you must release it unharmed.

Another useful tool that the official recommended is the DoE Siren app for your smartphone, which pulls up not just the maps and rules, but also the rules as they apply to where you are on the map. “The reporting functions of the app are not currently working but the rules at your location work. A great resource for anyone out and about, at least if they’re not incurring roaming charges when they use it,” the official said.

Of particular relevance to you is that while the marine parks system has various zones, “line fishing from shore is currently allowed in all of them, except the Environmental Zone but there is no land-accessible shoreline in that zone so visitors do not need to worry about knowing where they are when shore fishing”.

If you have more specific questions you need to ask about fishing, you can email DoE directly.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Environmental Questions

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why is there no requirement? Including passing a test. The Cayman islands waters are precious and should be preserved. It is also another way to make extra income for the government. Make it a simple $10 fee for locals and everyong else $150. The $10 can increase over the next five years to $50 with a mandatory refresher course every 5 years for locals. The $150 can be valid for X period of time and is only issued once the individuals pass the exam that covers important details about conservation in the Cayman Islands.

  2. Note 1: What DoE told auntie was “There have never been fishing licence requirements for visitors.” No disrespect to Auntie. Our answer was quite long and she had to condense it for publication.

    Note 2: The Marine Conservation Law did (for a time) have a requirement (section 19) for (in simple terms) work permit holders to have a licence if fishing from the shore (unless catch-and-release fishing). That was not carried over to the new National Conservation Law, which replaced/repealed the Marine Conservation Law. (As written it was not compatible with the then-new Bill of Rights.)

    Therefore, Auntie is correct that currently “there is no requirement to get a fishing licence in the Cayman Islands, either for residents or visitors.”

    Hopefully that clears up the confusion created for some by one line in the article. Or just download the brochure with all of the information if you want to double-check any rules.

  3. Anonymous says:

    A license is required according to the Marine Conservation Law.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Auntie – please refer to s. 19 of the Marine Conservation Law (2013 Revision). A license is absolutely required according to that law. Please have a look at it. There appear to be a number of instances recently where government departments are telling you something that appears at variance with the laws of Cayman. In fact, this latest case may be inviting people to commit offenses under our laws. Could you please shed som light?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile if I fish in any other country in the world I must obtain a fishing license and pay for it!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I thought visitors weren’t allowed to fish from shore…guess that changed…

    • Anonymous says:

      According to the marine conservation law it appears all non Caymanians need a license to fish “for keeps” in Cayman. I have not heard of this changing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Always have been allowed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except it is a crime. Kind of like fronting. The laws say it is an offence but the authorities do nothing.

        • Anonymous says:

          Visitors and Caymanians don’t need a license. “Residents” need a license, but nobody issues them. Doesn’t matter since nothing is enforced.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey several years ago the government either introduced or planned to introduce a fishing license. It was $150 but was a policy change that somehow got watered down over the years. Please check your facts again. There was also a one time fee for tournaments of $400.