Regulating use of spear guns

| 18/09/2018

What are the current laws on importing spear guns or spear gun parts? Can any Caymanian with a clean police record obtain a spear gun licence?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian statusAuntie’s answer: I contacted the Department of Environment (DoE) and an official explained that the spear gun licensing programme is being updated to take into account the amendments that were added under the National Conservation Law. When the Ministry of Environment and National Conservation Council complete this exercise, there will be a press release issued.

Meanwhile, addressing your question, only Caymanians over 18 who hold a spear gun licence issued from 2015 onward will be able to renew their licence at the moment. To do so, the person needs to have a clean police record, as you said, as well as a clean conservation enforcement record in relation to such things as marine offences and licence conditions.

The official added, “Government has recognised that there needs to be a clearer process for persons with spear gun licences interested in importing replacement parts or guns,” pointing out the Ministry of Environment is considering updates to the government’s policy in this regard.

For this as well, a press release will be issued “once the process has been finalised and all regulations are in place to allow this importation”.

The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie, Environmental Questions

Comments (4)

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  1. spearing is better than line fishing says:

    This is an example of the DOE thinking that they make the Law. If the NC Law say Caymanians over 18 can possess a speargu n why is the DOE trying to over rule the Legislative Assembly who make the Law?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Give it to OfReg. They probably know as much about spearguns as they do the other things they are paid to regulate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Getting a license to hold a spear gun used to be fairly easy for anyone, including expats – one license holder per spear gun – go to the DOE with clean police record and pay prescribed fee. Whereas the actual spear guns themselves were rare. Many were positively-buoyant wooden antiques from the early 80’s and 70’s, needing parts, and covered under a moratorium restricting to current landed local supply, and made it illegal to bring in replacement parts like surgical tubing bands, and spear tips. They were traded like gold.

    Some old families had more than one in their household inventory, so you’d need two card-holding, paid-up, licensed speargun operators to go into the water with two, and so on. Back in the 1990s there were DOE officers that would show up in a Whaler and challenge divers for ID. Was like this for at least last 20 years.

    This has now become a political “let us have our birthright” for select Caymanians (championed by Ezzard), with a desire to loosen the restriction on new weapons and parts. Not sure if there is even a clean police record requirement anymore, but I hope I’m wrong on that.

    Bad news for our reefs, and remaining much-depleted fish stocks. I stopped renewing mine when I saw the depletion first hand…others keep going and going and going…it’s the tragedy of the commons.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “an official explained that the spear gun licensing programme is being updated to take into account the amendments that were added under the National Conservation Law.”

    They have been “updating” spear fishing regulations for the last 20 years!! All spearfishing has become in Cayman is a political tool. Politicians from the eastern districts campaign on the promise of loosening up the spearfishing regulations. Then when they’re elected we never hear about it again! Frigging con artists!!