GO ON A LOBSTER & CONCH HUNTING TRIP
The period from December 1st to February 28th is a highly anticipated time year for many people in the Cayman Islands, as this is the opening of lobster season. During these three months both residents and visitors are permitted to find, catch, and eat Caribbean spiny lobsters – as long as they abide by the Marine Conservation Laws set by the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment (see below).
The rest of the year, taking lobster from Cayman’s waters is strictly prohibited and severe penalties are enforced.
What type of Lobster do you find in Grand Cayman
Of the six species of lobster found in the western Atlantic, the Caribbean spiny lobster is the most abundant, and the only species that may be taken from Cayman waters. So called because of the numerous spines that cover their heads and carapaces, spiny lobsters have beautiful markings ranging in color from a pale cream through orange, brown and violet, with bright yellow to white spots on the sides of their carapace and tail sections.
Where do you catch them?
You can catch the lobsters in the North Sound while snorkeling and you do not have to dive down deep. Most lobster are caught in less than 10ft of water. While you dive down you can also find conch which are delicious as well.
They tend to conceal themselves under ledges or in holes and crevices in the reef, backing themselves into these sheltered spots, so that they can face their potential predators head on. This means that often the only part of the lobster visible to snorkelers and divers are the thin, segmented antennae that they wave back and forth in the entrance to their lairs.
How to Catch Lobster
“In order to catch lobster you are supplied with a snare. Snares are simple hollow sticks, with a loop of wire on one end, that operate on the same principle as a lasso, tightening when pulled. The snares are eased around behind and then over the lobster, then closed quickly and tightly around them. Once snagged, they are checked to make sure they are not carrying eggs.
SEE THIS VIDEO TO GET AN IDEA HOW IT WORKS
Have lunch prepared from your fresh caught lobster
The perfect end of the day of lobstering is when they are brought back to the boat and prepared for lunch. Several restaurants will prepare your fresh catch for a small fee.
LOBSTERS (Panulirus argus )
Season: 1 December through February 28.
Open season catch limit: Three per person or six per boat per day, whichever is less.
Size limit: Six inch tail minimum size.
Only spiny lobster (P. argus) may be taken.
CONCH (Strombus gigas)
Season: 1 May through 31 October.
Open season catch limit: Five per person or ten per boat per day, whichever is less. (10 per boat with two or more people.)
Only queen conch (S. gigas) may be taken.