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Obey Marine Laws!

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) is warning people that they must obey the marine conservation laws or they will face arrest.

The warning comes after officers in West Bay arrested a 39-year-old man who was found to be in possession of 45 conchs - 40 more than the daily allowance prescribed in law. Officers were on patrol in the Barkers area when the man was spotted and searched.

For conch, the daily allowance is five per person or ten per boat, whichever is less.

The law further stipulates that no-one may purchase or receive more than five conchs from Cayman waters in one day - this includes restaurants.

"Due to the amount of conchs this man had, itís highly likely that he was supplying people or restaurants and chances are they were buying more than they are allowed," said Sergeant Everton Spence. "Restaurants should be reminded that this is a criminal offence."

The conch and whelk season opened on Saturday, November 1, 2008 and runs until April 30, 2009.

The open season catch limit for whelk is 2.5 gallons in the shell or 2.5 pounds of processed whelks per day. Also, as with conchs, no-one may buy or receive more than this quota.

People should also remember that no-one can take conch or whelks from any marine protected area and that chitons, periwinkles and bleeding teeth may not be taken from Cayman waters at any time.

Violating the marine park regulations and conservation laws carries a maximum penalty of CI$500,000 and one yearís imprisonment. If convicted, the court can also order the forfeiture of a personís boat or other equipment used.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.