Published On: Wed, Oct 10th, 2012

Public Prosecution allows Lionfish hunting

WILLEMSTAD - The Public Prosecution of Curaçao, effective October 8, 2012, and until further notice, will not prosecute organized groups for lionfish hunting in territorial waters around Curacao.

The tolerance applies only in the case of using so-called 'ELF' or pole spear. Other objects like hawaian sling 'or spear gun is expressly prohibited. This particular instruction is issued because the urgency to fight Lionfish (Coral Devil) in Curaçao waters, according to experts, the population is very high.

The Prosecution emphasizes that organizations hunting in a group on the Lionfish with the ELF or pole spear is approved, but they are responsible for the registration of their members and to maintain communication with the Coast Guard in this regard.

The Lionfish is an invasive species which has very negative consequences for the local Curaçao coral reefs and underwater flora and fauna. The current legislation of Curaçao however prohibits underwater hunting and amending this legislation will take some time. For this reason the Prosecution has chosen a statement stating that this will be temporarily tolerated.

The Prosecution emphasizes that the above tolerance policy only applies to the control of the Lionfish. Persons who hunt other fish, may be prosecuted and their hunting equipment can be seized.

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