|Public Prosecutor: tolerance policy for control of lionfish|
|Thursday, 11 October 2012 15:41|
WILLEMSTAD — As from October 8, the Public Prosecutor of Curaçao pursues a tolerance policy to control the invasive species lionfish, until further notice. The Public Prosecutor will not prosecute persons in organized groups that hunt the lionfish in the territorial waters around Curaçao.
“The tolerance policy only applies when the so-called ‘ELF’ or pole spears are used. The use of other objects such as the ‘Hawaiian sling’ or spear guns is absolutely forbidden. This special instruction was proclaimed because experts express the urgency to control the lionfish in the Curaçao waters, according to a press report from the Public Prosecutor.
The Public Prosecutor emphasized that organized groups hunting the lionfish with the ‘ELF’ or the pole spear remain responsible for the registration of their members and maintaining contact with the Coastguard on this matter. The fish species has very negative consequences for the local coral reeves and the underwater flora and fauna.
“However, the current legislation of Curaçao prohibits hunting with underwater guns or similar means. An amendment of this legislation will take some time. For this reason the Public Prosecutor chose for an instruction, a temporary tolerance policy.” The Public Prosecutor emphasizes that aforementioned tolerance policy only applies to control the lionfish. Persons hunting other fish can be prosecuted and their hunting means could be confiscated.