Man investigated after catching parrotfish – The Royal Gazette | Bermuda News, Business, Sports, Events, & Community

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Man investigated after catching parrotfish

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A fisherman who posted a picture of himself on social media after catching a rainbow parrotfish — a species protected under law — is being investigated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The investigation was sparked after the photo appeared on the Bermuda Memes Facebook page of the man, believed to be a tourist, holding up his catch.

Following a backlash of online comments, a second photo was posted later in the day showing the man releasing the live fish back into the water along with a statement claiming that the catch was unintentional and that the fisherman did not realise the fish was a protected species.

Contacted by this newspaper, the Ministry of the Environment said it was looking into the incident and issued guidelines and advice that was available online and printed on stickers and signs located around the island.

A spokeswoman said: “Although you can target certain fish with a particular type of bait or size of hook, when fishing with hook and line there is little control over what will bite.

“Parrotfish are herbivores and primarily graze on algae so are not easily caught by hook and line, but may take a baited hook if it looks like an easy meal.

“If a protected or undersized fish is caught, every effort should be made to release it without doing further harm.”

All foreign sportsfishing vessels are provided with an information package containing key fishing regulations when the fishing licence is issued.

The details are at www.gov.bm/online-services/apply-foreign-sports-fishing-vessel-licence.

You can also find the general fishing regulations online at www.gov.bm/fishing-restrictions-and-catch-limits.

Stickers for measuring fish, which also contain information on protected species, are available for collection at Coney Island or at the Botanical Gardens as well as boating and fishing shops.

Signs in English, Spanish and Portuguese are posted at ten key fishing hotspots, while you can find information on protected species at https://www.gov.bm/bermudas-protected-species, and http://environment.bm/protected-species.

Protected species: this photograph of a fisherman catching a rainbow parrotfish has sparked an investigation by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

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Published July 15, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated July 15, 2016 at 8:27 am)

Man investigated after catching parrotfish

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