by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Agriculture ministry to impose hunting moratorium to conserve species
- Closed season 1 January to 30 September 2019
- Illegal hunting punishable with $1,000 fine or 6 months imprisonment
The hunting of game species such as the Greater Chapman’s Murine Opossum Marmosa Robinsoni Chapmani, also known as the Manicou, during the closed season may result in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries taking decisive action to impose a hunting moratorium.
Anthony Jeremiah, Acting Chief Forestry Officer reacted to a recent post on social media of a hunter advertising the sale of Manicou during the closed season. The image posted on Facebook shows several Manicous lined up in orderly fashion next to an air rifle with the above caption “For sale. Link Up!!!!”
The most recent survey states that Manicou is over-harvested and if hunters persist, the ministry will have no other choice but to impose a temporary prohibition on hunting. Jeremiah has blamed illegal hunting for the over-harvesting of Manicou, stating that the ban will be imposed if hunters do not comply with the regulations. “We just operate at an optimum in terms of allowing hunting to continue with regards to the Manicou and if [people] continue on these illegal activities we will have to take the hard course of action of putting a moratorium on hunting with regards to protecting these wild game species.”
Jeremiah said, “If this illegal hunting continues to happen in the closed season, we would have to take some decisive actions in terms of putting closure on hunting because already from the survey we conducted in the past, there is good evidence indicating that Manicou are over-harvested.”
Joining the ministry in condemning the sale of Manicou during the closed season is a former President of the Grenada Gun and Rifle Association (GGRA) and licenced firearms dealer Matthew Dopwell. “Usually from September to December is the hunting season and that has been so for many years. More and more as I speak to this, I realise that there are quite a few people who did not know that the hunting season had closed.”
Dopwell advocates that all people who hunt should be issued a licence. “At this stage, we may have to come to the realisation that all people who hunt should be issued a licence and on that licence certificate…they can have all the regulations to do with hunting, so that people know exactly when the season starts, when it ends and what you are permitted to do.”
Dopwell said the GGRA advocates for the safe and responsible use of hunting rifles amongst its members, buts said there are those firearm holders not a part of the association who engage in illegal activities that reflect badly on all firearm holders. “The GGRA have done their part because just after the closing of the season they came out and actually gave the penalties for hunting out of season.”
The closed season for the hunting of game species such as the Manicou, Tatou (Nine-banded Armadillo) Dasypus Novemcinctus; Monkey Cercopithecus mona; Iguana Iguana iguana, and the Ramier or Red-Necked Pigeon Ramier Columba Squamosa, starts on 1 January and ends on 30 September 2019, during which the hunting of these species is considered illegal and punishable with a charge of a $1,000 or a term of imprisonment for 6 months on conviction.
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