Sea turtle hunting season opens; agriculture ministry outlines regulations

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Sea turtle hunting season opens; agriculture ministry outlines regulations
A sea turtle
A sea turtle

PRESS RELEASE – The public is advised that the Sea Turtle Fishery will be open from Wednesday, October 1st to December 31st, 2014, both days inclusive.

During the open Sea Turtle Fishery the following regulations are in effect in accordance with the Fisheries Regulations Chapter 7.15 of the Revised Laws of St. Lucia 2008:

(1) No person shall:
(a) with any turtle nest, or turtle that is nesting;
(b) Remove Disturb, remove from the fishery waters, expose for sale, sell, purchase, or at any time have in his/her possession any turtle eggs;
(c) Interfere from the fishery waters, expose for sale, sell purchase or at any time have in his possession any undersized turtle;
(d) Set within 100 meters of the shores of Saint Lucia any net or seine or any other artifice for the purpose of or with the intention of fishing for, catching or taking any turtle.

(2) In this Regulation:
(a) “turtle” includes the whole or any part of any turtle;
(b) Undersized means a weight less than:
(i) 27.22 kilograms (60lbs) for Hawksbill (Erectmochelys imbricate);
(ii) 34.02 kilograms (75lbs) for Green (Chelonia mydas) and Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

Therefore, the Department would like to appeal to fishers and the public to adhere to the following:
• the slaughtering of sea turtles are prohibited in public and open areas
• the spearing of sea turtles are prohibited
• the capture of the leatherback turtle is prohibited
• Only Hawksbill Turtles weighing 60lbs or more; Green or Loggerhead Turtle weighing 75lbs or more are permitted to be fished.
• any product made from turtle shells or their products are not to be sold or exported, as trade of turtle products are restricted under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES);

All harvesting activities must cease after the last day of the open period. No person shall be allowed to have in their possession or expose for sale any sea turtle meat or shell after the closure of the harvesting period from January 1st, 2015.

The Fisheries Department also seeks your assistance in reporting to the marine police or district police stations any person or establishment found with undersized turtles, taking or consuming sea turtle eggs or holding a sea turtle as a pet. Anyone caught violating the conditions may be fined up to EC$5000.00 for each offence.

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES, MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD PRODUCTION, FISHERIES, RURAL DEVELOPMENT &  CO-OPERATIVES

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8 COMMENTS

  1. What a shame to continue hunting an endangered species that brings so much joy just to see it. Additionally, the value to the economy of St. Lucia of the tourism gained from having abundant sea life is worth far more than a bit of turtle meat from a animal that has beat the 1,000 to 1 odds to get near the legal size. Traditions should change, if it means a better world for these amazing animals. As a frequent visitor to St. Lucia, I vote for the goat stew.

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  2. I agree, turtle hunting should be banned.  I'm shocked to learn that it hasn't already been banned.

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  3. I think those who eat meat should eat only what could be reared. I agree with some of the post here even though they have received disapproval. Although the non hunting season should allow these creatures time to procreate, there are other factors that are influencing their depletion, like poor waste disposal amongst others. Someone might argue for the consumption of non renewable resources, but these creatures are one a kind. I mean who doesn't appreciate the excitement of seeing one of them gently swimming in the ocean whilst on a boat ride. I just believe that we need move beyond the norm and think critically about how all our actions are impacting the environment and make greater strides to mitigating the negative influences. Just my two cents.

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  4. I thought the hunting of sea turtles was a thing of the past due to their gradual depletion. It is illegal in the US at any time.

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  5. As far as I'm concerned, sea turtle hunting should be prohibited altogether. Hawksbill Turtles are critically endangered, and I'm pretty sure the Green and Loggerhead populations are on the decline. I guess we're waiting until these creatures are extinct before sea turtle hunting is no longer a thing. If people absolutely must have their turtle meat, perhaps we should consider having turtle farms like the Cayman Islands.

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