Launch of a petition to ban the hunting and killing of sea turtles in Saint Lucia


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Stating that the government of Saint Lucia must understand that sea turtles are worth more to the island alive than dead, an online petition launched on Wednesday calls for a ban on hunting and killing the creatures.

Four hundred people had already signed up less than 24 hours after the launch.

According to the petition, research has shown that sea turtle ecotourism can generate three times more revenue than selling sea turtle parts, including eggs, meat and shells, making the animals much more alive. .

He noted that of the 195 countries in the world, Saint Lucia is one of only 42 that still allows turtle hunting.

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Additionally, the online measurement observed that beaches in this country are nesting grounds for four species of sea turtles listed as endangered and critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation’s Red List. Nature Conservation (IUCN) and which are expected to disappear within the next 20 years.

“What makes their struggle to survive even more difficult is that only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings reach adulthood. And for the few that survive, they have to wait 25 to 40 years until until they reach maturity and are able to reproduce,” he said.

Current local regulations allow an open season from October 1 to December 31 and a closed season from January 1 to September 30.

There are also provisions for weight limits, gear restrictions, and protection of eggs and nesting turtles.

But despite the provisions, an investigation into sea turtle fishing launched two weeks ago by the Department of Fisheries observed that poachers and fishermen continue to illegally harvest sea turtles.

The survey, which aims to engage stakeholders “to better manage and protect marine resources”, said there was a need to review sea turtle fishing regulations and conditions as part of the process.

He highlighted concerns such as the capture of nesting turtles, the use and sale of turtle eggs, and the killing of turtles in open public spaces.

At the same time, the survey indicated that the demand for turtle meat encourages large-scale sale and consumption in local “popular places”.

In addition to concerns over the hunting and killing of sea turtles, two Vieux Fort fishermen have sparked a social media storm after catching and killing a ‘juvenile’ orca or killer whale earlier this month.

According to Article 38 of the Saint Lucia Fisheries Regulations: “No person shall take, kill, damage or fish for any marine mammal or species of marine mammal in any bay or harbor of Saint Lucia. »

Amid debate over the Orca incident, the Fisheries Department said the animal was not caught in a bay or harbor and confirmed the fishing vessel was cleared to fish.

As a result, the Department said the fishers complied with the Fisheries Act.

Title photo: Internet stock image

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