Turtle slaughter under investigation

Turtle slaughter under investigation

Vieux Fort, June 15, 2016The Saint Lucia National Trust is working together with the Department of Fisheries, the Marine Police Unit and the Crime Scene Investigation Unit of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force in response to the slaughter of a nesting hawksbill sea turtle.

The incident occurred early Tuesday morning and comes during the closed season for turtle hunting. It was reported by beach security staff to the National Trust’s sea turtle monitoring team which regularly patrols the beaches of Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area along the south-east coast.

“The protection of critically endangered sea turtles is a high priority within the Pointe Sable Environmental Protection Area. For the last two years we’ve been working with partners in other government agencies, in the Police Force, the private sector and the community to ensure that sea turtles can nest safely on our shores,” commented Mr. Craig Henry, Programme Officer for the Saint Lucia National Trust

“With the closed season for turtles extending from January 1 to September 30, 2016, we are right in the middle of the most important time for sea turtle nesting,” he explained.

Under the regulations in force, it is illegal to catch or slaughter turtles, including nesting turtles, or to be in possession of their meat, eggs or other products. A person who violates the Fisheries Regulations can be fined an amount of $5,000 for each offence.

“Fisheries Regulations exist in order to protect our natural resources for the long term,” explained Mr. Thomas Nelson, Deputy Chief Fisheries Officer. “As a nation we depend heavily on marine resources and only through full compliance with closed seasons, licensing requirements, and marine protected area regulations can we ensure sustainable use and the future livelihoods upon which our communities depend.”

Head of the sea turtle monitoring team, Mr. Vincent ‘Jeg’ Clarke, confirmed that tracks showed the female turtle was in the process of laying her eggs when the perpetrators dragged her to an isolated area to carry out the slaughter.  He also confirmed that the poachers made off with the culled meat and mature eggs, leaving behind more than a hundred undeveloped eggs, a carcass and other evidence.

Saint Lucia National Trust condemns this act and encourages anyone with information which could lead to the arrest of the perpetrators to contact the local police in Vieux Fort. The National Trust is also appealing to the general public to support conservation efforts to protect sea turtles island-wide. For more information on these conservation initiatives please contact the National Trust at 454-5014 or the Department of Fisheries at 468-4741. Contact can also be made via email – southofficer@slunatrust.org.

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  1. Lydia
    June 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm Reply

    That is like brutally raping a pregnant woman.

  2. Anonymous
    June 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm Reply

    Why don’t they just leave the poor creature alone

  3. guava jelly
    June 17, 2016 at 7:14 am Reply



  4. Eyes Open
    June 17, 2016 at 8:02 am Reply

    Watch out for people selling turtle meat!!!

  5. Sabrina
    June 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm Reply

    People need to be educated on the importance of the turtles .. the balance they bring to our waters … financing for more patrols plus education frm school systems to public forums needed. Usually the persons who indulge in this slaughter are known by the community .. subtle but direct approaches can be adopted. The flip side is that it is a livelihood someone has based their income on curbing their behaviour has to come.with a true conviction on their part that what they are doing is causing real harm to their waters. Educate educate educate at ground level!

  6. World Turtle News, 06/19/2016 – theTurtleRoomtheTurtleRoom
    June 19, 2016 at 7:24 am Reply

    […] Turtle slaughter under investigation in St Lucia […]

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