The public is informed that March 3, 2017 is recognized worldwide as World Wildlife Day. World Wildlife Day is celebrated on March 3, every year, the same day the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed. The day is observed to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. CITES is designed to help prevent further decline of species as a result of trade. To ensure this is achieved, international wildlife trade is regulated through a licensing system which places restrictions on species facing great survival threats as a result of international trade. The overarching objective of CITES is to ensure that all trade in wildlife or products that are either derived from or comprise of parts of wildlife, is sustainable and does not lead to levels of harvesting that ultimately cause irreplaceable loss or decline.
There are currently 172 countries, including Saint Lucia that are members of CITES. Saint Lucia became a member of CITES in March 1983. As a member of CITES Saint Lucia must monitor and regulate the movement of wild animals and plants across its borders.
The Department of Fisheries works in collaboration with several agencies including Forestry, SLASPA, and the RSLPF to implement the CITES agreement. Several marine organisms are controlled by the CITES agreement including, Queen Conch, all species of marine turtle, black coral, humpback whales, spotted dolphin, and whale sharks. While some of these organisms are harvested for traditional consumption the international trade of these organisms (meat or it’s parts) is controlled. Persons are encouraged to contact the department of Fisheries before attempting to transport these out of the country.
DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives