Petition Launched To Ban Hunting, Killing Of Sea Turtles In Saint Lucia

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Declaring that the Saint Lucia government needs to understand that sea turtles are worth more to the Island alive than dead, an online petition launched on Wednesday is calling for a ban on hunting and killing the creatures.

Four hundred people had already signed within less than 24 hours of the launch.

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

It noted that of the 195 countries worldwide, Saint Lucia is one of only 42 that still allow turtle hunting.

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In addition, the online measure observed that this country’s beaches are nesting grounds for four species of sea turtles listed as endangered and critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN) Red List and predicted to go extinct within the next 20 years.

“What makes their struggle to survive even harder is that as few as one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings reach adulthood. And for the few that do survive they have to wait 25 to 40 years until they reach maturity and are able to reproduce,” it stated.

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, a Sea Turtle Fishery Survey launched two weeks ago by the Fisheries Department has observed that poachers and fishers continue to harvest sea turtles illegally.

The survey, which aims to engage stakeholders ‘to better manage and protect marine resources’, said there’s a need to review the Sea Turtle Fishery regulations and conditions as part of the process.

It highlighted concerns including the capture of nesting turtles, the use and sale of turtle eggs, and the slaughter of turtles in open public areas.

At the same time, the survey expressed that the demand for turtle meat encourages widespread sale and consumption at ‘popular locations’ locally.

Aside from concerns over hunting and slaughtering sea turtles, two fishers from Vieux Fort ignited a social media firestorm after they captured and killed a ‘juvenile’ Orca or killer whale earlier this month.

According to Section 38 of the Saint Lucia Fisheries Regulations: “A person shall not take, kill, damage or fish for any marine mammal or any species of marine mammals in any bay or harbour of Saint Lucia.”

Amid the debate ignited by the Orca incident, the Fisheries Department said that the animal was not captured in a bay or harbour and confirmed that the fishing vessel was licensed to fish.

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

Headline photo: Internet stock image

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

16 COMMENTS

  1. @To live and let live;- I’ll tell you what I rather ponder on; Ox tail soup with Dumplins & brown rice & black eye Peas. Sundays mainly Roast Chicken(I don’t like Turkey) Week days Fish & more Fish, Grouper & my very favorite ‘Red Snapper’ with sweet Potato; makes my mouth water. Amen & praise the Lord.

  2. I am a vegetarian and I think that the killing of all animals and fish for consumption should be made illegal (banned). We shouldn’t be protecting selective animals and fish. Who gives us the right to determine which animal should live or die. This is for you meat and fish consumers out there to ponder on.

  3. Chef Robby’s Caribbean Pirates Restaurant and Bar has a sign board on Reduit Ave advertising his restaurant and on the menu – TURTLE. Shame!!!! So wrong!!!

  4. Genesis 9:3 ” Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”

    Use and don’t abuse, we can harvest sustainably.

  5. This morning I weighed 190 lbs. down from 212 six months ago, eating lots of greens, fruit and vegies. For now I lay off Ox tail soup. Lucians should consider eating more green figs(bananas) and fresh fish – leave the Lord’s great creature, the Turtle alone – nothing wrong with Plantain, Zaborca, Dasheen, Yams etc. I grew up on that and my Doctor wants to know the formula, he being Jew I told him, ‘eat as I do & pray to the Christ’ he said to me, – typical – but it works. It anything else in the sea, but leave the Turtles alone; on land they’re helpless, can’t you see?

  6. As far as ‘Seasons’ is concerned, why and I ask, why should there be ‘Seasons’ for hunting the poor Turtles for at all. The Turtles come to lay their Eggs for their generation, and we know by observation, that only about ‘one’ in a thousand if they reach open sea may survive. So why hunt for their Eggs – and even worse yet, Kill The Mothers – for what? meat? Profit? I think when one is caught with such an act – be it open season or closed season – that one should be Prosecuted and Jailed.
    When people openly objected to the fishing of an Orca, albeit a Juvenile, I did not and will not object to Fishing of a Whale, be it a mammal or not.
    The St. Lucia Government is being hypocritical in that respect; they give License to Japan to not only fish Whales, but they to anything and everything in our waters. In spreading their Industrial, mechanized and I.T Nets they draw in and deprine us of not only the Grown and matured but the very young(infant) fish to be left to replenish the stock for future generation. They don’t care, we were greedy enough to accept a few Bucks for their so called ‘Rights’ to do so. Who then respects St. Lucia with their audacity to call them selves a Nation? worse yet to think of dumping some history to become a Republic? how dare you and I repeat, how dare you? Lord, have Mercy, Christ have Mercy.

  7. You all dont see lucians have a serious problem???? and you all wonder why we awash in crime??? dutty seta people! eating lizards, snakes , rats and who knows what else!! where is the link to the petition!! they should add a march to the PM office and agricultural ministry too. we need to get hold of them in that place

  8. i really dont get these online petitions . what weight does this have ? so if you do a online petition what ever you petitioning against or for must just automatically happen if alot of people sign? and this will be accepted

    • Yes, we must stop while Japan is allowed to ravage the ocean killing whales, sharks and all sorts of marine life in mass!

      • Pay chou ! You know their rate of depression and darkness??? CHECK for yourself! They need to let go of those practices too! So dont make excuses for your dirty barbarity!

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