Archive for January 13th, 2014

Visitor turtle meat ban posed

| 13/01/2014 | 52 Comments

(CNS): The World Society for the Protection of Animals, which is continuing its campaign to transform the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm into a conservation facility, is hoping to persuade government to ban the sale of turtle meat to visitors. Representatives from the international charity, which is based in the UK, arrived in Cayman on Sunday ahead of meetings with government officials, including the tourism minister, and with restaurant owners to galvanize support for the proposal. The WSPA visit comes against the backdrop of more concerns about releasing farmed turtles into the wild from the facility, which is still draining some $10 million per annum from the public purse.

The WSPA believes that the new government is willing to consider this proposal, which would not impact local consumption at this point but, the charity believes, such a ban would be a step in the right direction.

Dr Neil D’Cruze, Head of Wildlife Research & Policy at WSPA, said he was visiting to follow up on previous conversations about this possibility during the charity's last visit to the Cayman islands and to see for himself how restaurateurs and the local hotels feel about serving the dish to tourists.

“WSPA is here to talk with the government about the sale of sea turtle meat to tourists visiting the Cayman Islands. In addition to our animal welfare concerns, WSPA is concerned about the impact that this is having on wild sea turtle conservation efforts,” he told CNS. “Evidence suggests that tourists do not come to the Cayman Islands to eat sea turtle meat. By encouraging tourists to do so, the CTF is stimulating international demand that would not otherwise exist for an endangered wild animal.”

Although turtle meat is available predominately in restaurants serving the domestic market, several restaurants do still serve a limited amount of turtle dishes to tourists.

“We are hoping to advance on our prior positive conversations with the Caymanian Government by discussing the feasibility of ending the sale of sea turtle meat to visiting tourists,” D’Cruze said.

The WSPA and the Cayman Turtle Farm have been engaged in a war of words for over a year following a damning report by the charity. After its publication, the CTF commissioned its own review, which led to a number of changes. However, the farm still appears to be dealing with husbandry issues.

Despite having boosted production last year, with some 9,000 turtles housed there, the CTF cancelled the annual release programme planned during Pirates Week last year. Although the release is an important part in what the farm claims are its conservation credentials, fears that have been long held by many experts that farmed turtles may have a negative impact on those in the wild appear to have influenced the farm management’s decision to cancel the release.

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Cayman women won’t advance after second loss

| 13/01/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands hopes of a semi-final place in the world cup qualifier competition were dashed Sunday evening when the national U20s women’s squad suffered their second defeat of the contest. Trinidad & Tobago earned the second place in semis for the first time after defeating Cayman 4-0 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The defeat followed a loss on Friday night for the Cayman ladies when they when down to Group winners Mexico 6-0. Despite Cayman having the home advantage Trinidad managed to get the first goal past Cayman in the second minute.

An own goal added to the score line after 20 minutes in a match where Cayman struggled to get out of their own area. The SocaPrincesses, who found the back of the net just before the break and again shortly after half time to win 4-0 will advance along with from Group B while all eyes will be on this evening’s matches in group A to see who will advance with the USA. Third-place Jamaica (1 point, -3 GD) takes on second-place Costa Rica (3 points, -2 GD), followed by an encounter between the table-topping US. (6 points, +9 GD) and fourth-place Guatemala (1 point, -4 GD).

Jamaica needs a win to have any hope of reaching the CWU20 knockout rounds for only a second time and first since 2006.  Costa Rica bounced back from an opening 6-0 loss to the U.S. with a 5-1 win over Guatemala on Saturday.  They can qualify with a win or possibly a draw.

The U.S. clinched their semifinal place after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Jamaica and has won a tournament-record 12 consecutive CWU12 matches, conceding only one goal over that stretch.  A draw against Guatemala would give it the group title. The Guatemalan team needs Costa Rica to lose in order to maintain a possibility of advancing.


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