Save the turtle

| 06/10/2008

Considering sea turtles are endangered species, media reports that a local fisherman has been caught with a 400 lb turtle out of season and without a license illustrate that many Caymanians still do not take the word "endangered" seriously.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) considers all marine turtles — globally — to be either "threatened" or "endangered".

Turtle poaching on Grand Cayman and the Brac — both of females and the eggs they lay — shows an appalling short-sightedness of the part of the perpetrators. Who will they blame when the species become extinct and they can no longer have their turtle and eat it?

The 400 lb turtle killed is probably close to 100 years old, and still had many reproductive years left. With the survival rate to adult-hood of one per thousand hatchlings, her death has brought ever closer the extinction of this amazing animal.

The time has come for Cayman to follow the recent example of the Bahamian government which is planning to ban the "commercial harvest, purchase or sale of all species of marine turtles within the Bahamian exclusive economic zone and/or of their by-products such as shells" as of 31st December 2008.

We need to cancel all turtle licenses, beef up our marine policing activities, increase our penalties for those caught breaking the law and show the world that we are serious about protecting the turtle on whose back this country was founded.

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Category: Viewpoint

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  1. Anonymous says:


    The cries of the empire and its imperialist! Ask yourself this now, why do you take it upon yourself to thrust your cultural beliefs upon another culture? Why did your forefathers enslave and murder millions in the name of greed and gold.  Why did you displace africans and indians from their native lands?  Did the sugar not taste sweet in the mouths of your queens and presidents whilst the blood of slaves ran from their bow? Now you want to talk about turtle yet you have no concern for the millions of humans who die everyday from starvation in a land from which you robbed and raped in order to sweet your mouths and decorate your wrist.  Shame on you and your empire and your ways and it is sad that your culture has blinded you from seeing the truth.  You are the problem you are the cancer of this world and your heart has a hole.  No amount of money or things can fill this whole so you turn on the people whose heart is closer to this world.  Our speach is filled with beauty which knows mother natures soul we feel the rain coming we know how nature works.  We know when breadfruit and mango are ready we know where they grow our island is full of beauty whilst your cities are as cold as snow.  Our hearts were filled with God’s love hence you can enjoy the peace but maybe not for long as we grow weary like our neighbors to the East.  Our neighbors to East have seen the empires ways and for them you can visit but yah nah stay….

  2. Ebanks the Plumber says:

    If we want to distinguish between farmed and poached turtle, DNA testing might be the solution.  It’s used for other species in other parts of the world, e,g. whales.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Once again the Bahamas have shown how much more mature a country they are than the Cayman Islands. They have banned the capture of turtles in the wild. Our Government seems to think that if they pretend that there are no endangered plants or animals here then they don’t have an obligation to the people of the Cayman Islands to enact conservations laws until eveything is extinct.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My question is the Police obviously have the proof – will the poacher by prosecuted?  Or will this be swept under the rug as with other recent cases?

  5. Anonymous says:

    The definition of endangered is

    "An endangered species is a population of an organism which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in number, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters." The word is extinct!!!!. Turtles do not swim in circles they migrate. It’snow time to stop the madness..


  6. Kent Roorda says:

    I agree. It’s time to end Turtle Harvesting completely.  With ‘farmed beef and other farmed meat sources’ available, it’s rediculous that anyone would even consider killing an endangered animal.  That also includes sharks and other fishes!   Times have changed. Unfortunately, for many individuals, that also means that they must change traditions. While, in the past, it may have been ‘okay’ to harvest a turtle, it simply is NOT okay now.  People must change their thinking and realize that if they have a need for such meat, it is more appropriate to get ‘farmed meat’ at the grocery store.   Again, this also goes for many fishes and sharks as well! Thank you for listening!

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s time to end this practice and make ALL turtle meat illegal – if the DoE can’t catch poachers in the act, how can they tell the difference between farmed vs poached meat? The Turtle Farm needs to become a real zoo and begin a proper release program.

    It’s time Cayman, there is more to this island culturally that this one dish.