Some 278 Leather Back Turtle eggs were retrieved on Good Friday evening by officers of the Forestry Department within the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), after receiving information that a Turtle nest was disturbed early Good Friday morning on Byrea beach.
The Officers were directed to an undisclosed location where they came upon some 278 Leather Back Turtle eggs. The eggs were returned to a beach and buried.
This major bust follows the recent Turtle Ban on January 1st 2017.
News784 contacted the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Saboto Caesar, who applauded the efforts of citizens and the Forestry Officials in upholding the law. He noted that his ministry is the process of drafting a proposal for the formation of a national marine conservation advisory committee.
This committee, the minister says, will streamline resources from public and private sector agencies, working in conjunction in Non-government and community based organizations, to ensure the full implementation of the ban.
The illegal removal of the Turtle eggs took place along the same beach that was visited by Prince Harry earlier this year, in time for the unveiling of a monument indicating that the area between Colonarie and Byrea have been declared a Turtle watching zone.
The Hon. Saboto Caesar further indicated that before the end of 2017 the millennium sustainable community development project, which he spearheads, will be establishing a Turtle watching group for Mt. Grenan and Sansouci. The minister concluded that the protection of Turtles throughout the entire Caribbean is the ultimate goal.
In March of this year minister Caesar headed a delegation on invitation of Unite-BVI to make a presentation at the Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), Tortola British Virgin Islands. The minister’s presentation focused on youth leadership and the economics of conservation, with emphasis on Turtle protection. The minster and his delegation also met with Sir Richard Branson on Mosquito Island, BVI, to exchange conservation experiences.
The January 2017 ban on the harvesting of turtles and their eggs in SVG preceded the most recent ban on the harvesting of Orcas and Dolphins in the waters of SVG. These can be seen as quantum leaps for the multi-island nation seeks to protect and manage its marine resources in a sustainable manner.
News784, as part of our social responsibility role, congratulates the Government of SVG, and the St. Vincent Preservation Fund chaired by Mrs. Louise Mitchell-Joseph, for advancing the initiative of a Turtle protection under the theme “No Extinction In Our Generation: Save Our Sea Turtles”.
Sea turtles are an endangered species, but unfortunately over 40,000 are killed each year for their meat and unique shells according to animalpetitions.org Sea turtles have been around since the dinosaurs and without our help and protection; they will not be around much longer.