The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation on the island of St Vincent announced a total ban on the killing of sea turtles as of January 1st, 2017.
The decision to impose a total ban on all sea turtles came in late 2016 in response to the increased global threat to sea turtles and to their status as vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered.
The Ministry of Fisheries initiative to protect all sea turtles comes under the theme “No Extinction In My Generation.”
A report from the Ministry outlined that this year we will experience increased vigilance in the effort to ensure that all persons abide by the law and end the killing of sea turtles; the harvesting of their eggs; and the sale of their shells as tortoiseshell jewelry.
The Ministry of Fisheries will continue to work with and support the fisherfolk to assist former turtle fishers as they move away from turtle harvesting. The Ministry, together with National Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority, will pursue a national Sea Turtle Conservation Program which is working to make turtle watching a viable eco-tourism opportunity in rural coastal communities. The Windward communities of Colonarie/Byera and Sandy Bay/Big Sand have been identified for two turtle watching projects.
The Minister of Fisheries Hon Saboto Caesar stated: “Today is a great day for conservation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as all our sea turtles are now protected.” The Minister wishes to thank all stakeholders who partnered with the Government to make this day of total protection for our turtles in SVG a reality.
The Minister concluded that St. Vincent and the Grenadines are willing to support any effort regionally and internationally toward the protection of turtles.