On Tuesday 28th October 2014, Game Wardens responded to a call about five sea turtle carcases which were found entangled in fishing nets at Salybia Beach.
Upon investigation, the carcases were removed and an overnight surveillance was carried out. No persons were apprehended, but the fishing net was removed and later on destroyed.
The five carcases comprised of two Green Sea Turtles and three Loggerheads turtles.
The Forestry Division has confirmed that these turtles were caught in gill nets off the Eastern Coast of Trinidad. According to Section 4 of the Fisheries Act, Chapter 3 “ No person shall, at any time, kill, harpoon, catch or otherwise take possession of any turtle, or purchase, sell offer or expose for sale or cause to be sold or offered or exposed for sale ay turtle, turtle meat or any other part of the turtle.”
Senator the Honourable Ganga Singh, Minister of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources urges persons to obey the law and refrain from killing sea turtles and performing other illegal acts that place the nation’s wildlife at risk. With the current moratorium on hunting in effect, members of the public can call the Wildlife Hotline: 800-HALT (4258) to report the illegal hunting, distribution and consumption of all game and protected species.
Trinidad and Tobago’s waters are natural breeding grounds for these and other endangered oceanic species. However, locally and globally they have been faced with endangerment due to human activity.
Officers involved in this operation included Game Warden II Andy Singh, Game Wardens I Richard Ramlogan and Bisham Madhoo, Forester I Dinesh Ramkarran and Honorary Game wardens.
Please find attached photos which were captured by the Forestry Division.
Notes to editor
· In 2014, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) designated five species of sea turtles as Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS):
The Leatherback Turtle
The Green Turtle
The Hawksbill Turtle
The Olive Ridley Turtle
The Loggerhead Turtle
· Common Name: Green sea turtle – named for the green colour of the fat under its shell. (In some areas, the Pacific green turtle is also called the black sea turtle.) Scientific Name: Chelonia mydas
· The Green Sea Turtle’s Adults size can be 3 to 4 feet in carapace/ shell length (83 – 114 cm). The green turtle is the largest of the Cheloniidae family. The largest green turtle ever found was 5 feet (152 cm) in length and 871 pounds (395 kg). Adults weigh between 240 and 420 pounds (110 – 190 kg).
· Common name: The loggerhead sea turtle, is an oceanic turtle found throughout the world. Scientific Name: Caretta caretta
· The loggerhead sea turtle is the world’s largest hard-shelled turtle. Adults have an average weight range of 80 to 200 kg (180 to 440 lb) and a length range of 70 to 95 cm (28 to 37 in). The maximum reported weight is 545 kg (1,202 lb) and the maximum carapace length is 213 cm (84 in). The head and carapace (upper shell) range from a yellow-orange to a reddish-brown, while the plastron (underside) is typically pale yellow. The turtle’s neck and sides are brown on the tops and yellow on the sides and bottom.
· Read more about Sea Turtles here