Last update: 17-Apr-2014 3:06 am
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Let’s go Grenada— to hunt turtles
Turtles are still hunted. Killed. Sold in the marketplace. We banned the turtle hunt in T&T in 2011, but 100 miles from here, the killing continues. In Grenada turtles are hunted eight months out of the year. Leatherbacks are thankfully protected, as are turtle nests and eggs, but it’s open season on CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) protected, endangered green turtles and critically endangered hawksbill turtles. (If you want to know the conservation status of a species: www.iucnredlist.org).
In conservation speech, the term “endangered” means “an observed, estimated, inferred or suspected reduction of at least 50 per cent over the last ten years or three generations, whichever is the longer.” “Critically endangered” is when the reduction is “at least 80 per cent over the last ten years or three generations, whichever is the longer.”
Turtles are migratory. A turtle tagged in the Bahamas was observed in Trinidad. We know that they don’t always live and forage near to nesting sites. A green turtle which nests at Las Cuevas beach may well live on a sea grass bed in Barbados.
That’s great: both T&T and Barbados protect turtles, so both countries’ laws reinforce each other in a symbiotic relationship.
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