Open Sea Tur­tle Fish­ery Con­di­tions for 2015

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Food Pro­duc­tion, Fish­eries, Co-op­er­a­tives and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment in­forms the gen­eral public that the Sea Tur­tle Fish­ery opens from Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 01 to De­cem­ber 31, 2015, both days in­clu­sive. Dur­ing the open Sea Tur­tle Fish­ery the fol­low­ing reg­u­la­tions are in ef­fect in ac­cor­dance with the Fish­eries Reg­u­la­tions Chap­ter 7.15 of the Re­vised Laws of St. Lu­cia 2001: (1) No per­son shall:

(a) In­ter­fere with any tur­tle nest, or tur­tle that is nest­ing;

(b) Dis­turb, re­move from the fish­ery wa­ters, ex­pose for sale, sell, pur­chase, or at any time have in his/her pos­ses­sion any tur­tle eggs;

(c) Re­move from the fish­ery wa­ters, ex­pose for sale, sell pur­chase or at any time have in his/her pos­ses­sion any un­der­sized tur­tle;

(d) Set within 100 me­ters of the shores of Saint Lu­cia any net or seine or any other ar­ti­fice for the pur­pose of, or with the in­ten­tion of, fish­ing for, catch­ing or tak­ing any tur­tle.

(2) In this Reg­u­la­tion:

(a) “tur­tle” in­cludes the whole or any part of any tur­tle; (b) Un­der­sized means a weight less than:

(i) 27.22 kilo­grams (60lbs) for Hawks­bill (Erect­mochelys im­bri­cate);

(ii) 34.02 kilo­grams (75lbs) for Green (Ch­elo­nia my­das) and Log­ger­head (Caretta caretta)

There­fore, the Depart­ment would like to ap­peal to fish­ers and the public to ad­here to the fol­low­ing:

• The slaugh­ter­ing of sea tur­tles is pro­hib­ited in public and open ar­eas.

• The spear­ing of sea tur­tles is pro­hib­ited.

• The cap­ture of the leatherback tur­tles is pro­hib­ited.

• Only Hawks­bill tur­tles weigh­ing 60lbs or more; Green or Log­ger­head tur­tles weigh­ing 75lbs or more are per­mit­ted to be fished.

• Any prod­uct made from tur­tle shells or tur­tle prod­ucts are not to be sold or ex­ported, as trade of tur­tle prod­ucts is re­stricted un­der the Con­ven­tion for In­ter­na­tional Trade in En­dan­gered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).

• All har­vest­ing ac­tiv­i­ties must cease af­ter the last day of the open pe­riod.

• No per­son shall be al­lowed to have in their pos­ses­sion or ex­pose for sale any sea tur­tle meat or shell af­ter the clo­sure of the har­vest­ing pe­riod from Jan­uary 01, 2016.

The Depart­ment seeks your as­sis­tance in re­port­ing to the marine po­lice or dis­trict po­lice sta­tions of any per­son or es­tab­lish­ment found with un­der­sized tur­tles, tak­ing or con­sum­ing sea tur­tle eggs or hold­ing a sea tur­tle as a pet. Any­one caught vi­o­lat­ing the con­di­tions may be fined up to EC$5,000 for each of­fence.

A Hawks­bill tur­tle; the Reg­u­la­tions per­mit those

weigh­ing 60lbs or more to be fished.

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