Rescued turtle killed in failed illegal catch

| 13/08/2015 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

Turtle killed by poachers

(CNS): A 400lb female turtle that was rescued from poachers in June has been killed in what marine environment officials believe was a failed attempt to poach the turtle from local waters. The dead green turtle was found floating at sea near North West Point on Friday 24 July by divers from Wall to Wall Diving. When she was found, the turtle had copper wire wrapped around one of the front flippers.  A flipper tag indicated that the turtle was the one that had been rescued from poachers on a West Bay Beach a few weeks before.

The cause of death of one of Cayman’s endangered nesting turtle is unknown, however DoE Chief Conservation Officer Mark Orr believes the turtle may have been snared at sea but broke free and died from the injuries inflicted in the attempted capture.

Research Officer Janice Blumenthal said the DoE was saddened by the loss of this female from the nesting population in what was a good news story gone sour.

“This highlights the very serious problem of illegal take for our small population in that one female was involved in two incidents of attempted illegal take this season – the second of which was fatal,” she added.

The turtle was rescued in June when the DoE was alerted via its 24-hour Sea Turtle Hotline (938-NEST / 938-6378) by a member of the public.

Dogs run off turtle poachers

DoE Chief Enforcement Officer Mark Orr, research staff and interns arrived on scene with police backup to find the nesting female on her back in the bushes, where poachers had been dragging her away. The turtle was tagged and measured by DoE and guided back to the sea. She then survived for only one month before being killed in another incident of suspected illegal take.

Despite the bad news, the DoE is continuing to do all it can to protect the local turtle population. A new research project funded by the Darwin Initiative is allowing DoE to quantify and reduce illegal take of turtles in the Cayman Islands and is also looking at levels of demand for the meat.

Blumenthal said, “DoE has recently begun a second year of Darwin Funded night time monitoring, which will allow us to refine estimates of green turtle nesting population size, and we are currently analysing data from detailed surveys of households and restaurants with the aim of understanding and reducing the drivers of illegal take.”

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Category: Crime, DoE, Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (43)

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  1. iSLE says:


  2. Sharkey says:

    To some that doesn’t know any thing about the turtle, the turtle is a vegetarian it only eat turtle grass when it live in the wild ocean. I say learn more about the turtle and help protect their feature, so the next generations would be able to see and have some.

  3. Sharkey says:

    I wonder if anyone knows that if the turtle had got a chance to lay her eggs when they attempted to poach her ? This wire that was on her fin, was it done by someone? Or did it get around her fin accidentally? If we know the answers to the above questions, then we could better educate ourselves and potential poachers. We have to remember that WOMEN/female turtle is the important one that keeps the population up.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians commit no crime, exercise prudent sustainable practices towards fish stocks and conch and turtle and are the most cultured, positive work ethic people on earth, all values inculcated by those valiant seamen who dominated the world’s seaways for many years and selflessly sent back every dollar they earned, rather than spend it on drink and loose women in port, thereby creating the offshore centre we have today.

    • Anonymous says:

      8.00pm You are one of our haters, but our islands would be a better place without the likes of you. The seamen that toiled and help build these 3 rocks that we are becoming endangered species on, were not the ones then nor now destroying the turtles. Like everywhere else in the wide world, their are those of us, who are unconscionable species, only think one way, and that is to eliminate, not to protect and preserve.

      The seamen of the past, were very conservative people. When they went fishing, caught a small fish, it was put back into the water. Ask how many small fishes are put back these days and by whom?

    • Anonymous says:

      A very clever subtle satirical post, 8:00 pm, encapsulating a great deal of the nonsense that is spoken about as gospel truth by the ezzardian faction in Cayman. Too clever for most people though.

      • Cass says:

        Not satire, instead it’s straight-up sarcasm; a nice literary device I’m sure we all learnt how to use in HIGH SCHOOL. Sorry to burst your bubble 7:51 & 8:00 but there are MANY intelligent Caymanians out there who know the difference between satire and sarcasm. No worries, we are quite used to your lack of empathy and understanding with regards to our heritage, culture and our ancestors who built this country from the ground up (not you). We don’t need your validation nor do we need you to pet us like you do your dog or cat. Rather; how about show some respect for the natives of this country and stop with the petty racist comments which, quite frankly, only show your level of immaturity and ignorance as well as arrogance to think that we are all too naïve to understand what you and many others post!

  5. Anonymous says:

    No civilised person eats turtle.

    • Anonymous says:

      No civilized person eats WILD turtle. Eat all the farmed ones you want. Farmed turtle is no different than farmed beef or chicken.

    • Cass says:

      Excuse me while I ask the obvious here: are the French civilized for eating snails and frog legs? Are the Kazakhstanis civilized for eating horse meat? Are the Australians civilized for eating Alligator? Are the Mexicans civilized for eating snakes? I refer to several nationalities of people simply because you obviously wanted to say Caymanians are not civilized because they eat turtle meat. Why don’t you just spit it out? What is ironic is that no-one ever sees a comment like this as racist but it certainly has that underlying tone doesn’t it?

      Let me give you a little clue about turtle meat, it is one of the most HEALTHY meats you can eat on the planet. I don’t have to break it down for you, go do your homework.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you will find there are no alligators in Australia. Those are crocodiles mate!

        • Anonymous says:

          Salt water or fresh water? Which is the most dangerous and which the most delicious MAAAAAATE?

      • Anonymous says:

        One word. Endangered. End of debate. Barbaric.

        • Anonymous says:

          See above, but lets say alligators. ‘Endangered’ but farmed to the table (and leather goods store). Or lets say green iguanas here. Not farmed, endangered somewhere else, but a pest here. There endeth the debate.

        • Anonymous says:

          How can farmed anything be endangered, be it chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, or anything else.

          The turtle farm, when it operated as a turtle farm to supply turtle meat, is responsible for nearly all of the turtles you see in the wild today around Cayman. When the turtle farm operated as a turtle farm, they released tens of thousands of juvenile turtles into the wild every year at an age when their survival rate is ten times more likely than when they are hatched in the

          The turtle farm is an easy target for everyone but if truth be known, the wild turtle population and the species in general were much safer, when the demand was met through farming and turtle meat was readily available, for local consumption as well as for export.

          There were hundreds of thousands farmed in captivity and tens of thousands in the wild, when turtle products were exported to Europe, U.S.A. and Japan and before CITES came alone.

          We have to acknowledge that sometimes the best of intentions do backfire. We also need to acknowledge that Caymanians are NOT the only people who eat turtle meat………it is available and eaten, in different species maybe, but eaten nonetheless, all over the world.

      • Anonymous says:

        A comment like this can’t be racist towards Caymanians, because being a Caymanian isn’t a racial profile, it is a term to identify someone from the Cayman Islands.
        And as the vast majority of Caymanians are of mixed racial backgrounds, how are you going to define one particular race as being victimised?

        No, eating turtle is cultural, and like most backwards looking people’s around the world, Caymanians haven’t come to terms with the fact that to many educated cultures in the west, eating an endangered species is totally unacceptable.

        But there you have the problem, you claim to be a modern western society of conservative Christians and apparently observe the bible, yet you eat ‘food’ specifically banned by its teachings. So how does your hypocritical culture deal with that?
        I’ll tell you how, you just eat it anyway, claim its racial and expect others to respect you for it.

        Well here’s a newsflash, we don’t and we never will. Because those who originally came to Cayman for the turtle meat have long since given up killing rare animals for food, and so should you if you want to be recognised as civilised. The world is wise to the myth that Caymanians are a cultured society of honest Christians whose third world thinking and behaviour has been consigned to the past.
        If you are indeed an endangered species yourself, (as many like to display proudly, even though they are of mixed race themselves and married to a non Caymanian) you only have yourselves to blame. But then again, now you know how the turtle feels.

        As for your stupid examples of international cuisine, not one of those animals is considered seriously endangered.

        • Cass says:

          I never mentioned one thing about endangered species; rather pointed out the fact that you want to call me “uncivilized” because I eat turtle. Get over it; I eat turtle and the rest of my family does too! As for your argument about endangered; last I checked we have a designated turtle farm just so we will NEVER have to worry about them being endangered! Grow-up, your argument is weak and quite frankly pathetic. OH, and another valid point; personally I only eat turtle meat once a year, at XMAS. Continue to hate me and discriminate against me because I eat turtle just shows your own ignorance and hate towards us natives.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, civilised people only eat fellow mammals like cows, pigs and lamb.

      • Anonymous says:

        Civilized people are vegetarians

        • Anonymous says:

          All over this green earth animals eat other animals.

          Whether one believes in evolution or religion, humans have eaten animals from the day we popped up.
          You can feel free to halt that process if you want but some of us choose to carry on and respect the essence that is man.

          (Not to mention, some of us need the protein to build these big, strong muscles as we do more than fight virtual wars from our laptops.)

          – Who

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hope it isn’t your last big female

  7. Anonymous says:

    we are caymankind…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  8. Anonymous says:

    it’s part of our culture, that’s important, not whether there will be any turtles left


    • Nuts says:

      The poaching of our marine life will continue to rise, until our judicial/court system start to implement the maximum sentence. We are running out of time and our marine life is dwindling away.

  9. Anonymous says:


    – NahMe

  10. Humankindsucks says:

    When there are no more turtles in Cayman waters what will you do? What will you do?

    I hope you brutes choke on some green iguana when that day comes because that’s the only reptile you’ll be left with.

  11. Anonymous says:

    That is so sad. Humans are monsters. If I found these people I’d show them what kind of monster I am as well!

  12. Anonymous says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians make me sick.



    • Caymanian feeling unkind says:

      Neither you nor I know if it was a Caymanian. Caymanians are not the only nationality on these shores who eat turtle. Whoever it was is/are pieces of crap. We need increased enforcement of our marine resources in Cayman and we need it desperately. We need to ensure successful prosecution of poaching, and there is a minefield of issues that hinder it. We need to stop letting these people go, whoever they are and wherever they are from. There are myriad reasons why our marine ecosystem is dying out, one of which is the wanton destruction and pollution of our waters and estuaries. Until we have 24/7 & 365 patrolling of our waters then this will continue. Until we deal with the fact that criminal organizations are directly involved and protectors of poaching and poachers then this will continue. Until we deal harshly with the people and restaurants who buy from the poachers then this will continue. I am a Caymanian and I do not poach but I am sick of following the laws while poachers of all stripes are allowed to continue.

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s be real. It was a Caymanian(s).

        • Cass says:

          Prove it, and stop assuming. Assumptions are the mother of all. Sick to my stomach how everything that happens here is “Caymanians” doing it. Get the F off your high-horse. We have over ONE HUNDRED different nationalities here but it’s us right! Like I said “cow-boy”, PROVE IT.

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe if you pull your head out of your ass you will see things more clearly.

            1000% the work of Caymanians.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’ve seen an non-caymanian with a hook stick, trying to hook a land turtle from the pond. Was he going to play with it? I don’t think so. We have imported critics, who are always trying to smother us, in their effort to hold us hostage.
            I am Caymanian, born and bred. What are you? Came, saw and conquered.

          • Anonymous says:

            The Caymanians that support the eating of turtle are all complicit in this crime.

        • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      If we make you so sick, why are you still here, the all mighty dollar I guess? or your rat hole is too crowed or nasty/dangerous to live in. There is numerous flight leaving daily, the Cayman Islands do not have any shackles on you, or any other foreign trash that we let walk these shores. Do you know there is many Caymanians that do not eat turtle meat? and this response is not in support of those who do these acts, they are no more or less than any other poacher, here or any where in the world,(wrong) but you just hate them because they are Caymanian, you must really hate yourself to stay here and hate us so much, you must be so miserable, and that you deserve, and no matter where you come from, there will always be Caymanians, so get used to it, we do not, and do not have to convert to any other kind, but you all want to be Caymanian, maybe that is why you hate us so much

      • Anonymous says:

        I am here because I am caymanian. And yes caymanians make me sick.

        • Anonymous says:

          Then you need to catch the next flight too! you probably got your Caymanian Citizenship in the last give away by Bush, and now cant find a better place to go to, so just another miserable paper caymanian, we know we have plenty of them, they will always come and go, no roots, the cap seem to fit you as you are wearing it:)

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh yes, the paper Caymanian argument. Listen stupid, you are all paper Caymanians as you are all immigrants of multiple mixed race and heritage.
            That’s probably why you can’t get your head around your own simple history and demographics.
            Unless you are directly related to one of the original British settlers of the early 1700’s, then you don’t have any right to mouth off about others.

        • Cass says:

          You are not a Caymanian by heart dear. You literally state on a public blog you hate your own, people like you make me queasy. What to do with a poor soul like you……you have no loyalty to your own people and Country. SMH

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