CTF relaunches green turtle release

| 23/05/2016 | 17 Comments
Cayman News Service

Green sea turtle at the Cayman Turtle Farm

(CNS): After suspending it turtle release programme for several seasons because of problems with disease and other husbandry issues at the facility, the Cayman Turtle Farm released 15 yearling green sea turtles on Saturday off Barkers Beach in West Bay. Officials said CTF had “satisfied itself through extensive testing and available scientific data” that releasing the turtles would not pose any medical risk to wild turtle populations, and so it lifted the self-imposed moratorium on turtle releases.

Over the last couple of years the farm has been the target of a campaign by wildlife activists in the UK to stop breeding turtles for meat and turn the farm into a conservation facility. The idea, however, has been rejected by the farm, which insists it treats the turtles humanly and plays an important role in research and conservation.

Nevertheless, a number of high-profile incidents, such as the death of more than 300 turtles that were cooked to death in the hot sun after a water pipe leak caused a tank to run dry, as well as several outbreaks of disease, created significant concerns for animal charities and local consumers.

The farm costs the public purse more than $9 million per year in loan payments for the facility and operating subsidies.

According to the CTF, the relaunch of the release programme coincided with World Turtle Day, which is observed every year on 23 May and sponsored by American Tortoise Rescue.

“Moving forward, CTF has geared up to release hundreds of tagged turtles each year both publicly and privately,” officials said.

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Category: Marine Environment, Science & Nature

Comments (17)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the detractors posting here eat anything al all, that is seafood, from the supermarket or restaurant’s locally, or internationally.

    If you do you should be aware of the fact that the seafood industry, on a whole, kills and discards over 250,000 wild turtles every year, as casualties of nets and long lines (Google it).
    If you eat processed seafood of any kind, you are contributing to killing 250,000 turtles every year.

    I also wonder if they are aware that Mexico catches and eats 35,000 green turtles each year, from the wild, within their territorial waters (Google it).

    The 1200 per year harvested by the Turtle Farm for local consumption pales in comparison to these researched facts.
    The Cayman Turtle Farm appears to get no credit from the fact that by meeting local demand, these 1200 turtles, which are reared from their own eggs hatched in captivity, has surely saved as many turtles being harvested in the wild from Cayman waters, or worst from the beaches when they come ashore to lay their eggs.

    With the release program, CTF is contributing to increasing the turtle population in Cayman waters, not depleting it. The fact that they are micro chipped will prove or disprove this over the next few years.

    What the article and the detractors fail to point out is that because the Cayman Turtle Farm is the only facility in the world, that does disease research on all ages of the green sea turtles, they are almost always detected at CTF first, however when extended studies have been carried out on turtles in the wild, after CTF has done the science to create detection protocols, that the instances in the wild are usually in the ten fold times more prevalent in the wild than at CTF.

    It has been proven by university studies that no disease is unique to CTF as they all occur in the wild population to a far greater frequency. It has also been proven that there are diseases in the wild population that have never occurred at CTF. For example what is occurring around Indian River and Miami Florida with the recent outbreak of tumors on green sea turtles, has never occurred at CTF.

    CTF has been in operation for over 40 years and during that time have released over 31,000 green turtles to the wild. It has now been proven, through DNA, that 30 years after release, these turtles are returning to Cayman beaches to complete the circle and lay their eggs. Nowhere else in the world can make that claim with green sea turtles.

  2. SSM345 says:

    Reading articles on Turtles make me look forward to lunch at Luz on Fridays.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Liberalism is a mental disorder

  4. Anonymous says:

    . The idea, however, has been rejected by the farm, which insists it treats the turtles humanly and plays an important role in research and conservation.

    My actual a@#e….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, so they ‘satisfied’ themselves, well that’ll answer why they are so blind to the disgusting operation they run in the name of conservation.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Add to that, never any public info on the controlled disposal of shell scutes from harvested animals – if it even happens. RCIPS announce controlled drug burns after the fact, but the formal shell scute disposal is never reported on, and at >$1000/lb it should be. International trade in shell scutes was banned by CITES in 1973, and is still in effect. Yet this illicit trade flourishes with active assistance from Honduras, Cuba and other close trading partners with Cayman. Surely, we would have no hand in this supply chain?!? We need to shine the light into this dark area to be sure, and there needs to be absolute transparency with the public if this facility is to continue to merit these massive annual subsidies. We have a long list of higher territorial priorities that are entirely neglected because of the millions in funds wasted on this negligent and morally corrupt facility. Given the decades of silence on this, it would not surprise me at all to learn that Cayman (and high government officials) have been actively flouting this CITES ban for over 40 years.

    • Tim Adam says:

      So your evidence for hurling all these accusations of official collusion in some sort of illicit international trade in turtle scutes is … ???
      And you actually think it would be a good idea for the turtle farm to make some sort of public announcement of how, when and where they are disposing of turtle shells to avoid them getting into any “supply chain”? Who is this that wants to know, and why? Really?

      • Anonymous says:

        You must be aware that the CTF has been accused of violating CITES over periods in the past (denying direct involvement)
        [http://www.seaturtle.org/mtn/archives/mtn60/mtn60p18.shtml], so this seems to be a reasonable question: can you describe what happens to them now Tim? How are they secured and what groups oversee/audit their controlled destruction? How many lbs a year are destroyed? It should be easy to be transparent about the control process (even historically) if it is solid and in place. It should also feature as a crucial step in the responsible turtle farming narrative, which we would all assume to be a key PR objective of the farm.

        • Tim Adam says:

          If you seriously expect me or anyone else to engage in an ongoing rational public dialogue with you, for a start you need to learn to do the decent thing and sign your real name, as I do consistently.

          And did you even read the reference you cited, i.e.
          Or if you read it, did you even understand it? Apparently not because if you had understood it you would never have used it as an example of any sort of wrongdoing by CTF! That reference was actually another clear example of debunking with facts, some pure rubbish allegations against CTF by those who are either ignorant of the facts and get their kicks out of conjecture, or worse yet have their own ugly ulterior motives.

          So … if you really have any credible evidence of illicit activity in regard to what you seem to be alleging with turtle scutes etc., I hope you have done the responsible thing and reported it to the proper law enforcement authorities.

      • The Parliamentarian says:

        Inquiring minds want to know, Tim!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Friends don’t let friends eat turtle.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Peta gonna getcha sooner or later.

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