DoE officers save another turtle from poachers

| 22/08/2017 | 47 Comments

(CNS): Two of the Department of Environment’s (DoE) conservation officers were in action again last week saving a female green sea turtle from poachers. The turtle was discovered by Chadd Bush tied up on her back in the bushes in the Sand Hole area of West Bay, on Wednesday night, the DoE stated. It appears that the DoE officers scared away three poachers who were ready with a pick-up truck to take the endangered turtle. But thanks to the quick action of the team, she was rescued, tagged, and released back into the sea by Bush and Mark Orr as well as turtle conservation interns Joseph Roche Chaloner and Alex Prat.  The case is now under investigation.

Earlier this month an adult female turtle, estimated at over 400 lbs, was saved from the poacher’s knife when DoE enforcement officers Carl Edwards and Alan MacKay responded to a report in the Eastern Districts. They found the turtle on her back in a toolshed impaled through the neck and flippers by four large hooks. Officials have confirmed that one person has been arrested in that case.

During the nesting season when turtles come ashore, they are particularly vulnerable to poaching. Even though the Cayman Turtle Centre provides legal meat from the farmed animals it rears for the local market, it appears that poachers can still make money from the persistent demand for wild meat. 

DoE researchers, with the help of volunteers, have done an enormous amount of work over the years helping to protect the local population, but despite the increase in the number of females laying eggs on local beaches the wild population remains seriously endangered, and the loss of just one wild adult nesting female can still have a significant impact on conservation efforts.

The DoE is urging the public to help them keep the wild local turtle population safe during this nesting season. People can contact the chief conservation officer at 916-4271, call 911 or provide anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers on 800-TIPS about poaching or if they are aware of illegal wild meat being sold. Convicted poachers face up to a $500,000 fine and up to four years in prison.

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Category: Crime, DoE, Marine Environment

Comments (47)

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  1. JAY says:

    that’s the final straw I am out in full force too…… leave them T’s ALONE

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Bible teaches not to eat anything in the water that has a shell. I can smell unna roasting in hell now.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This got to be a foreign work permit holder they are the only ones that comment any crimes here in cayman

  4. Anonymous says:

    ban turtle meat consumption/captivity. anybody in possession of turtles/meat get automatic $10k fine. enforce the law. problem solved.

    • Anonymous says:

      9.20 am a brilliant idea…now how are we going to fund an RCIPS officer to sit in each house and ensure we don’t eat of buy turtle meat? And then we need some more officer to watch over the officers to ensure they are not corrupted by those they are watching…are you sure you thought this through properly?

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you think poachers and developers are scum, but give a pass to rapists and murderers, you need to gain a little more wisdom too

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think anyone is doing that. You’re just making straw-man arguments to make yourself feel better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ok, I guess. Who exactly is giving a pass to rapists, murderers and Trump supporters? Did I miss something?

    • Kadafe says:

      Just to add to that, you would also need to consider relief officers for shift duties, vacation, sick leave maternity and paternity leaves etc.. Sergeants, inspectors, and a turtle watchers internal affairs department, annoymous tip line answered in Miami for conduct of turtle watchers and suspicious activity. Could be good for jobs….

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you really want to stop this then the community needs to stop consuming turtle meat. This turtle would have produced many pounds of meat which would have been sold to numerous individuals (and restaurants?) on the black market. Anyone buying poached turtle is complicit.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    Thing is, they’re was no real poaching in the past where people try to say it’s part of Caymanian culture and that’s totally false. Early settlers used the sound as a pen to farm captured turtles so that they would have a plentiful population to pick from.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was talking to a DoE officer a while ago and they said that every time they approach a poacher, they, the poacher, will have a weapon or potential weapon with them.
    Not me bobo, I’m not that brave.

  10. Anonymous says:

    it’s a gold ford ranger , the same one that’s always around looking coconuts police know these guys

  11. Anonymous says:

    They need to be arrested and vehicle confiscated! Then sent to prison for 5 years. Until we start locking them up for years it won’t stop. Low life’s.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Locals never gonna get charged with crap. As usual. Even if they were they would be bailed and never heard from again. B.s.

  13. Anonymous says:

    You gotta have guts to face dem poachers, any tinking dat is easy job is foolishness. Good job boys, keep up da goodness you do.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Damn expats again no doubt.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, our M.O. is to come in with back hoes and cement mixers, rip the holey hell out of the beach, pave it and sell drinks and then sit back and spout platitudes about ‘what a nice spot this is’ while making snarky remarks about the locals. No doubt.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good job.

    • Sharkey says:

      Anonymous 5:00 pm . I hope that you’re not complementing DoE for doing a half ass job .. what would you do and say when they put someone in prison for poaching a turtle .

      • Anonymous says:

        I, like any right minded, civilised Caymanian would say thankyou and hooray, another scumbag off the streets.
        You’re an angler, you should be trying to preserve our natural resources Sharkey, not criticize those who risk their safety on your behalf.
        Go fishing bwoy and shut up!

        • Sharkey says:

          8:26am . You go fish and shut up . I am saying Law Enforcement Agencies do their job infull not half ass and put scumbag poachers in prison , is the only thing that would stop the poachers like who I don’t know .

          I am all for the protection of the Islands Natural resources . But when you are put to do a job and you don’t do it , I am not going to praise you , I will criticize you and don’t care who you are .

          • Anonymous says:

            8.26 I would give up, you are arguing with a one watt lightbulb.

          • Anonymous says:

            But they did do their job, it’s for the prosecuting authorities and the Courts to decide on legal matters such as punishment.
            So your premise of a half ass job must include them too.
            Stop criticizing and learn to express yourself correctly, then others wouldn’t assume you’re just being a d###.

      • Anonymous says:

        Very good job?

        I would suggest that a good job is better than a bad job (we saw the poachers but had to wait for backup as they were (possibly) ‘armed’ with knives and a machete (for butchering the turtle) and they had time to drive off with the turtle.) – And better than a bad job (we didn’t see the poaching, no one who saw it called us, someone called but we didn’t respond, etc.)

        While I understand your frustration when poachers/robbers/rapists/developers/etc. get away (and not implying moral equivalency between them, but some of the commentators on here get distracted if we don’t tar enough people with the same brush) it is also appropriate to say ‘good job’ when the police/security get there in time to stop the break-in/attack/etc., even if the suspects get away. At least something was done.

  16. Veritas says:

    Poaching is entrenched in Cayman and West Bay is a hotspot. The only way to stop these repeat offenders is to enforce the law and put them behind bars for 4 years.Whoever came up with a $500,000 fine needs his brains tested, most of these guys don’t even have $5.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can confiscate vehicles and force them to sell their family land!

      • Anonymous says:

        You can shame them on a government website with a photo so they become nongrata in the community and then the community could identify them when we see the same people around he shores ….nah, dey is jus gud ol boyzzzzzz, and we neve know, dey may change der wayzzzzz.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or butcher them like they would have done. Then feed them to the sharks.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Any more info on the “gold pickup” that was being used? Plate number? Can’t be that many?

    • Anonymous says:

      If it really is a gold pick-up, it’s gotta be Dart or someone like that. Gold vehicles are pricey.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cute. You believe the Police have a searchable database that can list who owns vehicles by type and color, and that if they do they will actually use it.

    • Southsounder says:

      Is there no video evidence from the Police west bay traffic cameras, or has it been conveniently wiped?
      It’s about time the public took responsibility for Cayman’s dwindling heritage, as it is clear that the government have absolutely no interest in dealing with this problem.
      Turtle DNA traces would easily identify the gold truck and anyone involved in this moronic crime, there should also be severe penalties for anyone buying wild turtle meat on the black market, lets publically name and shame the individuals responsible, so that those of us who still care about our heritage, can monitor them.
      Having environmental protection laws are totally pointless, if they are not enforced !

  18. Anonymous says:

    If the legal system doesn’t start making examples out of the poaching scum on this island the nesting population will soon become extinct. It’s only a matter of time before the last nesting female is captured and slaughtered for a couple hundred dollars.

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