7MB turtle nests have narrow escape from bulldozer

| 10/09/2018 | 50 Comments
Cayman News Service

Beach where four turtle nests were almost lost

(CNS): Department of Environment volunteers and staff were able to rescue four turtle nests on an empty Seven Mile Beach lot last week when they intervened to stop an excavator that was clearing vegetation in the area. The team arrived just in time to stop the heavy equipment from driving over one nest, but discovered that three other nests at the site had very narrowly missed being crushed by the bulldozer. It took the staff over two hours to locate all the nests and confirm that the eggs were not damaged, having just missed the excavator tracks. 

Using heavy equipment on the beach can crush turtle eggs or compact the sand above them, depriving them of oxygen and preventing them from hatching.

The DoE urges landowners and developers to refraining from operating heavy equipment on the beach during turtle nesting season. Other protective measures include not raking over turtle tracks on the beach, consulting with DoE before clearing Sargassum, and obtaining a permit for beach bonfires from the Department of Environmental Health.

It is not clear why the landowners in this case were clearing the beach. CNS understands that although planning permission had been granted, directions had been given that the work could not start until after the nesting season.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (50)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If you dont like caymaninans doing what we do, then you need to leave. Let us be us and you be you. If the Lord blesses us wid turtles, then he will make more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is Morne Boates and his beach access group? Why aren’t they speaking up about this developer’s conduct?????

  2. Ron Ebanks says:

    I say shame and disgrace to the government for letting people make a mockery of the Laws of the Islands for money sake . I wonder how this nest incident would be handled ? Keep an eye on it people .

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who is protecting Fraser Wellon and why isn’t Cayman Compass reporting this outrageous act of destruction.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How many nests were destroyed before the slaughter was stopped? Maybe his “special status” from last year should be revoked?

  5. Anonymous says:

    The National Conservation Council should sue or fine the Central Planning Authority and the Developer

    • Anonymous says:

      That is EXACTLY what needs to happen!. Then, and ONLY then, will it finally set a precedence that there WILL be consequences for ignoring and blantantly disregarding rules, policies and the laws of this country. Until such time, the government will continue to make under-the-table deals with developers in exchange for large kick-backs that line their pockets, while those in authority and law enforcement sit back and do absolutely NOTHING! Law enforcement and the justice system is a joke here as the government’s definition of good governance is “rules are made to be broken.” However, there WILL be consequences we will all have to face one day. Either as a result of the government’s short-sightedness and continued mismanagement of the country’s natural resources and finances or that of mother nature. “Where there is no vision the people perish.”

  6. Anonymous says:

    This was not Dart for a change. It was Fraser Wellon and he did not have permission from DOE before the destruction began, as was the agreement. He will be fined, as a result, for every single nest that was disturbed.
    The rampant greed and destruction of Seven Mile Beach has accelerated to extremes.
    The resulting erosion and silting will have dramatic effects on the ecosystem.
    This is a harbinger of things to come. Dead turtles are only the beginning.

  7. Anonymous says:

    When clearing land by mechanical means, permission is required from the Planning Department. In that process, DoE is involved in the process.

    So I have to ask, planning permission obtained? One would have assumed if indeed it was, the DoE would have had concerns; giving the known nesting that was going on.

    So it’s either no permission to clear, or a rubber stamping exercise occurred.

    • Anonymous says:

      Um, did you read all but the LAST sentence????
      “CNS understands that although planning permission had been granted, directions had been given that the work could not start until after the nesting season.”

      Do you feel a bit silly now?

  8. Oh how I love Hippos says:

    Turtle Eggs 》 poor things :(( sniff

    Iguana Eggs 》 KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!! :))

    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is iguanas are invasive pest and turtles are a critically endangered local!

      Eat some meat you dumb vegan. Your brain is obviously lacking nourishment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those iguanas will NEVER be endangered. How does that compare?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ironically the powers to be had the iguanas on the list of endangered species a few years ago and those that placed them there where experts in their field of work. Fast track a few years later and look what has happened. We should hold every one of these experts accountable for this catastrophic disaster! Planning department is another story, rubber stamping everything for the sake of the almighty dollar.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, that’s not true at all. These are the Green Iguanas from Honduras and are VERY plentiful. They have no enemies (except for my dog Sam). They have also taken over in the States as well.
          If you are thinking of the Blue Iguanas that are indigenous to Cayman. Those ARE struggling but I think they have been removed from the list.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The super genius online PhD cadre will be forming a committee and will get back to you when it happens again.

  10. Anonymous says:

    because it was DART clearing the land … no one will be prosecuted …. welcome to the Cayman Islands. want to live here? just remember DARTS in charge!

  11. Anonymous says:

    4 turtle nests… That’s only 400+ hatchlings!!! Fine the hell out of them and make an example for others!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The only thing that matters on this little 2×4 rock is a race to dig up/ bulldoze every little sliver of land to build something on it. Pretty soon there won’t be anything pleasant to look at and enjoy. Mostly chunks of cement with windows and roofs and soon a bigger chunk pushing out in the sea. There is nothing here to be proud of anymore. Everything worthwhile has been flatten then piled up floors upon floor. GREED HAS ROTTENED THEIR BRAINS. And hardly anyone left with enough integrity to speak up. Those who do are always criticized and ridiculed.

    • Anonymous says:

      And start with the Planning Board!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Its selective arrest and selective prosecution as usual in Cayman! Someone needs to suit the police, alden and the legal deparment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. They recently prosecuted a visitor for hitting a tree or something. The judgement was passed fast. It takes years to bring Cayman royalty to justice even in a case of vehicular homicide.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you world class civil service. If only the private would get its act together.

  14. Anonymous says:

    In Florida
    penalties for disturbing sea turtle nests are stiff – up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

    Does Cayman have Sea turtle patrol?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t using mechanical means to clear vegetation require planning permission? Who gave it?

    • Anonymous says:

      The article does state that they were indeed given permission with the express stipulation that it not begin until AFTER turtle nesting season. They obviously did not care about that part.. And those types are the ones that really should be fined.
      Best case would be to use them as an example! Wouldn’t that be brillinat!!??

  16. Elvis says:

    Wow that was close, a good talking to should do the trick yeah?

    Could have been worse, could have been coral damage again, that’s a longgggg talking to right there, quickly light a candle

  17. Anonymous says:

    And the last time someone was fined for doing this? That would be never…

    • Anonymous says:

      The maximum for any environmental offence is $500k and 4 years in jail, or both. But the idiots in charge of doe won’t press for it cos they’re too busy covering their pensioned ass’s.

  18. Ron Ebanks says:

    What a joke this DOE is . There are Laws against disturbing the turtle nest ? Then in the Law , isn’t it prison and or fine for disturbing the turtle nest ? Then why aren’t they being prosecuted for disturbing the nest , or don’t let any land owner operate any machinery on the beaches during nesting season . Juse like every Law in the Cayman, if you have the money you can bend the Law .

    • Ron Ebanks says:

      If this had happened in Florida , they would’ve had to sell the land and the equipment to pay the fine .

    • satirony says:

      Response to Ron Ebanks: The DOE has little power. All they can do is instruct the appropriate authorities of infractions of the law, and if they don’t act, there’s little they can do. Grant the DOE more authority and more staff, and many of these ridiculous abuses of the law would stop. Blaming the DOE is to blame precisely the wrong people. To work for the DOE must be incredibly frustrating at times.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not sure I follow. Is there any law preventing the DoE from writing the Commissioner of Police, Attorney General, or Prosecution to request that an investigation be launched by the RCIPS into this illegal conduct?

        • Developers' Friend says:

          CNS, please check your ‘understanding’ “that although planning permission had been granted, directions had been given that the work could not start until after the nesting season.” My understanding is that they had permission without restrictions.

        • Anonymous says:

          The DOE, if they have the staff, can prosecute under the NCL. But liberal and hopeless managers can’t get their s##t together so no staff and no prosecutions.
          Let’s spend 7 million on killing iguanas instead.

      • Anonymous says:

        So what are they being for?

      • Anonymous says:

        Absolute BS. I am an ex govt employee currently living in the states and can tell you the DOE have full power under the NCL, (if it applies) and don’t have to refer to anyone but the DPP.
        From experience, if certain enforcement officers did their job instead of using govt time and vehicles to line their own pockets then perhaps the law would be enforced properly. But to be honest, this looks like a planning issue as it’s above the high tide mark. The deliberate destruction of nests is doe and they should throw the book at these assholes.
        Acting Governor, you want a world class Civil Service, well get these people who use govt/public money to enrich themselves out and let them find their own way. Send in the auditors.
        Our country is suffering.

      • Ron Ebanks says:

        9:09an , so why the hell they aren’t doing something , but they are doing nothing , and they should’ve long time ago .

    • Anonymous says:

      99.9% is not a Caymanian. One turtle to feed a family or make couple of dollars to pay the bills is jail time. Almost killing 400 hatchling by a rich land owner, not even a slap on the wrist and a free get of jail card…….PRICELESS!

  19. Anonymous says:

    If the digger was working illegally ie not during nesting season when can we expect them to be appearing in court.
    Or will the judicial be frightened or will there be inteference by some MLA.

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