DoE seeks support for turtle plan

| 24/07/2019 | 3 Comments
Cayman News Service
Green sea turtle (Photo courtesy of the DoE)

(CNS): Following the release last month of the Cayman Islands National Conservation Council’s draft sea turtle species conservation plan, the Department of Environment is encouraging the community to take part in the public consultation. The NCL has launched an online survey to make it easier for people to offer support and comments for the plan and wants as many people as possible to take part and support the proposal to help protect these much loved animals in the wild.

“It was important to NCC members that we try to reach as many people as possible and seek their views on this conservation plan that seeks to protect Cayman’s iconic marine reptile,” said DoE Director and NCC member Gina Ebanks-Petrie. “We will collate all comments received and use those to inform and amend the plan as we go forward.”   

The plan proposes measures such as phasing in mandatory turtle-friendly lighting, marking farmed turtle meat to make it easier to differentiate it from poached meat, and limiting digging and heavy equipment use on beaches where turtles are nesting.

Environment Minister Dwayne Seymour, who had proposed to Cabinet a conservation plan by the Cayman Turtle Centre that would have undermined Cayman’s conservation credibility, appears to now be backing the NCL’s plan and encouraged people to participate in the survey.

“Sea turtles are one of Cayman’s best-known symbols and we should all take an interest in this work to help protect them,” he said.

Meanwhile, the DoE is warning people not to disturb breeding and nesting turtles after video captured off Seven Mile Beach last week (see below) showed jet-skiers not only disturbing a mating pair of turtles but actually putting their lives at risk.

The activity shown in this video sent to DoE last week risks disrupting mating turtles or even injuring a turtle if one is struck by the watercraft. If you are on a Jet Ski, Waverunner or boat and see a healthy turtle or mating pair on the water’s surface, please don’t disturb!

Posted by Cayman Islands Department of Environment on Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Enforcing laws to prevent people disturbing turtles is proposed in the plan and the survey invites people to comment on these proposals. The consultation period will run until 9 September.

See the draft consultation plan here

Take the survey here

The documents and survey are also available upon request by contacting DoE/NCC Public Education and Outreach Officer Brent Fuller:

In the Sister Islands, copies of the draft plan may be reviewed at the District Administration Building and at the Cayman Brac Library.

Members of the public not using the online survey can submit their comments on the conservation plan in writing, details below:

Cayman Islands Department of Environment
PO Box 10202
Grand Cayman KY1-1002
Cayman Islands
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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How will their plan help bring down the cost of turtle meat to an affordable level?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am now convinced people must loose their mind when they get on a jet ski

  3. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    It took less than 1/2 an hour to read and understand the draft consultation plan, and the take the survey.

    I don’t have tons of time today, but that was time well spent.

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