Despite opposition from many fishermen, the governmental environmental agency in the Bahamas has amended fisheries laws to give full protection to all sea turtles found in the Atlantic archipelago’s waters by banning the harvest, possession, purchase and sale of the endangered reptiles, including their eggs. The new rules take effect today.
In the past the Bahamian government permitted harvesting of all species of sea turtles except the hawksbill. Flesh had been used by restaurants and shells for tourist keepsakes despite turtles’ status as endangered species. No one knows how many turtles have been killed although information from fishermen and markets indicate the haul was sizable.
Off the coast of the Bahamas’ shallow seagrass beds and reefs are prime foraging grounds for all the sea turtles, pollution and development on beaches where they lay eggs also has taken its toll.
The Bahamas Sea Turtle Conservation Group has succeeded in convincing the government to protect all sea turtle species, after two years of work.
“Ninety percent of the Bahamian public don’t want turtles killed,” Jane Mather the co-head of the conservation group said from the capital, Nassau.
Congratulations to all the people of the world for helping increase awareness and the Bahamans for taking action in favor of the protection of all sea turtles in their waters.
Excerpts courtesy of news.yahoo.com/apbahamas_sea_turtle_law_1
Images courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders‘ files