2024 Sea-Turtle Nesting Season

2024 Sea-Turtle Nesting Season

 

February 29th, 2024:-  The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries (MALF) would like to remind the public that the annual sea turtle nesting season begins tomorrow, March 1st, and will continue until August 31st, in Trinidad and Tobago. During this crucial period, the MALF emphasizes the importance of preserving sea turtle habitats and urges vigilance in beach activities to minimize disturbance to nesting sites.

 

Beachgoers are urged to exercise caution and refrain from engaging in activities that may disrupt sea turtle nesting behaviors. This includes refraining from biking, driving vehicles, building sand castles, or mining beach sand, as well as avoiding the use of flambeaus, fires, headlights, or any bright lights along the shoreline. Such activities can disorient sea turtles, leading to potential abandonment of nesting sites or disorientation of hatchlings.

 

To ensure the protection of sea turtles and their nesting sites, the public is encouraged to follow these guidelines:

– Refrain from sitting on turtles, as this can cause serious harm to their organs and may result in death.

– Reduce marine debris, such as plastics and fishing gear, to prevent entanglement of sea turtles.

– Participate in coastal clean-up efforts to remove debris and minimize hazards to marine life.

 

In cases of witnessing any harm to sea turtles, turtle eggs, or hatchlings, members of the public are urged to report such incidents to the Forestry Division, the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), or the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service for immediate action.

 

It’s important to note that all five species of marine turtles visiting Trinidad and Tobago’s shores, including the Leatherback turtle, Green Turtle, Loggerhead, Olive Ridley, and Hawksbill, are protected by law under Legal Notice No.89, Vol.53, No.37. The penalties for causing harm to sea turtles include a fine of TT$100,000 and a two-year jail term, as stipulated by the Conservation of Wild Life Act (CoWA).

 

For those interested in turtle viewing, permits can be obtained at designated Forestry Division and District Revenue offices during regular business hours, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays). Permits are required for entry into Prohibited Areas, including the main nesting beaches at Fishing Pond, Matura, and Grande Rivière. Strict adherence to guidelines provided by authorized tour guides and cooperation with law enforcement officers is essential at all times.

 

Permit Locations and Contact Information:

– Forestry Division, Long Circular Road, St. James, Phone: 225-3861

– Forestry Division, Pleasantville, San Fernando, Phone: 225-3777 / 3774 / 3772

– Forestry Division, Damarie Hill, Sangre Grande, Phone: 225-3728

– District Revenue Office, Ramsaran Street, Chaguanas, Phone: 671-4773

– District Revenue Office, Tunapuna, Phone: 662-2797

 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries thanks the public for their cooperation in safeguarding our marine biodiversity and ensuring the conservation of sea turtles during the nesting season.

 

– END – 

 

Notice – Protected Turtle Species

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