SVG to impose ban on hunting, killing sea turtles
November 4, 2016
SVG to impose ban on hunting, killing sea turtles

As January 1 welcomes the year 2017, it would also be accompanied by a complete ban on the hunting and killing of sea turtles and their eggs.

This was announced on Tuesday by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, while giving the feature address at a handing over ceremony at Calliaqua.

According to the Prime Minister, the ban has already been agreed to by Cabinet and is in keeping with the mantra ‘No extinction{{more}} in our generation.’

“In fact, already there’s a project which is being devised for turtle watching,” he added.

While the laws of SVG currently prohibit hunting of sea turtles for part of the year, between August 1 and February 28, persons are allowed to catch, sell or buy the creatures.

However, it has always been illegal to disrupt the turtles’ nests and take eggs.

Any violation of these regulations can result in an individual fine of EC$5,000.

On Tuesday, Gonsalves noted that a number of turtles come in between Colonarie and Black Point and at Big Sand, Sandy Bay and while four major species swim in Vincentian waters, there is a challenge with one particular specie.

He further noted that the Government is ensuring that children are educated about marine life in schools.

“We’re doing a lot of education in the schools and believe me, young people around the country, apart from in the areas like Colonarie and Gorse and Byera and so forth and up in Sandy Bay, they don’t know that we eat turtle.”

Gonsalves, however, added that traditional whaling would not be banned.

“Now we are not talking about banning traditional whaling, but I just want to point out that we have our work to do, to do many innovative things and to educate the whole world in relation to the sustainable use to our marine resources, including in relation to whaling, and on a scientific basis.”

According to, 129 of the 207 species of turtles are listed as endangered, vulnerable or critically endangered. Although turtle meat is known as a delicacy, if they are left in their own habitat they can live for over 100 years.

Unfortunately, turtles have been poached for their shells, taken as a pets and used for their meat, which has resulted in many of the species being placed on the endangered list. (AS)