Community Focus: Turtles tormented by fishermen - Eggs used to make punch
Environmentalist Delroy Boswell is concerned that persons have been raiding turtle nests in Duncans, Trelawny.
"Fishermen continue to ambush the turtles as they come ashore to lay their eggs. When we walk the beach we see the signs of the struggle, blood is splattered on the beach and there are signs that nests have been disturbed," Boswell said.
The killing of a turtle is a breach of the Wildlife Protection Act.
"The turtle is a protected animal. It is therefore a criminal offence to hunt or have any part of the turtle in your possession. Any person found guilty before a parish judge is therefore liable to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months," National Environment and Planning Agency said.
Boswell told the WESTERN STAR that some fishermen continue their illegal activities.
"They kill the turtles or raid the nests and take away the eggs. They have a ready market but it destroys the perpetuation of the life of turtles," he said.
Sandra James revealed that until six years ago she was one who enjoyed the turtle meat and the punch made from the turtle eggs.
"Then, I did not know that turtles were a protected specie. Since I have become aware I have been a voice among others trying to protect the turtles," she said.
James and Boswell have joined forces to educate persons about the importance of protecting the turtles. They said that the ending of sand mining in the area has done much to protect the endangered species. James and Boswell now want the government to consider educating students about the importance of environmental protection.
"It is not just for turtles but also other matters. For example, families will come to the beach for a picnic and when they leave they leave their rubbish, including plastic bottles and Styrofoam plates," he said.
Boswell is of the opinion that if arrests are made it would minimise the number of turtles killed by fishermen.