THE LAW PROHIBITS THE HARVESTING, SALE, PURCHASING AND CONSUMPTION OF SEA TURTLES DURING THE CLOSED SEASON.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development has received reports that sea turtle meat is being sold in the south of the island. The Ministry reminds fishers and the public that the sea turtle fishery is currently closed.
The sea turtle fishery is closed from January 1 to September 30. The law prohibits the harvesting, sale, purchasing and consumption of sea turtles during the closed season; which includes the whole, any part or the by-products of the sea turtle (meat, shell or other parts).
Members of the public are also reminded that in accordance with the Regulation 33 (1) (b) of the Fisheries Act, Cap 7.15 of the revised Laws of Saint Lucia, it is an offence to interfere with any nesting sea turtle or their eggs.
In an effort to ensure the survival of the sea turtle population, please adhere to the following guidelines:
1. Stay at least 6ft away from nesting sea turtles;
2. Avoid driving on sea turtle nesting beaches;
3. Avoid using lights when a sea turtles is observed nesting;
4. Avoid handling hatchlings (baby sea turtles);
5. Do not take, handle or touch sea turtle eggs;
6. Keep all pets, large items, ropes, nets and garbage off the beach;
Anyone found with sea turtle eggs or interfering with nesting sea turtles or are in possession of sea turtle meat during the closed season is liable to a maximum fine of EC$5000.00 per offence.
The public is encouraged to report all sea turtle related offences and nesting activities by contacting the Department of Fisheries at 468 4135, 468 4141 or 725 1722 or the nearest police station.