Oceanic Defense Calls for an Immediate proclamation to protect all leatherback turtle nesting colonies throughout Trinidad

(stunned man with stunned look poses for photo on the back of a leatherback turtle)

The Trinidadian government is failing the Leatherback Sea Turtle. As a result of funding cuts and lack of political support sea turtles are now being disrupted during their attempts to nest.

Although there are rules in place in relation to what is acceptable behavior in these nesting areas there is not enough enforcement to patrol the 6 miles of beaches each night.

People stream to these (unprotected) beaches to witness one of the most beautiful scenes in nature; the birthing sequence of the leatherback sea turtle. Unfortunately, not all spectators are respectful of the turtles nor show the common sense required to occupy the same stretch of sand.

Nightly, the turtles are being harassed by crowds of people using flash lights and flash photography-both of which can disorient a nesting female or hatchlings. Some people are even carelessly climbing the turtles to take rides. There is also evidence turtles are still being killed by poachers.

People how interfere by blocking, sitting, standing or otherwise abusing these animals should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And as these types of occurrences become more and more common the only sensible thing to do is shut down the beaches completely during evening hours while the leatherbacks move in and out of the water to deliver their brood.

We at Oceanic Defense believe that areas known to be used for any type of birthing should be strictly regulated and completely free of human interference.

Nesting turtles and their eggs are protected from harm and harassment under the Trinidad and Tobago Fisheries Ordinance, Ch. 25, No. 9 and the Trinidad and Tobago Conservation of Wildlife Act Ch. 67:01.

The country supports more than 80 per cent of all leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) nesting in the insular Caribbean Sea, and is said to be the second largest nesting colony in the world with an estimated 6,000 leatherbacks nesting annually.

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You can help the leatherback sea turtle by voicing your outrage and delivering your message loud and clear to the following Trinidadian news agencies:

GUARDIAN: letters@ttol.co.tt
NEWSDAY: info@newsday.co.tt
EXPRESS: express@trinidadexpress.com

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You may also contact Guptee Lutchmedial, president of the Manatee Conservation Trust and support their cause to protect the leatherback Sea Turtle: Website: http://www.manateetrust.org.tt/
email: manateetrust@yahoo.com

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Contact the Trinidadian government directly and DEMAND that all nesting colonies be immediately declared human free zones:

The Environmental Management Authority:

Head Office
#8 Elizabeth Street, St. Clair, Port of Spain

Tele: (868) 628-8042 / 8044-5
Fax: (868) 628-9122
Email: ema@ema.co.tt

South Office
#2 Dumfries Road
La Romain
Tele: (868) 697-7619

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(160 lbs man crouches on the back of a nesting leatherback sea turtle)

(group interfering with nesting leatherback sea turtle)

(leatherback sea turtle clearly nesting - see sand flinging)

(female carelessly poses for photo on the back of leatherback sea turtle)

(man stands on leatherback sea turtle (with machete in hand - submitted through Twitter)

Source: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_news?id=161489882


  1. Already sent my two cents worth to the EMA. Let's hope all our voices can be heard...

  2. Here in Tobago they don't just "Interfere"...they slaughter them to eat the flippers in soup as a prestigous item on the menu.

    We REALLY need help & awareness-spreading of the sickening situation.

    Stinking carcasses of these magnificent creatures - minus the front flippers - are, sadly, a regular site awaiting beach walkers.

    We get NO Governmental assistance & although laws are there, not enforced. HELP...before it's too late for the leatherbacks.....PLEASE

  3. Imagine leaving a turtle in labour to die slowly because you want a fin to eat!Trust me, in Trinidad and Tobago, things may be hard but we not so starving that we need to do this.
    People are too ignorant and immoral.
    Our government needs to do something now! Turtles are dying for no reason.
    Maybe international attention will embarrass them into stepping up and saving these wondrous creatures of God.

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  5. I want a $10,000 fine issued to all of these fools!!!!
    find their mother or their GF or their wife and go stand on her back so I can take a picture of it and post it on MY wall!
    Why are some human beings so stupid?