Ban on Harvesting Marine Turtles in The Bahamas

Date: August 28, 2009
Contact: David Godfrey
(352) 373-6441

At 12:33 PM on August 27, 2009 the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources in The Bahamas announced that the Fisheries Regulations governing marine turtles have been amended to give full protection to all marine turtles found in Bahamian waters by prohibiting the harvesting, possession, purchase and sale of turtles, their parts and eggs. The new regulations also prohibits the molestation of marine turtle nests. The regulations will come into effect on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009.

In October, 2008, CCC urged its members to let the government of The Bahamas know that the proposed regulations to protect sea turtles from commerical harvest and to provide full protection to all sea turtles should both be approved. For the past few years, CCC and a handful of groups working in The Bahamas has been urging Bahamian leaders to revise their arcane laws regarding sea turtle harvesting. Despite declining numbers of several species being targeted, particularly loggerheads, hawksbills and leatherbacks, there still has been an open season on sea turtles there.

The government of The Bahamas reported engaging in intensive and extensive consultations with the public over the issue of the ban on the harvesting and sale of marine turtles for the past twelve months. The commitment to the conservation and preservation of these species while in Bahamian waters has been demonstrated by the introduction of protective measures and safeguards over the past two decades, starting with the actions taken to safeguard the hawksbill turtle in 1986.

Thanks to all CCC members who took action to contact The Bahamas and urge the government to finally ban the harvest of sea turtles!

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The Sea Turtle Conservancy, formerly known as the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization based in Florida with offices and projects in several other locations. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the oldest and most accomplished sea turtle organization in the world. Since its founding in 1959, the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s work has greatly improved the survival outlook for several species of sea turtles. The Sea Turtle Conservancy has as its mission the protection of sea turtles and the habitats upon which they depend. To achieve its mission, the Sea Turtle Conservancy uses research, habitat protection, public education, community outreach, networking and advocacy as its basic tools. These tools are applied in both international and domestic programs focusing on geographic areas that are globally important to sea turtle survival. For more information, visit the STC website or call (800) 678-7853.