Some Hope for Hunted Sea Turtles

According to an Associated Press article by David McFadden, the Bahamas recently banned the sale or catch of any species of marine turtle.

Culturally popular for human consumption, sea turtles have required this sort of legal protection for too long. The five species of sea turtle inhabiting the waters of the Bahamian waters are listed as either endangered or threatened species. Previous to the bill, only the Hawksbill was afforded any legal protection from harvesting or hunting.

According to an ecoworldy article by Derek Markham:
The new regulations prohibit the harvesting, possession, purchase and sale of turtles, their parts and eggs, as well as the molestation of marine turtle nests, effective September 1st, 2009.
To get to this landmark legislation, several conservation groups played active roles, including: Oceana, The Bahamas Sea Turtle Conservation Group, and The Bahamas Marine Resources Department

According to the AP article, this legislation is unpopular with some proponents of preserving Bahamian culture. Fortunately, according to Jane Mather, co-chairwoman of The Bahamas Sea Turtle Conservation Group, ninety percent of Bahamians do not want sea turtles killed.

The penalties for breaking the ban are not currently determined.


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