A green sea turtle. (Internet photo)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

The hunting and slaughtering of sea turtles is woefully short-sighted, stupid and ignorant.

The ban on hunting and the slaughtering of turtles is the work of a statesman. It is the only fresh idea that they have come up with that tells me maybe, just maybe somebody is getting serious about tourism. I really cannot call the ban “innovative,” or “novel”. And “fresh idea” is more flattering than should be. I am not going rain on his parade, though, because by any standard, it is a glorious ban and it took cojones. I would like to think that the international airport had a little something to do with decision. Whatever, or whichever it is still statesmancraft and gusty; you have to hand it to him.

The move, however, brings a considerable burden and political risk: to do or not to do the same for whale watching. The argument and reasons for the first is identical — not “similar” — to that for the second and no fair, right-minded person, especially a neo-statesman, can argue on behalf of one and against the other. The ball is in your court, Prime Minister. You put it there. Do the obvious and right thing or you will be accused of extreme double standards. Go for whale watching.

In Barbados, if someone harms a turtle, in the slightest, or even frightens them, the villain would come close to a lynching (beatings has been had) before the law gets them. And you know why? Because of this: you touch the turtle, you touch me.

Even in the case of a whale, the watching industry if far more lucrative than the butchering industry. And, please, do not talk to me about “our culture” and expect me to respond. It will be a little infra dig.

Check out the hyperlink above and ask yourself this: what if Barbados had whales like we have?

Patrick Ferrari

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

4 replies on “I take my hat off to our ballsy Prime Minister”

  1. Passing a law is one thing, enforcing it is another. For a start we will need to educate our people about the need to save the turtles. And if they nevertheless continue to kill them we have to catch the perpetrators and bring them before the courts. We have a number of laws on our books that at present are “more honoured more in the breach than in the observance”. This could well be another such. So I will wait to see what actually happens after the law is passed before offering commendations

  2. Catching killing and eating turtles will continue if you have the ULP general license that allows you to breach any law you wish upon presentation of your party card or displaying on your car bumpers “I am Labour”.

    For every tourist visiting the Grenadines the highlight of their trip is visiting the park and swimming with the turtles.

    But like Patrick I congratulate the PM in this decision.

    Yes now we would like whale watching to take preference over whale slaughtering. But whilst we continue to take the bribe from Japan that will never happen.

    Stop taking the Japanese ??

  3. No ballsy here for me; more like political posturing and hypocrisy.

    If he banned black fish (pilot whale of the species Globicephala macrorhynchus) hunting at Barrouallie, there go all the ULP votes at their stronghold at Bottle and Glass. Two years ago, a record number of pilot whales were caught so this is still an important commercial enterprise (I was lucky enough to pass by the next day when the meat was being cut prior to sale and corning).

    As for Bequia whale catching, which is mainly a ceremonial activity, this might be outlawed first because the ULP will not win a seat in the Grenadines this generation.

    This PM has been the worst political conservationist in our country’s history and a small gesture after 16 years will not change that one bit.

    1. Patrick Ferrari says:

      A whole set of turtle slaughtering – and egg eating – goes on in the north side of the island, p.m.’s territory I needn’t point out, and in the southern Grenadines, too.

      True, the ULP would not see a Grenadines’ seat in this generation but politics is slow-building and the ULP has been clawing into the NDP’s hold there. I would like to think that the prime minister is selfless enough to try and build on that. That is why I think those two considerations it makes the turtle ban particularly ballsy.

      As for your last comment that he is the worst conservationist in our country’s history. I cringe every time I hear the unapologetic jingle boasting that they have licked down mountains, filled valleys and changed rivers.

      Who but a dedicated, committed anti-conservationist would brag about destroying mountains, valleys and rivers? You can butcher land the same you can butcher turtles, you know, but he doesn’t see it. Or doesn’t care, which is the far greater sin.

      The bigots will defend with: the means justifies the end.

      For now.

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