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Turle Shell
A years-old sea turtle shell hangs on the wall of a hotel and restaurant in st. Vincent on wednesday, jan. 4, 2017. A total ban on killing sea turtles or harvesting their eggs came into effect on sunday, jan. 1, 2017. (iwn photo)

St. Vincent and the Grenadine has implemented a total ban on the killing of sea turtles or the harvesting of their eggs.

The ban came into effect on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017.

The decision to impose a total ban on the killing of all sea turtles came in late 2016 in response to the increased global threat to sea turtles and to their status as vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered.

The Ministry of Fisheries initiative to protect all sea turtles comes under the theme “No Extinction In My Generation.”

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A report from the ministry outlined that this year SVG will see increased vigilance in the effort to ensure that all persons abide by the law and end the killing of sea turtles, the harvesting of their eggs, and the sale of their shells in the jewellery industry.

The Ministry of Fisheries said it will continue to work with and support fisherfolk to assist former turtle fishers as they move away from turtle harvesting.

“The ministry, together with National Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority, will pursue a national Sea Turtle Conservation Programme, which is working to make turtle watching a viable eco-tourism opportunity in rural coastal communities. The Windward communities of Colonarie/Byera and Sandy Bay/Big Sand have been identified for two turtle watching projects,” the ministry said in a statement.

Minister of Fisheries Saboto Caesar said: “Today is a great day for conservation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as all our sea turtles are now protected.”

The ministry said the minister wishes to thank all stakeholders who partnered with the government to make this day of total protection for our turtles in SVG a reality.

Caesar said that SVG is willing to support any effort regionally and internationally geared at protecting turtles.

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