Effective January 1, it will become illegal to catch or kill sea turtles or even disturb their nest in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Currently sea turtles are protected species in St Vincent, but with a open season running from August 1 to February 28 where larger specimens can caught and traded. The minimum weights for sea turtles that can be caught during the open season are: leatherback turtles — 350 lbs; green turtles — 180 lbs; hawksbill turtles – 85 lbs; and loggerhead turtles — 160 lbs.
The government has been working with The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Preservation Fund (SVGPF) to he preservation of endangered species of the islands to upgrade a facility that was funded by Japan under a US$4.6 million grant secured in 2014.
The fund promotes the creation of marine protected areas, local food production, the preservation of endangered species of the islands, the protection of the islands’ forests, rivers, mangroves and beaches, and renewable energy solutions, its website states.
The SVGPF was set up in 2015 by Bryan Adams, who resides on Mustique Island in the Grenadines, Ben Goldsmith a long time visitor to the islands and Louise Mitchell, a Vincentian lawyer and conservationist.
The beaches between Colonaire and Black Point and up at Sandy Bay at Big Sand on St Vincent’s north-eastern coast, are two main places in St Vincent where turtles nest.