‘Christian’ illegal mass slaughter of turtles in Fiji

About this video: The first green turtle tracking in the Gulf region was started at Abu Dhabi, UAE.

From IPS:

ENVIRONMENT-FIJI: Turtle Slaughter Exposes Toothless Ban

By Shailendra Singh

SUVA, Sep 14 – Following reports of the slaughter of 84 turtles, as part of festivities for an annual church conference, conservationists have called on Pacific Island countries to enforce legislations that ban the killing or molestation of the endangered sea reptiles.

Fijilive.com, the web portal first reported, last week, the slaughter, late August, during the Methodist Church Conference at Macuata, Northern Fiji.

According to the report, Fiji’s Fisheries Department gave the approval for only three turtles to be caught for “traditional purposes” as permitted under a moratorium on turtle hunting.

But five fisheries officers stationed in Macuata to monitor the number of turtles caught by church members later reported that 84 turtles had been captured and slaughtered. …

According to the WWF, all seven species of marine turtles are susceptible to extinction although at varied stages.

Of these seven species, four are found in Fiji waters. They are the Hawksbill turtle, Green turtle, Leatherback turtle and Loggerhead turtle. …

“Turtles are migratory species and turtle slaughter here (in Fiji) could be nesting populations from other Pacific islands,’’ Tabunakawai said. “For example, Green turtles come from American Samoa and the Cooks Islands to feed and forage in Fijian waters. Fiji is a turtle feeding hot-spot for the South Pacific.’’

3 thoughts on “‘Christian’ illegal mass slaughter of turtles in Fiji

  1. Costa Rica expropriates land to protect turtles
    Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:11pm EDT

    By John McPhaul

    SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (Reuters) – Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has ordered the expropriation of lucrative beach-front land to protect the endangered leatherback sea turtle, the government said on Thursday.

    Arias began expropriation procedures for some 30 hectares (74 acres) of land in northwestern Costa Rica, the most important leatherback sea turtle nesting site on the Pacific Rim, Energy and Environment Minister Roberto Dobles said.

    “We are only complying with the law that established Las Baulas (national marine park) in 1995,” Dobles told Reuters.

    Some of the expropriated land owners, mostly Europeans and U.S. citizens, had resisted the expropriation even though the land was made a national park by law in 1995.

    Environmentalists hailed the move to protect the turtles, which have been declining in alarming numbers in recent years.

    “It will help us to restore the population of leatherback turtles in the Pacific,” said Todd Steiner of the San Francisco-based Turtle Island Restoration Network.

    Environmentalists say 95 percent of leatherbacks in the Pacific Ocean have vanished in the last 20 years due to human activity like fishing, poaching of their eggs and building near their nests.

    Thousands of leatherbacks built nests at the Las Baulas beaches 10 years ago but the number has dropped to below 100 in the last five years.

    Leatherbacks, which can reach a shell length of 5.6 feet and a weight of 1,543 pounds (700 kg), often die after being entangled in fishing lines and nets.

    © Reuters2007 All rights reserved


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