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Future of Cayman Turtle Meat Farm Uncertain

 Turtle 
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) announced several key successes in its ongoing conversations with the Cayman Islands Government related to the Cayman Turtle Farm, the last remaining farm in the world which raises and slaughters endangered green sea turtles for their meat.

Following a positive meeting between WSPA and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and Ministry of District Administration, Tourism and Transport on Friday, January 17, the Cayman Islands Government agreed to several key measures with the potential to have a far-reaching, beneficial impact for endangered sea turtles.

Of particular significance is the funding of research into the true local demand for turtle meat and the effectiveness of the Farm’s annual turtle release program, as well as the suspension of the release program until the results of such research are available.

The government also agreed to look further at ways to end the promotion of the sale of turtle meat to tourists. The Cayman Islands Government agreed to conduct a long-term study assessing the true demand for and cultural significance of turtle meat, to be conducted by the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and funded by the UK Government.



This study will also assess the effectiveness of the Cayman Turtle Farm’s annual turtle release program, which releases turtles into the wild each year despite limited conservation impacts.

The Government also agreed that the release program will be suspended altogether until the study’s findings are completed, expected to be in 2017. In response to the concerns of WSPA and multiple stakeholders, the Government also agreed to explore how to limit the promotion of sea turtle meat to visiting international tourists, which evidence indicates cultivates a market that would not otherwise exist for endangered sea turtles.


Commenting on these outcomes, Dr Neil D’Cruze, WSPA’s Head of Wildlife Policy and Research, said:

 
“WSPA is delighted to hear that the Department of Environment has secured UK funding to investigate the true level of demand for turtle meat and the impact of releasing farmed turtles in the Cayman Islands. It is clear that the information generated by this study will greatly inform effective decision making regarding the long-term future of the Farm, including the possibility of its transition into a rehabilitation and release facility.”


 
Dr D’Cruze added: “We also applaud the Cayman Islands Government for working with us in such a positive manner to identify critical short-term steps that can be taken to help alleviate the immediate animal welfare concerns at the Farm. Specifically, we welcome the news that there will be no more turtle releases from the Farm until the conclusions of this study are made available and that various stakeholders will explore how to limit the promotion of sea turtle meat to visiting international tourists.”



To read the full joint statement from WSPA and the Cayman Islands Government, visit: http://www.gov.ky/portal/page?_pageid=1142,7811001&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL


 
For more information on WSPA’s campaign on behalf of sea turtles in the Cayman Islands, visit: http://www.stopseaturtlefarm.org/


Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

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Future of Cayman Turtle Meat Farm Uncertain

#1 Mel » 2014-02-16 13:26

When I visited the turtle farm, I was absolutely horrified with the exploitation of this animal. And disgusted that visitors were manipulated to regard this as a "tourist" attraction. Disgusting,
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