Department of the Environment’s Marine Enforcement Officers Carl Edwards and Ronnie Dougall were out on regular patrol in East End last month when they arrested a Caymanian male for breaches of the conservation law.
The man was in possession of 20 shelled conch, eight lobsters, an unlicensed spear gun, and one young hawksbill turtle, states a GIS press release.
The turtle had recently swallowed a fish hook, leaving a length of line, lead weight, and swivel hanging from its mouth. The officers took the injured reptile to local veterinarian Dr. Brenda Bush, who performed X-rays with the hope of removing the hook. The turtle is now housed at the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm until the hook can be surgically removed and the turtle returned to the wild.
The marine enforcement officers advise that to avoid prosecution, persons finding a sea turtle that appears to be injured should contact a marine enforcement officer or 911 immediately to ensure that the turtle receives appropriate treatment.
The public can contact the DoE Enforcement Officers by calling 925-5158, 916-4271, or 926-4444.
close up of injured turtle
DOE Enforcement Officers Carl Edwards and Ronnie Dougall