The ongoing Green Sea Turtle conservation efforts taking place at the Cayman Turtle Farm has received a financial boost from the Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. The company has a history of supporting the Turtle Farm’s scientific research programmes as well as through its awareness and educational campaigns.
One such programme is the Turtle Farm’s release of tagged farm-reared turtles into the wild. This programme has garnered much international recognition for its research value and for it efforts to increase the wild population.
Cayman Turtle Farm Curator of Terrestrial Exhibits and Education Programmes Geddes Hislop noted that CUC was the first corporate turtle sponsor when the programme was launched back in early 2006.
‘In order for the Cayman Turtle Farm to have the international recognition and the support it deserves as a viable breeding, research and conservation venture, it is extremely important to have not only community support but also corporate,’ he said.
‘In a new world where ‘going green’ and environmental issues are at the forefront, having the support of internationally recognised and renowned corporations like CUC adds credibility to the Turtle Farm’s programmes.’
President and CEO of CUC Richard Hew said, ‘By sponsoring the Cayman Turtle Farm’s conservation efforts, we hope to make a real contribution towards the survival of the Green Sea Turtle and the preservation of a prominent part of Cayman’s cultural heritage.’
The Cayman Islands have long been linked to the turtle – both symbolically and economically. First named ‘Las Tortugas’ by Christopher Columbus due to the sheer number of turtles seen in the surrounding waters, the Cayman Islands depended partially on the turtling industry for economic survival for many years.
Symbolically, a turtle is represented in the national crest and in the logo of many local companies. CUC’s own mascot is a green sea turtle – called Sparky – which is also represented in the company logo.
Acting Managing Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Cayman Turtle Farm Joe Parsons has been working on the facility’s turtle conservation programmes for over 30 years.
‘It is wonderful to see how much CUC cares about this great icon of our little country and their Sparky,’ he said.
‘The support of corporate sponsors like CUC allows us to continue the research that could allow us to increase our hatch and survival rate.’
He said the success of the Cayman Turtle Farm helps to ensure the future of the Green Sea Turtle in our waters and allows for the continuation of one of our oldest traditions.
‘We will be able to continue our conservation efforts by supplying a legal, renewable source of the traditional turtle meat, which helps to take pressure off the wild turtle population and allows it to recover. We will also be able to continue to assist this recovery by releasing turtles into the wild.’