Turtle meat price to triple

More changes coming to Turtle Farm

The price of turtle meat and other
turtle food products will triple as of Monday.

The announcement came Friday
afternoon in a press release issued on behalf of the Boatswain’s Beach/Cayman
Turtle Farm Board of Directors and new Managing Director Tim Adam.

The sale of turtle meat to restaurants and the general public has always
been a very important function of the Cayman Turtle Farm,” the press release
stated.  “But, according to the new management
and board, the price that was being charged for this commodity was far below
the cost to produce it, and the facility was constantly losing money on that portion
of the business.

“As a result,
Mr. Adam says the business now needs to raise the selling price on turtle meat
to reflect the true cost of production and maintenance of the turtle meat
products and the Cayman Turtle Farm facilities.”

The price of
the turtle stew meat sold at the Turtle Farm will rise from CI$5.40 per pound
to CI$16  per pound.  The price of the turtle steak will rise from
CI$9 per pound to CI$27 per pound. The price of the turtle menavelin will rise
from CI$4 per pound to CI$12 per pound, and the price of the turtle bone will
rise from CI$2 per pound to that of CI$6 per pound.

Mr. Adam said
that one of his first priorities after taking the managing director positon was
to begin a process of closely examining every aspect of the Turtle Farm’s
operations to determine if they were being run efficiently and were commercially
viable.

 “Looking closely at the farm operations, it
was immediately clear that the price being charged for turtle meat would not
allow the proper operation of the farm,” he said. “The supply of turtle meat in
Cayman is in jeopardy and could dry up in the very near future without
significant re-investment in the turtles, their feeding and care or even the
farm facilities.”

The press
statement said the Turtle Farm Board of Directors recognized the cultural
significance of turtle meat in the Cayman Islands
and were committed to doing what it took to ensure the long-term sustainability
of the Cayman Turtle Farm and the availability of turtle products.

“They are
demonstrating their determination by implementing this increase in the turtle
meat’s selling price,” the press release stated.

Boatswain’s Beach/Cayman Turtle
Farm Marketing Manager Calicia Burke 
noted that turtle meat was one of the rarest forms of food in the world.

“Our farm
avoids the need for any green sea turtles to be taken from the wild by the
general public,” she said. “Our aim is to continue facilitating conservation
and preservation of the species through our strategies of commercialization,
leading-edge research and technological development of green sea turtle farming.”

Chairman of
the Board Ken Hydes confirmed that more changes would be coming.

“Over the
coming weeks and months we will be making many difficult decisions about the
operations at Boatswains
Beach and the Turtle
Farm,” he said.  “I can assure the public
that these decisions are being made with the long-term best interest of the
shareholders, the Caymanian people. 

Read much more
on this story in Monday’s print and on-line editions of the Caymanian Compass.

1 COMMENT

  1. I am always appreciative that there is a facility to educate people about our history, protect and help to keep our turtles from extinction while providing a food resource that is a delicious part of Caymanian diets.
    So it is with great hope, that a part of the business operation that is addressed is the conflict of communication to potential customers.
    An example of this is that late last year, I visited the boatswainsbeach.ky website where I saw that the business operation times reflected: Fri-Sun 8:30AM to 10:00PM (last admission); park closed at 6:30PM.
    I called a visiting friend and agreed that we would go that very morning (Sunday) I called Boatswain Beach to ask a question about online discounts and potential residential discounts. There was never any answer from the business, nothing specific on business times and no space left to leave a message in the general delivery inbox.
    We both arrived at Boatswain’s Beach at about 9.45am November 15th where the doors were locked, a sign on the door read “..would like to inform our valued customers that the park will be closed on Sundays beginning 20 September until further notice-Regular Park Hours: Mondays thru Saturdays 8am to 4:30pm, Fridays-Schooner’s bar and grill open until 1:00am..”
    While standing and reading this sign, 2 other couples appeared for the same reason: to spend their money and time at this park.
    So, Boatswain’s Beach lost $45US per person x 6 people = $270US lost in just the 15 minutes that I was there (not including money that may have been spent on food and beverages) all because a door sign reflected a conflicting website message for at least almost 2 months and no current up to date voice mail service.
    I have not been back since that day, but I look forward to returning soon so that I may pay 3x the price for turtle meat.