Adult green turtle speared

Officers from the Royal Cayman Islands Police Joint Marine Unit found an adult male green turtle speared through the head over the past weekend. 

The male was fully-grown and weighed between 300-400lbs, according to officers. .

Department of
Environment Research and Enforcement Officers met the police
vessel in an effort to save the severely injured turtle. However, Sunday’s discovery came too late for the turtle which
died en route to the dock.

According to environment officers,
the turtle had been shot with a speargun and also hit by the prop of a boat.
Based on their examination of the injuries, officers believe that poachers
deliberately speared the turtle in the head and then hit it with their prop as
they attempted to bring it onto their boat.

The poachers were
likely disturbed while taking the turtle and fled the scene, leaving the turtle
behind, officers said.

Turtle nesting
populations in the Cayman Islands are endangered and the loss of rare mature
turtles threatens their survival even further. The Department of Environment considers turtle
poaching to be among the most serious of marine conservation offences.

Past cases of
turtle poaching have resulted in large fines, prison sentences and confiscation
of vehicles and boats used in the commission of the offence. 

Environment officers
confirmed that the speargun rod recovered from the turtle did not match any
spears in the Cayman Islands Speargun License database – suggesting that the
turtle was killed with an illegal, unlicensed spear. 

Anyone with
information regarding this incident is asked to make a report to DOE Chief
Conservation Officer Mark Orr (916-4271) or contact Crime Stoppers at 800–TIPS.


  1. What is it about such stories that sends me reeling into a sense of insane outrage making me want to do equally horrible illegal things to these poachers? Where is our National Conservation Law? When we do have it enacted, will those enforceable laws be adequate to stop these senseless killings? Gathering my senses; I fear only ‘heart transplants’ will ever see the end of this carnage stupidity.

  2. The poaching of sea turtles from waters around the Cayman Islands has got to be one of the most selfish, senseless, cowardly, indecent and unpatriotic crimes against nature that takes place in our country, and the Caymanian community should be outraged.
    As a Caymanian who cares about our nation’s heritage and future both, I know how integral turtles are to the very beginnings of civilization of these three islands, and how much we have depended upon them for sustenance during my childhood years. As an educated and informed Caymanian I also know how much we have to offer the world in years to come in our leadership, expertise and experience in understanding how to farm and care for the green sea turtle species especially, and how we can be responsible in breeding them for food as well as other products, and how we could even teach other countries to do that too. In that regard my belief is that we have been blessed so that we can bless others.
    If anyone really feels the urge to eat turtle meat it is readily available from stocks that are bred in captivity right here in Cayman so anyone here can enjoy their turtle meat without having any impact on the wild population. I very much enjoy eating turtle meat too, but I only eat farmed turtle and I refuse to buy it from anyone I suspect may have purchased from a poacher. That’s one of the reasons for existence for Cayman Turtle Farm, where they sell turtle stew several days a week. I’m pretty sure it’s still at the discount price of 12 a pound (the price was dropped from 16) and menavelins are even cheaper.
    Furthermore as a man there is something deep in my being that really resents someone attacking the male turtle when it is so vulnerable during the annual mating ritual taking place right now, doing his part as the male of his species to continue the circle of life and create the next generation of green sea turtles in the wild around Cayman and indeed in the wider Caribbean and Atlantic region. If a man did this, I have to question their maleness! Any red-blooded man who cares about this country and who has any idea about who did this should call 800-TIPS right away and tell them what they know so the criminal(s) who did this can be given swift justice. We already have in place enough of the Law we need to protect turtles, but the authorities can’t be everywhere all the time so they are limited in what they can do to stop illegal behaviour if decent people who know better do nothing about it. I am sure someone out there knows who did this. Act like a man and do what you should. MAN UP!

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