Adult turtle left for dead by poachers


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

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

    Department of Environment Research and
    Enforcement Officers met the police vessel in an effort to save the severely
    injured turtle. However, the discovery on Sunday, 8 May, 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 interrupted
    while taking the turtle and fled the scene, leaving the turtle behind, officers

    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. 


    Past cases of turtle poaching have
    resulted in large fines, prison sentences and confiscation of vehicles and



    The dead turtle found Sunday, 8 May. Photo: submitted


    1. The country must realize that there are a number of individuals who will kill anything be it an endangered species or not and everyone must be on guard for this criminality and respond to it.

      No doubt those brac fishermen who want to fish during spawning season must be watched closely and the law protecting the grouper must be maintained.

    Comments are closed.