The Department of Environment (DOE) is warning the public about poaching sea turtles.
It comes after DOE staff removed the shell of an adult green sea turtle from a dumpster on Saturday (3 August).
DOE’s Conservation Officer Ronnie Dougall said anyone caught in the act of poaching will feel the consequences.
“Saturday morning we got a call from the RCIPS, Inspector Brad Ebanks, that a member of the public had made an anonymous call saying that a turtle shell had been found in a dumpster in the vicinity of Morgan’s Harbour. It was a green sea turtle which of been slaughtered and it was definitely not a turtle from Turtle Centre. We estimate the total to be out about 200 to 300 pounds when he was alive,” said Mr. Dougall. The DOE has a new sea turtle conservation plan for public comment, the plan addresses issues like poaching.
“With turtles, we have zero-tolerance. It’s an immediate arrest, we will take them to Fairbanks and process them, we will prosecute them to the full extent of the law with the maximum penalty of $500,000 or up to four years in jail and we will push that. If we find out they have been in a vehicle or a boat whether it’s $1 million boat or $100 boat, we will take it guaranteed. Will take your boat and will take your vehicle and a put it to the court for the vessel or the vehicle to be forfeited to the Crown,” said Mr. Dougall.