BVI News

Capturing certain turtles is illegal, public warned

The public is being warned to refrain from capturing undersized turtles, Leatherback Sea-Turtle and Loggerhead Sea–Turtles.

Undersized means turtles that have a shell-length less than 24 inches for Green Turtles and less than 15 inches for the Hawksbill.

The warning comes amid two video clips our news centre has seen which shows large sea turtles that were reportedly captured in the BVI recently. One of the clips shows a man who lined the turtles on their backs and then counted them. They numbered 15 in total.

It’s unclear how many of the large turtles in the video are protected species.

The second video clip shows law enforcement officers releasing large turtles into the ocean. Despite reports, BVI News has not confirmed if the two videos are related.

However, the clips have sparked a response from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries which said the capture of the above-mentioned turtles is illegal even during the turtle season which runs from December 1, 2020, to March 31, 2021.

Director of Agriculture & Fisheries, Mr Theodore James has said his department was made aware of a video in circulation regarding the illegal capture of seven Green sea turtles which have since been rescued and released.

Mr James said investigations into the matter are ongoing and is reminding the public that the named turtles should not be removed from the waters, sold or purchased.

“A person licenced to fish in the Territory by the department must be approved to capture turtles within their licence conditions. Not all licenced fishers possess this approval and buyers are responsible to inquire to ensure that intended purchases are legal,” he stated.

To report illegal fishing, persons can contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries at 468-6123/6124.

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  1. Ha says:

    Hunting/Capturing of all turtles should be illegal.

    Boycott the BVI

    Like 36
    Dislike 10
    • @HA says:

      Your father should have boycotted your mother.

      Like 12
      Dislike 19
      • Sue says:


        Like 3
        Dislike 7
    • @Ha says:

      100% true. Some people capture the turtles to be slaughtered for meat and also sell the meat. I don’t give a damn, who eat turtle? That is so disgusting. I agree, you capture a turtle, if you get caught with turtle meat, hit them hard in the pockets.

      Like 25
      Dislike 3
    • Doh says:

      BVI belongers don’t need to eat turtle.

      They have fast food, potato chips, sodas, and ice cream now. And it shows. Obesity and diabetes are off the scale here.

      Carry on

      Like 14
      Dislike 5
  2. Turtle sanctuary says:

    Archaic industry, we would make more by having waters abundant with turtles for people to marvel out. i cant believe anyone relies on turtle meat for sustenance.

    Like 31
    Dislike 1
    • Lol says:

      but ya’ll eat lobster, huh? They have as big a part to play in the ecosystem, but bet you got no problem scarffing one down, with ya performative nonsense.

      Like 9
      Dislike 12
      • Doh says:

        So apparently you are not educated to know that turtles are not a sustainable food source. Only 1 in 1000 makes it to maturity. A single lobster spawns thousands…

        Educate yourself before you comment.

        Carry on

        Like 16
        Dislike 1
  3. Disgusting says:

    Persons capturing turtles illegally should be prosecuted. I dont know how we can claim to be Natures Little Secret while slaughtering the best we have to offer. Video is truly disgusting

    Like 21
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  4. Untill says:

    The only way this is going to stop is the turtles have to be chipped when the babies is hatched. IF YOU CATCH A TURTLE IN YOUR FISH POT, set it free back in it’s natural habitat. I have a friend who is a lobster fisherman in Maine, when they pull their catch, each lobster has to be a certain size, the ones that is not the size requirement has to be released back in the Ocean or you will be given a very heavy fine. Also there is a inspector at the dock to check your catch.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  5. Hit list says:

    The identity of any person who kills a turtle is given to a hungry shark. Be careful out at sea turtle killers!!!

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  6. PC says:

    Just to see a turtle surface for a few breaths near you is a wonderful experience. Seeing and swimming with a turtle in their environment would make anyone’s holiday.

    How can you promote the BVI as an attractive tourist destination using “BVI Love” when capturing, killing and eating turtles is condoned.

    If income from tourism is to be the BVI’s future then play the game seriously. Find what will pull in tourists and protect it for future generations.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  7. Come on says:

    BVI we need this to be stopped. A handful of beligerent sh1ts are ruining the BVI’s reputation both as a people and a tourism – particularly a sea and nature based tourism destination.

    Clearly this person has done something that he knows is wrong and yet we don’t see any action taken.

    Some of our harbours that had a few turtles a few months ago are now empty. Our fish stocks and the reefs and mangroves they require are looking pretty bad (while they have recovered a tiny bit since lockdown). What will the next generation have and those beyond.

    It is wrong, unChristian and illegal to be taking sharks, stingrays, turtles, parrotfish and other endangered species so who are our authorities not protecting these islands and their precious remaining flora and fauna?

    Like 5
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    • Yup says:

      God wills it.

    • What? says:

      I was with you until you said it’s unchristian to eat turtles.
      Where in the bible does it say that? I know the bible is a large book but surely it doesn’t name every species we can’t eat?
      Also, does that mean it’s cool if you are not Christians?

  8. Agreed says:

    Who is failing the ecosystem in gov enforcement? Call me out. And if this got picked up by press, it would shave 20% off arrivals for the season. Strupes

  9. Stop says:

    Stop capturing them period. Humans are the worst.

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