Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 12th 2014 Contents A13
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
If managed properly, turtle tourism
has the potential to bypass Carnival in
socio-economic value, says Dr Allan
Bachan, executive director of the Turtle
He was speaking at the launch of the
2014 turtle season at the Valencia Visitor
Centre, Valencia, on Monday to announce
the beginning of the sea-turtle nesting
Between March and September every
year, endangered sea turtle species, such
as the leatherbacks, hawksbills and green
turtles, come ashore in Trinidad to lay
their eggs. It is a spectacle that attracts
both locals and tourists alike.
Trinidad, Bachan says, had the largest
turtle nesting colony in the world and as
such played a critical role in ensuring the
survival of these species, a role that would
be mutually beneficial as eco-tourism was
an "essential economic driver."
Bachan called for various ministries to
work together to help restore sea turtles
to their environmental role, saying the
decline of sea turtle populations could
have serious consequences for people.
Bachan is also the chairman of the Envi-
ronmental Management Authority.
Bachan: Turtle tourism can
surpass Carnival benefits
EMA chief executive officer Dr Allan Bachan, left, Minister of Community Development
Winston Peters observe one of two turtles at the Information Centre, Eastern Main Road,
Valencia, on Monday during the launch of the 2014 turtle season. Environment and Water
Resources Minister, Ganga Singh, second from right, and Godwin Adams, deputy chief
secretary and secretary of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment,
were also on the tour. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
CEO of Atlantic Nigel Darlow said it was an honour
for T&T to be one of the select few birthplaces for
sea turtles, an honour that carried with it a great
responsibility to protect and conserve these critically
"Our responsibility is not just for today and not just
for us," he said. "It is for thousands of children who
will be born tomorrow; thousands of turtles who will
come back home to lay eggs on these shores."
Atlantic has partnered with the Turtle Village Trust
since 2008 and has sponsored the National Sea
Turtle Tagging and Monitoring Programme. The
programme, Darlow says, has provided critical data
with which the trust has been able to measure the
success of conservation efforts.
Darlow announced that Atlantic would be
extending its partnership with the trust for another
three years and establishing two new initiatives: GPS
technology for turtle geo-tagging, and a turtle
The geo-tagging initiative, he said, would allow
tracking of turtles on a real-time basis as they
migrate around the globe and the collected data
would then be used to develop more effective
The turtle hatchery would involve turtle eggs being
re-nested in a facility that provides prime conditions
for their hatching, after which the hatchlings would
be released into the sea.
Minister of the Environment and Water
Resources Ganga Singh welcomed Atlantic's
commitment to assisting with conservation
efforts and called on the private sector to
support environmental initiatives as well.
He said the Government had provided $29
million over the last three years to the Turtle
Village Trust via the Green Fund.
Singh acknowledged that poaching of the
protected turtles was still an issue but said
thanks to enhanced enforcement of protection
legislation, poachers were being caught and
punished, and more had been prosecuted in the
last two years than ever before for breaching
wildlife preservation laws. Singh also announced
that the Environmental Management Authority
will be collaborating with the Malaysian
University of Putra Jaya to establish an Institute
of Environmental Forensics in T&T which will be
the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
He urged the public to exercise caution while
on turtle-watching tours and to report illegal
activities related to the turtles by calling the
ministry's Wildlife Hotline at 800-HALT.
Links Archive March 11th 2014 March 13th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page