#TurksandCaicos, May 17, 2018 – Providenciales – On Wednesday 16TH May, the Department of Environment & Coastal Resources (DECR) was made aware that our beloved Jojo (the Dolphin) had been injured. Upon further inspection, it seems that he may have swam too close to a boat. We request that tour operators, local and resident boat operators please give Jojo the space required to heal.
The DECR would like to remind all water-users that we share the marine environment with other creatures; and we would like to prompt vendors, visitors and residents to take appropriate safety precautions when enjoying the waters of the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Water sports operators are reminded to uphold and adhere to the regulations of the National Parks Ordinance (Ordinance 11 of 1975, as amended) when operating in a National Park.
In order to minimize incidents related to marine animals, the DECR also urges the public to be familiar with the following regulations and guidelines prior to jumping into the water:
- DO NOT touch, stand on or kick the coral; it is a living animal and you will harm it;
- AVOID kicking sand with your fins when snorkeling so that fine particles do not smother and choke living coral;
- DO NOT remove corals, sand, shells and wildlife, whether dead or alive, from the Protected Areas. It is illegal;
- DO NOT fish in protected areas such as National Parks and Nature Reserves. It is illegal to do so. This includes ‘catch and release’ fishing or hunting for conch and lobsters;
- Be cognizant of marine animals in the water, while operating a vessel;
- Adhere to Protected Area speed limits so as to not pose a threat to water-users and marine animals, alike.
The DECR would encourage a safe and fun experience for water-users and those creatures that call the ocean their home, through the above guidelines. Should you notice a marine animal in distress please contact the Department at 338-4170 or email@example.com.