TCI News

Officials address ‘Illegal Fishing’ in Turks and Caicos

Photo by Turks and Caicos Natl Museum

#TurksandCaicosIslands – April 22, 2020 — It has come to the attention of the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) that individuals have been seen hunting sea turtle in Thompson’s Cove, Providenciales.

The Department would like to remind the general public that the Turks and Caicos Islands are currently adhereing to a ‘shelter in place’ order as enforced by the Turks and Caicos Islands Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations of 2020. As such, fishing is not permitted, unless you have applied for and have received exemption from the Governor as required in accordance with the abovementioned regulations.

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Furthermore, the general public is reminded of the following regulations as it pertains to fishing, and turtle catch, in particular:

Fisheries Protection Ordinance, Ordinance 5 of 1941, as amended: 

Restrictions on taking, processing, etc. marine products without a license

4.         (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) any person who, not being the holder of and acting in conformity with the conditions of a license authorizing him so to do –

                                    (a) takes or is in possession of any species of marine product; or

                                    (b) processes or exports any species of marine product;

Commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment of twelve months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Fisheries Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014:

  • Only green and hawksbill turtles between 18 and 24 inches shell length can be captured;
  • No capture of hawksbill turtles (closed season) from 1 August to 31 March, each year;
  • No capture of loggerhead, leatherback, olive ridley and Kemp’s ridley turtles;
  • No capture of nesting turtles, or collection of turtle eggs;
  • Captured turtles must be landed live and uninjured;
  • No export of sea turtle products;
  • Turtles cannot be kept in captivity unless for rehabilitation and release;
  • Restriction on the export of queen conch from 15 July to 15 October each year. The restriction does not apply to the export of shells or pearls or pearls or shells worked into jewelry or shell craft items, if the shells or pearls were harvested outside the specified period and are intended for non-commercial or personal purposes.

Please contact the DECR immediately should you see such activity taking place, at environment@gov.tc, or by contacting the Turks and Caicos Islands Royal Police Force.

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