#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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or by contacting the Turks and Caicos Islands Royal Police Force.
Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.
The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.
The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.
Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.
In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.
The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.
Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.
Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.
Photo Caption: Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG
New Rules for Turks & Caicos JPs
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Rules governing Justices of the Peace in the Turks and Caicos are now significantly stricter after the passing of the amendment to the Magistrates Amendment Bill in July 2022.
Despite the fact that Justices of the Peace are allowed the same powers as a magistrate previously the only requirement for their appointment was the discretion of the Governor and that they be under 65-years-old.
Justices of the peace have always by law been allowed to receive complaints, sign charges and issue warrants for the apprehension of persons charged with criminal offenses. They can also issue search warrants summons and administer oaths.
Considering the potentially unchecked execution of these powers, the attorney general’s chambers lobbied for a change in the system.
“These are very wide powers and there is no framework for the supervision and regulation of the whole of justices of the peace in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
The amendment rectified this and the Chief Justice now has the power to make binding rules and regulations governing the appointment of JPs, a code of conduct disciplinary action and orientation and periodic training for JPs.
In addition, to maintain separation of powers the governor will be stripped of the power to disallow laws made by resident magistrates. That power now belongs to the Chief Justice.
Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, TCI Attorney General maintained that the amendment was short but necessary.
Young People in TCI are having sex, Rapport wants to ensure they’re doing it safe
By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Young people in the Turks and Caicos are very sexually active and while there are no concrete statistics, the newest members of the Rapport all said “Yes” to the question about whether there is rampant sexual activity.
“As a young person I totally agree that they are having a lot of sex,” Arean Louis said.
This is particularly concerning given wider statistics point to a very young age group which is still contracting HIV/Aids.
“Caribbean statistics are showing that between the ages of 15 and 25 those have the highest amount of HIV rates.”
Young adult members of Rapport TCI all agree that youth in the TCI must be made aware of HIV and other STIs. Arean Louis, Denae Dennie and Arielle Neely spoke to Magnetic Media on their way to the International AIDS Conference.
All three agreed that our young people are having a lot of sex.
“I would say that our young people are having sec the only thing that I would say is I hope that they are letting their partners know their sexual history, their status, and that they’re being safe.” Dennie said.
Louis added, “As we talk about HIV and AIDS in the Turks and Caicos Islands we most definitely need to bring awareness to our young people because there is no set age— kids nowadays just like to experiment.”
He stressed safe sex, using protection and abstinence to maintain sexual health.
“What we aim to do is keep them safe here, we’re tired and we don’t want to see anymore STD and STI new cases in the Turks and Caicos.”
Dennie says she still thinks there is fear surrounding HIV but with education and protection, the world can get to zero new cases and it was something she was looking forward to.
The final member Arielle Neely explained that there were not enough tools and resources to educate youth.
“There are not enough tools or enough record to educate them. Our parents think they’re doing a good job by telling us don’t have sex but telling us don’t have sex isn’t enough. You have to teach us about birth control planned parenthood.”
The three members had high hopes for Rapport and stressed that they need more members to make an effective change on sexual health in the TCI.
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