EMA investigating devastation of turtle nesting site at Turtle Beach

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EMA investigating devastation of turtle nesting site at Turtle Beach

On the heels of a social media video, showcasing the devastation of a turtle nesting site at Turtle Beach, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) said it has since launched an investigation, as the site at Turtle Beach, is a crucial site for endangered leatherback turtles in Tobago.

The video, (seen below) shows land works from a private property running through the sand and out into the sea. Along the path, damaged turtle eggs could be seen scattered in the area.

EMA CEO Hayden Romano, in a GML report, said the agency will leave no stone unturned in investigating the matter.

“An official investigation has been launched. We have viewed the video. The leatherback turtles are coming up this season and it’s an animal that has been around for so long and we need to protect this species for our children and grandchildren,” Romano said, adding he was heartbroken by the act.

“So this is very sad, in 2024 we don’t expect this to be happening and I think a similar situation happened last year. We thought it was dealt with because we were in contact with the THA but I don’t remember it being to the extent it was done this year.”

He called on Tobagonians to come forward with information on who was responsible for the act.

“If anyone has a video of the equipment doing the clearing, that will surely assist us with our investigation. We are in the second month of the nesting season and this is very sad. We want to know who is responsible because it looks like there was a piece of equipment like an excavator on site to do that,” he said.

Tobago House of Assembly Assistant Secretary for Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development Nigel Taitt said he was also aware of the matter, but could not say whether the THA had launched an investigation.

This recent incident at Turtle Beach comes on the heels of a gruesome shark attack in the same area.

British national Peter Smith was severely injured after a bull shark severed limbs on his left hand and thigh and inflicted lacerations on his stomach.

Environmental Research Institute in Charlotteville (ERIC) CEO and marine biologist Aljoscha Wothke, warned however, that there is no scientific evidence to link the two events and doing so would be irresponsible.