EMA Warns Excavation At Turtle Beach Causing Damage To Turtle Nesting Site

Home*Cover Story*News

EMA Warns Excavation At Turtle Beach Causing Damage To Turtle Nesting Site

The Environmental Management Authority launches an official investigation into the destruction of a turtle nesting site at Turtle Beach in Tobago, which is an important site for endangered leatherback turtles in Tobago.

This investigation follows a video that has recently surfaced on social media, showing what appears to be land works and crushed turtle eggs scattered along the sand at Turtle Beach.

As part of this investigation, officers from the EMA’s Environmental Police Unit (Tobago Office) and officers of the Division of Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development of the Tobago House of Assembly conducted a joint site visit today, 30 April 2024 to ascertain the extent of the works conducted.

The EMA reminds all  leatherback turtles have been designated as one of the Environmentally Sensitive Species and are protected by law.

Habitat preservation is crucial for their annual nesting period between March and September, and appropriate enforcement action will be taken against those committing acts in contravention of the requirement to refrain from any unauthorised
activity impacting on the environment with respect to an ESS, pursuant to Section 62(d)
Environmental Management Act, Chap. 35:05 (the Act).

According to the Act, “Any person who knowingly or recklessly undertakes or conspires to allow
any activity in an environmentally sensitive area or with respect to an environmentally sensitive
species designated under Section 41, which may have an adverse impact on the environment within
such area or on such species, commits an offence.

Citizens must also note that individuals who commit an offence involving any of the ESS, including the five turtles, can be imprisoned for two years and pay a fine of $100,000.00.

Members of the public are advised to come forward with any information on who was responsible for the act, including video and photographic evidence that may have captured the equipment doing the clearing.

One can report by contacting the EMA’s Hotline at 367-8824 (submit contact information, locations, photos or video recordings ONLY from mobile devices. WhatsApp calls are not available on this service), [email protected] or calling 226-4EMA (4362) Ext #5.