Selected individuals are to be provided with exemptions to be on the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago after 6 pm for turtle patrols and data collection ‘only’.”
This was revealed by Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, who said the decision by the Minister of Health, to amend the legal notice to exempt turtle patrols for the sake of data collection and conservation in the Public Health Ordinance Regulations is a win for sea turtles and the communities promoting their conservation.
Robinson-Regis states that a plan and recommendations were presented by the recently appointed Sea Turtle Task Force, Chaired by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) which formed the basis of a discussion with the Health Minister owing to the amendment of the previous regulation forbidding all activities related to beaches after 6 pm.
The Task Force proposed a system involving the Forestry Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) and the local communities where a list of persons from the communities will be selected and endorsed by the Forestry Division.
The TTPS will receive this list and monitor the sea turtle sites and the other beaches to ensure that only authorized individuals and groups are conducting the turtle patrol and research activities after 6 pm. The communities with high visits of sea turtles have also committed to increase their vigilance to provide support to the authorities.