Protection & Conservation Unit
Dr. Janice Blumenthal
Department of Environment
Cayman Islands Environ Centre
580 North Sound Road
P.O. Box 10202
Grand Cayman KY1-1002
Tel: (345) 949-8469
Location: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac
Species: Loggerhead and green
Objectives: Since 1998 the DOE has been conducting a systematic survey along the beaches of the Cayman Islands to identifying signs of nesting by sea turtles. During the turtle nesting season of May to October the beaches of the Cayman Islands are patrolled by DOE staff and trained volunteers. Data collected is used to assess the quantity, frequency and distribution of nesting, and to aid conservation efforts.
Contact e-mail: DoE@gov.ky
Marine Turtle Beach Monitoring Project
Location: Grand Cayman and Little Cayman
Species: Hawksbill and green
Objectives: The Department of Environment has been carrying out an intensive in-water monitoring programme since 2000. Throughout the year, sea turtles are captured, tagged, and released to assess population trends and determine migration patterns, diving behavior, sex ratio, growth rate, and habitat utilization.
Contact e-mail: DoE@gov.ky
Adopt or sponsor a sea turtle,
1. These Regulations may be cites as the Marine Conservation (Turtle Protection) Regulations (1996 Revision).
2. In these Regulations:
“turtle” means any member of any of the marine species of the Phylum Chordata, Class Reptilia, Order Chelonia, including, but without in any way limiting the generality of the foregoing:
Chelonia mydas, the green turtle; Eretmochelys imbricata, the hawksbill turtle; Carretta carretta, the loggerhead turtle; Dermochelys coriacea, the trunkback turtle; Chelonia depressa, the Australian sea turtle; Lepidochelys olivacea, the Ridley turtle; and hybrids between these various species.
3. Whoever has in his possession any turtle egg is guilty of an offence:
Provided, however, that nothing in this regulation shall apply to –
(a) the egg of any turtle bred in captivity by the holder of a license granted under the Endangered Species Protection and Propagation Law, 1978; or
(b) any egg taken in accordance with a license issued by the Board under section 16 of the Law.
4. Whoever takes, disturbs or molests in any way or attempts to take, disturb or
Molest in any way any turtle during the months May to October in any years is guilty of an offence:
Provided that this regulation shall not apply to a turtle bred in captivity by the holder of a license in respect of turtles under the Endangered Species Protection and Propagation Law, 1978.
5. Whoever, not being licensed by the Board under regulation 6, in respect of turtles, or the Endangered Species Protection and Propagation Law, 1978, has a turtle in his possession is guilty of an offence.
6. (1) The Board may grant licenses to fishermen who have traditionally taken turtles within the Cayman Fisheries Zone by the traditional methods to take turtles within such Zone by such traditional methods for consumption within the Islands.
(2) Licenses under sub regulation (1) shall be issued only to persons normally resident in the Islands and each such license shall-
(a) be issued annually and specify the maximum number of turtles which may be taken within such year;
(b) prohibit the taking of turtles by means of harpoon or spear gun;
(c) specify the minimum size of turtles which may be taken.
7. Every turtle taken by the holder of a license shall, immediately after taking, have attached to it one of the tags which shall be issued to such holder by the Board, and whoever, whether licensed or not, has in his possession a turtle untagged in contravention of this regulation is guilty of an offence.
8. Any license holder or other person who slaughters or injures a turtle before such turtle has been inspected by a fisheries officer and before such fisheries officer has checked and recorded the details of the license under which such turtle has been taken, the weight and sex of such turtle, the area and date of capture of such turtle and the number of the tag upon turtle is guilty of an offence.
9. Any license holder who having lawfully slaughtered or otherwise disposed of a turtle fails forthwith to return a tag to a fisheries officer is guilty of an offence.
10. Whoever is guilty of an offence under these Regulations is liable on conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars and to imprisonment for twelve months.
Bell, C., D., L., Parsons, J., Austin, T., J., Broderick, A., C., Ebanks-Petrie, G., and Godley, B., J., (2005) Some of them came home: the Cayman Turtle Farm headstarting project for the green turtle Chelonia mydas, Oryx Vol 39 No 2 April 2005
C. D. Bell, J. L. Solomon1, J. M. Blumenthal, T. J. Austin1, G. Ebanks-Petrie1, A. C. Broderick & B. J. Godley (2001), Monitoring and conservation of critically reduced marine turtle nesting populations: lessons from the Cayman Islands, Animal Conservation. Print ISSN 1367-9430
Eckert, K. L., J. A. Overing, and B. B. Lettsome. 1992. Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for the British Virgin Islands. UNEP Caribbean Environment Program. CEP Technical Report No. 15. 116 pp.
Fleming, E. H. 2001. Swimming Against the Tide: Recent surveys of exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the Northern Caribbean. Traffic North America 161 pages.
Godley, B. J., A. C. Broderick, L. M. Campbell, S. Ranger, and P. B. Richardson. 2004. 6. An assessment of the status and exploitation of marine turtles in the British Virgin Islands. In: An assessment of the status and exploitation of marine turtles in the UK Overseas Territories in the Wider Caribbean. pp 96-123. Final Project Report for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Commonwealth Office.
Mcgowan, A. , A. C. Broderick, G. Frett, S. Gore, M. Hastings, A. Pickering, D. Wheatley, J. White, M. Witt, B. J. Godley. 2006. Down But Not Out: Marine Turtles of the British Virgin Islands. In review for Biological Conservation
McGowan, A., A. C.Broderick, C. Clubbe, S.D. Gore, G. Hilton, N.K. Woodfield and B.J. Godley, 2006. Darwin Initiative Assessment of the Coastal Biodiversity of Anegada, BVI. Final Project Report 32pp.