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Turtle Moratorium ‘Still In Place’

Turtle Moratorium ‘Still In Place’
A 35-year-old female turtle was saved by the Labasa Department of Fisheries from the hands of some villagers who wanted to kill it. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU
May 08
13:16 2016

The Ministry of Fisheries and Forests is sending out a clear reminder to members of the public that the ‘Turtle Moratorium’ is still in place as approved by Government till 2018.

The reminder comes after the department had to warn a number of villagers who were caught fishing turtles during the moratorium period.

Minister of Fisheries and Forests, Osea Naiqamu said the permit to harvest turtles during the moratorium period should not be abused but respected to allow our turtle numbers to increase.

The Fiji moratorium on molesting, taking or killing of turtles came into effect in March 2004 and expired on December 31, 2008.

After approval from Government, the moratorium was extended to December 31, 2018.

“There is a procedure in place for those seeking exemption to harvest marine turtles from our oceans and we can only plead with members of the public to observe and respect the turtle moratorium that is in place,” Mr Naiqamu said.

“Turtles can only be harvested under an exemption issued by the Department of Fisheries on approval of the minister.”

Those caught fishing turtles, molesting them or killing the eggs without a permit may be prosecuted and face three to six months in prison and a fine of up to FJ$500. Anyone caught selling turtles can be fined FJ$20,000 or face a prison sentence of five years.

Edited by Naisa Koroi.


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