In early 2022, the Saint Lucia Dive Association initiated a petition for a moratorium on turtle hunting in Saint Lucia.
Currently Saint Lucia has an official hunting season for three months of the year where numerous sea turtles are caught and brutally killed. Many are caught in fishing nets where if they are lucky, they drown, and if they aren’t they are brought to the market still alive where they are brutally slaughtered with machetes.
We urge the Government of Saint Lucia to take immediate action in revoking turtle hunting season and put a complete ban on the slaughter of these critically endangered species.
The beaches of Saint Lucia are nesting grounds for 4 species of sea turtles that are listed as endangered and critically endangered on the IUCN Red List and are predicted to go extinct within the next 20 years! Nesting grounds in Saint Lucia are not protected and therefore eggs are stolen and meat consumed.
What makes their struggle to survive even harder is that as few as 1 in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings reach adulthood. And for the few that do survive they have to wait 25 to 40 years until they reach maturity and are able to reproduce. Because of how hard it is for an egg to hatch and reach maturity, each turtle that is killed has a devastating effect on the global population and our marine ecosystem.
But most importantly, the Saint Lucian Government needs to understand that turtles are worth more to local communities alive than dead. Research has shown that sea turtle ecotourism can generate three times the income than the selling of sea turtle parts (eggs, meat, shells), making them worth far more alive than dead.
Of the 195 countries worldwide, Saint Lucia is 1 of only 42 countries (and the only English-speaking country in the Caribbean) that still allow turtle hunting. Help us by signing this petition to encourage the Government of Saint Lucia to stop turtle hunting once and for all and help save these incredible animals from extinction.