Turning the tide : exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombi...

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Title:
Turning the tide : exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela
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English
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Bräutigam, A.
Eckert, Karen L.
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TRAFFIC International
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Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network
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Published by TRAFFIC International,
Cambridge, UK.

2006 TRAFFIC International and CITES
Secretariat.
All rights reserved.

All material appearing in this publication is
copyrighted and may be reproduced with
permission. Any reproduction in full or in
part of this publication must credit TRAFFIC
International and the CITES Secretariat as
the copyright owners.

The opinions expressed in this book do not
necessarily represent the opinion of the CITES
Secretariat, the TRAFFIC network, WWF,
IUCN, or of the States and dependent
territories covered.


The geographical designations employed in
this book do not imply the expression of any
opinion whatsoever on the part of the authors,
the CITES Secretariat, TRAFFIC, or its
supporting organizations, concerning the legal
status of any country, territory, or area, or of
its authorities, or concerning the definition of
its frontiers or boundaries.

The TRAFFIC symbol copyright and
Registered Trademark ownership is held by
WWF. TRAFFIC is a joint programme of
WWF and IUCN.


Suggested citation: Brfiutigam, A. and Eckert,
K.L. (2006). Turning the Tide: Exploitation,
Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in
the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia
and Venezuela. TRAFFIC International,
Cambridge, UK.


ISBN 1 85850 223 3


Front cover photograph: A female
Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata
heads back to the sea after laying eggs.



Photograph credits: WWF-Canon/Martin
Harvey.


Printed on recycled paper.





















TURNING THE TIDE:


EXPLOITATION,TRADE AND MANAGEMENT OF
MARINE TURTLES IN THE LESSER ANTILLES,
CENTRAL AMERICA, COLOMBIA AND
VENEZUELA


by Amie Brdutigam' and Karen L. Eckert2



Perry Institute for Marine Science;
2 Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST)





















7 .4













TABLE OF CONTENTS


Foreword iv


Acknowledgements v


Executive Summary vii
Priorities for Immediate Action xii


Introduction 1


Marine Turtles of the Caribbean 3
Life History and Life Cycle 5
Species Overview and General Trends 7
Transboundary Movements 9


Methods and Definitions 12


Regional Overview 17
Legal Framework for Marine Turtle Management 17
Table 1: Summary findings on the legal status of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles 20
and Caribbean sector of Central America, Colombia and Venezuela
Exploitation of Marine Turtles at the National Level 23
International Trade in Marine Turtles 26
Management Issues 27
Table 2: Summary findings on management issues relating to exploitation and trade of 32
marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America, Colombia
and Venezuela
Enforcement Issues 34
Table 3: Summary findings on enforcement issues relating to exploitation and trade of 36
marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America, Colombia
and Venezuela


Recommendations 38


National Reviews: Lesser Antilles 51
Anguilla (GB) 51
Antigua and Barbuda 70
Aruba (NL) 87
Barbados 99
Dominica 113
Grenada 134
Guadeloupe (FR) 155
Martinique (FR) 169


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela













Montserrat (GB)
Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curagao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten) (NL)
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago


National Reviews:
Belize
Costa Rica
Guatemala


Central America


Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama


National Reviews: South America
Colombia
Venezuela


Appendices


I: Caribbean Marine Turtles: Species Summary


II: Multilateral Environmental Agreements Relating to Marine Turtles of the Wider
Caribbean Region


III: TRAFFIC International Questionnaire-CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and
Management of the Marine Turtles of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and
Venezuela (English version)


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












FOREWORD


When TRAFFIC completed a review of the exploitation, trade, and management of marine turtles in 11 countries
and territories in the Northern Caribbean in 2001, the overall picture revealed was a patchwork of national
management regimes. Some countries had allocated significant resources to manage and conserve marine turtles,
while next to nothing has been done in others. Relevant regulations were rigidly enforced in some territories; in
others, for a variety of reasons, enforcement was virtually absent. Legislation was comprehensive in some
countries while incomplete and outdated in others. The review re-emphasised the challenges facing management
and conservation strategies for marine turtles that were formulated and implemented on a country-by-country
basis.


The impetus for the present study was a call for assistance made by the First CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill
Turtle Dialogue Meeting, held in Mexico City in May 2001. Noting the findings of TRAFFIC's research in the
Northern Caribbean, participants requested an extended analysis of the situation in the rest of the Wider
Caribbean Region to be used as a basis for better regional co-operation. In December 2001, the CITES
Secretariat commissioned TRAFFIC International to undertake this work, and the result is this new report on
exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the 26 political jurisdictions of the Lesser Antilles,
Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Its comprehensiveness and authority are testament to the incredible
persistence and dedication of the authors and the much-valued participation of so many expert contributors
working in the region.


This report illustrates, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the management patchwork found in the earlier study extends
throughout the wider Caribbean. It highlights enormous variation from country to country in the quality of
management regimes, data collection, population monitoring and controls on exploitation. It clearly
demonstrates the co-dependency between national management regimes and documents a range of examples of
innovative and effective actions by governments, NGOs and communities that have potential for expansion and
adaptation across the region.


A clear message of this body of work is that greater co-operation between the countries of the Caribbean is
urgently needed to benefit marine turtle populations and the people who benefit from them. Significant progress
has already been made in the area of regional co-operation, particularly with the coming into force in 2000 and
2001, respectively, of the Protocol to the Cartagena Convention concerning Specially Protected Areas and
Wildlife (SPAW) and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, as well
as two CITES Hawksbill Range State dialogue meetings. However, much more needs to be done.


Only with concerted effort and better co-operation can we hope to turn the tide in favour of marine turtle
populations in the Wider Caribbean Region. TRAFFIC will continue its contribution to meeting this goal and
remains committed to collaborating with the many dedicated organizations and individuals who are determined
to succeed in addressing this important conservation challenge.



Steven Broad
Executive Director
TRAFFIC International


iv TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


It would not have been possible to undertake this review without the participation (and patience) of a great many
colleagues and contributors in the Wider Caribbean and, in some instances, beyond. The authors made every
possible effort to ensure the currency and accuracy of the information presented in this report and to derive
judicious conclusions and make constructive recommendations based on that information. The following
individuals were instrumental in assisting us in this effort. We could not have completed this project without their
help.


Anguilla (GB)-James C. Gumbs (Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources), Karim Hodge (Anguilla
National Trust), Sue Ranger (Marine Conservation Society, UK); Antigua and Barbuda-Candia Williams and
Tricia Lovell (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries), Peri Mason (Jumby Bay
Hawksbill Project); Aruba-Richard van der Wal and Edith van der Wal (Turtugaruba Foundation), Pieter
Barendsen and Theo Wools (Veterinary Service, Government of Aruba), Byron Boekhoudt (Ministry of Labour,
Culture and Sports); Barbados-Kwame Emmanuel (Environmental Unit, Ministry of Physical Development
and Environment MPDE), Julia Horrocks (University of the West Indies-Cave Hill), Christopher Parker
(Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development); Dominica-Harold Guiste and Algernon
Philbert (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment), Eric Hypolite, Adolphus
Christian, and Stephen Durand (Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and
Environment), Rowan Byrne (Rosalie Sea Turtle Initiative), Sascha Steiner (Institute for Tropical Marine
Ecology); Grenada-Crafton Isaac and Paul Phillip (Division of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture), Becky King
and Carl Lloyd (Ocean Spirits), Christine Curry (MARVET, University of St. George's); Guadeloupe and
Martinique (FR)-Johan Chevalier (DIREN/ONCFS, Guadeloupe); Luc Legendre (DIREN, Guadeloupe),
Claudie Pavis (Presidente, Association pour I'Etude et la protection des Vertebres et vegetaux des petites
Antilles-AEVA, Guadeloupe); Montserrat John Jeffers (Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture,
Trade and Environment); Netherlands Antilles-(Gerard van Buurt (Fisheries Section, Department of
Agriculture and Fisheries, Curagao), Paul Hoetjes and Eric Newton (Department of Environment and Nature,
Ministry of Public Health and Social Development), Dolfi Debrot, Brian Leysner and Leon Pors (CARMABI
Foundation); Bonaire-Imre Esser, Robert van Dam, and Kitty Hanshuh (Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire),
Kalli de Meyer (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance-DCNA), Elsmarie Beukenboom (Stichting National Parken
Nederlandse Antillen-STINAPA); Curacao-Dolfi Debrot, Brian Leysner and Leon Pors (CARMABI
Foundation); Saba David Kooistra (Saba Marine Park/Saba Conservation Foundation); Sint Eustatius-Nicole
Esteban, Kay Lynn Plummer, and Rozenn Le Scao (Sint Eustatius National Parks Foundation-STENAPA); Sint
Maarten-Andy Caballero and Paul Ellinger (Nature Foundation of Sint Maarten); Saint Kitts and Nevis R.
Arthur Anslyn and Emile Pemberton (Department of Fisheries, Nevis), Samuel J. Heyliger and Ralph Wilkins
(Fisheries Management Unit, Saint Kitts), Kate Orchard (Saint Christopher Heritage Society); Saint Lucia-
Vaughn Charles, Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel, and Laverne Walker (Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries), Kai Wulf (Soufriere Marine Management Area-SMMA); Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines-Leslie Straker (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Julia Horrocks
(University of the West Indies, Barbados); Trinidad and Tobago-Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Stephen Poon
(Wildlife Section-Forestry Division, Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment), Tanya Clovis and Wendy
Herron (SOS Tobago), Nerissa Nagassar (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine
Resources), Dennis Sammy (Nature Seekers), Angela Ramsey (Department of Natural Resources and the
Environment, Tobago House of Assembly), Scott Eckert (WIDECAST and Duke University); Belize-Sean


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












Beaton (Belize Sea Turtle Working Group), David Craig (Belize Audubon Society), Janet Gibson (Coastal Zone
Management Unit and Authority), Linda Searle (Symbios); Costa Rica-Didiher Chac6n (Asociaci6n ANAI and
WIDECAST), Sebastian Troeng (Caribbean Conservation Corporation), Oscar Porras (Ministerio del Ambiente y
Energia MINAE); Guatemala Annabella Barios and Ana Beatriz Rivas Chac6n (Fundaci6n para la
Conservaci6n del Medio Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales, Mario Dary Rivera FUNDARY), Wilma Katz
(Coastal Wildlife Club, USA), Colum Muccio (Asociaci6n Rescate y Conservaci6n de Vida Silvestre ARCAS),
Rob Nunny (Ambios, Ltd., UK); Honduras-Sergio Midence (Direcci6n General de Biodiversidad, Secretaria
de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente SERNA), Carlos Molinero (Red Regional para la Conservaci6n de las
Tortugas Marinas en Centroamerica); Nicaragua-Ren6 Salvador Castell6n (Direcci6n General de
Biodiversidad y Recursos Naturales/Oficina CITES-Nicaragua, MARENA), Cathi Campbell and Cynthia
Lagueux (Wildlife Conservation Society); Panam-i Agelis Ruiz (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute-
STRI), Anne Meylan (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, USA); Colombia-Diego Amorocho (Centro de
Investigaciones en Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo-CIMAD), Claudia Ceballos Fonseca (Instituto de
Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR), Pilar Herron, Corporaci6n para el Desarrollo Sostenible del
Archipielago de San Andrds, Providencia y Santa Catalina CORALINA); and Venezuela-Lic. Hedelvy
Guada (Centro de Investigacion y Conservaci6n de Tortugas Marinas-CICTMAR).


We also greatly appreciate the very thoughtful and helpful comments provided to us by reviewers of the report:
Alberto Abreu Grobois, Instituto de Ciencias del Mary Limnologia, Universidad Nacional Aut6noma de Mexico,
Mazatlin, and Caribbean Vice-Chair, IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group; Didiher Chac6n, Asociaci6n
ANAI and WIDECAST, Costa Rica; Carlos Drews, WWF (Central America); Adrian Reuter, TRAFFIC North
America-Mexico; Bernardo Ortiz, TRAFFIC South America, Ecuador; and Stephen Nash, CITES Secretariat,
Switzerland. Helen Corrigan, Charlotte de Fontaubert, and Didiher Chac6n contributed as consultants to different
elements and at different stages of the project. We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the many
colleagues who responded to specific requests for information; especially noteworthy are Benoit de Thoisy,
KWATA, French Guiana; Marc Girondot, Universite Paris, France; Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, SPAW
Programme Officer, UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, Jamaica; Gilberto Cintr6on-Molero, Office of
International Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, USA; Marco Solano, Secretariat, Inter-American Convention for
the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, Costa Rica; and Scott Eckert WIDECAST and Duke University,
USA, among others.


The authors wish to extend their deep appreciation to John Marr, Executive Director, and Roger McManus,
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, of the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) for extending PIMS' support
to this project, and to John H. Perry, Jr. and J. Helena Perry, whose vision for PIMS and financial support for its
Threatened Marine Species Program have enabled this report to come to fruition. A final word of thanks is
extended to the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation for their core support to PIMS' Threatened Marine Species
Program. We would also like to acknowledge, with gratitude, that Karen Eckert's time was partially supported by
the Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Duke University.


Finally, we are profoundly grateful to our husbands and families for their patience and support, in particular in
tolerating our absences during thousands of hours of otherwise discretionary family time.


TRAFFIC thanks the CITES Secretariat, the commissioning body, as well as PIMS; WIDECAST; the Manfred
Hermsen Foundation; WWF, the conservation organization; and the Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation, for their
support of this study.


vi TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela













EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


This comprehensive review of exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the Wider Caribbean
Region (WCR) highlights findings related to the legal framework for marine turtle management, patterns of
domestic exploitation and use and international trade, and a variety of core management issues, including
population monitoring, fishery controls and law enforcement. While there have been many advancements over
the past half-century in our understanding of marine turtle biology and of the management needs of these species,
the review concludes that actual management of marine turtles, and of marine turtle exploitation in particular, has
in many ways not kept pace with this understanding nor with the contemporary scope of threats to their survival.
The report documents the implications of management shortcomings in one country for the management and
conservation efforts being made in others and, finally, calls attention to a range of activities that are being
undertaken at the national level to address these problems and which could be expanded or adapted across the
region.


Although all fall within the WCR, the 26 jurisdictions that have been reviewed for this analysis the overseas
territories and Small Island States of the Lesser Antilles, six Central American countries, Colombia and
Venezuela-are widely diverse geographically, ecologically, culturally and economically. They also vary consid-
erably as regards the status of marine turtles and the context for their conservation and management: the legal
frameworks, management regimes, and type and degree of constraints on effective marine turtle management.
The differences between jurisdictions and regions with respect to key elements of this study are discussed in the
Regional Overview and presented in the tables in that section. The major findings are set forth below and
followed by a short-list of priorities for immediate action at the national level.


1. The legal framework for marine turtle management is inadequate in large and small ways in the majority of
the jurisdictions covered in this study. Not only is there often confusion as to the rules that apply and, in some
instances, direct conflict between laws, but exploitation in those countries where it is permitted by law is, with
few exceptions, not controlled in accordance with the principles of sustainability. In some instances,
competing or overlapping management authorities create confusion-and consequent lapses-in the exercise
of these authorities. In addition to shortcomings in the laws governing exploitation, there are shortcomings
with respect to the laws governing marine turtle trade, internal and international.


In most of the eight Latin American countries reviewed and in at least two of the insular States, there is a need
to rationalize the body of legislation pertaining to marine turtles and to revise it as necessary so that there are
clear rules and authorities in relation to marine turtle exploitation and trade and the broader range of marine
turtle management and conservation needs. Similarly, in most of the Latin American countries examined,
there is a particular need for effective controls on exploitation that is currently exempt from these laws, specif-
ically exploitation of turtles and eggs that continues under the aegis of "subsistence" or "indigenous" use but
in the absence of any legal or operational definition of these terms.


2. There are many encouraging signs that governments are seeking to strengthen the legal framework for marine
turtle management. In Belize, the framework has evolved, taking full note of biological principles, through
maximum size limits, to a legally permitted take for traditional use only of species other than the Hawksbill
Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata. In several other jurisdictions-including Montserrat, Nevis (Federation of
Saint Kitts and Nevis), Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia and Guatemala-


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












marine turtle management measures and broader conservation needs have been or are being reviewed; in
several, regulations are pending that would establish maximum versus the prevailing minimum size limits
and/or lengthen closures to embrace peak nesting periods. The governments of two jurisdictions, Anguilla
and Saint Lucia, implemented moratoria in the mid-1990s so as to review management measures prior to
prospective reinstatement of a turtle fishery (the moratorium in Saint Lucia lapsed before revised measures
could be established; the moratorium in Anguilla was renewed in 2005).


3. Marine turtles are completely protected by law from exploitation in fewer than half of the 26 jurisdictions
reviewed. In the remaining jurisdictions, marine turtles benefit from varying degrees of legal protection.
With few exceptions (namely, Costa Rica [in relation to a programme at Ostional on the Pacific coast] and
Belize, which clearly define, regulate and control the exemptions for exploitation of marine turtles within an
otherwise protective legal regime), and regardless of these differences, the legal norms in place do not limit
exploitation in such a way as to contribute to the sustainability of marine turtle populations. In effect, they
do not serve management that would be consistent with the standards and practice of sustainable use. Thus,
for many jurisdictions, a suite of both national and international commitments to ensure the survival of these
threatened species remains largely unfulfilled.


4. In some countries, turtle fisheries operate on an occasional and opportunistic basis, while in others they
continue to be the focus of dedicated effort and generate significant income through the marketing of the
animals and their products. Official statistics on levels of exploitation of marine turtles at the national level
do not exist for any jurisdiction in which such exploitation is permitted, as monitoring is either non-existent,
sporadic, or fragmentary, being based on voluntary reporting or only conducted at some of the sites where
marine turtles are landed. Consequently, levels of exploitation of marine turtles are largely unknown at the
national level and it is, therefore, impossible to derive any credible estimate of the numbers of marine turtles
taken at the regional level.


In some instances, information on exploitation is available from non-government sources. The most compre-
hensive dataset comprises the results of monitoring efforts by researchers working with the Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS); these have documented the region's largest legal marine turtle fishery, as part
of which ca. 300 to 500 fishers have landed ca. 11 000 Green Turtles Chelonia mydas per year over the past
decade. In the insular Caribbean, research conducted by a graduate student at the University of the West
Indies has documented aspects of exploitation in several Eastern Caribbean countries and, for example,
estimated an annual take of 782 turtles in Grenada and almost 600 turtles in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.


Fewer data exist on levels of exploitation of marine turtle eggs, which are more extensively protected by law
in the WCR than are marine turtles. The marketing of eggs is open and widespread in several of the Central
American countries and, while in Costa Rica most of the eggs in trade are considered to derive from a specific
sustainable-use programme at Ostional on the Pacific Coast, in Guatemala there is concern that virtually every
egg laid in the country is collected for human consumption.


Finally, the numbers of marine turtles taken incidentally in industrial and artisanal fisheries are largely
unknown and, thus, impossible to factor into any overall estimates of marine turtle mortality. Losses to
incidental take have been documented to be high in some reviewed jurisdictions (e.g. Trinidad and Tobago,
Guadeloupe) and are believed to be high in others and, thus, warrant further investigation and, as necessary,
mitigation.


Viii TURNINGTHETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












5. Information relating to international trade in marine turtles is mixed. There is little evidence, based on official
statistics, of large commercial trade; most of the trade reported to the Secretariat of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in recent years consists of
seizures of personal items or scientific specimens, with only a small number of (illegal) commercial
shipments. Notwithstanding, an extensive and clandestine regional trade persists, mainly in Central America.
Most international trade from the insular jurisdictions consists of personal items and curios purchased by
tourists; there are few statistics on tourist-mediated trade and often no official knowledge that such export has
occurred. There is little concrete evidence of significant stockpiling of marine turtle products (\ L ag.,1 an.d
Costa Rica are the only two countries in which stockpiles were reported). Existing levels of international
trade are described as a "problem for management" only for the mainland countries of the Americas.


6. Enforcement of marine turtle legislation is generally considered to be inadequate. In some instances, this
arises from a lack of clarity in the legal provisions that apply and the authorities charged with enforcement.
In addition, logistical and other constraints, including socio-cultural dynamics, complicate enforcement.
Concerns are noted as to the low level of attention often afforded infractions of this type of legislation by law
enforcement officials and the judiciary. Some participants in this study cited the low priority given to these
issues as evidence of political apathy towards natural resource law in general and noted, as well, the social
complexities of enforcing natural resource law in rural coastal communities where much (in some instances
most) illegal activity occurs. The data suggest an increase in arrests and prosecutions in very recent years and
also underscore the positive contribution of community-based beach patrols-sometimes under specific co-
management agreements with government agencies-in reducing or eliminating illegal activity, especially on
nesting beaches.


7. Management of marine turtles in the region covered in this study varies greatly but in most cases must be
considered inadequate not only for the recovery of populations but for the prevention of further population
declines. The following points should be especially noted:


no stock assessment in the usual sense has been conducted at the national level for any jurisdiction in
this study; the countries that come closest to meeting this standard are Barbados, which, uniquely,
supports continual monitoring of both nesting and foraging stocks, and Nicaragua, where the Green
Turtle fishery has recently been the focus of an intensive evaluation through the efforts of scientists
working with WCS;
legal exploitation has not been based on any scientific evaluation of the resource;
legal exploitation continues with no consideration of effects on population levels, i.e. without taking
into account the status or trend of local populations or shared stocks throughout their biological range;
controls on exploitation are not consistent with current understanding of marine turtle biology and
marine turtle management best practice; in the insular Caribbean, for example, closures rarely
encompass the reproductive season, and minimum-size limits target the age classes that should most
be protected;
there is very little monitoring of legal exploitation and only sporadic or fragmentary monitoring where
it is conducted, with the result that overall levels of exploitation and trends in those are unknown
virtually throughout the region;
there is very little sustained population monitoring, such that data-based marine turtle population
trends are largely unknown;


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












some degree of illegal take occurs in every jurisdiction but is largely unquantified (although suspected
levels of illegal take were characterized as not a problem for management in several of these);
the take of eggs, particularly in Central America, is intensive and pervasive;
levels of incidental take in fisheries are, with a few exceptions, unknown and largely unaddressed in
existing management regimes, despite compelling evidence that they constitute the single largest
source of mortality in some jurisdictions; and
habitats, both terrestrial and marine, critical to marine turtle survival have not been identified in most
jurisdictions and, where known, often fall outside the boundaries of parks, reserves or other actively
managed areas, thus suggesting that the safeguarding of critical habitat for marine turtles has generally
not been well integrated into coastal zone planning processes.


8. A growing body of data from flipper-tagging, satellite-tracking and genetic analyses is documenting
transboundary movements of marine turtles and delineating individual marine turtle stocks. These data
unequivocally point to the need for co-ordinated effort in managing marine turtles that, for example, nest or
forage in Bonaire, Barbados, or Costa Rica, where they are protected by law, and travel to, for example,
Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, or another country where they are legally
exploited. In some instances, these contradictory management regimes impinge on non-extractive marine
turtle projects, such as at Tortuguero and Gandoca in Costa Rica or at Matura and Grande Riviere in Trinidad,
that are generating significant economic benefits to local communities.


9. The complexity of marine turtle management is clearly a challenge for many governments in the region, who
face many constraints in improving their effectiveness. The limited capacity of many of the governments of
Small Island Developing States of the insular Caribbean to discharge increasing environmental mandates is
one such constraint. The extreme poverty of coastal communities in Central America, who have few
economic alternatives to the marine turtle resource, is as serious a challenge as any government can face and
has not only regional but hemispheric implications. As inadequate marine turtle management is the result of
many economic, cultural and political factors, improvements must be devised that, if not fully address, at least
take into account, these many factors. While, in many jurisdictions, marine turtle management is by law
already cross-sectoral, it is not adequately integrated at the operational level. Although migratory marine
turtles offer the best example of the need for an integrated approach to ensure effective management, this need
also applies to other marine resources (e.g. Queen Conch Strombus gigas, Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus and
reef fishes) that are depleted or at risk of depletion.


10. The complexity of marine turtle management across the WCR suggests not only a need for a more concerted,
co-ordinated, cross-sectoral approach at the operational level, within governments and among other actors,
but also at the diagnostic level. Social scientists, rural development specialists and development assistance
donor agencies should engage in assessing the dynamics that dictate marine turtle exploitation and in
developing solutions to the factors that underlie over-exploitation. The same attention should be paid to
identifying more sustainable patterns of coastal development, as habitat loss-both terrestrial and marine-is
identified as a major threat to marine turtle recovery in many jurisdictions.


11. A major finding of this study is that non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including community-based
organizations (CBOs), are making large contributions to marine turtle conservation and basic research in the
region; in some countries, they are also making large contributions to marine turtle management, including


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strategic planning, monitoring of legal fisheries and of nesting and other populations, record-keeping,
poaching deterrence, training and capacity-building, and public outreach. While this non-governmental
investment is generally viewed as positive, there is a need to recognize the essential, fundamental role of
government in marine turtle conservation and management and, thus, the need for governments to engage-
politically, logistically and financially-in this work. The need for sustainability in management, which is
complicated by the fact that NGOs and CBOs generally rely for their operations on funds raised from external
sources, should be given serious consideration by governments and the donor community.


12. Existing and growing partnerships between government, NGOs, CBOs and local communities, built on shared
priorities, pooled resources and equal credit/benefit, offer particular promise in addressing the management
challenges facing marine turtles. As one of many examples, in Nicaragua, WCS is working with local
communities and relevant government agencies to monitor the fishery for Green Turtles along the Caribbean
coast and develop a management and conservation plan for marine turtles in that region. Many locally-based
NGOs, such as Nature Seekers in Trinidad, have also been pioneers in this field.


A particularly positive development in recent years has been the increase in "co-management" arrangements
between governments and local communities, whereby sustainable-use projects are implemented on the basis
of mutually agreed conditions and procedures. In cases where governments have come to terms with the fact
that they cannot fulfill their management or enforcement mandates without reliable help from those much
closer to the resource, they may grant the community (which generally seeks enhanced economic opportunity)
exclusive extraction, eco-tourism or other rights. In return for needed assistance in fulfilling its public
mandate to manage the resource, the government provides opportunities for local communities to benefit from
the resource. This is the case in Saint Lucia (in a partnership with the Desbarras community), Trinidad (in a
partnership with the Matura community and others), Costa Rica (with the [Pacific] programme in Ostional)
and elsewhere in the region. These agreements, when thoughtfully constructed, produce real benefits for
conservation and sustainable management because stakeholders have a true stake in the health of the affected
resource.


13. There are numerous examples documented in this study of innovative approaches to addressing over-
exploitation of marine turtles and enhancing their management and conservation. Many of them focus on
information-sharing and direct, sustained engagement of local communities and other stakeholder groups and,
in doing so, have generated significant interest in and support for marine turtle conservation. Supporting and
supplementing these are several dozen field projects sponsored by governments and NGOs in the Wider
Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), a scientific network affiliated with the Caribbean
Environment Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and providing an
operational mechanism for training, communication, collaborative research and the replication of successful
programmes across more than 40 participating WCR States and territories.


In Costa Rica, such efforts include an NGO-run certification programme for retail establishments that
undertake not to sell marine turtle products and a turtle tourism scheme at Gandoca, whereby, through an
arrangement between an NGO (Asociaci6n ANAI) and the local community, lodging is provided to turtle
researchers, thus generating alternative income for the community and leading to a reduction in egg poaching;
in Nicaragua, community meetings and radio spots aimed at informing local communities about marine turtle
conservation issues and the results of conservation projects under way have lowered the incidence of


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Hawksbill Turtle poaching; in Bonaire, a local newspaper has dedicated space for regular updates of the
international movements of marine turtles locally fitted with satellite-transmitters; in Antigua, a home-owners
association sponsors the hemisphere's most comprehensive Hawksbill Turtle demographic study; in
Dominica, the hiring of former marine turtle poachers as beach patrollers has dramatically reduced the killing
of nesting turtles in Rosalie Bay; in Trinidad, co-management agreements between the government and
coastal communities have eliminated marine turtle poaching while creating new capacity in rural areas for
entrepreneurial activity ranging from reforestation programmes to literacy campaigns and youth employment;
in Barbados, the University of the West Indies hosts a regional tagging centre, providing training, field
equipment and record-keeping software to small-scale marine turtle field projects throughout the region.
These examples are drawn from countries examined for this review and, with numerous other initiatives in
the WCR, offer an insight into what might be achieved; they also hold promise that developing partnerships
between governments, private and corporate interests, NGOs and other sectors may meet with enduring
success.


Particularly worthy of note is a multi-institutional, multi-stakeholder effort in Colombia to develop a
sustainable-use regime to alleviate heavy, largely illegal commercial exploitation of over 1000 marine turtles
per year in Guajira Department. Bringing together indigenous Wayiu fishers, economists, biologists, and
management agencies, a programme has been developed that includes a system of transferable capture quotas
for certain size classes of turtles; these would decline in number over time and apply only to local use of meat,
thus excluding other marine turtle products and marketing and sale beyond these points. Although this
programme has not yet been implemented, the process of its development and analyses undertaken thus far
offer numerous suggestions for similar efforts to contain illegal and/or unsustainable marine turtle
exploitation in the region.


14. Further improvements in marine turtle management at the national level will clearly involve operationalizing
management at the regional level in the WCR. The differing legal protection afforded marine turtles at the
national level results in an incoherent regional scenario whereby the same turtles are fully protected in some
jurisdictions and legally hunted in others, and investments in management and conservation in one
jurisdiction are undermined by inadequate management measures in others. Designing and implementing an
integrated, unified, collaborative management strategy for marine turtle stocks using the entire Caribbean
basin, under the aegis of regional bodies with relevant mandates, such as the Protocol Concerning Specially
Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) and/or the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and
Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), is essential. Priority first steps at the national level that can serve as a
basis for such a strategy are set out below.


Priorities for immediate action


The Recommendations section of this report contains comprehensive guidance for improving the management
and conservation of marine turtles in the WCR. Recognizing, however, that addressing the full management
needs of marine turtles necessitates a long-term commitment, the setting of priorities for implementation, and
consultation with other governments sharing turtle stocks, immediate, first-step priorities for action by
governments and their collaborators, based on the elements specifically evaluated in this review, are to:


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1. Establish scientifically based limits on the exploitation of marine turtles. If marine turtle populations are
not to be further depleted owing to inappropriate and inadequate restrictions on legal exploitation (including
in cases where legal exemptions to marine turtle protections exist, such as for subsistence and indigenous
uses), measures must urgently be taken to protect the large juvenile and adult turtles that are the most
important marine turtle age classes to conserve. Particularly important measures are:


legal protection for all turtles on land, in order to protect nesting females;
maximum size limits in order to protect large juveniles and breeding-age animals (the life stages known
to have the highest reproductive value); and
limits on access and codification of use rights, such as specific licences and exploitation quotas for marine
turtle fishers and egg collectors.


2. Organize and conduct a comprehensive frame survey (marine turtle catch and use assessment) to
quantify and characterize marine turtle exploitation at the national level, including the landing of turtles at sea
or hunting on nesting beaches, the exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products, numbers and types
of fishers (and gears) involved, processing and marketing patterns, and the importance to livelihoods of the
income derived from marine turtle exploitation. This survey should also aim to assess the role of incidental
take of marine turtles in other fishing operations, including the extent to which this constitutes the primary
means of capturing marine turtles, the parameters that dictate whether a turtle is landed or killed, and how
significant this take might be for marine turtle management.


3. Establish a systematic monitoring programme, including national and regional networks of Index
monitoring sites' (to document population size and trend in situ) and recording requirements for all fishers
landing marine turtles. The involvement of fishers should be considered integral to the development and
implementation of effective monitoring programmes, which should be designed to offer reliable indications
of the numbers of marine turtles captured, the species and sizes, as well as catch-per-unit effort (CPUE), and
the importance of the marine turtle exploitation to subsistence and livelihoods. In addition, it should be
designed to enable these data to be managed over time so as to serve as a basis for analysis of trends and what
these might mean for marine turtle populations and their management needs.


4. Prepare and implement an outreach strategy to increase awareness of and appreciation for marine turtle
conservation and management and their relation to the broader national agenda as regards land use and
development patterns, biodiversity conservation, economic priorities and cultural norms. Such a strategy
should seek to engage multiple sectors-fishers and coastal communities, the tourism industry, and residents
and visitors, especially in high-tourism areas.




1 Characterizing a site, whether foraging or nesting, as an 'Index' site implies the consistent and long-term application of standardized
population monitoring protocols to ensure the data are suitable for trend analysis. Survey boundaries are specifically set and adhered to from
year to year, and the survey area is representative (i.e. it should attempt to represent a range of threat and protection levels, a variety of turtle
life stages, and a range of turtle population densities). The emphasis of this protocol is on establishing index methods for measuring trends
in relative abundance at fixed locations; therefore, the sampling strategies at each Index site should ideally be structured in a manner that
allows inference to a larger area of interest.


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5. Develop and implement a compliance strategy, including stakeholder workshops; periodic patrols of
landing sites and markets and other points of sale, as well as beaches and foraging areas at times of heightened
marine turtle activity; and training for members of the law enforcement community and the judiciary. Such
a strategy should recognize the deterrent effect of an enforcement presence, which could be made possible
through the deputizing of members of the community (cf. Trinidad and Tobago's Honorary Game Warden
programme) to support marine turtle enforcement. Proactive, non-punitive judgments-such as those
mandating that offenders participate in conservation-related activities, including habitat clean-ups or
supervised beach patrols-have been described as successful in some jurisdictions, as have been the operation
of marine turtle "hotlines" for reporting and seeking a response to marine turtle infractions and other
activities. Greater awareness of and support for the legal norms applying to marine turtles, including the
prohibitions in place and penalties that apply, are needed throughout the WCR. Similarly helpful would be
the development and dissemination of protocols to follow in cases of specific marine turtle interactions, such
as when a turtle is taken incidentally in a net or reported to be injured.


6. Increase government participation in regional agreements that provide an operational basis for a unified,
science-based and multilateral response to the management, recovery and sustainable use whether extractive
or non-extractive-of marine turtles in the WCR. The most prominent of these agreements are the SPAW
Protocol to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider
Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, and IAC. Sub-regional agreements, such as the trilateral
Acuerdo de Cooperaci6n para la Conservaci6n de las Tortugas Marinas en la Costa Caribeia de Costa Rica,
Nicaragua y Panama (Acuerdo Tripartito), provide additional possibilities for co-operation in management
efforts for these species.


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INTRODUCTION


Marine turtles enjoy iconic status in many parts of the world, in many cultures and many sectors (Frazier, 2005a
and b), including in the Caribbean (Eckert and Hemphill, 2005). Being among the first reptiles and marine
species-to have been identified as threatened with extinction, marine turtles have been largely protected from
international commercial trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES) since the late 1970s and have benefited from several decades of conservation investment.
While there have been many advancements over the past half-century in our understanding of marine turtle
biology and management needs, the actual management of marine turtles, and of marine turtle exploitation in
particular, has in many ways not kept pace with this understanding nor with the contemporary scope of threats to
their survival. The consequence of this has been continued high levels of mortality in legal target fisheries, as
fisheries by-catch, among adult females on nesting beaches, and through widespread collection of eggs, as well
as losses from habitat and other factors. Until the Japanese Government disallowed the import of Hawksbill
Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata shell (or bekko) on 1 January 1993, exploitation included large numbers of this
species killed around the world, including the Caribbean Sea, to supply this international market.













from eft to right: Green Leatherback, Loggerhead, 's and
Olive


There is long-standing concern, as expressed by governments and civil society alike, that continuing exploitation
in many marine turtle range States is compromising management and conservation efforts in other range States
and inhibiting the recovery of depleted populations at regional and global levels. Much of this concern arises
from increasing understanding and appreciation of the shared nature of marine turtle stocks. Marine turtles
benefiting from legal protection or active, science-based management in certain range States invariably travel
through or to countries where they are-or risk being-subject to exploitation that is legal and, in many instances,
subject to few controls. Effective management and conservation of these species clearly requires a co-ordinated
approach amongst countries harbouring the same turtle stocks.


A number of multilateral initiatives aimed at providing a basis for collaboration and co-ordination on marine
turtle management have been undertaken in recent years. In the Wider Caribbean, these include the Protocol
Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) to the Convention for the Protection and
Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, which
entered into effect in 2000, and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles
(IAC), which entered into force in 2001. In addition, region-wide inter-governmental meetings devoted to
addressing shared marine turtle management have been convening in the region for more than two decades (e.g.


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Bacon et al., 1984; Ogren, 1989; Eckert and Abreu Grobois, 2001; IUCN, 2002), as have innumerable technical
workshops and consultations.


Recognizing that identifying and implementing concrete steps to co-ordinate management efforts for marine
turtles at the regional level must be grounded in the management efforts and capacities of constituent States,
TRAFFIC North America undertook a review of exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in 11
countries and territories in the northern Caribbean (Fleming, 2001). The review documented a patchwork of
national management regimes for marine turtles ranging from complete protection and active investment in
conservation and management to very few restrictions on exploitation and little to no investment in management
and conservation. In so doing, the review re-emphasized the fundamental challenges of attempting to manage
and conserve solely on a country-by-country basis species that use the totality of the Caribbean basin and, in the
case of the Loggerhead Caretta caretta and Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea, much of the North Atlantic
Ocean, at different stages and times of their lives.


Participants in the First CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue Meeting, held in Mexico City in May
2001, noting the TRAFFIC report and its implications for marine turtle management throughout the Caribbean,
called on the CITES Secretariat to undertake a similar analysis for the rest of the Wider Caribbean Region
(WCR). It was clear at that time that, only once a full picture could be made of the situation in each country,
could the participants and other stakeholders begin to formulate a strategy for a more co-ordinated approach to
management of these species. To this end, the Secretariat commissioned TRAFFIC International to conduct an
assessment of the exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the 26 political jurisdictions of the
Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela.


The findings presented in the pages that follow are the result of consultation, research, analysis and synthesis
conducted by the authors over a period of nearly three years, drawing on their own decades of experience and
expertise and those of many others in the region. The report highlights the persistence of largely outdated
management regimes in many countries, including the minimum size limits that prevail in many insular States, a
lack of systematically collected data on marine turtle landings, the near-absence of credible (data-based)
estimates of population trends and, particularly in the continental States, widespread exploitation under blanket
legal protection or poorly defined and largely uncontrolled exemptions to such protection. In addition, it
documents the implications of management shortcomings in one country for the management and conservation
efforts being made in another. Equally importantly, it documents a range of activities that are being undertaken
at the national level to address these problems and which could be expanded or adapted across the region.


It is within this context that this report aims to form the basis of an open, deliberate, constructive dialogue
between governments and other stakeholders in the WCR regarding shared needs and responsibilities for marine
turtle management. The commitment of the authors and that of their institutions, as well as of the many
contributors, to the analysis presented here stands as testament both to the gravity ascribed to the marine turtle
management failings that are revealed and to the hope that, in documenting both these failings and the many
innovative and pioneering-approaches to marine turtle conservation in the region, with a well-co-ordinated
effort, it will be possible to build a future where marine turtles might once again fill a varied panoply of
ecological, socio-cultural, and economic roles.


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MARINE TURTLES OF THE CARIBBEAN


The WCR (Figure 1) includes nesting and foraging grounds, as well as important migration corridors, for six of
seven extant marine turtle species. All six of these species are included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species: the Kemp's Ridley Lepidochelys kempii, Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and Leatherback
Dermochelys coriacea are classified as Critically Endangered, and the Loggerhead Caretta caretta, Green Turtle
Chelonia mydas and Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea are classified as Endangered (see Appendix I) (IUCN,
2004). These classifications reflect the species' global status. Extinction risk is assessed on the basis of quanti-
tative criteria in relation to past or projected future population declines, population size and trends, and the size
and trend of area of occupancy within the overall geographic range. (Fuller details of the IUCN Red List and its
Categories and Criteria can be accessed at www.iucnredlist.org. )


Causal factors contributing to the threatened status of the marine turtles of the WCR include legal and illegal
targeted fisheries, as well as incidental capture in fishing gear; killing of gravid females on nesting beaches; egg
collection and national and international trade; pollution and other degradation to foraging grounds; and loss of
nesting habitat to coastal development (e.g. NRC, 1990; Eckert, 1995a; Meylan and Donnelly, 1999;
Witherington and Martin, 2000; Eckert and Abreu Grobois, 2001; Seminoff, 2004). Threats accumulate over long
periods of time and can occur anywhere in a population's range; thus, declines typically result from a combination
of factors, both domestic and foreign. In general, and notwithstanding documented examples of apparently rising
or recovering populations (Leatherback: Dutton et al., 2005; Green Turtle: Troeng and Rankin, 2005; Hawksbill
Turtle: Krueger et al., 2003a; Richardson et al., 2004; Diez and van Dam, Chelonia Inc., unpubl. data; Kemp's
Ridley: Marquez et al., 1999), marine turtle populations throughout the WCR are so severely reduced from
historical levels (Carr 1955; Parsons, 1962; Rebel, 1974; King, 1982; Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Ross
et al., 1989; Reichart, 1993; Jackson, 1997; Meylan and Donnelly, 1999; Bjomdal and Bolten, 2003) as to be
considered by Bjomdal and Jackson .2'r;rif') "iiri..al extinct" from the standpoint of their role in Caribbean
marine ecosystems.


Some of the largest marine turtle breeding colonies that the world has ever known, including those of Green
Turtles in the Cayman Islands (Lewis, 1940; Aiken et al., 2001), have all but vanished. Nesting trends for Green
Turtles elsewhere in the WCR are mixed, with rising trends at Tortuguero (Costa Rica), currently the region's
largest colony, as well as in the USA and Mexico, but long-term declines at Aves Island (Isla de Aves, Venezuela),
once a globally significant site (Seminoff, 2004). According to Le6n and Bjomdal .'2i"'2), "current hawksbill
populations in the Caribbean represent at most 10% of pre-Columbian levels", while Meylan (1999a) reported
Hawksbill Turtle populations to be "declining or depleted in 22 of the 26 political units in the Caribbean for which
status and trend information [was] available". Hawksbill Turtle nesting in the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico),
estimated to have comprised ca. 40% of all known Hawksbill nesting in the WCR (Meylan, 1999a; IUCN, 2002),
is steadily declining: nests counted in 2004 amounted to a mere 37% of those counted in 1999 (Abreu Grobois
et al., 2005). Importantly, several countries examined in the present review cited anecdotal reports of increasing
numbers of juvenile Green and Hawksbill Turtles, a finding worthy of focused investigation.


The largest nesting colony of Leatherbacks in the WCR (Ya:lima:po, French Guiana), recently reported as having
declined by more than 50% from 1987 to 1998 (Chevalier and Girondot, 2000), has now been re-evaluated from
a broader perspective, incorporating nesting data from throughout the Guianas (recognizing that the annual
nesting effort tends to migrate seasonally, tracking the ever-shifting coastline). A reconstructed time-series of


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Figure I


Map to show the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR), including the Lesser Antilles,
Central America, Colombia and Venezuela-the geographical focus of this report.


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Leatherback nesting activity along the 600-km coastline of Suriname and French Guiana, corrected for capture
effort, shows that nesting activity has been "stable or slightly increasing in this region since 1967" (M. Girondot,
University de Paris, in litt., 23 November 2005). Similarly, there is no evidence of contemporary decline in
nearby Trinidad, the world's largest insular nesting Leatherback colony (S. Eckert, WIDECAST, pers. comm.,
2005), and some small, long-protected colonies are growing in size (Dutton et al., 2005). In contrast, there is
considerable anecdotal evidence that Leatherback nesting has 'di.il.it.i[L.0l declined" throughout much of the
Eastern Caribbean (Eckert, 2001). Reviews are inconclusive for this species in Central America (Troeng et al.,
2004), indicating that longer periods of data collection are necessary.


Dramatic reductions during the second half of the 20th century at the region's largest nesting colonies of both the
Olive Ridley and Kemp's Ridley are well documented (Ross et al., 1989; Reichart, 1993; Marquez, 1994;
Marcovaldi, 2001), presently rising numbers of nesting Kemp's Ridley (Marquez et al., 1999) notwithstanding.
Finally, the Loggerhead nesting colonies of eastern Florida (USA), the largest in the WCR, have been steadily
declining since 1998 (FFWCC, 2004), following more than a decade of rising trends (Witherington and Koeppel,
2000) and despite more than three decades of federal protection.


Marine turtles have provided nutrition, wealth and in other ways been useful to humans for more than 2500 years
(Peterson, 1997; Versteeg et al., 1990). They fed indigenous tribes (Frazier, 2003) and helped make foreign
colonization possible; Carr (1955) observed that, "all early activity in the New World tropics-exploration,
colonization, buccaneering, and even the manoeuverings of naval squadrons was in some way or degree
dependent on turtle." Green Turtles, exclusively herbivorous (Bjomdal, 1982), were savoured for their mild flesh
and historically traded in enormous volumes (Parsons, 1962; King, 1982; Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989;
Jackson, 1997). Similarly, the colourful carapace scutes of the Hawksbill Turtle once featured prominently in the
region's foreign export earnings, historically in trade with Europe but more recently (increasingly dramatically in
the early 1970s) in trade to Asian markets, primarily Japan (Parsons, 1972; Mack et al., 1982; Milliken and
Tokunaga, 1987; Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Meylan and Donnelly, 1999).


Often overlooked have been the ecological services that these species deliver. Marine turtles, once numbering in
the inestimable tens of millions (Jackson, 1997) and not atypically described by early writers as a "never failing
resource" (e.g. Long, 1774, cited in King, 1982), are becoming known to science as having contributed signifi-
cantly to nutrient cycling on sandy beaches (Bouchard and Bjomdal, 2000), as well as productivity in seagrass
beds and diversity in coral reefs (Le6n and Bjomdal, 2002; Bjorndal and Jackson, 2003). Hatchlings entered the
food chain by the millions, month after month during the nesting season, with, by current estimates, only one egg
in a thousand surviving to become an adult turtle (Frazer, 1986). More recently, marine turtles have become
popular subjects for dive and nature tourism and, in this context, are increasingly becoming a source of revenue
for coastal communities in the region, such as in Costa Rica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago (e.g.
Troeng and Drews, 2004).


Life history and life cycle


Marine turtle life-history strategies, complex but largely known, have not changed over time. These animals are
slow-growing, late-maturing (age at sexual maturity in the WCR ranges from 11 to 16 years [Kemp's Ridley: Zug
et al., 1997] to three decades or more [Green Turtle: Frazer and Ladner, 1986], depending on the species) and
long-lived, with naturally high rates of egg and young juvenile mortality and low rates of adult mortality. These







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attributes, coupled with an overlapping iteroparous life cycle-long life-expectancy coupled with discrete
multiple breeding seasons and overlapping generations (Chaloupka and Musick, 1997)-mean that long-term
data collection is vital for the estimation of key demographic parameters and for informing management
decisions.


Early attempts to incorporate Western Atlantic Loggerhead life-history data into population model simulations
revealed that even 100% survival in the first year of life would not reverse population decline, suggesting that
protection limited to the egg/hatchling stage was unlikely to be effective and that only by reducing large juvenile
and adult mortality could extinction be averted (Crouse et al., 1987). Frazer (1989) used the concept of
reproductive value-a measure of the value to the population of an individual female turtle of a particular age-
to emphasize the critical importance of ensuring that large turtles be protected. On this basis, and noting that the
regulatory framework in the WCR had been focusing marine turtle fisheries "incorrectly for over 350 years", he
recommended to Caribbean fishery managers at the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium in 1987 that any
exploitation of marine turtle populations must be restricted on the basis of maximum not minimum- size limits.
More contemporary mathematical treatments (e.g. Crowder et al., 1994; Heppell et al., 1999, 2000 and 2004)
have only reinforced the conclusion that protecting large juvenile and adult turtles from exploitation is an
essential component of any sustainable marine turtle management regime. While Caribbean fishery managers
recognize that "understanding these [life-history] aspects is fundamental to the development of management
pwi.iiu (Santo Domingo Declaration-Eckert and Abreu Grobois, 2001), the regulatory framework has been
slow to respond.


Compounding the management challenges posed by life-history traits are those arising from an elaborate life
cycle defined by a broadly predictable but often poorly understood series of changes-so-called ontogenetic shifts
in location and habitat (Frazier, 2001; Heppell et al., 2003) that occur over the course of a marine turtle's life
and often incorporate long-distance migration. At any point in time, a genetically distinct population of marine
turtles is spread across several, and perhaps several dozen, geo-political units. This complicates significantly the
delivery of management and conservation and evidences the need for active co-operation and collaboration
among range States in the management of shared stocks.


Research indicates that individual marine turtles are unlikely to remain in natal habitats throughout their lives.
Hatchlings emerge from the sand, orient to the sea, and engage in a swim frenzy, well known to science, that
ultimately leads them into oceanic convergence zones that offer food and shelter during the early years. Young
juveniles (with the exception of the elusive giant Leatherback) eventually return to coastal waters, assuming their
characteristic diets, and may travel significant distances through multiple political jurisdictions during the
estimated one to four decades required to reach sexual maturity. At maturity, adult females return to the general
area where they were born, sometimes undertaking trans-oceanic journeys, to engage in egg-laying. Seasonal
nesting populations and nearshore foraging aggregations exhibit varying degrees of genetic relation; thus, conser-
vation measures directed at local nesting colonies will not necessarily benefit local foraging stocks and vice versa.
Foraging assemblages are typically a mixed assortment of (primarily) juveniles and (fewer) adults drawn from
nesting rookeries near and far. Nesting assemblages, on the other hand, comprise females drawn to the beach by
the gravity of instinct, the signature of their natal coastline indelibly marked in their genetic code (e.g. Bowen
and Witzell, 1996; Bowen and Karl, 1997; Bass, 1999; Diaz-Femrnndez et al., 1999; Dutton et al., 1999; Bowen,
2003). Adult females pass the code to their daughters, who will repeat the cycle as long as the natal beach
provides suitable habitat.


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Species overview and general trends


The smallest and most localized marine turtle species in the WCR are the Ridleys. The Kemp's Ridley, largely
confined to the Gulf of Mexico, nests primarily in Tamaulipas, Mexico, with foraging grounds extending
northwards along the eastern seaboard of the USA (Marquez, 1994). Its range is not considered to extend to any
of the countries examined in this review. An active bilateral conservation and research partnership between
Mexico and the USA has successfully brought this species
back from the brink of extinction (Marquez et al., 1999);
while the population is still depleted, there are an estimated
S6000 adults (male and female), and the population is
growing (D. Shaver, US National Park Service, pers. comm.,
2005). In contrast, the Olive Ridley is largely confined to the
southern Caribbean, predominantly the Guianas. The largest
colony in the region was until recently located at Elianti
Beach, Suriname, where egg collection (Reichart, 1989) and
incidental capture in commercial fisheries (Laurent et al.,
1999) are implicated in the loss of nearly 95% of this
population since 1968: the number of nests declined from
over 3000 per year in the late 1960s, to fewer than 500 in the
early 1990s (Reichart, 1993), to fewer than 200 today
SC (Hilterman et al., 2001). Today, the most significant colony
appears to be located in eastern French Guiana, where ca.
2000 nests were laid (by perhaps 1500 females) in 2004;
lower-density nesting is recorded in western French Guiana

Is Lepidnchelys i where, in 2004, ca. 600 nests were laid within the Amana
and Olive Lepdochelys olivacea Nature Reserve (B. de Thoisy, Association Kwata, unpubl.
data).


In addition to hosting remnant populations of Kemp's and Olive Ridleys, the WCR harbours remnant populations
of four other marine turtle species that today comprise some of the world's largest remaining stocks. In
Tortuguero, Costa Rica, Green Turtles typically nest in the tens of thousands per year in a widely fluctuating
pattern that shows a clearly increasing trend (Tro1ng and Rankin, 2005). A rookery of similar size is found at
Raine Island, Australia, but no other rookery in the world approaches these numbers (Seminoff, 2004).
Historically, the largest Green Turtle rookery in the Caribbean is credited to the Cayman Islands, but the
population was all but extinguished by commercial exploitation two centuries ago (Aiken et al., 2001).
Exploitation pressure has remained high on this, the most edible of marine turtle species, with the apparent result
that nesting is reported at low densities or greatly depleted in most of the countries examined in this study. Based
on the data available, the heaviest exploitation in a single country in the region occurs in Nicaragua, the primary
foraging ground for the Tortuguero nesting colony and possibly the most important foraging ground for this
species in the entire Atlantic system (Carr et al., 1978), where an estimated 11 000 Green Turtles have been killed
annually during the past decade (Lagueux, 1998).


Hawksbill Turtles, providers of tortoiseshell (the colourfully patterned scutes that cover the carapace) have, like
Green Turtles, been exploited for centuries. The tortoiseshell from hundreds of thousands of turtles in the WCR


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was imported into the UK and France during the 19th and early
20th centuries (Parsons, 1972) and additional hundreds of
thousands of turtles contributed to the region's trade with
Japan prior to the imposition of a zero quota on Hawksbill
shell imports to Japan in 1993 (Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987;
Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Canin, 1991; Donnelly,
1991). What is believed to have been, historically, the largest
nesting colony in the WCR-Playa Chiriqui in Bocas del Toro
Province, Panama-reported only 465 nests in 2004 (Ordofiez
et al., 2005). Today, the largest nesting colony in the WCR is
located on the shores of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, where
long-term monitoring indicates a persistent decline in recent
years: ca. 2400 nests were laid in the States of Campeche and
Yucatdn (including Isla Holbox) in 2004, a 63% drop in
numbers since 1999, when ca. 6400 nests were laid there (A.
Abreu Grobois, UNAM, pers. comm., 2005). For most of the
countries in the region, nesting is characterized as depleted
and occurring at low densities, with the important exception of
rising trends at a handful of small but well-studied colonies Turtle
(Krueger et al., 2003a; Richardson et al., 2004) and (top)and enTrt heon
anecdotal observations of increases in foraging juveniles at
selected sites (e.g. Puerto Rico, Barbados). The spongivorous Hawksbill Turtle (Meylan, 1988) is confined to
tropical latitudes and is believed to complete its life cycle within the confines of the Caribbean Sea; notwith-
standing, intriguing tag returns, such as that from a juvenile tagged in Brazil and later killed in Dakar, Sdnegal
(Marcovaldi and Filippini, 1991), hint at life-history behaviours that are still poorly understood.


Leatherbacks are the largest and most migratory of the marine turtles; lacking a hard bony shell, they are also the
most visually distinctive. Gravid females arrive seasonally at preferred nesting grounds, but adults spend most
of their time in temperate and even sub-arctic latitudes where they prey on oceanic jellyfish and other soft-bodied
invertebrates (WCR summaries by Eckert, 1995b and 2001; Dutton et al., 1999); little is known of the biology or
distribution of juveniles (Eckert, 2002). Satellite-tracking of post-nesting females has confirmed that they depart
the Caribbean after egg-laying and navigate along trans-oceanic corridors to western African coasts and the high
seas of the North Atlantic (Eckert, 1998 and 2006; Hays et al., 2004a). The largest nesting colonies in the region
are located in Trinidad and the Guianas (primarily French Guiana and Suriname), where several thousand adult
females converge annually with no indication of declining trends, and along the Costa Rica-Panama coast, where
3000 nests were recorded at Playa Chiriqui (Panama) alone in 2004 (Ordofiez et al., 2005). Leatherbacks prefer
high-energy shorelines and deep, unobstructed access (Eckert, 1987). They are often referred to as colonizers,
being the first to exploit newly emerging habitat along the ever-shifting coastlines of the Guianas (Pritchard and
Trebbau, 1984; Girondot and Fretey, 1996). They exhibit less site-fidelity than the other species and, while the
majority of females will return repeatedly to the same nesting ground, it is not unusual for individuals tagged at
one nesting beach to be reported nesting elsewhere (Pritchard, 1973; Eckert et al., 1989). Nesting by
Leatherbacks has been documented in most of the insular Caribbean countries examined in this study, in
several-e.g. Aruba, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago at greater densities than other
marine turtle species.


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Finally, the omnivorous Loggerhead, described as the most
ecologically generalized marine turtle (Bolten, 2003), is found
nesting in both tropical and temperate latitudes. Hatchlings
from nesting beaches in the WCR, and particularly those in the
south-eastern USA, enter the North Atlantic Gyre where they
remain for 7 12 years before returning to the Western Atlantic
to settle in coastal benthic feeding grounds at a size of ca. 40-
60 cm (straight carapace length) (Bjomdal et al., 2000). There
are at least four genetically distinct Loggerhead nesting sub-
populations in the western North Atlantic, based on
mitochondrial DNA ,I n,. idLiL et al., 1998). Only South
Florida (USA) is described as a "major" nesting ground in the
WCR, while nesting in Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala,
Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela is described as "minor
[fewer than 1000 nests per year] or relatively poorly known"
(Ehrhart et al., 2003). The South Florida colony has been
declining for several years: fewer than 50 000 nests were laid
in 2004 (State-wide), the equivalent of some 12 000 females
(based on 4.1 nests per female-TEWG, 2000), the lowest nest eaheback re (tp)
count since 1988 (FFWCC, 2004). and


Transboundary movements


Marine turtles are migratory at all life-history stages (Lohmann et al., 1997), a reality well-known to science but
as yet poorly translated into national and regional management norms. As with any shared resource, co-
ordination among range States with regard to management is an unavoidable prerequisite for success at local and
national levels. Transboundary movements of marine turtles among range States in the WCR are documented
through the return of flipper tags that have been fitted to marine turtles for more than five decades (Carr, 1967)
and, more recently, by satellite-tracking. In addition to identifying markers, an address on the flipper tag enables
fishers and others to return the tag (sometimes for a small monetary or other reward, which serves as an
incentive). A satellite transmitter fitted to a turtle's carapace enables the animal's movements and a range of
additional data to be collected on an almost-constant basis, for more than two years in some cases (S. Eckert,
WIDECAST, pers. comm., 2005).


The largest bodies of data on international movements have been collected through the recovery of tags in the
Nicaraguan Green Turtle fishery and from females nesting at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Carr et al. (1978) tabulated
international tag returns from Green Turtles tagged at Tortuguero during the period 1956-1977, which indicated
that the waters of Nicaragua, in particular the Miskito Bank area, are the principal feeding grounds for the
Tortuguero nesting colony. Carr et al. (1982) reported that the recovery in Nicaragua of two tags that had been
put on Green Turtles at Aves Island was the first evidence that the Miskito Bank may be a feeding habitat for two
different major breeding populations of Western Atlantic Green Turtle stocks. Green Turtles caught in the waters
of Nicaragua had been tagged in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Cuba, Florida (USA), Grand Cayman, Yucatan
(Mexico) and Panama, as well as in Costa Rica and Venezuela. Similarly, two Loggerheads taken in Nicaragua
had been tagged in Panama and the Azores (Portugal) (Lagueux, 1998). According to sources cited in Meylan


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(1999b), Hawksbill Turtles captured in Nicaragua had been tagged at Tortuguero (Costa Rica), in the US Virgin
Islands, and the Yucatan (Mexico); such tags have been recovered there in recent years from elsewhere in the
region (C. Lagueux, WCS, in litt., 13 June 2005).


Evidence from flipper-tagging, satellite-tracking programmes and genetic analyses has shown that the marine
turtles nesting in Costa Rica migrate through, forage and breed in various other countries and that, for example,
Green and Hawksbill Turtles travel through Costa Rican waters between the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama and
the Miskito Cays, Nicaragua. The analysis of Carr et al. (1978) of over 1100 international tag returns over the
period 1956-1977 from Green Turtles tagged at Tortuguero indicated that this nesting population is drawn from
turtles that feed throughout the western Caribbean. Although the great majority of tag recoveries were from
Nicaragua, more than 10 returns were from Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba. Carr et al. (1982)
reported that a Green Turtle tagged at Tortuguero was later captured in the Gulf of Paria on the west coast of
Trinidad. Movements of Hawksbill Turtles tagged nesting at Tortuguero show a similar pattern: they have been
recaptured at various sites in Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras (Bjorndal et al., 1985, cited in Meylan 1999b).
Recent genetic analyses point to nesting female Hawksbill Turtles from Tortuguero foraging in Cuba, Mexico and
Puerto Rico (Troeng et al., 2005).


Similar patterns are evident in other large datasets. For example, tagging of Green Turtles nesting on Aves Island
has provided evidence of long-distance movement into other jurisdictions; tags from this programme have been
returned from: Barbados, Bonaire, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada,
Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines and Venezuela (Vera, 2004).


International movements are also increasingly being documented through satellite telemetry and, in many
instances, made available on the Internet (e.g. at www.seaturtle.org/tracking; www.bonaireturtles.org;
www.cccturtle.org and www.hawksbillwwf.org/). For example:


* a Hawksbill Turtle satellite-tagged in Antigua migrated into Belizean waters (Searle, 2001);
* a number of turtles (several Hawksbill Turtles, one Green Turtle and one Loggerhead) satellite-tagged in
Bonaire have travelled through and to at least seven countries in the region: Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican
Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico (USA) and the Virgin Islands (Sea Turtle Conservation
Bonaire, unpublished data);
* four post-nesting Hawksbill Turtles satellite-tagged in Barbados in 1998 stayed in the country's waters for
only a few months before travelling to Grenada, Dominica, Trinidad and Venezuela, respectively, where some
foraged at the same sites for up to 1.5 years (Horrocks et al., 2001);
* three of four adult female Hawksbill Turtles satellite-tracked after nesting at Playa Chiriqui, Panama, travelled
to distant countries, including Nicaragua and Jamaica, where they stayed for extended periods (the fourth was
killed shortly after her release from the nesting beach) (A. Meylan, in litt., 15 March 2005);
* a female Hawksbill Turtle satellite-tagged after nesting in the Zapatilla Cays, Panama, travelled to Honduras
and remained there for several months, after which the battery failed, but the turtle was recorded again on the
same nesting beach two years later (Meylan and Meylan, unpubl. data); and
* a male Green Turtle satellite-tagged at Bocas del Toro, Panama, travelled to the San Bernardo Archipelago in
Colombia (A. Meylan, in litt., 15 March 2005).


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Flipper-tagging of Leatherbacks is documenting a pattern of behaviour somewhat less precise in nesting beach
fidelity. Recent, largely unpublished examples documented in this review corroborate an existing body of WCR-
related literature (Pritchard, 1973; Eckert et al., 1989; Boulon et al., 1996). For example:


* a Leatherback tagged during nesting in Saint Lucia in 2003 later nested in Barbados (J. Horrocks, Barbados
Sea Turtle Project, pers. comm., 2004);
* a Leatherback tagged while nesting in the US Virgin Islands in April 2004 nested twice on Rosalie Beach,
Dominica, in May of that year (Byme, 2004), while a Leatherback tagged while nesting on Rosalie Beach in
April 2004 later nested twice on Cipara Beach, Peninsula de Paria, Venezuela (H. Guada, CICTMAR, pers.
comm., 2004), and another tagged on Rosalie Beach in 2004 nested some weeks later in Martinique (R. Byme,
RoSTI, pers. comm., 2005);
* two Leatherbacks nested in Tobago in 2004 after having nested (and been tagged) in Grenada earlier in the
season (W. Herron, SOS Tobago, in litt., 8 August 2004);
* a Leatherback that nested in Grenada in 2004 had originally been tagged in Panama (Ocean Spirits, in litt., 24
October 2004); and
* data from the tagging of marine turtles in the Paria Peninsula and Isla de Margarita (Venezuela) have recently
begun to indicate migrations of these nesting animals back and forth between Venezuela and Trinidad, as has
been recorded in 1999 and during the period 2001-2004 (CICTMAR, 2002; J. Horrocks, pers. comm., cited
in H. Guada, in litt., 19 September 2004; Rond6n et al., 2004).


Equally important for management is that satellite-tracking of Leatherbacks is providing unique insight into the
extraordinary long-distance movements of these animals around and across entire ocean basins. Recent examples
of the WCR-related trajectories include those of:


* nine Leatherbacks satellite-tagged in Trinidad between 1995 and 2004: the three longest records documented
post-nesting females returning to high-latitude Atlantic foraging grounds (as far north as the Flemish Cap) and
continuing on to foraging grounds associated with the Mauritania Upwelling off the west coast of Africa
(Eckert, 1998 and 2006);
* 10 Leatherbacks satellite-tracked from two Atlantic Florida rookeries during the period 2000-2002: most of
these animals exploited continental shelf foraging grounds along the eastern seaboard of the USA, and as far
north as Cape Breton (March-October), moving off the continental shelf during winter months; one female
journeyed to foraging grounds associated with the Mauritania Upwelling (Eckert et al., 2006);
* eight post-nesting female Leatherbacks satellite-tagged in Grenada in 2003: two travelled north-west,
arriving within a few hundred kilometres of Cape Cod and Nova Scotia before turning southwards, while the
remaining five that left the Caribbean travelled north-east, reaching latitudes between the Azores and the UK
before some turned south (Hays et al., 2004a and 2004b); and
* Leatherbacks that have been satellite-tracked from Trinidad to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and in the reverse
direction: an adult male Leatherback was tracked from Nova Scotia to Galera Point, Trinidad, where it
resided for 96 days before returning to Nova Scotia (James et al., 2005).


In summary, while marine turtles have clearly evolved to be faithful to a preferred nesting ground (widely
believed, based on several lines of evidence, to be their natal nesting ground), there is ample evidence that some
individuals, and Leatherbacks in particular, are more flexible in their nest-placement strategies. Leatherbacks
may nest in multiple political jurisdictions, even over the course of a single reproductive season. In the case of


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the Guianas, where sand deposits suitable for nesting may shift with each passing year, Leatherbacks are able to
locate new deposits and exploit them successfully for nesting, despite the passage of an intervening two years or
more. In other cases, the cues that motivate a turtle to relocate outside preferred nesting ground can be deadly,
such as when a female leaves a protected rookery and enters the waters of a jurisdiction where she is not
protected.


In all cases, the implication for management is that a unified regulatory regime would greatly assist in the regional
conservation and sustainable use of shared stocks. The situation of turtles protected on their nesting grounds
returning to foraging grounds in other jurisdictions where some type of legal exploitation (for commercial or
subsistence purposes or indigenous use) is permitted extends across the WCR; less documented but known also
to occur is the scenario whereby turtles protected on their foraging grounds return to nest in jurisdictions where
they are partially protected or unprotected. For example, legally protected Hawksbill and Green Turtles tagged
in Barbados have been captured in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Cuba, Saint Lucia, Nicaragua,
Trinidad and Venezuela (J.A. Horrocks, University of the West Indies, pers. comm., cited in Meylan, 1999;
Krueger et al., 2003b; Luke et al., 2004; J.A. Horrocks, pers. comm., 2006). Post-nesting Hawksbill Turtles from
the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project in Long Island, Antigua, have been captured in Dominica (Fuller et al., 1992)
and Saint Kitts (Meylan, 1999). Marine turtles protected in Bonaire have travelled to several countries where
exploitation is permitted, including Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. In Central
America, post-nesting Green Turtles leave the protection of Tortuguero National Park and return to foraging
pastures characterized by high levels of exploitation in Nicaragua (Campbell, 2003).


METHODS AND DEFINITIONS


As mandated by the CITES Secretariat, this study reviewed marine turtle exploitation, trade and management in
26 political jurisdictions in the WCR: Anguilla and Montserrat, two UK overseas territories; Guadeloupe
(comprising Saint Martin and Saint Barth6l6my) and Martinique, two overseas departments of France; the five
islands comprising the Netherlands Antilles (Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curacao); Aruba,
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago; Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia
and Venezuela. For each of these jurisdictions, the study aimed to:


* document current legislation governing exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles;
* document and quantify where possible-levels of legal and illegal exploitation and trade in marine turtles
and their products;
* document the existence and status of stockpiles of marine turtle products;
* document management initiatives being undertaken and the constraints to conservation and management of
marine turtles; and
* provide recommendations for improving the management of exploitation and trade in marine turtles at the
local, national and regional levels, in order to maintain the availability of the marine turtle resource, focus
management planning, strengthen conservation initiatives and enhance law enforcement efforts.


Funding constraints dictated that this be largely a desk study, a compilation of information obtained from
government and non-government sources in the region and a review of available statistics and relevant literature.
As a first step, a questionnaire was designed to gather relevant information and available data from within the


12 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












Figure 2 Map showing islands of the Lesser Antilles included in this study


different jurisdictions. This questionnaire was produced in three languages and individualized to each jurisdiction
through the inclusion of information on the legal framework, as available from existing sources, and of interna-
tional trade information from the CITES database (up to and including 2000) and from Japanese Customs
statistics on Hawksbill shell imports up to and including 1992. The questionnaire was circulated to all CITES
Management and Scientific Authorities, to the agencies responsible for fisheries (including marine turtles) in the
target region, to country co-ordinators of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST),
and other agencies and individuals known to be involved in marine turtle management and conservation.
Questionnaires were completed for all but two of the 26 jurisdictions reviewed, and for many both government
and non-government responses were returned. The authors were persistent in seeking direct input from
stakeholders in all jurisdictions, including the two for which no questionnaire was returned. An English version
of the questionnaire is included in Appendix III.

Although a specific request was made in the questionnaires for available statistics on exploitation and trade, few
data on this aspect of the study were returned by respondents; a major effort was, thus, directed at the compilation
and review of information from other sources. All marine turtle species with the exception of the Australian
population of the Green Turtle have been included in CITES Appendix I since 1977, and the Caribbean
population of the Hawksbill Turtle has been listed in CITES Appendix I since 1975. A review was undertaken of
all trade in marine turtles reported to CITES for the countries concerned during the years from 1975, when CITES
entered into force, to 2004, inclusive. Statistics on CITES trade derive from annual reports filed by CITES
member States in fulfillment of their obligations under Article VIII of the Convention and are maintained in the
CITES Trade Database, which is managed by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-
WCMC), based in Cambridge, UK. The Centre provided a comparative tabulation, reports of trade in marine
turtles made by exporting and importing countries, for this purpose.

Because CITES trade data were not expected to provide much more than a glimpse into a trade that has been
largely illegal under the terms of the Convention for the past 30 years, and because the largest documented
international trade in marine turtles during this time involved Hawksbill shell, or bekko, imported into Japan


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under the terms of that country's CITES reservation (which exempted it from CITES Appendix-I commitments
for this species until it was formally withdrawn in July 1994), Japanese Customs statistics for the years up to and
including 1992, the last year that Japan permitted Hawksbill shell imports, were compiled by TRAFFIC East
Asia-Japan. An important source of information on international, regional trade in Central America as well as
internal trade in those countries was the assessment of trade in marine turtles and their products in Central
America undertaken by the Red Regional para la Conservaci6n de las Tortugas Marinas en Centroamerica
(Central American Marine Turtle Conservation Network) (Chac6n, 2002).


A central focus of this review has been the national legal framework for management of exploitation and trade in
marine turtles. For the insular Caribbean, it has generally been possible to review directly the legal instruments
governing exploitation of marine turtles. For most of the mainland Americas, however, where there is an
enormous body of legislation of different types-and numerous, sometimes conflicting, legal analyses on the
subject it has, at times, only been possible to consult secondary sources. It should be noted that access to
national environmental, including fisheries, legislation is increasingly available through the Internet, such as
through the websites of national legislative assemblies (e.g. those of Costa Rica and Guatemala) or individual
government agencies that have responsibilities for wildlife and environmental management (e.g. the Corporaci6n
Hondureha de Desarrollo Forestal (COHDEFOR) and the Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia (SAG) in
Honduras and the Ministerio de Fomento, Industria y Comercio (MIFIC), in Nicaragua) and the on-line
legislation database maintained by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at
faolex.fao.org/faolex/. However, the available documentation generally does not include the agency resolutions
and decrees and supporting regulations that form part of the full body of legal measures relevant to marine turtles.
Information on the adequacy of CITES-implementing legislation is largely derived from reports on the CITES
National Legislation Project, which has been under way since 1992.


Although in some instances the information has been readily available, it was impossible under the terms of
reference for this review to address systematically the legal measures in place to deal with the other pressures that
marine turtles face, which themselves are numerous and diverse, such as protected area designation and
management and coastal zone management; these are in many instances directly relevant to overall marine turtle
management. It has likewise been impossible to investigate the full range of socio-economic aspects of marine
turtle exploitation, which are varied and variably important across the region and merit further analysis.


An essential source of information has been the national marine turtle strategies that have been compiled for most
of the jurisdictions examined in this study. For seven countries in the insular Caribbean, as well as Belize and
Venezuela, these have been the national Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plans (STRAPs) prepared by WIDECAST
and published under the auspices of the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP). (A complete
list of CEP Technical Reports, including all STRAPs, is available at
www.cep.unep.org/pubs/Techreports/techreports/) For three additional countries (Anguilla, Trinidad and Tobago,
and Panama), draft STRAPs, currently in review, have been used. National marine turtle strategies have been
prepared through government-led processes in Colombia (MMA, 2002), Guatemala (Sanchez Castafieda et al.,
2002) and the French Antilles (overseas departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique), the last of which is a draft
recovery plan still in review (Chevalier, 2003), and these have been equally useful. The final report on the status
and exploitation of marine turtles in the UK overseas territories in the Wider Caribbean (Godley et al., 2004),
prepared under the auspices of the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the UK Foreign
and Commonwealth Office, has been an essential source of information for Anguilla and Montserrat. It should


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be noted that for only five of the 26 jurisdictions reviewed for this study Dominica and Grenada in the insular
Caribbean and Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua is there currently no national strategy for marine turtle
conservation and/or management; a WIDECAST-led national strategy is currently in process for Dominica,
Grenada and Costa Rica, as is a management plan for marine turtle conservation in the Nicaraguan Caribbean
(Lagueux et al., 2002).


Additional foundational documents were the national reports submitted to the First and Second Western Atlantic
Turtle Symposia (in 1983 and 1987, respectively), the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans and
national reports (including those on protected areas) prepared under the auspices of the Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD), and the national reports and supporting documents submitted to the First and Second CITES
Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue Meetings (in 2001 and 2002, respectively), available from the
CITES Secretariat, the CITES website, or other sources.


While for a few of the jurisdictions, the relative lack of recent information and in-country input, especially from
government sources, has created difficulties, the major challenge in compiling this report has been the opposite
problem-an enormous body of information from a range of stakeholder processes, field studies, legal analyses,
scientific literature, website postings and other activities, as well as reports to CITES and other inter-govern-
mental fora, including the CEP and FAO. Persistent effort was directed, particularly through the Internet and
WIDECAST country co-ordinators, to identifying and locating primary sources of information and as much as is
known to be readily available is reflected here. All documentation primary and synthesis sources, legislation,
unpublished data was reviewed in the original language of publication, whether English, Spanish or French or,
in the case of the Netherlands Antilles, in official English translations.


A point of geography should be noted. With the exception of Belize, which borders only the Caribbean Sea, and
El Salvador, which borders only the Pacific Ocean, the Central American countries and Colombia harbour marine
turtle populations on both their Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Because the focus of this study has been on the
marine turtles of the Caribbean, the status of and management programmes for marine turtles on the Pacific coasts
of these countries have generally been excluded from the review. In some instances, however, it has been
impossible to separate out issues relating to marine turtles on the Pacific coasts from those in the Caribbean sector
of these countries.


In order to assess fully the importance and implications of the present situation with respect to the parameters
examined, it was considered essential to review the historical context, including, where possible, the evolution of
national legislation, historical information on exploitation and trade, and other relevant information. This is
particularly important in the case of marine turtles, which are documented as being severely depleted in the
Caribbean Sea after centuries of exploitation and are still subject to exploitation throughout the region.


The assessment incorporated several rounds of multi-sectoral in-country review and required nearly three years
to complete. While some jurisdictions may be mildly outdated by the time of publication, the review comprises
the most up-to-date information available from published and non-published sources (English, Spanish, French).
A concerted effort was made, in conjunction with TRAFFIC, to provide the responsible government agencies
with an opportunity to review their national summary prior to publication and to incorporate the comments
received.


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A few points are necessary with respect to definitions. The operative definitions are those associated with
exploitation, trade and management. We have defined "exploitation" as the direct take of marine turtles and their
eggs, excluding indirect exploitation, such as by fisheries by-catch or mortality associated with habitat
degradation (e.g. hatchling death associated with beach-front lighting), and non-extractive uses, such as eco-
tourism associated with marine turtles. "Trade" refers to international movement of marine turtles, eggs and/or
marine turtle products, except where specifically described as domestic or internal.


The review is predicated on the assumption, encoded in various international treaties and agreements and often
explicit in national law, that living marine resources are to be managed in a sustainable fashion for the benefit and
enjoyment of present and future generations and, furthermore, that use, if sustainable, can serve human needs on
a continual basis while fulfilling ecological roles and contributing to the conservation of biological diversity.
Therefore, in documenting marine turtle "management" in the jurisdictions under review, the focus has not been
simply on the legal measures in place to control exploitation but on whether those measures were and are
sufficient to ensure that exploitation is sustainable, namely that it is not causing or exacerbating population
declines in marine turtle populations.


In recognition of the fact that the legal measures are only a framework for management, an analysis was
undertaken of the operational measures taken by governments, in many instances supported by NGOs or CBOs,
to ensure that exploitation is not causing population declines. Most important among these measures is the
monitoring of marine turtle exploitation through the recording of the number of animals killed or eggs collected
and the biometrics of that exploitation, including catch-per-unit effort and other parameters that would enable an
assessment of trends over time; and the monitoring of wild populations so as to discern trends and inform
assessments of the affects of exploitation on marine turtle populations and whether any adjustments in controls
on that exploitation may be necessary to prevent population declines.


Along a similar vein, in recognition of differing interpretations of the terms "conservation" and "management",
this study took a broader view of management to embrace what many would consider "conservation" measures,
including the establishment of protected areas, to protect marine turtle habitats and/or marine turtles from direct
fishing or incidental mortality in fishing operations; education and awareness aimed at promoting compliance
with the law and engaging stakeholders in management efforts; species research and conservation, including
population surveys and nest protection programmes; as well as a wide variety of training and capacity-building
initiatives. Awaiting a similarly comprehensive assessment are a number of foundational issues-including
development priorities (especially pertaining to the coastal zone), access and use rights, regulatory capacity, trade
controls, and the cultural and socio-economic dimensions of marine turtle use which, along with a working
knowledge of biological factors and constraints, help define a modem management regime. These issues are
presented in context, but not treated in-depth.


Final mention should be made of the fact that, although governments are the major actors in deciding on
management policy and practice affecting marine turtles and thus their action (and inaction) is of primary
relevance in this study, the contribution of NGOs and CBOs is also of major importance. Not only are such
organizations undertaking many of the actions relating to marine turtle management in the WCR, they are often
doing so in close co-ordination with government agencies, typically under a government permit, and in some
instances through formal agreements. Hence, an effort has been made to document the key contributions that are
being made by these organizations to marine turtle conservation and management in individual countries.


16 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












Monetary values in this text are, in most instances, given in local currencies, using ISO codes, and weights
expressed variously in imperial and metric units, as originally reported: one kilogramme = 2.2046 lb; t = metric
tonne.


REGIONAL OVERVIEW


As would be expected of a region as geographically, ecologically, culturally and economically diverse as the
Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, there is considerable variability in the status of
marine turtles and the context for their management: the legal frameworks, management regimes and types and
degrees of constraints to effective marine turtle management. The differences between jurisdictions and regions
with respect to key elements of this study are discussed below and summarized in the three tables in this section.


Legal framework for marine turtle management


Variability in legal frameworks


The variability of the legal frameworks in place for marine turtle management in the 26 jurisdictions reviewed is
illustrated in Table 1. The situation of a patchwork of different and often conflicting legislation was a key finding
of the TRAFFIC review of marine turtle management in the northern Caribbean and Mexico (Fleming, 2001) and
it is not surprising that the pattern extends throughout the WCR. Some jurisdictions have completely protected
marine turtles for over a decade; others have few controls on the exploitation and trade in these species. These
differences affect individual marine turtles travelling short and long distances from one jurisdiction to another;
they also affect fishers, in some instances travelling a very short distance from one site to another. This variability
has obvious implications for the efficacy of the legal controls that a country has put into place with the ostensible
purpose of managing marine turtles. Because marine turtles are migratory at all life-history stages (Lohmann et
al., 1997), as with any shared resource, a co-ordinated region-wide approach to management is an unavoidable
prerequisite for success at local and national levels.


Perhaps the most extreme example of the implications of the difference in legal frameworks is the situation of the
Tortuguero nesting population of Green Turtles in Costa Rica, the largest in the Western Hemisphere and one of
the two largest remaining in the world. A large (but unknown) proportion of this nesting population forages off
the coast of Nicaragua, where these turtles are subject to heavy fishing pressure. Although scientists in the past
decade have discerned promising signs that the Tortuguero nesting population is increasing, there is concern that
the Green Turtle fishery in Nicaragua, renewed in the 1990s after operating at much lower levels during the
previous decade as a result of the country's civil war, has been depleting the next breeding cohort, such that this
population may suffer a sudden and severe decline.


The region is replete with examples of marine turtles tagged at protected nesting grounds, only to be killed in
foraging grounds during open seasons in other jurisdictions. Contacts in at least two insular Caribbean
jurisdictions indicated that the existence of a legal fishery for marine turtles in a neighboring jurisdiction was a
factor cited by fishers responding negatively to proposals for stricter limits on the exploitation of marine turtles.
Hence, there are political as well as management consequences of the difference in legal regimes.


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There is particular variability in the legal frameworks in place among-and within the eight Latin American
countries examined. Marine turtles are fully protected in Venezuela (although the extent to which legal protection
applies operationally to indigenous take requires clarification); in Belize and Costa Rica (in relation to the Pacific
coast), there are clearly defined, regulated and controlled exemptions for certain forms of exploitation within an
otherwise protective legal regime. In Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia, important exemptions to otherwise
complete legal protection allow for the extraction of eggs (Guatemala), of turtles for indigenous use (Honduras),
and turtles for subsistence use (Colombia), but these exemptions are not clearly defined, specifically regulated,
or limited on a scientific basis, nor are they effectively enforced. These exemptions effectively negate protection.
In the Nicaraguan Caribbean, marine turtles are legally protected with the exception of Green Turtles, the fishery
for which is, as of 2005, limited to subsistence use but not restricted on any scientific basis. In Panama, the legal
situation appears confused, in that marine turtles are conferred full protection under certain legal instruments,
while exemptions for subsistence and indigenous use (of wildlife and natural resources, not specifically marine
turtles) are set forth in other pieces of legislation.


Within this variability is an unfortunate common thread, as discussed below: with the exception of Belize and
Costa Rica, no jurisdiction in which exploitation is legally permitted has established a scientific basis for that
exploitation and/or manages it in accordance with the principles of sustainability. This is a major shortcoming in
the management of marine turtles at both the national and regional level.


Adequacy of the frameworks


In many of the jurisdictions under review, the legal framework is weak by nature, or there are major gaps in the
law. In some instances, the framework is largely composed of administrative law versus decrees or other "higher"
instruments, thus meaning that (in addition to being less well known) they carry less weight and are more difficult
to enforce. The converse is also a problem: laws are not supported with regulations detailing how and by whom
they should be implemented or enforced. Shortcomings that are particularly noteworthy for this study are:


* Lack of clarity. In many countries, there is a relatively long history and a large body of laws and legal
measures adopted on behalf of marine turtles. Consequently, there is often confusion as to what laws and
regulations apply. This problem is particularly acute in the mainland American countries reviewed, which
operate in a maze of laws, decrees, ministerial resolutions, departmental resolutions, interim memoranda, etc.
Not only is it difficult to discern what legal provisions take precedence over what others, this situation also
leads to differing interpretations of the law. This confusion extends in many instances to protections-or
exemptions-afforded marine turtle eggs as opposed to marine turtles. The apparent high demand and
extensive use of marine turtles, as well as varying levels of internal and international trade in marine turtle
eggs and other products, in particular in these mainland American countries, underscore the need for a much
clearer set of rules governing the exploitation and trade in marine turtles, their eggs, and products.

* Lack of coherence. In addition to confusion regarding the rules that apply there are, in many instances,
conflicts within the legal framework. These result in large part from the way in which wildlife legislation,
generally but not exclusively relating to terrestrial species, and fisheries legislation, applying to aquatic,
including marine species, have evolved. Marine turtles, largely but not exclusively marine species, have been
variably interpreted as "wildlife" (e.g. in relation to hunting prohibitions and penalties set forth in wildlife
legislation) but have most commonly fallen, legislatively speaking, under the fisheries framework which,


18 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












generally (several jurisdictions in the insular Caribbean being an exception), does not provide measures to
control activities relating to marine turtle exploitation on land. As the legislation has evolved, so have the
structures for implementation. Because marine turtles are listed under CITES, which generally translates
automatically into national law in CITES Parties operating under civil law, and because they are also listed as
threatened species on national Red Lists in most of the Latin American countries reviewed, they come under
the mandate of wildlife departments and environment ministries; however, fisheries agencies often have a
mandate that includes marine turtles, as exploited marine species, and have issued separate provisions relating
to their exploitation. This has created jurisdictional conflict in several countries that has, in some instances,
severely impeded management. In Belize, for example, full protection provided for marine turtles in the 1981
wildlife law was rescinded early in 1982 owing to provisions in the fisheries regulations that permitted
exploitation of marine turtles. In Trinidad and Tobago, the conflict between the absolute protection afforded
through the wildlife law and the five-month open season provided through the fisheries regulations has
created a situation whereby few controls on marine turtle exploitation are exercised outside protected areas.
In Costa Rica, a similar conflict was ultimately adjudicated by the country's Supreme Court (Sala Cuarta),
which, in 1999, declared unconstitutional the issuance of permits for a Green Turtle fishery by the national
fisheries agency.


Exacerbating the problems arising from overlapping or conflicting mandates amongst different government
agencies is the situation whereby management responsibility has devolved to regional governments or
municipalities or indigenous regions or communities (e.g. in Panama and Nicaragua) that have been conferred
degrees of autonomy regarding natural resource use.


In several of the Latin American countries reviewed, marine turtles are an important resource for indigenous
peoples and at least three countries explicitly permit the exploitation of marine turtles for subsistence and/or
indigenous use. However, this exploitation is not regulated or controlled and is not monitored. In Nicaragua,
levels of exploitation of Green Turtles by the indigenous Miskitu and others during an open season that, as of
2005, allows for subsistence use only have been estimated to be in the order of 11 000 per year. Virtually all
of the turtles taken in the fishery over the past decade have been sold in commercial markets. In Venezuela,
where there is no legal exemption for indigenous or subsistence take, exploitation by indigenous Wayiu and
others is extensive, but there appears to be little effort to bring it under control. That several of the countries
in the region (Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela) have ratified International
Labour Organization (ILO) Convention N 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent
Countries, which gives autonomy to indigenous peoples to use natural resources in their natural habitat,
appears to have created a constitutional conflict and a de facto exemption to prevailing marine turtle
protective legislation in certain countries where exploitation continues in the absence of specific management
measures and effective controls.


Obsolescence. Wildlife legislation enacted several decades ago in many countries often did not take account
of economic and/or cultural realities and has either not evolved to address these more fully or has evolved in
a less-than-comprehensive manner. Blanket bans on the take and sale of wildlife, a standard for several
decades in most (if not all) of the mainland American countries reviewed, have not been consistent with the
true situation of wildlife use, with the result that such use which in the case of marine turtles is extensive-
has often been uncontrolled and unmanaged. As efforts are being made to bring wildlife and related
legislation more in line with current principles and practice of sustainable-use and socio-cultural realities, the


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela





















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TURNING THE TIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












necessary provisions to ensure that the exemptions are well-defined, adequately controlled and monitored
have generally not been included. There is also a need for greater flexibility in the evolving legal framework
so as to enable management agencies to implement and adapt in a timely as well as case-specific fashion-
management strategies that may involve sustainable-use components.


Despite a body of scientific knowledge of marine turtles that has been rapidly growing over the past several
decades, the legal controls on marine turtle exploitation in most cases do not reflect current understanding of
marine turtle management requirements. It has been known for two decades that the most important size
classes to protect (in almost any long-lived, late-maturing species) are the large juveniles and breeding-age
adults, yet minimum size limits which focus the take on large juveniles and adults-are, inexplicably, the
standard throughout the insular Caribbean where legal fisheries operate. This is often coupled with a lack of
coincidence between the annual closed season and the annual nesting season, again leaving breeding-age
adults vulnerable to capture. The only jurisdiction to have implemented maximum size limits is Belize, which
later prohibited all marine turtle exploitation with the exception of capture for traditional purposes, authorized
on the basis of a specific permit.


* Lack of enforceability. In addition to the above-mentioned inadequacies, management of marine turtles is
often hindered by the lack of implementing regulations or regulations that not only lack clarity, coherence and
relevance, but can be unenforceable. Size limits based on weight versus length, for example, are difficult to
adhere to if implemented at sea (where, appropriately, animals not within the limit can more easily be returned
to the water), while restricting exploitation to males caught particular distances from shore when neither
condition is verifiable (pre-reproductive turtles cannot be visually distinguished as to sex; the site of capture
often cannot be known)-only further reduces the potential effectiveness of the regulatory framework in
promoting sustainable use.


* Inadequate trade controls. A number of the jurisdictions under review have been identified by the CITES
National Legislation Project as having inadequate legislation to implement CITES and supporting wildlife
trade controls. Particularly acute in Central America is the lack of legal provision for controlling internal and
international trade in marine turtles and turtle products. In several countries, there appears to be a need for
much more specific provisions regarding the marketing and sale of marine turtles and marine turtle products,
as documented by Chac6n (,2-""2)

* Inadequate penalties and judicial procedures. Enforcement of management controls and protective
legislation is impeded in some jurisdictions by inadequate penalties for offences and by the lack of either clear
judicial procedures or a body of case law that supports vigorous prosecution and punishment for offences.
Where seizures have been made and court cases filed, there have been problems of these not being taken
forward by the courts or of court cases taking so long to proceed that they effectively serve as no deterrent to
illegal activity. In the case of Costa Rica, the absence of penalties under the wildlife legislation for marine
species had until recently made it difficult to prosecute marine turtle violations; this shortcoming has now
been rectified through enactment of a specific marine turtle law that provides for such penalties.


Conversely, the question has been raised as to whether particularly severe penalties (very high fines and long
prison terms) in two of the jurisdictions reviewed actually impede enforcement, in the sense that they are so
punitive that no law enforcement or fisheries officer enforces them. In addition, they are also viewed by some


22 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












members of the public as ridiculous, thus suggesting that they may engender disrespect for the law and
marine turtle conservation more generally. There appears to be a need for further effort to review and
establish penalties that will serve as effective deterrents to marine turtle infractions and to encourage proactive
and non-punitive options designed to enhance compliance.


Significant progress being made in some jurisdictions. There are numerous examples of significant
progress made in recent years in enhancing the legal frameworks for marine turtle conservation and
management. Particularly notable are the jurisdictions that have recently enacted full or partial (e.g. species-
specific, such as for Leatherbacks in Grenada) moratoria to safeguard depleted populations and assess future
management options; have recently enacted legislation that both clarifies and enhances the norms that apply
to marine turtles (e.g. a national marine turtle law and new fisheries law in Costa Rica that, inter alia, provide
specific penalties for marine turtle infractions); or have recently enacted legislation that significantly
enhances the basis for management and/or enforcement (e.g. a new fisheries law and implementing
regulations in Nicaragua). Revisions to prevailing legal frameworks that are pending in several countries
provide for more appropriate restrictions on exploitation, such as maximum size limits (e.g. in Antigua and
Barbuda, and Dominica), while stakeholder processes are also under way in several countries (e.g. Grenada,
Nicaragua, and Trinidad and Tobago) to review marine turtle management objectives and/or address specific
marine turtle management problems. Finally, the institution of national moratoria on the capture, sale and
possession of marine turtles is under discussion in several countries. In all these instances, and in order for
such measures to be successful, they will require public support, as well as the capacity to follow through with
monitoring programmes and other management measures, and in the case of moratoria, to use the period of
the moratorium to conduct a marine turtle stock assessment aimed at defining current population trends and
the feasibility of managing a truly sustainable take.


Also noteworthy are changes in the regulatory framework relative to habitat conservation, including lighting
ordinances (e.g. in Belize) designed to minimize disorientation and mortality of egg-bearing females and their
young while on the nesting beach; marine protected area designations that embrace critical marine turtle
habitat (e.g. Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua); and the establishment of marine
reserves, where fishing is prohibited, or other time-area fisheries closures (e.g. Belize, Dominica,
Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).


Exploitation of marine turtles at the national level


Widespread exploitation of marine turtles. Of the 26 jurisdictions covered in this study, fewer than half
fully protect marine turtles. In the remaining jurisdictions, marine turtles benefit from varying degrees of
legal protection. In at least four Latin American countries, legal exemptions for subsistence and indigenous
take provide for significant levels of exploitation.


In the insular Caribbean jurisdictions reviewed, full protection is afforded marine turtles in: Aruba,
Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique and the Netherlands Antilles. In Anguilla, a 10-year moratorium on
marine turtle exploitation was renewed for a further 15 years in December 2005. In Saint Lucia, a moratorium
on marine turtle exploitation instituted in 1996 lapsed in September 2004 and was not renewed. In Trinidad
and Tobago, a decades-long conflict between the wildlife and fisheries legislation has created a degree of
management confusion for marine turtles. The remaining jurisdictions, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica,


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Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (seven of the nine
members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)) regulate marine turtle exploitation on the
basis of an archaic framework that ignores the fundamentals of marine turtle biology and wildlife
management, i.e. through: minimum size limits, which target exploitation on large juvenile and adult age
classes critical to maintaining marine turtle populations; closed seasons that often do not cover the full
breeding season; unenforceable mandates (e.g. restricting exploitation to males caught particular distances
from shore); and few other restrictions, such as quotas and licences, on access or gear.


In the mainland America countries reviewed, full legal protection for marine turtles is afforded in only one
country, Venezuela (where it appears to be unenforced in relation to indigenous take). In Honduras, the
country's adherence to ILO Convention N' 169 provides an exemption for exploitation by indigenous peoples.
In Panama, exploitation appears to be legal at least in some circumstances (subsistence, indigenous use).
Legal exemptions to the full protection afforded marine turtles are narrow, clearly articulated and closely
regulated in both Costa Rica (managed collection of Olive Ridley eggs in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge on the
Pacific coast) and Belize (traditional take of marine turtles other than Hawksbill Turtles by permit only). In
Guatemala, an exemption for the collection and marketing of eggs, the legality of which is subject to debate,
has created a situation where well over 90% of marine turtle eggs laid in the country are believed to be
collected for consumption. In Nicaragua, which during the past decade has harboured the region's largest
legal marine turtle fishery, enactment of a new fisheries law and fisheries regulations in 2005 restrict the
heretofore artisanal Green Turtle fishery to subsistence-use only but provide for no biologically based limits.
In Colombia, an exemption to full protection permits subsistence fishing for marine turtles.


For every jurisdiction for which information has been obtained, illegal take is known to occur, but few
statistics exist on the numbers involved. In some jurisdictions, illegal take is not considered to be at levels
that impede management, and an objective assessment suggests that that is the case. In others, illegal take is
recognized as a serious management challenge. Illegal exploitation of marine turtles includes the collection
of eggs, killing of nesting females (e.g. of Leatherbacks in Tobago, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the
Grenadines, and Dominica), and fishing with prohibited gear, during the closed season, or in violation of the
minimum size limits.


Exploitation is largely undocumented. With the possible exception of Nicaragua, where information is
available through the monitoring efforts of individual researchers working with an NGO, there is no national
jurisdiction covered in this study for which there is official documentation or estimates of the total number of
turtles taken legally at the national (in the case of the mainland Americas, Caribbean) level. Similarly, and
once again with the exception of Nicaragua, none of the countries in which a legal take of marine turtles (or
eggs) exists has in place a systematic monitoring programme to document marine turtle exploitation, such that
the numbers of animals taken, importance of marine turtles to subsistence and livelihoods and other
parameters of exploitation are largely unknown.


Marine turtles are recorded at some landing sites (e.g. in Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines), but not all, and many fishers do not land turtles at these landing sites. There are no
mandatory reporting requirements for marine turtles, and voluntary reporting is recognized as documenting
only a portion of marine turtle landings statistics. Hence, an unknown proportion of marine turtles are not
recorded in official landings statistics. In the mainland Americas, where exploitation occurs largely through


24 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












exemptions to legal protection, there is no official recording of the numbers of turtles that are landed or other
aspects of the exploitation. In addition, there is little information available on exploitation for most of the
jurisdictions in which legal fisheries operated but which now prohibit exploitation. Some of the most compre-
hensive information derives from non-government sources, such as research reports by NGOs (e.g. Chac6n,
2002) and university students (Grazette, 2002), but is isolated in time or geographic scope.


There is a great range in the numbers of turtles estimated to be taken per year, and some level of take was
reported from nearly all jurisdictions participating in this review. In the insular Caribbean these numbers can
be very low, but, compared with the size of the nesting (which may number fewer than 10 reproductively
active females per year) or foraging populations, may be significant. No fewer than 93 Green and Hawksbill
Turtles were landed in January and February of 2002 around the tiny island of Nevis in the Lesser Antilles.
A recent study estimated as many as 576 turtles, primarily Hawksbill and Green Turtles, landed annually in
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Grazette, 2002) and 782 in Grenada (Grazette et al., in press). In
Colombia, where subsistence fishing is permitted by law but the number of turtles killed annually is unknown,
a recent study in one region of the country (Instituto Alexander von Humboldt, 2000, cited in MMA, 2002)
estimated the annual take to be more than 2000 turtles, an impressive number in light of these species'
recognized threatened status in the country. As noted above, more than 11 000 Green Turtles are estimated to
be taken annually in the legal Green Turtle fishery operating on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.


The collection of eggs-in both the insular Caribbean and mainland Americas-is even less reliably
quantified and the take associated with incidental capture in artisanal and commercial fisheries is, with a few
notable exceptions, essentially unknown.


* Widespread collection and marketing of eggs. Although marine turtle eggs are more widely protected by
law in the WCR than marine turtles, the collection of marine turtle eggs is intensive and pervasive throughout
the region and is especially viewed as problematic in Central America. Although this exploitation is
considered more intensive in relation to Olive Ridleys along the Pacific coast of the isthmus, it appears to be
important in some areas on the Caribbean coast as well. This exploitation and the resulting trade are proving
to be a serious challenge for management. In Guatemala, for example, where most if not all of the marine
turtle nests laid are believed to be collected, the government authorities have instituted an informal "conser-
vation quota" system that requires egg collectors to donate a percentage (15%, proposed to be increased to
20%) of the eggs from each nest to marine turtle hatcheries, in return for a receipt that legalizes the remainder
for consumption and sale. In the absence of sustained patrols on all nesting beaches, it is impossible to
determine the extent of compliance with this system. Some insular jurisdictions also reported egg poaching
levels approaching 100% on some beaches. The exploitation is largely unquantified, and its impact on the
Critically Endangered (cf. IUCN) Hawksbill Turtle and Leatherback is impossible to judge.


* Declining markets for turtle products in the insular Caribbean countries reviewed. While the
consumption and marketing of marine turtle meat continue to be important in most of the insular Caribbean
jurisdictions where marine turtle fisheries continue to operate, the commercial market for other marine turtle
products in those jurisdictions examined for this review appears to have declined in relation to the situation
10 and certainly 20 years ago. In particular, there appears to be very little marketing of shell or shell products.
Other than for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where some fishers have indicated to an independent
researcher that they retain Hawksbill shells in anticipation of a possible opening of international markets


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(Grazette, 2002), no information has been provided in the course of this study to suggest that there is a high
demand for or that there are stockpiles in the insular Caribbean of Hawksbill shell products. Although there
continue to be seizures of tourist souvenirs from the insular Caribbean in the USA and other countries (see
International trade in marine turtles), these appear to be relatively low in number. As has been
documented, for example, in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where the majority of Hawksbill
shells tend to be discarded, the impact of CITES and other controls in both exporting countries and import
markets appears to have considerably reduced, if not virtually eliminated, the trade in Hawksbill shell in most
of the insular Caribbean countries reviewed.


Persistent high demand for marine turtles and turtle products in the mainland Americas. Consumption
and marketing of marine turtles and turtle products in the mainland Americas reviewed are extensive. In most
Central American countries, for example, the markets are many, and the marketing extends throughout the
country. Although marine turtle meat appears to be marketed in coastal markets, Hawksbill objects and eggs
of all species are marketed nationwide. The use of Hawksbill scutes in the manufacture of spurs for
cockfighting is particularly common and supports both national and regional trade. Cosmetics and other
products made from marine turtle oil are also marketed. Many of these products no doubt derive from
"subsistence" and "indigenous" take and might be considered legal; however, this depends on the clarity and
specificity of the laws in effect, which, in these countries, is a recognized problem. Much of it is clearly
illegal. The national and international dimensions of this are documented in detail by Chac6n .,2'112)


International trade in marine turtles


All marine turtle species occurring in the WCR have been included in CITES Appendix I since 1977 and the
Caribbean population of the Hawksbill Turtle has been listed in CITES Appendix I since 1975. All jurisdictions
examined for this review, with the exception of the UK overseas territory of Anguilla, are currently CITES Parties
and many have been so since the early days of the Convention's operation. Hence, the complete protection from
international trade afforded through CITES has applied to the marine turtles in much of the WCR for nearly three
decades.


Little evidence of large commercial trade based on official statistics. There is very little evidence in
official statistics of significant trade in marine turtle products in the years since the closing of the Japanese
market for bekko (Hawksbill shell) as of 1 January 1993. CITES annual report data, derived from the UNEP-
WCMC CITES Trade Database, document relatively low levels of trade, primarily in scientific specimens and
personal items, often reported seized, mostly to the USA. Fisheries departments in the insular Caribbean are
generally unaware of seizures in importing countries: most reported no knowledge of any international trade
in marine turtles from their jurisdictions. What is interesting to note from the CITES statistics is the number
of transactions (the great majority recorded by the USA) involving the import of marine turtle eggs from
Central America, most (but not all) of which were recorded as personal items that were seized on entry. It is
unknown to what extent these transactions represent the full volume of illegal trade in eggs into the USA.
However, they clearly reflect the importance of this commodity in these countries.


In addition to trade in marine turtle eggs, CITES statistics document continued trade in marine turtle
products-again, largely imports reported by the USA-such as Hawksbill shell items and turtle carapaces,
as tourist souvenir specimens. There have also been a number of seizures of shipments that were recorded as


26 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












commercial shipments, of meat, relatively large numbers of carapaces, and shell items. As with eggs, it is
impossible to make an inference from these statistics as to the true level of illegal trade in these items.
However, there appears to be consensus from within the region that this international trade is low in
comparison with the level of regional trade, in Central America in particular.


* Extensive regional trade in Central America. As documented most recently by Chac6n .',2r"i), the
extensive marketing of marine turtle eggs and Hawksbill shell objects within Central American countries
clearly moves beyond national borders. This trade is believed to be primarily regional, with the exception of
the many Hawksbill shell objects which are also purchased by foreign tourists and exported to an unknown
degree without detection to their home countries. There is some evidence of international trade in
commercial quantities, namely in the form of seizures (including one shipment of Hawksbill scutes
intercepted at the airport in Cartagena, Colombia, destined for Panama) and reports from market vendors of
the origin of Hawksbill shell or shell objects (such as Colombian Hawksbill shell items on sale in Bocas del
Toro, Panama). In some cases, these products are regularly (and illegally) exported to nearby island
jurisdictions, such as cockfighting spurs from Colombia to Aruba.


* Take by foreign fishers and the potential for trade. Whether or not it is properly characterized as interna-
tional trade, throughout the region covered in this study there are reports based on anecdotal information or
documented evidence of take of marine turtles by foreign fishers, either subsistence/artisanal or industrial. In
Honduras, fishers reported landing Hawksbill Turtles captured in Belize; in the San Andrds Archipelago
(Colombia), marine turtles are believed to be captured by the Honduran conch and lobster fleets that operate
in the area; in Trinidad, marine turtles are observed being brought on board Venezuelan vessels operating in
Trinidadian waters. In Anguilla, where a moratorium on the take of turtles is in place, there have been
enquiries into whether marine turtle meat could be imported from a neighboring country where a legal
fishery exists. This clearly demonstrates the potential for international trade even if such trade is not currently
taking place.


Management issues


Management of exploitation


With few exceptions and regardless of the differences in the legal frameworks between the 26 jurisdictions
reviewed, the legal norms in place in those countries in which exploitation is permitted do not limit exploitation
in such a way as to contribute to the sustainability of marine turtle populations. In effect, they do not serve
management that would be consistent with the standards and practice of sustainable use (see Table 2). Based on
the broader definition of management adopted for this review, it is difficult to conclude other than there is little
active management of marine turtles in many of the jurisdictions examined. This is not to say that a jurisdiction
might not be quite adept at basic and/or applied research, habitat protection and/or general conservation, but less
apparent is a holistic integrated effort aimed at maintaining the marine turtle resource over time, despite the fact
that best practices developed to achieve this end are increasingly available. There is a general failure to apply
basic principles of resource management, such as those set by FAO in the its Code of Conduct for Responsible
Fisheries (FAO, 1995) and Guidelines on the Precautionary Approach to Capture Fisheries and Species
Introductions (FAO, 1996).


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












It is not clear whether this failing results from the array of constraints to marine turtle management or from more
perverse circumstances, whereby marine turtles, having either ceased to be an export commodity or been depleted
to the point of no longer being considered a fisheries resource, are not valued as sufficiently important to warrant
investment in their management. Clearly these animals continue to be an economic resource for some sectors of
society, albeit primarily at the subsistence or artisanal level, and the object of attention for numerous research and
conservation projects largely managed by NGOs and CBOs; however, they remain largely outside the priority
management framework of governments.


* Lack of stock assessment or impact assessment aimed at sustainability. With the possible exception of a
management programme for the legal collection and marketing of marine turtle eggs by the community of
Ostional on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and a recent comprehensive evaluation of the Green Turtle fishery
in Caribbean Nicaragua under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in no country has
any stock assessment or impact assessment been reported to have been undertaken as a precursor to or part of
the establishment or revision of legal controls on marine turtle exploitation. No attempt has been made, in
any jurisdiction participating in this review, to determine a sustainable level of exploitation based on defined
criteria, despite the fact that a sustainable take, even from such depleted populations as those in the Caribbean,
is at least theoretically possible for some stocks. (Whether it would be truly sustainable would depend on the
level of compliance, systematic monitoring and other aspects of the management regime.)


* Failure to adopt marine turtle fishery controls that foster sustainability. All of the legal fisheries in the
insular Caribbean countries reviewed operate on the basis of minimum size limits (coupled, in most cases,
with protection of nests and eggs), which targets exploitation on the large juveniles and adult turtles that
decades of scientific research have demonstrated are the most important age classes to protect in order to
prevent population declines and foster population recovery. Maintenance of this anachronistic standard defies
the principles and practice of sustainable use. In no case are these fisheries defined as limited entry, with
access restricted to bona fide turtle fishers, or restricted by quotas or other controls that could assist in
promoting sustainability. An analogous problem exists in most of the mainland Americas countries reviewed,
where exemptions for indigenous or subsistence take allow for uncontrolled, largely artisanal fisheries.


Efforts under way to address high levels of marine turtle exploitation, much of it illegal, in Nicaragua and
Colombia offer numerous insights into how such measures might be devised and implemented. In the case
of Nicaragua, WCS, working with government agencies, fishers and other stakeholders, is discussing dramatic
reductions in marine turtle fishing effort and options for alternative livelihoods as it works to develop a
conservation and management plan (Lagueux et al., 2002). In Colombia, a multi-institutional, multi-
stakeholder effort including indigenous Wayhu fishers aims at a sustainable-use regime for marine turtles in
Guajira Department (Hermandez, 2002). A programme not yet in implementation includes a system of
transferable capture quotas for certain size classes of turtles, which would decline in number over time and
apply only to local use of meat, thus excluding other marine turtle products and marketing and sale beyond
these points. In both instances, the analyses undertaken and lessons learned thus far in these processes should
be highly instructive for efforts to address illegal and/or unsustainable exploitation of marine turtles elsewhere
in the region.


* Lack of monitoring of legal exploitation to ensure sustainability. The numbers of marine turtles being
taken in legal fisheries are, with few exceptions, unknown, as, in most situations, no systematic or compre-


28 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












hensive monitoring is being taken of the number of turtles landed. The same is true of the legal collection of
eggs. This situation is compounded by the lack of quantitative information on the number of turtles killed and
nests excavated illegally. For some of the smaller islands in the Caribbean, estimates of both legal and illegal
take are made, but these range in reliability, some of them being based on seizures and documented evidence
and others on anecdotal information. In no instance, however, is there any indication that these numbers are
analysed with a view to detecting trends that may be meaningful for an assessment of the impact of
exploitation on marine turtle populations. The lack of monitoring of a legal take of marine turtles must be
recognized as a serious shortcoming in management. In fact, there can be no management where systematic
monitoring recording of the numbers, species and age classes landed, fishing effort, and other parameters
and analysis of the trends in those-is not taking place, and there can be no adaptive regime where there are
no baseline data against which to evaluate the success (or failure) of conservation measures.


* Insufficient monitoring of population trends. In few of the jurisdictions where a legal fishery exists has
there been a concerted effort to monitor marine turtle population trends in situ to ensure the fishery is not
depleting marine turtle numbers.


Some jurisdictions have had nesting beach programmes in place for years (in rare cases over a decade), but
in many such programmes have only recently begun. In relatively few instances (Costa Rica, Antigua,
Barbados, and Trinidad offer the best examples from this study), have these been under way long enough to
allow managers to develop credible assumptions about the status of local populations. Nesting populations
offer excellent insight into the status of the population as a whole and have the advantage of being predictable
in place and time, which can facilitate regular monitoring. However, by the time a manager documents a
serious decline on the nesting beach (reflecting unsustainable rates of mortality 20 to 40 years earlier), it can
be too late to design and implement a successful recovery strategy particularly if the major source of
mortality is in a distant country.


As earlier recommended by the CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue Meetings, there is a need
to develop standardized population monitoring protocols for implementation at Index sites throughout the
region. Any successful management scheme must incorporate monitoring of both nesting and foraging
populations, particularly foraging juveniles. At-sea census techniques are not as well developed or as straight-
forward to undertake from a statistical (analysis) point of view, but they are fundamental to understanding the
dynamics of a population and its ability to sustain targeted levels of exploitation.


* A range of noteworthy policy and management successes. Many advancements are being made throughout
the WCR in marine turtle management, including: national-level strategic planning; long-term population
monitoring projects; dozens of basic and applied research programmes; innovative co-management
agreements; monitoring programmes to document marine turtle exploitation; analyses and processes aimed at
the development of sustainable-use regimes; organized public outreach initiatives; active media campaigns;
public-private partnerships; involvement of communities and fishers in research and monitoring; certification
schemes to encourage vendors to abide by national and international rules and regulations; significant
investments in training and mentoring within and between countries; development of regional best practices
on a wide variety of subjects; availability of conservation tools (e.g. a regional clearinghouse for tags and
tagging technologies, database management software, curriculum materials, Internet-based resources);
strengthening of national-level regulations; active regional networking among scientists and policy-makers;


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












and participation in two treaties that have recently entered into force and provide for the protection of marine
turtles at the regional level. These have been emphasized in the country reports and can serve as models for
replication.


Addressing other threats to marine turtles


Adequate management of exploitation of marine turtles (or any species) should take into account the other threats
that they face. Two important threats of particular relevance to the WCR but beyond the scope of this review
are discussed briefly below. Both warrant a comprehensive regional evaluation, along with recommendations and
priorities for management action.

* Loss and degradation of habitat. In the insular Caribbean in particular, loss of nesting habitat to beach-front
development is a major pressure on marine turtles. Degradation of nesting habitat can take many forms, but
three problems that are particular prevalent in the insular Caribbean are: mining of beach sand for
construction, coastal construction and armouring, and the effects of beach-front lighting, which deter females
from coming to shore to nest and disorient hatchlings so that they are unable to find the sea.


Similarly, and throughout the region, the loss of foraging habitat presents a significant management challenge.
Losses accrue through the degradation and destruction of seagrass and live coral reef and more general
degradation (e.g. from pollution, anchoring, over-fishing and marine recreational activities) of shallow coastal
ecosystems, including mangrove and estuary habitats, that offer refugia, nurture prey species, and provide
other important services. Marine turtle nesting and foraging habitats have been set aside in legally protected
areas in a number of jurisdictions, but other measures to control the effects of human encroachment and
activity have also been implemented and may be just as effective. There is a need for much broader consid-
eration of marine turtle management needs as part of environmental impact assessment of coastal
development projects.


* Incidental mortality in fisheries. In both the insular Caribbean and mainland Americas, the problem of
incidental take and mortality of marine turtles in commercial and artisanal fisheries has been raised by many
participants in this study and cited by a number of authors as a causal factor in population declines. Rates of
incidental take may be even higher at a regional level than rates of direct take. Incidental capture of marine
turtles in fisheries operations may be the most important factor limiting the recovery of marine turtles in the
French Antilles, for example (Chevalier, 2003): more than half of the marine turtle mortalities or injuries
recorded in Guadeloupe in the period 1999-2002 were attributable to fisheries interactions (Lartiges, unpubl.
data, cited in Chevalier, 2003), and findings from a recent study (Delcroix, 2003) suggest that in Guadeloupe
this is the single greatest cause of marine turtle mortality, exceeding all others combined and probably
involving more than 1000 turtles per year (J. Chevalier, in litt., 27 August 2004). In another example, ca. 3000
gravid Leatherbacks have been estimated to be accidentally caught in gill nets offshore from nesting beaches
in Trinidad every year (Lee Lum, 2003), killing more turtles than all other sources of mortality combined; this
situation is currently receiving priority attention at the highest levels of government.


There is a recognized need to quantify and promote measures to reduce incidental take of marine turtles. The
deployment of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) is required by law in those countries operating a trawl fishery
for shrimp, but some questions have been raised about how effectively this requirement is being enforced. In


30 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












the insular Caribbean, the problem of incidental mortality relates more to the use of coastal gill nets, longlines
and other (non-trawl) fisheries, which are also deployed elsewhere in the region.


It is noteworthy that significant recent progress has been made in understanding the global challenge of
incidental capture of marine turtles in fishing operations, but few countries have comprehensive programmes
in place to address the problem at local levels. While the issue of incidental capture was outside the scope of
this review, the subject has increasingly been the focus of inter-governmental dialogue. According to FAO
(2004), the question of marine turtle conservation and interactions with fishing operations was raised at the
25' Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), which agreed that a Technical Consultation on the topic
should be held. An Expert Consultation on Interactions between Sea Turtles and Fisheries within an
Ecosystem Context (organized to provide technical input to the Technical Consultation) convened in Rome in
2004, building on the proceedings of several other expert-based fora including the Second International
Fisheries Forum .'r 111'), the US National Marine Fisheries Service International Technical Expert Workshop
on Marine Turtle Bycatch in Longline Fisheries (.,2"'), and the Bellagio Conference on Sea Turtle
Conservation in the Pacific (2r-I') that have recently addressed marine turtle issues, including fisheries
interactions, and offered recommendations. An expert-based consultation convened to address and offer
solutions to these issues from a WCR standpoint would be both timely and useful.


Constraints to management


Governments and other stakeholders in the region describe a range of constraints to more effective management
of marine turtles. In addition to the issues discussed above, such as an inadequate legal framework and lack of a
coherent, scientifically based, and effective management regime, these constraints include: understaffed and
under-resourced fisheries/wildlife/parks offices; insufficient infrastructure for monitoring (e.g. lack of
transportation for fisheries/wildlife officers, lack of reporting requirements and/or protocols) and enforcement;
unreliable support from law enforcement; lack of trained personnel or training opportunities; limited (but clearly
improving) political and public support; gaps in knowledge, such as marine turtle population numbers and critical
sites; the absence of a baseline against which to define current population trends; the difficulty in securing
funding to undertake long-term studies; and a generally poorly informed citizenry (many jurisdictions
nevertheless reported progress based on an increasingly informed public, including more reporting of marine
turtle sightings and infractions). Although many of these factors are common throughout the region and in
particular in relation to the Small Island Developing States of the insular Caribbean, they vary in their degree of
tractability depending on the jurisdiction. It is a noteworthy result of this review that many jurisdictions have
reported clear progress in addressing one or more of these constraints.


In many jurisdictions, in particular the Latin American countries reviewed, the socio-economics of marine turtle
exploitation present a major management challenge. Much of this exploitation is undertaken by indigenous
and/or economically depressed coastal communities with few income-generating alternatives to the marine turtle
resource. Improving management of marine turtles in these instances necessitates addressing in a holistic way
the larger questions of sustainable livelihoods and rural development.


A final point should be noted regarding the importance of sustained technical assistance and training for
individuals and agencies discharging marine turtle management responsibilities or otherwise engaged in marine
turtle management efforts. The need for more training opportunities, and funding to take advantage of them, has
been highlighted by several governments in the context of this review.


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela

























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TURNING THE TIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












Enforcement issues


Effective law enforcement is about more than a coherent legal framework, effective enforcement protocols and
trained personnel. It requires a well-co-ordinated administration, an informed and supportive citizenry and
judicial system, credible socio-economic alternatives, and incentives that minimize the attractiveness of illicit
activity. A comprehensive review of the state of law enforcement in the region, of incentives that work and of
models suitable for replication, would be both timely and useful. In the interim, the following observations are
offered based on the results of this analysis.


* Improving compliance. The extent of illegal take and trade indicates a clear need to improve compliance
with the law. Whether this would be done more effectively through punitive measures (and vigorous
enforcement) or incentive-based measures and sustained engagement with communities and relevant sectors
clearly depends on the situation. On small islands, for example, there is generally less interest in taking strict
enforcement measures against individuals in one's own community, and such measures could be counter-
productive. The first step in compliance is informing the public and concerned parties of the regulations in
force. This is a recognized problem in a number of jurisdictions. In addition to greater information through
a range of media, there appears to be a need for more active extension work with fishers and fishing co-
operatives, as well as coastal communities, to consult with them about marine turtle and other relevant
regulations (current and proposed) and conservation and management issues. As is suggested by other
analyses of illegal wildlife exploitation (e.g. Milner-Gulland and Leader-Williams, 1992), the effectiveness of
a mere enforcement presence in deterring poaching should not be under-estimated.


Along a similar vein, there is a clear need to work with hoteliers and other coastal landowners, as well as with
planning authorities, to ensure compliance with conservation regulations, such as setback requirements,
armouring and mining statutes, pollution laws, beach-front lighting ordinances, construction and zoning
restrictions, etc.


* Enhancing capacity for monitoring and enforcement. Whether the object is to pursue violations or
monitor fishing activity, there is clearly a need for more patrols at sea and on marine turtle nesting beaches to
document legal and deter illegal activity. As highlighted above, illegal exploitation and trade of marine turtles
are still common, but a lack of manpower and equipment impedes more effective enforcement. In some
instances, this might be as simple as having a reliable boat to enable patrols at sea. That nesting beach
monitoring has proved to be a very successful deterrent to poaching should be considered an important added
benefit to that type of population monitoring. Similarly, turtle-watching tourism has deterred poaching and
stimulated enforcement at sites where the revenue generated by such tourism is valued and fostered by
communities, NGOs and governments.


Improving enforcement of trade controls requires a strengthening of existing efforts and capacities as well. In
many jurisdictions in (and outside) the region, the interception of illegal wildlife shipments is not viewed as
a priority by government agencies. In addition to regular training and support for Customs officers and other
personnel responsible for controlling international trade, greater co-operation between government agencies
in-country and between neighboring jurisdictions is clearly needed.


34 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












* Generating greater political support for environmental enforcement. In addition to being a material
resource constraint, the lower priority afforded marine resource offences as opposed to other criminal offences
by enforcement agencies is a problem for marine turtle management. In addition to enforcing controls on the
take of marine turtles, there needs to be more effective enforcement of controls on other activities negatively
affecting marine turtles, such as sand-mining.


* Seizures and prosecutions. Although this information is very incomplete, there appear to be considerably
fewer prosecutions than seizures. Whether the seizures are considered a sufficient deterrent or whether the
lack of support from law enforcement agencies and the courts is a major factor behind this is not clear.


* Range in penalties. Although this information is very incomplete, there appears to be quite a range in
penalties for marine turtle violations, including some that would seem to be a very strong deterrent and some
that are so punitive that they appear never to be fully enforced. However, with little or no enforcement effort
(and, thus, a low risk of apprehension), it is impossible to judge whether the established penalties are an
effective deterrent.


* Stockpiles. There is no evidence to indicate that stockpiling of marine turtle parts or products is occurring in
the vast majority of States participating in this review (see Table 3). Governments are making seizures, but
how they dispose of the products or whether they maintain an inventory of these could not be documented by
any participants in this review. There has been some evidence uncovered of stockpiled Hawksbill shell
products (e.g. Chac6n, 2002), but the extent of stockpiling appears to be a matter of speculation.


* Apparent lack of monitoring of enforcement effort. There appears to be little systematic approach to law
enforcement effort as regards marine turtles. With illegal exploitation being a factor in every jurisdiction
covered in this study, this should be considered a problem. A more systematic approach, such as is being
implemented in Saint Lucia, involving the recording of relevant data reports from citizens, seizures, etc. and
enforcement effort and the analysis of that information for marine turtle and broader marine resource
management purposes would be useful for assessing the enforcement effort required and the effectiveness of
that effort.


* Public awareness and education. A number of jurisdictions see public awareness and education and training
as one of the few viable approaches to stemming illegal exploitation. Echoing the concerns of many countries
in the region, the Department of Fisheries in Saint Lucia believes effective enforcement to be "nearly
impossible" owing to resource and other constraints and, for this reason, is seeking to expand public
awareness efforts. It should be noted that significant advances have been made in many jurisdictions to
heighten awareness and appreciation for marine turtle conservation, such as through engaging local
communities and the media in satellite-tracking efforts, turtle-watching schemes, marine turtle "hotlines" and
workshops and other outreach activities with user communities. There are many very successful approaches
being deployed in the region that are being or could be adapted elsewhere. Perhaps one of the most important
gaps in information-sharing is with the tourism sector (e.g. hotels, yachters, dive and tour operators), which
would appear to have little awareness of the widespread effect of beach-front development and marine
recreation on the survival of marine turtles.


Addressing continued marketing and trade of marine turtle products will also require more extensive public
awareness efforts, including more targeted information for the travelling public.


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela
















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TURNING THE TIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












RECOMMENDATIONS


This study has identified a wide range of problems with marine turtle management in the region examined and
documented a similarly wide range of innovative approaches to addressing these problems. That some of these
management problems persist after decades of discussion (cf. Bacon et al., 1984; Ogren, 1989; Eckert and Abreu
Grobois, 2001; IUCN, 2002) is testament to their complexity and the need to harness a broader pool of expertise
and capacities than has heretofore been brought to bear on behalf of marine turtles. In some instances, there is
clearly a need for greater political will.


In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), which states that "the right
to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and
management of the living aquatic resources", the management of marine turtles should seek to maintain the
availability of the resource "in sufficient quantities for present and future generations in the context of food
security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development". Management measures should, inter alia, prevent
over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations, incorporate the best scientific evidence (taking into account
traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environmental, economic and social factors), assign priority to research
and data collection (including at international scales) and promote environmentally safe fishing gear and practices
in order to protect both the target resource and the ecosystems upon which it depends.


1. In the light of the recognized depleted status of marine turtles in the WCR and in most of the jurisdictions
reviewed for this study (the status in some jurisdictions is unknown or, in the absence of objective data,
subject to differing views), and in the light of the potential for continuing declines resulting from the legally
mandated exploitation of large juvenile and adult turtles or the lack of meaningful controls on marine turtle
exploitation, governments allowing legal exploitation of marine turtles should move expeditiously to review
and revise comprehensively the legal framework and the broader institutional mandates and priorities that
provide for marine turtle management. In so doing, they should clarify their national policy regarding marine
turtles.


In addition to measures governing exploitation, including exemptions for subsistence and indigenous use and
for the collection of eggs, this review should address the marketing and trade, both internal and international,
of marine turtles and turtle products and enforcement of legal provisions, including appropriate penalties and
capacities for enforcement. Revised legislation should allow for flexibility in the implementation of effective
management regimes and ensure that the competent authorities have the powers to amend relevant regulations
in a timely fashion in order to implement management changes. Finally, this review should include the
necessary provisions to enable full implementation and enforcement of CITES.


Consideration should be given as to whether this review can be effectively undertaken while hundreds and
thousands of marine turtles continue to be exploited, uncounted thousands more drown in indiscriminate
fishing gear every year and, in at least some jurisdictions, the majority of eggs laid are collected for sale and
consumption. With these challenges apparently in mind, a moratorium on the capture of marine turtles, seen
as a useful interim step to enable national stock assessments, was recommended more than a decade ago by
the harmonized fishery regulations of OECS (FAO, 1993), a recommendation that was never realized.


38 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












2. In support of a comprehensive review and revision of the legal framework for marine turtle management, a
comprehensive frame survey (marine turtle catch and use assessment) should be undertaken to quantify and
characterize exploitation and use of marine turtles at the national level, including:
the landing of turtles at sea and hunting on nesting beaches;
exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products;
numbers and types of fishers (and gears) involved, including the extent to which marine turtle landings
result from incidental or opportunistic take in other fishing operations or from a targeted fishery;
processing and marketing patterns; and
the importance to livelihoods of the products and income derived from marine turtle exploitation.


This investigation should also aim to establish the nature and extent of illegal exploitation and trade of marine
turtles and eggs and marine turtle products, and the extent to which they may negatively impact marine turtle
populations and compromise marine turtle management.


3. If legal exploitation of marine turtles is to continue, the restrictions on this exploitation must reflect the
biological parameters of marine turtles, take into account their depleted status and aim, at a minimum, at
preventing any further population declines. Any exploitation regime promoting population recovery and
maintenance should be established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice,
which should include the following:


A. Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including:
complete protection of nesting females at all times;
complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November;
complete protection of the Leatherback, which occurs in the region only as an adult, and typically
an egg-bearing female;
maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight,
so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults;
a conservative limit on the numbers of animals and/or eggs that may be exploited, such as through
quotas and/or licences; and
a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on a stock assessment, on data derived from
national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in
such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographical
ranges.


B. Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at
establishing trends and monitoring these over time. A national programme to monitor marine turtle
exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such
records to be analysed and compared over time, the following:
the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means;
the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed;
the locality where the animals were taken;
catch-per-unit-effort; and
the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animal and/or products if sold
or traded.


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In support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be required:
that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets);
that turtles be landed alive or intact, prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended
net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle
landings; and
that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme.


C. Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will:
document distribution and abundance of local populations;
identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas;
designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds and document the numbers of marine
turtles occurring in these over time;
manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and
inform management; and
identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival.


4. Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental mortality of marine turtles, arguably the largest single sources of
mortality in some jurisdictions, should be developed. Drawing on examples from within the region (e.g. from
Trinidad and Guadeloupe) and beyond, measures to reduce or eliminate the incidental capture and mortality
of marine turtles, such as through stakeholder-led processes, incentives packages, time-area closures and/or
alternative types of gear or fishing methodology, should be researched, evaluated, and implemented.


5. Critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, for marine turtles should be identified and protected and
incorporated into broader biodiversity management programmes. The identification of critical habitats should
occur over the range of the population, taking into account that foraging habitats for seasonally encountered
breeding animals may be located in distant range States. It is noted that new governance regimes may be
necessary to safeguard marine turtles in international waters, including high-seas migratory corridors, and to
protect highly mobile life stages adequately.


6. Increased efforts should be made to engage rural communities and fishers in marine turtle conservation and
management. Fisheries and rural development extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular
exchanges with fishers and hunters regarding marine turtles and their conservation and management needs
and their participation in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and
support for marine turtle management. Support directed toward sustainable fishery practices and/or
alternative livelihoods, including but not limited to non-extractive use of marine turtles, should be provided,
as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers and hunters meaningfully in their efforts to comply with revised
marine turtle regulations.


Recognizing the range of negative impacts of coastal development (e.g. sand-mining, destruction of
vegetation, beach construction and armouring, beach-front lighting, vehicular use of nesting beaches) on
marine turtles and turtle habitat and the increasing role of marine turtles in the tr. iiiim product" of many
countries in the WCR, increased efforts should likewise be made to engage the tourism sector in compre-
hensive efforts to manage and conserve marine turtles and their habitats.


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7. A greater investment of resources human, financial, logistical-in marine turtle management is clearly
needed if these species are to recover. Financial, logistical and political support and encouragement should
be extended to relevant government agencies to develop and implement a modem, scientifically based conser-
vation and management regime for nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the
legal framework, scientific studies, monitoring programmes, co-ordination with other jurisdictions sharing the
same turtle stocks, enforcement capacity and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose
mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Sustained technical assistance, including training and
other forms of professional development, is essential if these efforts are to succeed.


In this context, it should be noted that substantial financial, technical and infrastructural investments are being
made in the region in the form of fisheries development and management. By and large, these investments
appear to be focused on maximizing catches and economic returns rather than fostering sustainability.
Government budgetary appropriations, overseas development assistance and private-sector investment must
recognize that there can be no such thing as fisheries "management" if there is no baseline stock assessment
or trend data, no monitoring of fisheries landings, no enforcement presence at sea and no underlying legal or
regulatory framework that supports controls and their enforcement in relation to marine resource use.
Similarly, the development of tourism infrastructure should more effectively address impacts on biodiversity
and marine turtles. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries and tourism sectors should take
account of the increased responsibilities and costs-of the relevant government agencies in managing for
sustainability the resources concerned and the broader biodiversity impacts that may ensue.


8. The essential role of the non-government sector, in some instances including universities, research institutions
and other agencies, as well as NGOs and CBOs, in partnering (including through co-management
arrangements) with governments to undertake marine turtle conservation and management should be
enhanced through the provision of financial, logistical and political support by governments and the donor
community, in particular in the development of partnerships, including co-management arrangements, to meet
mutually agreed objectives.


9. Due recognition should be afforded the socio-economic circumstances, in particular in the Latin American
countries reviewed, that drive much of marine turtle exploitation. There is a clear need for a multi-sectoral,
integrated approach that brings marine turtle exploitation in line with the principle of sustainability and finds
solutions that enhance rather than depress livelihoods and quality of life, especially for the most vulnerable
of human populations. Donor and technical assistance agencies with capacities in rural development should
be encouraged to engage in efforts to improve the balance between marine turtles and coastal communities.


10. Effective management of marine turtles at the national level necessitates a regional approach to management,
in the collection and recording of data on marine turtles and in the design of management regimes aiming at
the sustainability of marine turtle populations.


Greater emphasis, including by donor agencies, should be given to identifying the boundaries of shared
stocks, such as through telemetric and/or genetic studies. In addition, range States should be afforded greater
access to the research tools necessary for a modem understanding of stock origin, movement and home range.
Data should be collected and analysed to contribute not only to national stock assessments, but to provide a
scientific basis for co-ordinated responses to shared marine turtle management issues.


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11. Along the same vein, mechanisms must be developed and implemented that provide not only for co-operation
but also for co-ordination in implementing management measures between countries that share management
responsibility for marine turtle stocks. Developing a scientifically based regime for exploiting marine turtles
at the "national" level will focus exploitation on foraging populations which, in most instances, comprise
stocks of mixed origin. There is a need for management measures to factor in exploitation and other impacts
outside "national" jurisdictions, as well as the management objectives of jurisdictions that are placing a
priority on the recovery of marine turtle populations.


Many contributors to this review noted the importance to their national management efforts of a regional
management plan and of funding to support the co-operative efforts needed to implement such a plan. The
WCR benefits from two regional treaties relating to marine turtles: the SPAW Protocol, which entered into
force in 2000, and IAC, which entered into effect in 2001. Comprehensive membership by the countries of
the WCR will greatly enhance the effectiveness of these instruments in serving as a regional forum for collab-
oration and co-operation in marine turtle management. Serious consideration should be afforded to how these
agreements could provide the political apparatus for multilateral decision-making on specific management
measures as well as how they can facilitate the process and assist in providing for the technical and institu-
tional infrastructure that will be required if the process is to be successful.


12. There is a need for greater international co-operation in stemming illegal international trade in marine turtle
products. Existing efforts to address regional wildlife trade issues in Central America, in particular, should
be strengthened through increased financial, logistical and political support and expanded to support
necessary bilateral and multilateral efforts in other jurisdictions in the region.


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NATIONAL REVIEWS: LESSER ANTILLES


Anguilla


Introduction


Anguilla is the northernmost of the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. A low coralline island covering a land
area of 91 km2, with sandy bays in the south and cliffs and many sandy bays in the north, Anguilla also comprises
several small, uninhabited cays, namely Dog Island, Prickly Pear Cays, Seal Island, Sandy Island, Sombrero
Island, Scrub Island, Scilly Cay and Anguillita. It is situated on the Anguilla Bank, which it shares with the
French/Netherlands Antilles island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten and the French island of Saint Barth6l6my (both
of these part of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe) and has an Exclusive Fishery Zone of ca. 85 000
km2, extending primarily to the north. Anguilla was established as a British dependent territory through the UK
Anguilla Act of 1980.


Carr et al. (1982) and Meylan (1983) characterized marine turtles at the time of their writing as appearing to be
more abundant in Anguilla than in most of the other Leeward Islands. They attributed this situation to the relative
absence of tourist development and to the existence of extensive nesting and foraging habitats, many of them on
and around the offshore cays. A few years later, all residents interviewed by Hall (1987) reported "a decrease in
nesting on the 1iii.iilnu.d ', and coastal development was proceeding rapidly. In the 20 years or so since Carr et
al. and Meylan published their accounts, the situation in Anguilla has changed considerably (Procter and Fleming,
1999; Godley et al., 2004; Hodge and Eckert, in review): few marine turtles nest in Anguilla today, as compared
with historical accounts of "inexhaustible numbers in the water and on nesting beaches".


After centuries of exploitation and dramatic declines in numbers of both nesting and foraging turtles in recent
decades, a moratorium on the exploitation of marine turtles and eggs was instituted in 1995 for five years and
later extended until December 2005. In 2001, the process of developing a Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan
(STRAP) for Anguilla was initiated under the auspices of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network
(WIDECAST) and the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (Hodge and Eckert, in review) and in
collaboration with local stakeholders. In addition to documenting the status of and threats to marine turtles in
Anguilla, the STRAP identifies a range of issues to be addressed and measures to be taken in order to promote
marine turtle population recovery. Amongst these are the protection of nesting beaches, measures to control and
manage coastal development and the design and implementation of research activities to identify important
habitats and establish a baseline for monitoring marine turtle populations. The STRAP supports the moratorium
on the take of marine turtles in that it provides an opportunity to assess population status and promote consensus
among stakeholders on how best to manage remnant populations. However, the document cautions that this
measure alone will not secure their survival in Anguilla: "the tourism economy still controls the future of
Anguilla's beaches" and, thus, presents a challenge to efforts to secure and safeguard critical habitats for these
animals.


The status and exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla have also been recently investigated as part of a three-
year, UK Government-funded project, Turtles of the Caribbean Overseas Territories (TCOT). This project
involved a range of activities in the six territories, including a socio-economic survey, field-based population
assessment and extensive consultation with the government, NGOs and other stakeholders. Among the results of


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this project, which have recently been published (Godley et al., 2004), are a suite of recommendations to foster
the recovery of marine turtles in Anguilla. These include: revision of existing legislation, including in relation
to the protection and management of habitats that are increasingly under pressure from tourism development;
enhancing the management capacity of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (DFMR); and
establishing a systematic monitoring programme for marine ecosystems so as to determine abundance trends for
marine turtles. In particular, the TCOT report, noting the pending expiration of the moratorium in December
2005 (now renewed to 2020) and the demands that an appropriately controlled and regulated marine turtle fishery
would place on an already over-stretched DFMR, proposes that the prohibition on marine turtle exploitation be
continued, but that a three-year participatory marine turtle research programme be conducted, involving
interested fishers and others in both in-water and nesting beach monitoring and sampling, in order, inter alia, to
assess the viability of establishing a highly regulated experimental fishery. In making that recommendation, the
report proposes a number of revisions to the current legal regime and measures to be incorporated into a compre-
hensive monitoring programme that would be necessary to ensure that any future exploitation of marine turtles is
consistent with the overall recovery needs of these species.


Many of the TCOT report's findings and recommendations are being taken forward through a successor project,
Turtles in the UK Overseas Territories (TUKOT), funded by the UK Government's Overseas Territory
Environment Programme (OTEP) (see www.seaturtle.org/mtrg/projects/tukot).


Summary of the status of marine turtles in Anguilla


Four species of marine turtle are known historically from Anguilla (see table below). Loggerheads are
infrequently encountered and are not known to nest on the island. Leatherbacks are present only during the
annual egg-laying season (March July), while Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles both nest on coastal beaches
and forage in nearshore and offshore waters. Only Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks nest in discernible
numbers.


Occurrence of marine turtles in Anguilla

English common name Scientific name Occurrence


Loggerhead Caretta caretta I
Green Turtle Chelonia mydas N, F
Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N
Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F
Kemp's Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A
Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea A

Key: N-nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent




Foraging turtles, nearly all juveniles, are more in evidence than are nesting adults and include Hawksbill Turtles
regularly encountered in the vicinity of reefs and cliffs, Green Turtles on seagrass beds in several nearshore areas
and the occasional Loggerhead in hard-bottom habitats. The most important foraging areas are Scilly Cay (Island
Harbour) and Forest Bay for Green Turtles; Junks Hole/Savannah Bay for Hawksbill Turtles; and Little
Bay/Crocus Bay for both species (DFMR, 2002).


52 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela











































Fishers bringing ina beach sene net at Crocus one of the most important areas for
reen and awsbi Turtles aro

Periodic monitoring of nesting beaches since 1998 (Connor and Connor, 1998) has provided an estimate (on
mainland beaches) of fewer than 20 Leatherback nests and fewer than 30 Hawksbill Turtle nests per year.
According to Hodge and Eckert (in review), the total number of female Hawksbill Turtles nesting on mainland
beaches and offshore cays (Dog and Scrub islands primarily) is not likely to be more than 30 (the equivalent of
some 150 nests). Leatherback nesting appears to be rising, as is also the case in the nearby US Virgin Islands
(Boulon et al., 1996) and British Virgin Islands (Hastings, 2002). The most important nesting areas (all species)
are Captain's Bay, Scrub Island and Dog Island (DFMR, 2002).


Hodge and Eckert (in review) report the consensus of informed residents that the size of both nesting and foraging
populations has declined dramatically during the last 40 years. The TCOT report (Godley et al., 2004) concluded
that "the most that can be surmised from the available data is that marine turtle nesting in Anguilla is at critically
low levels". Regarding foraging turtles, one fisher interviewed by Hall (1987) assessed the marine turtle
population to be seriously depleted based on his counting "approximately one-tenth the number of turtles" per
boat trip he had in past years. However, there are very recent reports, following the 1995 moratorium, of slightly
increasing trends in sightings by fishers. These observations may be related to the increased number of sightings
in the Virgin Islands in recent years, a trend that has been attributed to the protection of marine turtles in US
waters for the past three decades. It may also be because local turtles are less cautious and, thus, more visible,
now that fishing pressure has eased. Unfortunately, with no baseline data available, the extent to which local
populations may be increasing is impossible to quantify as yet.


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Overview of the legal framework for marine turtle management


Membership in international and regional treaties


As an overseas territory of the UK, Anguilla's membership in international agreements is dependent on UK
membership, but the membership is not automatic. Anguilla participates in only a small number of the
agreements to which the UK is party. Of those considered most relevant to the conservation of marine turtles, set
out in the table below, Anguilla is party only to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
and the World Heritage Convention. Anguilla was not included in the UK's ratification of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is, thus, not party to the treaty.
In an effort to address these lacunae, the Government ofAnguilla initiated, in 2004, the drafting of comprehensive
environmental legislation that will enable the extension of appropriate multilateral environmental agreements to
Anguilla. Technical assistance for this effort is being provided through OTEP (www.ukotcf.org/OTEP/index.htm,
viewed 6 December 2005).



Membership of Anguilla in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles

Convention Anguilla (UK)


Cartagena Convention No
Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) No
Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region No
Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities No
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) No
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) No
Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) No
Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC) No
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) No
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III) No
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV) No
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) No
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1990 (R)
UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 25.07.97
Western Hemisphere Convention No
World Heritage Convention 29.08.84

Key: Date of: Ratification (R)


Source: S. Earl, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in litt. to J. Gray, TRAFFIC International,
8 November 2005.





In this context, it should be noted that the UK ratified the Convention for the Protection and Development of the
Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, on 28 February 1986 but has not
ratified the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) under that Convention,


54 TURNINGTHETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












which it signed on 18 January 1990. The UK has also not acceded to the Inter-American Convention for the
Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC).


In 2001, the UK Government and Government of Anguilla concluded an Environment Charter as the basis for
collaborative efforts in planning for and implementing biodiversity conservation and environmental management
in Anguilla.


Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles


The exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla has been regulated since 1948. In that year, the Turtle Ordinance
Cap. 99 established a four-month closed season on the take of turtles and turtle eggs extending from 1 June to 30
September and a minimum size limit for all species of turtle of 20 lb (nine kilogrammes). These same provisions
were incorporated into subsequent regulations, the most recent of which were the Fisheries Protection
Regulations of 1988, issued under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance No. 4 of 1986.


The Fisheries Protection Regulations of 1988 were amended on 31 May 1995 (Am. SRO No. 4 of 1995), thus
bringing into effect a moratorium on the capture of turtles and take of turtle eggs for a period of five years. The
amended Regulations also placed an indefinite ban on the use of gill nets, thereby reducing the risk of incidental
take of marine turtles in fishery operations.


The 1995 moratorium was renewed for another five-year period through the Fisheries Protection (Amendment)
Regulations of 15 December 2000 (Part 3: Conservation Provisions). Section 17 of the law specifically prohibits
for a period of five years from 15 December 2000:


a) the take or attempted take of any turtle;
b) the killing, purchase, sale or exposure for sale, or possession of a whole turtle or any
portion of the meat of a turtle; or
c) the take or attempted take, purchase, sale or exposure for sale, or possession of turtle eggs.


In contrast to the general penalty set out in these regulations, which is a fine of 5000 East Caribbean dollars
(XCD5000) and/or or one month's imprisonment, the penalties mandated for violations of these specific
prohibitions are the maximum allowed under the Fisheries Protection Act (Chapter F40 of 15 December 2000):
if convicted, a person is liable to one year's imprisonment and a fine of XCD50 000 for a first offence and the
department may confiscate any vessel, equipment, such as nets, "or any other thing connected with such offence".
These penalties are increased to a fine of XCD250 000 or two years' imprisonment for a second or subsequent
offence. In the case of offences committed in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), imprisonment is not imposed.


Numerous other measures are enabled by Part 3 of the Fisheries Protection Regulations, including no-take zones,
licensing requirements and the development of a fisheries management and development plan that sets out
management objectives and measures for each fishery.


The 2000 moratorium was renewed for another 15-year period through the Fisheries Protection (Amendment)
Regulations (Part 3: Conservation Provisions) which, as this review goes to press, have yet to be gazetted and
dated. The same provisions and penalties apply, as noted above, for the 1995 renewal (J.C. Gumbs, DFMR, in
litt., 18 May 2006).


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As already noted, Anguilla is currently not party to CITES. Allan (1998) reported that there was no legislation
in the territory governing the import and export of wildlife and wildlife products, including CITES-listed species.
This has proved to be a problem in the context of the current moratorium, as enquiries have been made about
importing marine turtle products from neighboring islands (countries) (DFMR, 2002). Hodge ,2-111 '2 reported
that the government was drafting legislation that would support the extension of CITES to Anguilla and,
according to S. Nash, Chief, Capacity Building Unit, CITES Secretariat, (in litt. to J. Gray, TRAFFIC
International, 21 September 2005), this has now been developed.


Several pieces of legislation offer habitat protection that is relevant to marine turtles. The Marine Parks Act,
Revised Statutes ofAnguilla, Chapter M30 of 15 December 2000 supersedes an ordinance of 1982 and provides
for the designation of "any portion of the marine areas of Anguilla" as a marine park, so as to: a) protect the fish,
flora and fauna and wrecks; b) preserve and enhance the natural beauty; c) promote enjoyment by the public and
d) promote scientific study and research in such areas. In addition, the Act provides for designation of
management authorities and regulations affecting the use of these areas. Specific measures provided by this Act
are set out in the Marine Parks Regulations, Revised Regulations of Anguilla (R.R.A.) M30-1 of 15 December
2000; one such measure is a prohibition on fishing in a marine park.


The Beach Protection Act, Chapter B25 of 15 December 2000, which supersedes the 1988 Beach Protection
Ordinance, protects listed beaches from sand and gravel extraction within 200ft of the foreshore and sets a
penalty for violation of the Act at a fine of XCD5000 and 12 months' imprisonment. The Beach Protection
Orders, Revised Regulations ofAnguilla (R.R.A.) B25-1 designates 18 beaches as protected.


Responsible authorities


DFMR, established in 1991, has authority for exploitation, conservation and enforcement of legislation relating
to marine resources, including marine turtles. It is also responsible for the development and management of
fisheries and marine parks and all coastal zone management (Godley et al., 2004). Customs is responsible for
oversight of imports and exports. Authority for enforcing marine turtle legislation is vested in the Royal Anguilla
Police Force.


Exploitation and trade of marine turtles


Exploitation and use at the national level


Historical perspective


According to Hodge and Eckert (in review), exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla has been carried out for
centuries; recent archaeological evidence suggests that these animals have been hunted from local waters for at
least 1000 years (Crock, 2000). This exploitation has involved all species, for meat, oil (used as recently as the
1960s, primarily for lubricating tools), shell, and eggs. During this long history of exploitation, there has never
been a systematic effort to quantify the numbers of turtles or eggs taken and further characterize-and monitor-
this exploitation; as a consequence, exploitation levels and trends in these over time are unknown.


56 TURNINGTHETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












Connor and Connor (1998) reported from an interview with one of several fishers that they interviewed about
past exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla (prior to the moratorium enacted in 1995), that the majority of
turtles hunted in Anguilla were mainly caught for their shells; he vividly recalled that the shells were exported to
some of the neighboring Caribbean islands and reported that several people from Saint Lucia frequented
Anguilla to collect turtle shells. In addition, shells were used to make jewellery and other articles. As regards
meat, this fisher reported that it was not in great demand in Anguilla, where it was cooked like any other meat
with rice and potatoes, and that it was mainly sold locally or in Saint Martin. By contrast, turtle eggs were
collected by "many people" in Anguilla, including himself.


Meylan (1983) expressed concern that increased use of spear guns in Anguilla was leading to an increased take
of turtles. Turtles were being taken predominantly by divers with spear guns seeking lobsters, conches and reef
fishes. Although this was largely opportunistic, the spear guns enabled them to take nearly every turtle they
encountered. She further reported that turtle eggs were taken whenever they were found. Hall (1987) provided
a similar report: eggs were taken whenever possible, including during the closed season, and used locally to
"increase male 'stamina'"; turtles weighing 10-15 lb were often taken in violation of the 20-lb minimum size
limit because the meat was considered more tender and these animals were easier to spear; and sub-adults and
adults of all species were taken for their meat, although Hawksbill Turtles were most often taken for their shells.


Meylan (1983) provided details of the domestic trade in turtle products in Anguilla, which included the sale of
Green and Hawksbill Turtle meat to individuals and hotels, and polished carapaces, but did not involve eggs. She
further reported that there was no local handicraft in tortoiseshell.


There are few estimates of the numbers of turtles that have been exploited in Anguilla in past decades and there
appears to be very little basis on which to judge their veracity. Richardson and Gumbs (1984) provided no
estimates of numbers of turtles taken in their report to the First Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, although they
reported that there were 5-10 turtle fishers, none of whom were dependent on marine turtles as their sole source
of income. Hall (1987), reporting to the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, estimated the annual
exploitation of marine turtles to be 100-200, as compared with an estimated 200-300 per year in 1984, again,
with no-one fishing for turtles as a full-time occupation. Information collected as part of the TCOT project
(Godley et al., 2004-see next section) suggests that the exploitation levels in the decade immediately prior to
the 1995 moratorium may have been much higher; indeed, Gumbs (J.C. Gumbs, DFMR, pers. comm., 27 October
2004) believes Hall's figures to be "way too low" and that at least 1000 and possibly many more turtles may have
been taken "in a good year" during the 1980s.


Recent (since 1992) exploitation


According to DFMR I.'i;ij, no records were maintained by the Department of the number, size or species of
marine turtles taken in the legal fishery that operated until 1995. Although the number of fishers regularly landing
turtles was considered small, perhaps no more than the 5-10 estimated by Richardson and Gumbs in 1983, the
number of turtles any one of them might have taken in a given year could vary from 20 to 100 (J.C. Gumbs, in
litt., 27 September 2002). That said, turtles are not considered to have been a major source of sustenance or
income for these fishers and there does not appear to have been a commercial market: turtles were most likely
to have been shared amongst family and friends or sold to persons "on order". Green Turtles were targeted more
than others, for meat, and turtle eggs continued to be taken.


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Godley et al. (2004) present a somewhat different picture of marine turtle exploitation prior to the moratorium,
based on information compiled from a socio-economic survey of 72 Anguillian residents. Sixty-two of these
interviewees reported that they had eaten turtle meat prior to the 1995 moratorium; while for many it was an
occasional variation in the diet, it appears to have constituted a very important source of protein for some
families. Of the 51 respondents who engaged in fishing for whatever purpose, 27 reported that they fished for
marine turtles prior to the moratorium and provided information on their activities. From these responses, the
pattern of exploitation in Anguilla appears to have been one of many fishers taking a small number of turtles with
a small number of fishers regularly taking high numbers of turtles; at least one fisher reported catching 2000
Green Turtles per year. Because interviewees were reporting on activities of more than a decade ago, were doing
so from different perspectives and with 'ditti tiic r desired outcomes" (S. Ranger, Marine Conservation Society,
in litt., 2 March 2005), and did not offer any component data (number of fishing days, average number of turtles
landed per day), it is difficult to judge the accuracy of these figures. DFMR (J.C. Gumbs, pers. comm., 2004)
believes these figures to be far higher than the numbers actually involved, at least for the years just prior to the
implementation of the moratorium.


Additional information compiled from the recent socio-economic survey (Godley et al., 2004) confirms the
findings of Connor and Connor (1998) that many of the marine turtles caught were sold in neighboring Saint
Martin. The single fisher reporting an unusually high annual take of 2000 Green Turtles reported selling his entire
catch to restaurants, hotels and the market in Saint Martin (with the shells reported to have been sold annually to
traders in both Anguilla and Saint Martin), while other fishers also reported selling portions of their catch in Saint
Martin. Eight of the fishers who reported selling whole shells did so at points consistent with a local market (e.g.
on the street, at the harbour, at people's homes), and eight reported selling them at places consistent with a tourist
market (e.g. market in Saint Martin, restaurants, retail outlets, hotels); most catered to both markets. The majority
of sales of Hawksbill Turtle scutes were reported to be to traders from other Caribbean islands (e.g. Saint Lucia,
Saint Kitts, Antigua). Only one vendor was found to have regularly sold shells or shell products.


DFMR ,2111 2) has reported that, although there have been complaints, fishers have generally been adhering to the
moratorium and this has been confirmed by the findings of the TCOT project. Although, in 2002, there was no
evidence of illegal nets being set for turtles and little evidence of illegal take (although there is little enforcement
and no formal monitoring), DFMR 2r11112) considered it likely that some fishers continued to take turtles
opportunistically when spear-fishing. More recently, according to DFMR (J.C. Gumbs, in litt., 10 August 2004),
there has been evidence of targeted, illegal take of turtles (i.e. with nets), including: a turtle net set in the
nearshore that was discovered by the Department in April 2003; reports from credible sources of nets set in areas
not visited by the Department (namely the southern coast of the island); and a report from a fisher of two men
butchering turtles at sea. At least some of this take is believed to be for sale on the illegal market. The
Department also reports that there still seems to be a problem with poaching of turtle eggs on a number of the
offshore cays: J.C. Gumbs (in litt., 10 August 2004) indicates that there is hard evidence of continued egg
poaching, including emptied nests and discarded eggshells behind a restaurant on one of the offshore cays. There
are no estimates of the numbers involved in any of these illegal activities.


Allan (1998) reported finding some Green Turtle shells for sale in Anguilla in the course of his market surveys
there in early 1998; however, the number was small, only five from 59 survey sites visited.


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International trade


Historical perspective


There are no statistics on international trade in marine turtles involving Anguilla. There are no records of such
trade for the period 1975 to 1992 in CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade
Database, and no exports of Hawksbill Turtle shell from
Anguilla recorded as imports in Japanese Customs statistics for
the same period.


Both Meylan (1983) and Hall (1987) reported on international
trade of marine turtles from Anguilla. Meylan reported fishers
carrying Green and Hawksbill Turtle meat to Saint Martin and
occasionally live turtles being transported by ferry to Saint
Martin for sale to hotel restaurants on the island. In addition,
she reported that Hawksbill Turtle shell was sold to buyers on
Saint Martin or to "inicpiono,. from Saint Thomas and
Puerto Rico, who visited the island for this purpose. She
reported that the price for raw shell in 1980 was 20 US dollars
(USD20)/kg. Also, in addition to being sold locally, the dried
carapaces of Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles were sold to
shops on Saint Martin. She considered this latter trade to be
small in magnitude.


Hall (1987) indicated that fishers from Saint Martin, including
Haitians living on the island, were accused by Anguillians of
taking many juvenile turtles in Anguillian waters and
suggested that fishers from Saint Barth616my could be doing
the same. She further reported that Hawksbill Turtle scutes
from locally taken turtles were sold internationally "for
i.indi.it' at USD25 30/lb and that whole shells were
offered for sale in local gift shops at USD35 50. Jewellery
was not made locally, but she encountered one shop selling
Hawksbill Turtle shell bracelets that because of the way in
which they were designed and fashioned she believed could
have been imported from the Dominican Republic.


Information gathered through the TCOT project from a single-
vendor in Anguilla would appear to confirm the information
presented by Meylan (1983) and Hall (1987). The vendor
acted as a broker for shells and scutes that he purchased a
directly from fishers on a monthly basis. He sold these to used to se to traders, and tortoiseshe
traders from the Dominican Republic, who in turn sold him bought from traders
items made from scutes. A decline in demand prompted this ad ft over from a time when a vedor


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vendor to stop buying from these traders and the traders ceased to visit in the 1980s. He no longer trades in turtle
shell items.


Recent (since 1992) international trade


The only records of trade in marine turtle products to or from Anguilla reported to CITES for the period
1993-2004, inclusive, date from 2004 and, with the exception of two Hawksbill shells reported imported into the
USA as personal items, these are limited to exports to the UK of scientific specimens (blood samples for genetic
analysis)-recorded as one kilogramme each from Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks-
presumably associated with the TCOT project. Allan (1998) reported that several sources in Anguilla claimed
that any marine turtles caught illegally by locals would usually be taken to Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, where the
demand for turtle meat and shell was said to still be high. This is apparently still the case, as the Sint Maarten
Nature Conservation Foundation (A. Caballero, in litt., 23 March 2005) reports that Anguillian fishers sell in Sint
Maarten turtles that they have taken as by-catch while fishing. DFMR ,2r'"'2) also makes note of this trade, but
adds that no turtles are believed to be imported to Anguilla; the Department does not consider international trade
in marine turtles involving Anguilla to be anything but negligible.


Enforcement issues


DFMR ,2-r""i reports that "enforcement [of the moratorium] is lacking" and turtles are "probably" still taken
opportunistically by a few spear-fishers and known still to be taken illegally with turtle nets (J.C. Gumbs, in litt.,
10 August 2004). The absence of surveillance and enforcement means that the risk of a penalty has not stopped
the few fishers who are determined to break the law (J.C. Gumbs, in litt., 27 September 2002). In addition to
capacity, there is a problem of capability in that not all DFMR staff have powers of arrest.


There can be little doubt that, in theory, the penalties provided in the 2000 (and 2005) Fisheries Protection
(Amendment) Regulations for violating the turtle conservation provisions-one year's imprisonment, a fine of
XCD50 000 for a first offence (and XCD250 000 for a subsequent offence) and confiscation of any equipment
should be an effective deterrent. However, findings of the TCOT project indicate that none of the respondents to
their socio-economic questionnaire knew what the specific penalties were. In addition, although there have been
confiscations of marine turtles, there have been no successful prosecutions in instances where the authorities have
apprehended individuals who acted in contravention of the moratorium. Investigating this via a separate survey,
the TCOT project found that several respondents indicated that the penalties for turtle violations (fines of XCD50 000
or XCD250 000 and one or two years' imprisonment) were wholly inappropriate and some suggested that the
severity of the penalty may also result in Fisheries Officers' being reluctant to prosecute. This perception has
been borne out by at least one enforcement incident cited in the TCOT report (Godley et al., 2004).


DFMR ,2'r"' 2) further reports a potential problem relating to the lack of legislation on the import and export of
marine turtle and other wildlife products. The Department has had at least one enquiry from a fisher about the
legality of importing turtle meat from a neighboring island where a legal fishery for turtles still operates. This
underscores the need for wildlife trade legislation to be enacted in Anguilla and the need for harmonized marine
turtle legislation across range States.


60 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












Marine turtle management


Management of exploitation


Until the moratorium entered into effect in 1995, exploitation of marine turtles was controlled only through the
provisions set in place in 1948, i.e. a four-month closed season and a minimum size limit of 20 lb (nine
kilogrammes). These restrictions were clearly inadequate in preventing over-exploitation of marine turtles.
Hodge and Eckert (in review) point to the following in particular:


* the closed season did not encompass peak periods of nesting, which for Leatherbacks is April-June and for
Hawksbill Turtles is July-October;
* the minimum size limit did not account for size differences between species and protected only young turtles
rather than the large juveniles and adults that are most important for population maintenance and recovery;
* the penalties were not commensurate with product value and there was no provision for the confiscation of
equipment used in the offence; and
* the fishery was "open entry" and there was no limit to the number of turtles that could be caught per year.


In addition to these regulations (and their deficiencies), there appear not to have been any other management
activities for marine turtles in Anguilla. No records were maintained of the numbers of turtles taken, the species,
weights, or other data and, thus, no analyses have been undertaken of trends in these from which to infer
population trends and judge the adequacy of the fisheries controls. There are also no data on the numbers of eggs
collected from turtle nests. Finally, based on reports from the 1980s, there appears to have been little enforcement
of the few restrictions that were in place, a situation that, by all accounts, continues.


This rudimentary management regime cannot be considered an appropriate framework for reinstatement of a legal
fishery. There appears to be recognition of this. Because of the moratorium, however, there has been little formal
discussion about revising the marine turtle provisions (DFMR, 2002), so as to include, for example, maximum
size limits, quotas and licensing of fishers (Hodge, 2002), measures that should be considered as fundamental to
any marine turtle management regime that involves exploitation.


DFMR (2002) has taken the position that 10 years of reliable and consistent population data should be available
before a determination can reasonably be made on the status (and trends) of local marine turtle populations and
whether or not they can withstand renewed exploitation. It was with this perspective that the current moratorium
was extended in 2000 and again in 2005. Although there has been progress in that selected beaches in Anguilla
have been monitored for nesting since 1995, these efforts have been inconsistent and data on the distribution,
abundance and trend of foraging assemblages, which would be the target of any renewed exploitation scenario,
are non-existent. DFMR .r'i"'2) is severely limited by internal resources and has been unable to undertake the
research required. Hence, 10 years after the moratorium was first put in place, the knowledge base has not signif-
icantly advanced, and important population parameters remain unknown. There is, thus, no scientific basis to
evaluate a management proposal that would include a resumption of the legal fishery, at whatever level. This
gives rise to the question of how the current moratorium, set to be lifted in December 2020, will be reviewed.


In so far as international trade in marine turtles is concerned, Anguilla's status as a non-Party to CITES and lack
of wildlife trade legislation should be considered a shortcoming for marine turtle management, particularly in the
light of enquiries regarding possible imports of marine turtles from neighboring islands.


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Species research and conservation


Although there has not been a great deal of research on marine turtles in Anguilla, several projects have been
initiated in recent years that, if sustained, could fill important information gaps. Hodge ,2-11112) reports that
nesting beach monitoring, through the Anguilla National Trust, has been under way at a number of beaches
island-wide since the first marine turtle conservation project was initiated in partnership with WIDECAST
following the establishment of the moratorium in 1995. One Index beach has now been designated, at Captain's
Bay on the eastern end of the island, but, despite a plan to monitor intensively all nesting on the beach, these
efforts have only been sporadic and, thus, have not yielded enough data for meaningful analysis. Similarly, plans
to begin monitoring on one of the offshore islands (Scrub Island) and develop it as a site for ".ri.at.t
monitoring" (whereby all-night patrols by project personnel record and tag every nesting female for the purpose
of building a comprehensive database on the status and trend of the nesting population at the site) have proven
unfeasible in the light of the limited resources of DFMR (J.C. Gumbs, in litt., 10 August 2004). Monitoring of
foraging populations in Anguilla is less advanced. Sightings of turtles and the number of different species seen
at each dive site were provided to the Anguilla National Trust by the island's three dive shops during the 1990s
(Hodge et al, 2003), forming a potentially valuable baseline for future efforts.





























........ .



-~ r ~ F7:


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An in-depth investigation of marine turtles in Anguilla was initiated in December 2002 by DFMR as part of the
three-year TCOT project conducted by the UK Marine Turtle Research Group, Marine Conservation Society and
collaborators and funded by the UK Government. This project included several components aimed at enhancing
understanding of marine turtle populations in Anguilla, including nesting beach surveys, in-water sampling of
foraging areas and preliminary sampling for genetic studies. These activities have yielded useful information and
laid the basis for future work, much of which is being taken forward by its successor project, TUKOT (Turtles in
the UK Overseas Territories), funded by OTEP. The TUKOT programme in Anguilla includes marine turtle
monitoring, training of DFMR staff and others in sampling and other field research methodologies, investigations
of the movements of marine turtles to and from Anguilla and their genetic relationship to populations elsewhere
in the Caribbean, as well as consultations with government agencies and key sectors and stakeholders, such as
representatives from the tourism industry and former turtle fishers.


Habitat conservation


There are numerous habitat issues facing marine turtles in Anguilla, as a result of an increasing human population
and rapid tourism growth (Hodge and Eckert, in review; Godley et al., 2004).


A system of marine protected areas for Anguilla has been under development since the early 1980s (Procter and
Fleming, 1999). In 1989, the Government of Anguilla put forward a proposal for a comprehensive marine parks
programme and many of the associated activities have since been carried out. In 1993, five areas were designated
as marine parks: Sandy Island; Prickly Pear Cays and Seal Island; Dog Island; Little Bay and Shoal Bay; and
Island Harbour (Procter and Fleming, 1999). According to DFMR ,2'11-'), anchoring is prohibited in these areas,
except at permanent moorings that have been installed (and for which permits are required), thus protecting
important seagrass and coral reef habitats. Godley et al. (2004) echo the earlier recommendations of Hodge and
Eckert (in review) that management plans need to be prepared for these marine parks that would ensure, inter


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alia, permanent and complete protection for marine turtles, such as through no-take zones, and regulation of
tourism activities that could have negative impacts.


There is no complete protection of any nesting beach at the moment. Through the Beach Protection Orders of
December 2000, sand-mining is prohibited on 18 beaches, at least two of which (Captain's Bay and Windward
Point) are visited by nesting marine turtles. Godley et al. (2004) raise questions about the protection conferred
on Windward Point, which they found being heavily mined for sand. Although surveys by DFMR in 2003/2004
found no evidence of actual nesting on Windward Point beach, surveys during the period 1997-2000 undertaken
by the Anguilla National Trust documented marine turtle nesting there (J.C. Gumbs, in litt., 24 March 2005), thus
suggesting that the continued sand-mining on the beach is affecting the number of turtles nesting, as well as
perhaps, any nests that have actually been deposited. Given the low levels of nesting turtles in Anguilla,
protection of this beach and all other turtle nesting beaches from sand-mining and other impacts from
development activities is an important element in fostering these species' recovery (Godley et al., 2004).


Education and public awareness


Hodge and Eckert (in review) make a number of recommendations for fisheries extension activities to inform
fishers about marine turtles, the regulations in effect and related issues. Godley et al. (2004) identify the need to
target the tourism sector in similar efforts.


The Anguilla National Trust has historically taken the lead in fostering public awareness of marine turtle conser-
vation issues by sponsoring public lectures and school competitions (artwork, poetry), involving the media in
reporting of the issues and encouraging coastal hotels and landowners to participate in nesting beach monitoring.
In partnership with WIDECAST, the Trust produced a curriculum manual (Hodge et al., 2003) designed for use
as a teaching supplement in the environmental education syllabus being infused, at that time, into the education
system; it was also intended to foster dialogue within the community with regard to the moratorium, engender
community support for conservation and sustainable management of marine turtles, and encourage awareness "of
the value of turtles in our environment".


Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management


Although there are shortcomings in the legal framework for marine turtle management and conservation in
Anguilla, DFMR ,211112) views the major problems to be lack of resources and political support. With only six
full-time staff responsible for discharging a broad mandate that includes fisheries management and development,
marine park and coastal zone management, monitoring and enforcement, the Department has insufficient human
resources to carry out a full range of marine turtle management activities. In addition, limited financial resources
prevent it from carrying out many activities, including surveillance and law enforcement. The assignment of
designated marine enforcement officers to promote compliance with and enforcement of environmental laws is
one measure suggested to address this problem. Finally, there is a need to generate more public support (DFMR,
2002). According to Hodge .i"'C, public support is "minor" and environmental issues "need to be a higher
priority on the political ji.~'.i '.


DFMR ,2'r'2) also reports that fishers complain about the current moratorium because turtle fisheries are still
operating in a number of other islands (e.g. Saint Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands). In their judgment, there


64 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












would be greater support for marine turtle conservation in Anguilla if other countries were making similar efforts,
such as through a regional management plan.


Summary and recommendations


The management framework in place for the legal fishery of marine turtles in Anguilla, which operated until
1995, was inadequate to prevent population declines and these declines have occurred. The moratorium on the
take of marine turtles and eggs instituted in 1995 and extended to 2020 is believed to have given the marine turtles
of Anguilla a reprieve: although illegal take of both turtles and turtle eggs has continued, there appears to be
generally high compliance with the moratorium. While the penalties for violations of the moratorium constitute,
in theory, a strong deterrent, lack of awareness of the specifics of the penalties, as well as their overall severity
(they are considered by many, it would appear, to be far beyond what is appropriate for the offences), appear to
have compromised their effectiveness. Most importantly, there has been a general lack in enforcement effort,
owing primarily to the limited resources of DFMR.


Given the general lack of population monitoring during the time that the moratorium has been in place and the
time required to develop an adequate baseline for marine turtles and collect sufficient data to evaluate statistically
meaningful population trends, there is little scientific basis at this time on which to evaluate the reinstatement of
the legal fishery.


In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), an explicitly precautionary
code, which states that "the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to
ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources", the management of marine turtle
resources in Anguilla should seek to maintain the availability of the resource "in sufficient quantities for present
and future generations in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development".
Management measures should, inter alia, prevent over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations, incorporate the
best scientific evidence (taking into account traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environmental, economic
and social factors), assign priority to research and data collection (including at international scales) and promote
environmentally safe fishing gear and practices in order to protect both the target resource and the ecosystems
upon which it depends.


To this end, consideration should be given to strengthening Anguilla's capacity to meet the fundamental
requirements of a management regime when the moratorium is lifted, namely: restrictions on exploitation that
are consistent with the species' biological requirements; a monitoring programme-systematic, sustained and
rigorous collection and review of data-either on the specifics of exploitation or of wild populations so as to
discern trends that can inform management; mechanisms to identify, monitor and address other threats to the
species being exploited, so that these threats can be factored with exploitation to assess what level of overall
mortality the species might sustain; and a high level of compliance (sometimes achievable only through vigorous
enforcement) with the restrictions put in place to ensure that management goals are achieved.


As the government debates the nature of any exploitation regime that may re-emerge in 2020, the following
suggestions may be helpful:


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1. If legal exploitation is to resume, the restrictions on this exploitation should reflect the biological parameters
of marine turtles and be established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice,
and aim to achieve the following:


A. Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including:
complete protection of nesting females at all times;
complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November;
complete protection of the Leatherback, which occurs in the country only as an adult, and typically
an egg-bearing female;
maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight,
so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults;
a conservative limit on the numbers of animals that may be exploited, based on a scientific stock
assessment; and
a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on stock assessment, on data derived from
national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in
such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographic
ranges.



B. Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at
establishing trends and monitoring these over time. A national programme to monitor marine turtle
exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such
records to be analysed and compared over time, the following:
the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means;
the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed;
the locality where animals were taken;
catch-per-unit effort; and
the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animal and/or products if sold
or traded.


In further support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be considered as
requirements for participation:
that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets)
that turtles be landed alive or intact; prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended
net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle
landings; and
that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme.


C. Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will:
document distribution and abundance of local populations;
identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas;
designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds and document the numbers of marine
turtles occurring in these over time;


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manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and
inform management; and
identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival.


Irrespective of whether a moratorium is in place, the following are recommended as essential in promoting the
recovery and maintenance of Anguilla's marine turtle resource:


2. Given the current moratorium on exploitation of marine turtles and the rapid expansion of the tourism sector,
habitat pressures are likely to represent the major challenge to marine turtle recovery in Anguilla over the
coming years. Recognizing the potential importance of marine turtles and intact marine turtle habitat for
Anguilla's 't, .,.i ,ii product", critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, should be identified and protected
and incorporated into broader biodiversity management programmes. The government should consider:
expanding the number of protected nesting beaches;
enhancing habitat protection measures, including restriction/regulation of tourism and other
activities near nesting beaches during the egg-laying season and vigorous enforcement of such
measures, such as against sand-mining;
adopting regulations to prevent or otherwise manage leaving of nets and other debris on the beach;
improving coastal zone management (and monitoring) capacity, including through environmental
impact assessment, particularly in relation to the construction of beach-front hotels and other
tourism infrastructure;
expanding the system of protected areas; and
strengthening the management framework for protected areas to ensure that these areas fulfill their
stated objectives.


3. Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental catch of marine turtles should be developed. Measures to reduce
or eliminate incidental catch of marine turtles, such as through time-area closures and/or alternative
(especially to gill nets) types of gear, should be implemented.


4. There is a need for greater enforcement capacity and effort, including training, logistical support and a mobile
enforcement unit. This capacity should involve outreach and other activities that will engage greater efforts
on the part of police for fisheries and broader environmental enforcement. A mutually agreed set of protocols
and procedures for these agencies to follow in such circumstances may be an option to consider.


5. Increased efforts should be made to engage local communities, including fishers, in marine turtle conservation
and management. Fisheries extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular exchanges with
fishers of information on marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and the participation
of fishers in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for
marine turtle conservation. Support directed towards sustainable fishery practices and/or alternative
livelihoods should be provided, as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers meaningfully in their efforts to
comply with revised marine turtle regulations.


6. Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should be extended to relevant government
agencies to develop and implement a modem, scientifically based conservation and management regime for
nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the legal framework, scientific studies,


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monitoring programmes, enforcement capacity and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose
mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries
and tourism sectors in Anguilla should take account of the increased responsibilities and costs-of DFMR
and other agencies in managing for sustainability the resources concerned and the broader biodiversity
impacts that may ensue.


7. Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should also be extended to active NGO
research, conservation, monitoring and public outreach efforts. Partnerships between the government and
relevant NGOs should benefit from increased financial commitments on the part of bilateral and multilateral
assistance agencies; co-management agreements, developed by consensus, are encouraged.


8. Finally, Allan (1998) notes the concerns raised at the CITES Training Seminar held for UK overseas territories
in 1997 regarding the fact that ratification of CITES would have serious resource implications for Anguilla,
including for the drafting, implementation and enforcement of legislation, designation of CITES Management
and Scientific Authorities and discharging of their responsibilities. These concerns were raised again at the
UK Caribbean Overseas Territories Wildlife Trade Law Enforcement Workshop held in Anguilla in July 2003
(Pendry and Allan, 2003), particularly in regard to inadequate staff resources and training and other forms of
capacity-building. These concerns and the enforcement priorities identified at the workshop in 2003 should
be taken into account as Anguilla moves forward with the drafting of CITES-implementing legislation that,
inter alia, should address the possibility of localized international trade in marine turtles and other CITES-
protected species


References


Allan, C. (1998). Conched Out. A review of the trade in CITES-listed species in the United Kingdom overseas
territories in the Caribbean. WWF-UK, Godalming, Surrey, UK.
Boulon, R.H., Jr., PH. Dutton and D.L. McDonald. (1996). Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) on St.
Croix, US Virgin Islands: Fifteen years of conservation. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2(2):141-147.
Carr, A., A. Meylan, J. Mortimer, K. Bjorndal, and T. Carr. (1982). Surveys of sea turtle populations and habitats
in the Western Atlantic. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-91. US Department of Commerce.
Connor, R. and J. Connor. (1998). Anguilla's Sea Turtle Project: April November 1998 (Nesting Period).
Presented to: Anguilla National Trust. Unpublished.
Crock, J.G. (2000). Inter-island Interaction and the development of chiefdoms in the Eastern Caribbean. Ph.D.
Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
DFMR (Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources). (,2-"2) Response to TRAFFIC International
Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of the Marine Turtles of Lesser
Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Completed by Mr. James C. Gumbs, Marine Biologist.
Dated 16 September 2002.
Eckert, K.L. (1995). Draft General Guidelines and Criteria for Management of Threatened and Endangered
Marine Turtles in the Wider Caribbean Region. UNEP(OCA)/CAR WG. 19/INF.7. Prepared by WIDECAST
and adopted by the 3'd Meeting of the Interim Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the SPAW
Protocol. Kingston, 11-13 October 1995. United Nations Environment Programme. Kingston, Jamaica. 95 pp.


68 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












FAO. (1995). Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Adopted by the 28th Session of the FAO Conference.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. 34 pp. + annexes.
www.fao.org/fi/agreem/codecond/codecon.asp
Godley, B.J., A.C. Broderick, L.M. Campbell, S. Ranger, P.B. Richardson. (2004). An assessment of the status
and exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla. Pp. 39-77. In: An Assessment of the Status and Exploitation of
Marine Turtles in the UK Overseas Territories in the Wider Caribbean. Final project report for the
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Foreign Commonwealth Office.
www.seaturtle.org/mtrg/projects/tcot/finalreport
Hall, K.V. (1987). National Report for Anguilla. Submitted to the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium,
12-16 October 1987, Mayagfiez, Puerto Rico. 5 pp. + tables. Unpublished.
Hastings, M. ,2'r i2) A conservation success: Leatherback Turtles in the British Virgin Islands. Marine Turtle
Newsletter 99:5-7. (To access all articles published in the Marine Turtle Newsletter, visit
www.seaturtle.org/mtn/)
Hodge, K.V.D., Associate Executive Director, The Anguilla National Trust. ,2'r-I) Response to TRAFFIC
International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of the Marine Turtles of
Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Dated 16 September 2002.
Hodge, K.V.D., R. Connor and G. Brooks. ,21 il). Anguilla Sea Turtle Educator s Guide. The Anguilla National
Trust. Anguilla, British West Indies. 45 pp.
Hodge, K.V.D. and K.L. Eckert. (In review.) WIDECAST Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Anguilla.
WIDECAST and UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme Technical Report Series. Kingston, Jamaica.
Meylan, A.B. (1983). Marine turtles of the Leeward Islands, Lesser Antilles. Atoll Research Bulletin 278:3-6.
Pendry, S. and C. Allan. (2003). UK Overseas Territories Wildlife Trade Law Enforcement Workshop, Anguilla,
14-18 July 2003. Draft summary report. TRAFFIC International and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 17
pp. Unpublished.
Procter, D. and L.V. Fleming (Eds). (1999). Biodiversity: the UK Overseas Territories. Joint Nature Conservation
Committee. Peterborough, UK.
Richardson, L. and C. Gumbs. (1984). National Report for Anguilla. Submitted 6 January 1983. Pp. 7-11. In:
Bacon, P., F. Berry, K. Bjomdal, H. Hirth, L. Ogren, and M. Weber (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic
Turtle Symposium, 17-22 July 1983, San Jose, Costa Rica, III, Appendix 7. University of Miami Press,
Florida.


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Antigua and Barbuda


Introduction

The archipelagic State of Antigua and Barbuda, independent since 1981, lies ca. 250 miles south-east of Puerto
Rico in the southern sector of the Leeward Islands. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the smallest countries in the
Western Hemisphere and one of the smallest countries in the world (GOAB, 2001). Habitat important to marine
turtles, including seagrass beds, coral reefs and sandy beaches, can be found throughout the islands' territory.
Sandy beaches potentially suitable for nesting cover an estimated 102 km of coastline on the main islands of
Antigua (26 km) and Barbuda (76 km) (Joseph et al., 1984). Marine turtles feed in the seagrass meadows and
coral reefs that surround, to varying degrees, all of the islands of the archipelago.


Demographic research on the Hawksbill Turtle, conducted at Pasture Bay (Long Island, a privately owned islet)
since 1987, has provided one of the most robust and valuable datasets in the world for this marine turtle species.
Based on these data, as well as other information available at the time, a Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan
(STRAP) for Antigua and Barbuda was developed and published under the auspices of the Wider Caribbean Sea
Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) and the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (Fuller
et al., 1992). The STRAP reviewed in detail the status of and threats to marine turtles in the country and provided
a series of recommendations for improving the management and recovery of populations. It concluded that only
a fraction of the number of turtles that once occurred historically persisted in the country and cautioned that
"unless action is taken very soon, the last remaining sea turtles may vanish from Antiguan beaches much as they
did from the Cayman Islands 150 years ago".


In addition to exploitation, both legal and illegal, the STRAP documented an array of threats facing the country's
marine turtles, including: incidental take in fishing gear, particularly longlines, and the loss of nesting beaches
to coastal development. A decade later, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda echoed these findings in
reporting to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that iinrwit females and hatchling turtles [were]
threatened by coastal development" (GOAB, 2001).


Among the recommended actions put forward by Fuller et al. (1992) were the enactment of a moratorium on the
exploitation of marine turtles and their eggs ("until such time as there is sufficient information to show that a
regulated harvest will not compromise the sustainable recovery of depleted sea turtle stocks"); an increase in law
enforcement capacity and effort; the protection of essential habitat; development of an effective coastal zone
management framework; and surveys to establish baselines and monitor population trends and to identify locally
important nesting and foraging grounds for protection and management. According to the Fisheries Division
I' ,I?'C, it is only now that the capacity exists within the government to consider these comprehensive recommen-
dations seriously.


Summary of the status of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda


Three marine turtle species are known to nest in Antigua and Barbuda: the Green Turtle Hawksbill Turtle and
Leatherback (see table opposite). In addition, foraging Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles of varying sizes are
present in the country's waters throughout the year. Leatherbacks occur only seasonally to nest: gravid females
arrive in early summer to lay their eggs and presumably return to more temperate latitudes in June or July after


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egg-laying has been completed. The Loggerhead is not known to nest but is occasionally caught offshore.
Neither the Kemp's Ridley nor the Olive Ridley has ever been documented, although there are anecdotal accounts
of the latter's being caught in the waters of Barbuda (Fuller et al., 1992).


Occurrence of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda

English common name Scientific name Occurrence


Loggerhead Caretta caretta I
Green Turtle Chelonia mydas N, F
Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N
Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F
Kemp's Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A
Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea A?

Key: N-nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent




Major marine turtle foraging areas in Antigua and Barbuda are not known. The Government of Antigua and
Barbuda reports marine turtle nesting on several of Antigua's beaches, including Jabberwock, Pearn's,
Rendezvous Bay, Turtle Bay and Devil's Bridge, in addition to Welcher Bay in Barbuda and a number of beaches
on offshore islets (GOAB, 2001). The Fisheries Division (.211112) has identified the major nesting grounds as:


Antigua: Mill Reef beaches (Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles), Crabbe Hill (Hawksbill Turtles,
Leatherbacks, Green Turtles); Sandy Island (Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles)
Barbuda: Low Bay (Hawksbill Turtles)
Long Island: Pasture Bay (Hawksbill Turtles)


Fuller et al. (1992) reviewed available information on trends in marine turtle numbers, including published 19th
and early 20' century reports, from which they concluded that the small numbers of turtles occurring in the
country were remnants of a much larger population. They noted that warnings that marine turtles, especially
nesting assemblages, were "declining ti.'ii had been sounded in the literature in the early 1970s and
continued with the findings of Rebel (1974) and Cato et al. (1978), which noted that heavy exploitation, including
killing of breeding females and extensive collection of eggs, was causing declines in the numbers of turtles caught
and nesting on beaches. Based on this research and extensive interviews with fishers and others, Fuller et al.
(1992) reported that some beaches that once supported nesting were no longer visited by nesting turtles and that
many others received only a few nests per year. Further, several fishers had indicated to them that they no longer
hunted turtles on the nesting beaches because the number of arriving females had declined to the point where it
was no longer worth the effort.


At the time of their writing, Fuller et al. (1992) estimated that fewer than 130 females (of the three species
combined) nested annually in the country, of which 100 were thought to be Hawksbill Turtles. The Government
of Antigua and Barbuda still characterizes Hawksbill Turtles as the "most common" nesting species, followed by
the Green Turtle (noting that populations have "declined du.ihm.1ai.al.11 ) and the Leatherback, a "seasonal visitor"
that rarely nests (GOAB, 2001).


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Studies designed to investigate the genetic identity of Hawksbill Turtles nesting on Long Island are under way;
early results were reported by Bass et al. (1996) and Bass (1999). The Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP)
(Pasture Bay, Long Island) has been at the forefront of satellite-tracking post-nesting females. In 1998, three
turtles fitted with satellite transmitters left Long Island and travelled to foraging grounds in Redonda (Antigua
and Barbuda), Saint Kitts and Sint Eustatius (J. Richardson and K. Andrews, University of Georgia, unpubl. data).
The recapture of turtles carrying metal flipper tags has also provided insight into wider-ranging international
movements. For example, Cato et al. (1978) reported that one female Green Turtle tagged while nesting on Aves
Island (Isla de Aves, Venezuela) was later caught in Barbuda. Fuller et al. (1992) reported a Hawksbill Turtle that
was tagged nesting on Long Island and captured five months later in Dominica; similarly, Meylan (1999) reported
another Hawksbill Turtle tagged on Long Island and later recaptured in Saint Kitts.


Overview of the legal framework for marine turtle management


Membership in international and regional treaties


Antigua and Barbuda actively participates in relatively few multilateral agreements that are directly or indirectly
relevant to the conservation of marine turtles (see table below). The country became a Party to the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1997 but, notably, has not yet
acceded to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW Protocol) of the Convention
for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena
Convention, the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), or the
global Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).



Membership of Antigua and Barbuda in multilateral agreements relating to
marine turtles

Convention Antigua and Barbuda


Cartagena Convention 11.09.1986 (A)
Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) 18.01.1990 (S)
Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region 11.09.1986 (A)
Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities No
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 09.03.1993 (R)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 06.10.1997 (E)
Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) No
Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC) No
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex I/II) 29.04.1988 (A)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex III) 29.04.1988 (A)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex IV) 29.04.1988 (A)
MARPOL 73/78 (Annex V) 29.04.1988 (A)
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 02.10.2005 (E)
UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 02.02.1989 (R)
Western Hemisphere Convention No
World Heritage Convention 01.11.1983 (A)


Key: Date of: Signature (S); Ratification (R); Accession (A); Entry into force (E)


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Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles


Until 1990, exploitation of marine turtles inAntigua and Barbuda was governed by the Turtle Ordinance of 1927.
This law established: a four-month closed season from 1 June to 30 September for all marine turtle species, with
the exception of the Loggerhead; a minimum size limit of 20 lb (nine kilogrammes) in weight; and penalties,
including a fine of "10 pounds", for violations. Recognition that these requirements were inadequate to prevent
declines in marine turtle numbers led to the adoption of the Fisheries Regulations of 1990 (Section 21 of The
Fisheries Act, 1983), which provide for:


* "until otherwise declared," a six-month closed season from 1 March to 31 August, during which it is illegal
to fish for, take, sell, purchase or possess any turtle or turtle part;
* a complete prohibition of:
disturbance, take, sale, purchase or possession of any turtle eggs or interference with any turtle nest;
take, sale, purchase or possession of any undersized turtle;
sell or purchase of shell of any undersized turtle.
* minimum size limits, "undersized" turtles being:
(a) Leatherbacks weighing less than 350 lb (158.75 kg);
(b) Green Turtles weighing less than 180 lb (81.65 kg);
(c) Hawksbill Turtles weighing less than 85 lb (38.50 kg);
(d) Loggerheads weighing less than 160 lb (72.57 kg).


The Regulations further prohibit the use of spear guns for fishing in Antigua and Barbuda without prior written
permission from the Chief Fisheries Officer. Any person convicted of contravening any of the provisions of the
Regulations is liable to a fine of 5000 East Caribbean dollars (XCD5000)or 12 months' imprisonment. In
addition, any fishing vessel (together with its gear, stores and cargo) and any vehicle, fishing gear, net or other
fishing appliance used in the commission of the offence may be forfeited (Section 33 of the Fisheries Act, 1983).


This legislation has recently been updated with the assistance of the FAO and includes new and more stringent
measures for the management and conservation of marine turtle populations in Antigua and Barbuda. The new
draft regulations prohibit the capture/taking of all marine turtles, turtle eggs and the disturbance of turtles found
on shore. The result is a moratorium on the capture of marine turtles, but for which the Minister may still declare
open seasons. The draft regulations also set maximum (rather than minimum) size limits, "a measure that is set
in place to protect mature females" (T. Lovell, Fisheries Division, in litt., 12 April 2005).


According to the Fisheries Division ',21i';), although Antigua and Barbuda became a Party to CITES in 1997,
there is currently no legislation to implement the Convention. The CITES National Legislation Project, initiated
in 1992, assessed Antigua and Barbuda's CITES-implementing legislation as "believed generally not to meet the
requirements for the implementation of CITES" (Anon., 2002) and assigned a deadline of 30 June 2004 for
enactment of adequate implementing legislation. This deadline was subsequently extended and, by the 53"
meeting of the CITES Standing Committee (27 June-1 July 2005), Antigua and Barbuda had submitted a CITES
Legislation Plan and draft legislation to the CITES Secretariat for comments; the Standing Committee will review
legislative progress at its 54' meeting (scheduled for late 2006) (Anon., 2005a and b).


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There is no legislation in Antigua and Barbuda providing for enforcement of the fisheries regulations, nor conser-
vation and management measures, such as the protection of important sites (e.g. critical breeding habitat).


Responsible authorities


According to the Fisheries Division 1.'11',2 that agency is solely responsible for all aspects of marine turtle
management, including exploitation, trade, conservation and enforcement.


Exploitation and trade of marine turtles


Exploitation and use at the national level


Historical perspective


The history of commercial and subsistence exploitation of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda extends back to
the pre-Columbian era. Few marine turtle bones survived the millennia buried in kitchen middens in Antigua and
Barbuda, but turtle idols have been found and pottery shards displaying marine turtle motifs are quite common.
There is also evidence that seamen and fishers wore turtle motif jewellery, presumably to bestow swimming
prowess like that of marine turtles (D. Nicholson, Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, pers. comm., cited in Fuller
et al. 1992), and that several products were used, including oil (medicinal purposes), shell (e.g. cradle) and scutes
(utility items, such as fish hooks), in addition to meat and eggs.


Fuller et al. (1992) reported that both resident and foreign fishers have a long history of taking turtles and that
although catch records have never been kept, annual landings over the two decades prior to the time of their
writing had sometimes reached several hundred-and some estimate several thousand animals. They cite, for
example, the estimate of Cato et al. (1978) that 500-3000 turtles were caught annually for domestic consumption
in Barbuda alone and Joseph's (1984) estimate that 150 Green Turtles, 250 Hawksbill Turtles and one
Leatherback were landed nationwide by local fishers in 1982. Turtles have traditionally been netted or taken from
the nesting beaches, but as of the time of Meylan's (1983) writing, they were increasingly being speared by
fishers seeking lobsters, reef fishes and conches.


Fuller et al. (1992) estimated that the number of turtles caught each year at the time of their writing did not exceed
50 turtles and was probably closer to 30, Green and Hawksbill Turtles combined, with an unknown proportion of
nesting females, down from many hundreds a half-century earlier. They reported that Leatherbacks were rarely
killed and that the take, whether in nets or from the nesting beach, was probably largely opportunistic. A
combination of depleted stocks and low demand had reduced the number of active turtle fishers for whom turtling
represented a significant source of income to only two to three individuals. While targeted exploitation of marine
turtles was thought to be declining, incidental catch and opportunistic take with spear guns, as had been reported
by Meylan (1983), appeared to be growing. In 1992, turtle meat was selling for up to XCD6/lb (comparable to
fish), or ca. XCD100 for a whole turtle (Fuller et al., 1992).


Loggerheads were also taken, but in much fewer numbers than Green or Hawksbill Turtles. Meylan (1983)
reported that most were of intermediate size, weighing ca. 18-45 kg, and that they were most common around
the north-western end of Barbuda, apparently feeding on Queen Conch Strombus gigas, and in deep waters east
of Antigua.


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Fuller et al. (1992) expressed concern about the continued, illegal (as of 1990) take of eggs, which they believed
exceeded 5000 eggs, the equivalent of ca. 40 clutches, annually. Their informants estimated that roughly half of
all eggs laid on Barbuda were collected each year. They noted that Joseph et al. (1984) had estimated that in
1982, 2500 eggs were collected 'iu i.,tr.- ac" for "subsistence use" but indicated that that number was, in 1992,
perceived to have been a gross underestimate. Marine turtle
eggs used to be available in the public market, but once sale and
possession became illegal, eggs were consumed by the
SH'collector, shared amongst friends, or sold on the black market.


Fuller et al. (1992) characterized the entanglement of marine
turtles in fish pot lines and longlines as an "increasingly serious
< problem", implicating a multi-national legal and illegal longline
fishing industry within and adjacent to national waters in the
take of 100 or more turtles each year, mainly Loggerheads and
Loggerhead caught in a net. Leatherbacks. They noted that entanglement and incidental
catch also occurred in trammel nets, seines and gill nets.


Recent (since 1992) exploitation


According to the Fisheries Division 'i2;'2, current exploitation of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda focuses
on Green and Hawksbill Turtles, mainly taken incidentally in trap and net fisheries. Although no records have
been maintained of the number and species of turtles taken, based on interviews with fishers, it is estimated that
the total number is less than 20 per year and that Hawksbill Turtles are more commonly caught. Fewer than 10
fishers are estimated to retain the turtles that they catch and they are not a major source of income. These turtles
are generally shared amongst family and friends or sold informally by the fishers, primarily to rural residents.
The Fisheries Division does not regulate or monitor the sale of marine turtles or products and reports no market
as such for marine turtles or turtle products.


Although the legal take of turtles would appear to be at low level, illegal take of turtles and turtle eggs is known
to occur. The Fisheries Division ,,2"'r1C) has received reports of turtle nests being excavated for their eggs and,
based on additional anecdotal evidence, estimates that the number of turtles taken illegally is "small, less than 50
per year" and that these are taken by locals on an opportunistic basis.


International trade


Historical perspective


Fuller et al. (1992) documented a long history of trade in marine turtles from Antigua and Barbuda. They cited
the report of Cato et al. (1978) of an estimated annual take of 150 animals in Barbuda for export, with Hawksbill
Turtle shell buyers from Martinique, Saint Lucia and Guadeloupe visiting the island three times each year to buy
shell, for which they paid XCD7-8 per lb. In addition, they cited Meylan's (1983) report of the take of turtles in
Barbuda for meat for hotel restaurants, not only in Antigua but also Guadeloupe, and, to a lesser extent, Saint
Thomas and Puerto Rico and, further, that during the winter season, live Green Turtles were flown out several
times a week on cargo planes coming to the island to pick up lobsters. Most of these were sub-adult and adult


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Green Turtles the juveniles were kept for local consumption. Meylan indicated that a 'i."ikint who co-
ordinates the export business" reported that "several hundred" marine turtles were exported annually and that
these exports included turtle carapaces and tortoiseshell. On Antigua, Meylan found that, in addition to being
worked locally and marketed in tourist shops, tortoiseshell was exported raw, with buyers visiting fishers' homes
directly to purchase it; in 1980, the price paid was 12 US dollars (USD12)/kg.


For the period 1975-1992, inclusive, CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade
Database record: four carapaces, seized on entry to the USA during the period 1982-1989; one body, imported
into Switzerland in 1995; 340 live Hawksbill Turtles, imported into Canada in 1989 (180) and 1990 (160), for
scientific purposes; and 60 Hawksbill Turtle eggs, imported to the USA, also for scientific purposes. The
Fisheries Division ,2111 2) indicates no knowledge of the reported live Hawksbill Turtle exports, no doubt because
the permits in fact were for Hawksbill Turtle eggs exported to the University of Toronto for scientific research
related to conservation (N. Mrosovsky, University of Toronto, in litt., 3 November 2004 and see Mrosovsky et
al., 1992).


Japanese Customs statistics document a significant trade in Hawksbill Turtle shell reported as originating in
Antigua and Barbuda. These data, as analysed by Milliken and Tokunaga (1987) for the period 1970-1986 and
compiled for later years by TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan, record imports of Hawksbill Turtle shell into Japan from
Antigua and Barbuda for the period 1970-1992 totalling 5559 kg, all of it during the period 1983-1991 (see table
below).


Japanese imports (kg) of Hawksbill Turtle shell, 1970-1992, from Antigua and
Barbuda, as recorded in Japanese Customs statistics

Year 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


Year 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 Total
0 49 286 221 293 317 146 562 2505 1180 0 5559
Source: Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; H. Kiyono, TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan Office, in litt. to TRAFFIC
International, 29 July 2002.



Fuller et al. (1992) refuted the accuracy of these Customs statistics. Based on the estimate of dealers in Hawksbill
shell, 1.1 kg of shell derived from a single Hawksbill Turtle from Antigua and Barbuda (Milliken and Tokunaga,
1987) and, therefore, these import volumes would have derived from thousands of the animals, a far greater
number than they believed were taken from the country's waters. Instead, they argued, because the country was
not a party to CITES, dealers were fraudulently recording it as the country of origin, a practice apparently not
uncommon at the time among dealers trying to evade CITES restrictions (Canin, 1991). Having made that
judgment, they conceded that the number of locally caught marine turtles entering international trade was not
known. This is the case for the total volume of trade recorded in Japanese Customs statistics for the period
1970-1992: 5559 kg, or the possible equivalent of over 5000 Hawksbill Turtles.


After surveying tourist-oriented shops in Saint John's and Nelson Dockyard National Park in October 1992,
Fuller et al. (1992) reported the retail sale, aimed at tourists, of tortoiseshell jewellery (bracelets, earrings, rings),


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trinkets (charms, money clips, hair combs) and polished shells ranging in price from USD5 (rings) to USD30 (for
polished Hawksbill Turtle shells ca. 25cm in length), with much higher prices reported from airport shops (e.g.
polished shells priced at "about USD100"). These items were made by local artisans from turtles caught locally.


Recent (since 1992) international trade


As previously stated, Antigua and Barbuda became a CITES Party in 1997. The only records of trade in marine
turtles originating in the country and reported to CITES for the period 1993-2004, inclusive, were: a Hawksbill
carapace seized upon entry into the USA in 1994; 30 Hawksbill specimens (presumably blood samples for genetic
analysis) imported into Barbados for scientific purposes in 2004; and one kilogramme of Hawksbill meat
recorded as having been imported into the USA in 2004. The Fisheries Division (.2"",2) reported no knowledge
of the export in 1994 or of any other export of marine turtles or turtle products from the country until the time of
their writing and indicated that there were no imports. There are no known stockpiles of raw or worked
Hawksbill Turtle scutes or shell products (Fisheries Division, 2002).


Enforcement issues


Fuller et al. (1992) cited several authors' reports of problems of illegal exploitation of marine turtles and their
eggs over several decades, which they indicated persisted at the time they were writing. They attributed poaching
to several factors:


* fines for turtle violations had only recently been increased to levels likely to serve as a deterrent;
* there appeared to be no precedent for enforcement of conservation laws at the time of their writing, no
infraction of a wildlife protection law had ever been brought to court or successfully prosecuted; and
* no resources were available for effective law enforcement, such as salaries for wardens or a boat or a plane
for surveillance.


Fuller et al. (1992) recommended that a conservation warden be employed to address this problem and that the
creation of a separate Division of Conservation Law Enforcement would enable the government to enforce a
growing number of important environmental regulations more effectively, including those related to pollution,
protected species, mining and minerals, fisheries and marine resources, boater safety, game and hunting, and
coastal zone management. More recently, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB, 2001) has
emphasized "the enforcement of policies, regulations and lc'i',l.tn'ii related to biodiversity as one of four
strategic objectives of the country's Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.


Marine turtle management


Management of exploitation


Fuller et al. (1992) identified three deficiencies in the 1990 Fisheries Regulations that comprise the current legal
framework for the management of marine turtle exploitation in Antigua and Barbuda. These are discussed below.


1. Although the minimum size limit was raised to embrace a larger range of juvenile size classes and included
the Loggerhead for the first time, this provision persists in exempting from protection the breeding adults that


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are most important age class to conserve in order to maintain population viability and promote population
recovery.


2. The closed season does not encompass the entire marine turtle breeding season and, thus, puts at risk breeding
adults, in particular females coming to shore to nest, that are the priority age class for conservation effort.
Because the majority of Hawksbill Turtles are still nesting when the season opens on 1 September, some
three-quarters of the entire breeding population in Antigua and Barbuda could be legally exterminated.


3. Size limits should be expressed in shell length
(CCL -urved carapace length) rather than total
weight to enable measurements to be taken at sea
and prior to landing; in this way, undersized turtles
may be returned to the sea more readily.


It should be noted that there are other deficiencies in the
overall framework for managing exploitation of marine
turtles in Antigua and Barbuda, in particular the absence
of a monitoring programme to document marine turtle
eof a Leatherbacka landings, catch-per-unit effort and other parameters that
would enable inferences to be made of trends in marine
turtle populations and what those might suggest for revised management measures. That, in addition, there is no
other marine turtle population monitoring under way other than at Long Island means that there is no scientific
basis upon which to assess population trends, the effects of exploitation and the urgency of revised management
measures. The number of turtles caught and released (versus landed) incidentally in fishing operations appears
also to warrant investigation and, possibly, sustained monitoring.


There has been no stock assessment in the usual sense for any species of marine turtle in Antigua and Barbuda
and the Fisheries Division 1,21i 12) recognizes that the measures currently in place to manage and monitor the legal
fishery are insufficient to prevent a decline in marine turtle populations. For this reason, the Division has been
reviewing the 1992 STRAP and discussing revisions to the management provisions in place for these species.
Some of the revisions that are being discussed are: a moratorium on the exploitation of marine turtles, extension
of the closed season to encompass the full nesting season and establishment of maximum size limits.


As this report goes to press, the Fisheries Regulations of 1990 have been updated with the assistance of the FAO
and, while they are still in draft form, they are reported to prohibit the capture/taking of all marine turtles, turtle
eggs and the disturbance of turtles found on shore. Open seasons may yet be declared by the Minister, but the
new draft regulations set maximum (rather than minimum) size limits, "a measure that is set in place to protect
mature females" (T. Lovell, in litt., 12 April 2005).


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Species research and conservation


The JBHP, initiated in 1987 as a partnership between WIDECAST and the Jumby Bay Island Company, is the
only marine turtle research programme in Antigua and Barbuda. The intensive study of this small population (ca.
50 reproductively active females per year-e.g. Stapleton and Stapleton, 2004) nesting at Pasture Bay, Long
Island, has made significant scientific contributions to the understanding of Hawksbill Turtle life-history charac-
teristics, including adult female recruitment and survival, and has meaningfully informed national and regional
policy debates (Richardson et al., 1999 and McIntosh et al., 2003). The Government of Antigua and Barbuda
(GOAB, 2001) also recognizes the JBHP as an excellent example of a planned (and successful) co-existence
between development, marine turtle conservation and tourism and has recommended that it and the materials and
methodologies developed for it should serve as models to safeguard other Hawksbill Turtle nesting beaches.


Fuller et al. (1992) proposed a five-year national Sea Turtle Conservation Programme that included as major
components:


* quantifying the legal and illegal take of marine turtles, including incidental take;
* strengthening the regulatory framework, including enacting a moratorium on the take of marine turtles and
their eggs as soon as practicable;
* obtaining comprehensive and accurate data on the distribution of turtle nesting and foraging habitat;
* conducting an island-wide survey of Barbuda and surveys of three potentially very important Hawksbill
Turtle nesting grounds in Antigua-Sandy Island, Pearn's Bay beach group, and Mill Reef beach;
* designating Index sites (both nesting beaches and foraging grounds) to serve as focal areas for long-term
research and monitoring;
* initiating systematic study of marine habitat use by marine turtles, including residency patterns, foraging
behaviour and movement corridors; and
* promoting greater public involvement in marine turtle population monitoring, conservation and recovery
initiatives, habitat protection and reporting offences.


In furtherance of these objectives, Eckert ,2r,'2) details a national workplan emphasizing: a national socio-
economic survey regarding marine turtle use and attitudes; creation of a National Sea Turtle Network (including
sightings and population monitoring networks); review and revision of the regulatory framework; development
of public awareness materials and activities; and general capacity-building and training for government officers,
NGOs and coastal communities. Funding is currently being sought by the Fisheries Division to improve nesting
beach management by involving private property owners, hoteliers and coastal communities through a series of
outreach and training workshops; target beaches will be selected based on information provided in Fuller et al.
(1992) and the project will also "seek to reach the wider community in an effort to sensitize them about sea turtle
conservation" (T. Lovell, in litt., 5 April 2005).


Habitat conservation


According to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB, 2001), the identification of "critical habitats and
species (terrestrial and marine) for conservation" is a priority in their biodiversity action planning, as the loss of
habitat is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the country. In particular, the loss of nesting habitat is "the
greatest threat to the three species of endangered sea turtles that are known to nest in Antigua and B.1 I1.i ', while


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












seagrass, although "little researched and udii C 1t r111.1 'd ', is also recognized as important habitat for "two priority
marine animal taxa turtles and conch". Several areas important to marine turtles (e.g. Point North-east Area
from Boon Point to Indian Town and Barbuda Lagoon) have been proposed as marine reserves (GOAB, 2001),
but, as yet, no reserves have been set aside to protect turtle nesting or foraging sites (Fisheries Division, 2002).
Cades Bay Marine Reserve, located on the south-west coast, embraces mangrove, coral reef, seagrass and sandy
beach habitat and while it was not specifically designed to benefit marine turtles, it does safeguard potentially
important habitat (P. James, Senior Fisheries Officer, pers. comm., 2004).


Fuller et al. (1992) strongly recommended an island-wide survey of Barbuda; an assessment of three potentially
very important Hawksbill Turtle nesting grounds in Antigua (namely, Mill Reef beaches, Sandy Island and
Peam's Bay beach group); the designation of Index beaches to serve as focal areas for long-term research and
monitoring; and systematic study of marine habitat use by turtles. They also suggested that consideration be
given to designating the island of Barbuda as a Sea Turtle Refuge.


Education and public awareness


Aside from public school presentations sponsored by the JBHP and the Environmental Awareness Group of
Antigua and Barbuda, there appears to have been little effort to heighten awareness of marine turtle conservation
in the country. As part of their biodiversity action planning, the government (GOAB, 2001) has identified
SIII C.1 ,'iM public awareness of policies and laws relating to biodiversity" as a priority. The Fisheries Division
2',2r12) views such efforts as "the most important" ingredient for effective marine turtle management in the
country.


Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management


The Fisheries Division i2, 2) is "purn.. measures in place" to address a number of issues that impede marine
turtle management in the country. These include: shortcomings in the legal and regulatory framework, lack of
knowledge of marine turtles, limited manpower, lack of trained personnel, insufficient funding and lack of public
support. Greater advantage could be taken of regional resources available to assist in these areas, including
capacity-building, training and public awareness. WIDECAST, for example, makes available tags and basic field
equipment, database management software and other record-keeping tools, educational materials, off-site training
and mentoring programmes, best practices documentation and assistance with project development and fund-
raising.



Summary and recommendations


Although there has been little systematic monitoring of marine turtle populations in Antigua and Barbuda, they
were identified over 10 years ago as representing only a fraction of historical numbers, with nesting populations
at risk of complete extirpation, as a result of both legal and illegal exploitation and loss and degradation of both
nesting and foraging habitats from a range of factors (Fuller et al., 1992). A legal fishery has persisted and,
although it has been regulated for almost 80 years, the restrictions in place not only do not significantly restrict
the exploitation of marine turtles, but also target exploitation on large juvenile and adult turtles that are the most
important age classes to conserve in order to maintain populations and promote population recovery. Further,


80 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












there has been no monitoring of the legal fishery to record landings and other parameters of the fishery and assess
trends in these and their implications for marine turtle populations and their management needs and, other than
by the JBHP, there has been no population monitoring and no active marine turtle conservation efforts.


The current regime fails to achieve management and is inconsistent with the principles and practice of sustainable
use. That these shortcomings have been recognized by the government is a positive first step in what should be
a comprehensive effort to modernize the management framework relevant to marine turtle stocks in the country.
The lack of a scientifically based stock assessment and limits on the numbers of turtles that may be taken or of
fishers licensed to take turtles suggests a need for additional measures that would assist in preventing further
population declines and, possibly, promoting population recovery. Fundamental to any exploitation regime aimed
at sustainable use is the development and implementation of a monitoring programme for the fishery to record
relevant data on landings so as to assess compliance, monitor trends, and infer what those trends may mean for
marine turtle populations and for the effectiveness of management measures.


In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), an explicitly precautionary
code, which states that "the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to
ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resources", the management of marine turtle
resources in Antigua and Barbuda should seek to maintain the availability of the resource "in sufficient quantities
for present and future generations in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable
development". Management measures should, inter alia, prevent over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations,
incorporate the best scientific evidence (taking into account traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environ-
mental, economic and social factors), assign priority to research and data collection (including at international
scales), and promote environmentally safe fishing gear and practices in order to protect both the target resource
and the ecosystems upon which it depends.


Among the fundamental components of any regime aimed at management of wild populations are: restrictions
on exploitation that are consistent with the species' biological requirements; a monitoring programme-
systematic, sustained, and rigorous collection and review of data-either on the specifics of exploitation or of
wild populations so as to discern trends that can inform management; mechanisms to identify, monitor and
address other threats to the species being exploited, so that these threats can be factored with exploitation to assess
what level of overall mortality the species might sustain; and a high level of compliance (sometimes achievable
only through vigorous enforcement) with the restrictions put in place to ensure that management goals are
achieved. It does not appear that any of these activities are being undertaken at least not on the systematic basis
that is required-on either Antigua or Barbuda.


1. In the light of the recognized depleted status of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda and the potential for
continuing declines resulting from the legally mandated exploitation of large juvenile and adult turtles, and in
the absence of systematic population monitoring, there is no discernible basis for the maintenance of a legal
fishery for marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda. The government should move expeditiously on a compre-
hensive revision of both the regulatory framework and the broader institutional mandates and priorities that
provide for the types of activities that form part of a management programme. Recently revised draft (not yet
gazetted) regulations that fully protect marine turtles in the country's waters, as well as during nesting, would
appear to be a useful advance.


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2. In support of a comprehensive review and revision of the legal framework for marine turtle management, a
comprehensive frame survey should be undertaken to quantify and characterize exploitation and use of marine
turtles at the national level, including:
the landing of turtles at sea and hunting on nesting beaches;
exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products;
numbers and types of fishers (and gears) involved, including the extent to which marine turtle
landings result from incidental or opportunistic take in other fishing operations or from a targeted
fishery;
processing and marketing patterns; and
the importance to livelihoods of the products and income derived from marine turtle exploitation.


This investigation should also aim to establish the nature and extent of illegal exploitation and trade of marine
turtles and eggs and marine turtle products, and the extent to which they may negatively impact marine turtle
populations and compromise management.


3. If legal exploitation is to continue, the restrictions on this exploitation should reflect the biological parameters
of marine turtles, take into account their depleted status and aim, at a minimum, at preventing further
population declines. Any exploitation regimen promoting population recovery and maintenance should be
established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice, which should include the
following:


A. Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including:
complete protection of nesting females, their eggs and young at all times;
complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November;
complete protection of the Leatherback, which occurs in the country only as an adult, and typically
an egg-bearing female;
maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight,
so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults;
a conservative limit on the numbers of animals that may be exploited, based on a scientific stock
assessment; and
a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on stock assessment, on data derived from
national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in
such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographic
ranges.


B. Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at
establishing trends and monitoring these over time. A national programme to monitor marine turtle
exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such
records to be analysed and compared over time, the following:
the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means;
the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed;
the localities where the turtles were taken;
catch-per-unit effort; and
the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animal and/or products if sold
or traded.


82 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela












In further support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be considered as
requirements for participation:
that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets)
that turtles be landed alive or intact; prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended
net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle
landings; and
that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme.


C. Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will:
document distribution and abundance of local populations;
identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas;
designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds and document the numbers of marine
turtles occurring in these over time;
manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and
inform management; and
identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival.


4. Recognizing the importance of habitat pressures on marine turtles and the role of marine turtles and intact
marine turtle habitat in the 'tr.uiiiin product", critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, should be
identified and protected and incorporated into broader biodiversity management programmes. The
government should consider:
expanding the number of protected nesting beaches;
enhancing habitat protection measures, including restriction/regulation of tourism and other
activities near nesting beaches during the egg-laying season and vigorous enforcement of such
measures, such as against sand-mining;
adopting regulations to prevent or otherwise manage leaving of nets and other debris on the beach;
improving coastal zone management (and monitoring) capacity, including through environmental
impact assessment, particularly in relation to the construction of beach-front hotels and other
tourism infrastructure and sand-mining;
expanding the system of protected areas; and
strengthening the management framework for protected areas to ensure that these areas fulfill their
stated objectives.


5. Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental catch of marine turtles should be developed. Measures to reduce
or eliminate incidental catch of marine turtles, such as through time-area closures and/or alternative
(especially to gill nets) types of gear, should be implemented.


6. There is a need for greater enforcement of marine turtle regulations and, as has been recognized by the
government (Fisheries Division, 2002), a need for an improved legal basis for enforcement. Existing
legislation should be revised to establish clear authorities for environmental enforcement, including of the
Fisheries Regulations.


7. There is a need for greater enforcement capacity and effort, including training, logistical support, and a mobile
enforcement unit. This capacity should involve outreach and other activities that will engage greater efforts


TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turdes in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela












on the part of police for fisheries and broader environmental enforcement. A mutually agreed set of protocols
and procedures for these agencies to follow in such circumstances may be an option to consider.


8. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda should move forward expeditiously to enact legislation to enable
full implementation and enforcement of CITES provisions, including wildlife trade controls, scientific non-
detriment findings and control and monitoring, as appropriate, of stockpiles of CITES species.


9. Increased efforts should be made to engage local communities, including fishers, in marine turtle conservation
and management. Fisheries extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular exchanges with
fishers of information on marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and the participation
of fishers in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for
marine turtle conservation. Support directed towards sustainable fishery practices and/or alternative
livelihoods should be provided, as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers meaningfully in their efforts to
comply with revised marine turtle regulations.


10. There should be effective co-ordination between the fisheries offices in Antigua and Barbuda, so as to ensure
that the management measures being implemented for the marine turtles that are undoubtedly moving around
the two islands are well integrated and mutually reinforcing and enhance these agencies' abilities to assess
trends in the fishery and in the country's turtle populations. Monitoring, including the sharing of data on
marine turtle distribution and exploitation, enforcement and public outreach, are two areas that would partic-
ularly benefit from effective co-ordination.


11. Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should be extended to relevant government
agencies to develop and implement a modem, scientifically based conservation and management regime for
nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the legal framework, scientific studies,
monitoring programmes, enforcement capacity, and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose
mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries
and tourism sectors in Antigua and Barbuda should take account of the increased responsibilities-and
costs-of the Fisheries Division and other agencies in managing for sustainability the resources concerned
and the broader biodiversity impacts that may ensue.


12. Community outreach and population monitoring efforts being undertaken by NGOs in collaboration with the
government should be expanded through increased financial commitments from bilateral and multilateral
assistance agencies. Co-management agreements between the government and NGOs/CBOs, developed by
consensus, are encouraged.


13. Antigua and Barbuda, through the Jumby Bay Island Company, is credited with the hemisphere's longest-
running and most comprehensive population monitoring programme for the Hawksbill Turtle. Government
recognition of this programme as a model for other efforts, both nationally and regionally, speaks to the
country's commitment to establishing a leadership role in marine turtle research and management. Efforts to
build on existing successes are encouraged.


84 TURNING THETIDE Exploitation,Trade and Management of MarineTurtles in the LesserAntilles, Central America, Colombia andVenezuela




Full Text

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T T u r n i n g t h e T i d e :E x p l o i t a t i o n T r a d e a n d M a n a g e m e n t o f M a r i n e T u r t l e s i n t h e L e s s e r A n t i l l e s C e n t r a l A m e r i c a C o l l o m b i a a n d V e n e z u e laAM I EBR U T I G A M A N DKA R E NL EC K E R TA T R A F F I C R E P O R TCOMMISSIONEDBYTHECITESSECRETARIAT T h i s r e p o r t w a s p u b l i s h e d w i t h t h e k i n d s u p p o r t o f

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Published by TRAFFIC International, Cambridge, UK. 2006 TRAFFIC International and CITES Secretariat. All rights reserved. All material appearing in this publication is copyrighted and may be reproduced with permission. Any reproduction in full or in part of this publication must credit TRAFFIC International and the CITESSecretariat as the copyright owners. The opinions expressed in this book do not necessarily represent the opinion of the CITES Secretariat, the TRAFFIC network, WWF, IUCN, or of the States and dependent territories covered. The geographical designations employed in this book do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the authors, the CITES Secretariat, TRAFFIC, or its supporting organizations, concerning the legal status of any country, territory, or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the definition of its frontiers or boundaries. The TRAFFIC symbol copyright and Registered Trademark ownership is held by WWF.TRAFFIC is a joint programme of WWF and IUCN. Suggested citation :Brutigam, A. and Eckert, K.L. (2006). Turning the Tide: Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela TRAFFIC International, Cambridge, UK ISBN 1 85850 223 3 Front coverphotograph :Afemale Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata heads back to the sea after laying eggs. Photograph credits : WWF-Canon/Martin Harvey. Printed on recycled paper.

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TURNING THE TIDE:EXPLOITATION,TRADE AND MANAGEMENT OF MARINE TURTLES IN THE LESSER ANTILLES, CENTRAL AMERICA,COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELAby Amie Brutigam1and Karen L. Eckert21Perry Institute for Marine Science;2Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) Children in Sint Maarten,Netherlands Antilles,play a game designed to foster appreciation of marine turtle conservation;since November 2004,an educational coordinator for the three Windward Islands of the Netherlands Antilles (Sint Maarten,Saba and Sint Eustatius) has focused on promoting awareness of the issue through school visits,puppet shows,songs and other grass roots activities. Credit : Nature Foundation of Sint Maarten

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TABLE OF CONTENTSForeword iv Acknowledgements v Executive Summary vii Priorities for Immediate Actionxii Introduction 1 Marine Turtles of the Caribbean 3 Life History and Life Cycle5 Species Overview and General Trends7 Transboundary Movements9 Methods and Definitions 12 Regional Overview 17 Legal Framework for Marine Turtle Management17 Table 1: Summary findings on the legal status of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles 20 and Caribbean sector of Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Exploitation of Marine Turtles at the National Level23 International Trade in Marine Turtles26 Management Issues 27 Table 2: Summary findings on management issues relating to exploitation and trade of 32 marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Enforcement Issues 34 Table 3: Summary findings on enforcement issues relating to exploitation and trade of 36 marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Recommendations 38 National Reviews: LesserAntilles 51 Anguilla (GB) 51 Antigua and Barbuda 70 Aruba (NL) 87 Barbados 99 Dominica 113 Grenada 134 Guadeloupe (FR) 155 Martinique (FR) 169 iiTURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Montserrat (GB) 181 Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curaao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten) (NL)196 Saint Kitts and Nevis245 Saint Lucia 265 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines285 Trinidad and Tobago307 National Reviews: Central America 335 Belize 335 Costa Rica 356 Guatemala 380 Honduras 399 Nicaragua 417 Panama 447 National Reviews: South America 471 Colombia 471 Venezuela 494 Appendices 518 I: Caribbean Marine Turtles: Species Summary518 II: Multilateral Environmental Agreements Relating to Marine Turtles of the Wider 525 Caribbean Region III: TRAFFIC International Questionnaire„CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and 528 Management of the Marine Turtles of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela (English version) TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu elaiii

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FOREWORDWhen TRAFFIC completed a review of the exploitation, trade, and management of marine turtles in 11 countries and territories in the Northern Caribbean in 2001, the overall picture revealed was a patchwork of national management regimes. Some countries had allocated significant resources to manage and conserve marine turtles, while next to nothing has been done in others. Relevant regulations were rigidly enforced in some territories; in others, for a variety of reasons, enforcement was virtually absent. Legislation was comprehensive in some countries while incomplete and outdated in others. The review re-emphasised the challenges facing management and conservation strategies for marine turtles that were formulated and implemented on a country-by-country basis. The impetus for the present study was a call for assistance made by the First CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue Meeting, held in Mexico City in May 2001. Noting the findings of TRAFFIC's research in the Northern Caribbean, participants requested an extended analysis of the situation in the rest of the Wider Caribbean Region to be used as a basis for better regional co-operation. In December 2001, the CITES Secretariat commissioned TRAFFIC International to undertake this work, and the result is this new report on exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the 26 political jurisdictions of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Its comprehensiveness and authority are testament to the incredible persistence and dedication of the authors and the much-valued participation of so many expert contributors working in the region. This report illustrates, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the management patchwork found in the earlier study extends throughout the wider Caribbean. It highlights enormous variation from country to country in the quality of management regimes, data collection, population monitoring and controls on exploitation. It clearly demonstrates the co-dependency between national management regimes and documents a range of examples of innovative and effective actions by governments, NGOs and communities that have potential for expansion and adaptation across the region. Aclear message of this body of work is that greater co-operation between the countries of the Caribbean is urgently needed to benefit marine turtle populations and the people who benefit from them. Significant progress has already been made in the area of regional co-operation, particularly with the coming into force in 2000 and 2001, respectively, of the Protocol to the Cartagena Convention concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, as well as two CITES Hawksbill Range State dialogue meetings. However, much more needs to be done. Only with concerted effort and better co-operation can we hope to turn the tide in favour of marine turtle populations in the Wider Caribbean Region. TRAFFIC will continue its contribution to meeting this goal and remains committed to collaborating with the many dedicated organizations and individuals who are determined to succeed in addressing this important conservation challenge. Steven Broad Executive Director TRAFFIC International ivTURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSIt would not have been possible to undertake this review without the participation (and patience) of a great many colleagues and contributors in the Wider Caribbean and, in some instances, beyond. The authors made every possible effort to ensure the currency and accuracy of the information presented in this report and to derive judicious conclusions and make constructive recommendations based on that information. The following individuals were instrumental in assisting us in this effort. We could not have completed this project without their help. Anguilla (GB)„James C. Gumbs (Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources), Karim Hodge (Anguilla National Trust), Sue Ranger (Marine Conservation Society, UK); Antigua and Barbuda „Candia Williams and Tricia Lovell (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries), Peri Mason (Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project); Aruba „Richard van der Wal and Edith van der Wal (Turtugaruba Foundation), Pieter Barendsen and Theo Wools (Veterinary Service, Government of Aruba), Byron Boekhoudt (Ministry of Labour, Culture and Sports); Barbados „Kwame Emmanuel (Environmental Unit, Ministry of Physical Development and Environment„MPDE), Julia Horrocks (University of the West Indies-Cave Hill), Christopher Parker (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development); Dominica „Harold Guiste and Algernon Philbert (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment), Eric Hypolite, Adolphus Christian, and Stephen Durand (Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment), Rowan Byrne (Rosalie Sea Turtle Initiative), Sascha Steiner (Institute for Tropical Marine Ecology); Grenada „Crafton Isaac and Paul Phillip (Division of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture), Becky King and Carl Lloyd (Ocean Spirits), Christine Curry (MARVET, University of St. Georges); Guadeloupe and Martinique (FR)„Johan Chevalier (DIREN/ONCFS, Guadeloupe); Luc Legendre (DIREN, Guadeloupe), Claudie Pavis (Presidente, Association pour lEtude et la protection des Vertbrs et vgtaux des petites Antilles „AEVA, Guadeloupe); Montserrat „John Jeffers (Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Trade and Environment); Netherlands Antilles „(Gerard van Buurt (Fisheries Section, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Curaao), Paul Hoetjes and Eric Newton (Department of Environment and Nature, Ministry of Public Health and Social Development), Dolfi Debrot, Brian Leysner and Leon Pors (CARMABI Foundation); Bonaire „Imre Esser, Robert van Dam, and Kitty Hanshuh (Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire), Kalli de Meyer (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance„DCNA), Elsmarie Beukenboom ( Stichting National Parken Nederlandse Antillen „STINAPA); Curaao „Dolfi Debrot, Brian Leysner and Leon Pors (CARMABI Foundation); Saba„David Kooistra (Saba Marine Park/Saba Conservation Foundation); Sint Eustatius „Nicole Esteban, Kay Lynn Plummer, and Rozenn Le Scao (Sint Eustatius National Parks Foundation„STENAPA); Sint Maarten „Andy Caballero and Paul Ellinger (Nature Foundation of Sint Maarten); Saint Kitts and Nevis „R. Arthur Anslyn and Emile Pemberton (Department of Fisheries, Nevis), Samuel J. Heyliger and Ralph Wilkins (Fisheries Management Unit, Saint Kitts), Kate Orchard (Saint Christopher Heritage Society); Saint Lucia „ Vaughn Charles, Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel, and Laverne Walker (Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Kai Wulf (Soufriere Marine Management Area„SMMA); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines „Leslie Straker (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Julia Horrocks (University of the West Indies, Barbados); Trinidad and Tobago „Nadra Nathai-Gyan and Stephen Poon (Wildlife Section-Forestry Division, Ministry of Public Utilities and the Environment), Tanya Clovis and Wendy Herron (SOS Tobago), Nerissa Nagassar (Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Marine Resources), Dennis Sammy (Nature Seekers), Angela Ramsey (Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Tobago House of Assembly), Scott Eckert (WIDECASTand Duke University); Belize „Sean TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu elav

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Beaton (Belize Sea Turtle Working Group), David Craig (Belize Audubon Society), Janet Gibson (Coastal Zone Management Unit and Authority), Linda Searle (Symbios); Costa Rica „Didiher Chacn ( Asociacin ANAI and WIDECAST), Sebastian Trong (Caribbean Conservation Corporation), Oscar Porras ( Ministerio del Ambiente y Energa „MINAE); Guatemala „Annabella Barios and Ana Beatriz Rivas Chacn ( Fundacin para la Conservacin del Medio Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales Mario Dary Rivera „FUNDARY), Wilma Katz (Coastal Wildlife Club, USA), Colum Muccio ( Asociacin Rescate y Conservacin de Vida Silvestre „ARCAS), Rob Nunny (Ambios, Ltd., UK); Honduras „Sergio Midence ( Direccin General de Biodiversidad, Secretara de Recursos Naturales y Ambiente „SERNA), Carlos Molinero ( Red Regional para la Conservacin de las Tortugas Marinas en Centroamrica); Nicaragua „Ren Salvador Castelln( Direccin General de Biodiversidad y Recursos Naturales/Oficina CITES-Nicaragua MARENA), Cathi Campbell and Cynthia Lagueux (Wildlife Conservation Society); Panam „Agelis Ruiz (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute„ STRI), Anne Meylan (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, USA); Colombia „Diego Amorocho ( Centro de Investigaciones en Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo „CIMAD), Claudia Ceballos Fonseca ( Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras „INVEMAR), Pilar Herron, Corporacin para el Desarrollo Sostenible del Archipilago de San Andrs, Providencia y Santa Catalina „CORALINA); and Venezuela „Lic. Hedelvy Guada ( Centro de Investigacion y Conservacin de Tortugas Marinas „CICTMAR). We also greatly appreciate the very thoughtful and helpful comments provided to us by reviewers of the report: Alberto Abreu Grobois, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico Mazatln, and Caribbean Vice-Chair, IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group; Didiher Chacn, Asociacin ANAI and WIDECAST, Costa Rica; Carlos Drews, WWF (Central America); Adrian Reuter, TRAFFIC North America-Mexico; Bernardo Ortiz, TRAFFIC South America, Ecuador; and Stephen Nash, CITES Secretariat, Switzerland. Helen Corrigan, Charlotte de Fontaubert, and Didiher Chacn contributed as consultants to different elements and at different stages of the project. We would also like to extend our sincere appreciation to the many colleagues who responded to specific requests for information; especially noteworthy are Benoit de Thoisy, KWATA, French Guiana; Marc Girondot, Universit Paris France; Alessandra Vanzella-Khouri, SPAW Programme Officer, UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme, Jamaica; Gilberto Cintron-Molero, Office of International Affairs, Fish and Wildlife Service, USA; Marco Solano, Secretariat, Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles, Costa Rica; and Scott Eckert WIDECASTand Duke University, USA, among others. The authors wish to extend their deep appreciation to John Marr, Executive Director, and Roger McManus, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, of the Perry Institute for Marine Science (PIMS) for extending PIMSsupport to this project, and to John H. Perry, Jr. and J. Helena Perry, whose vision for PIMS and financial support for its Threatened Marine Species Program have enabled this report to come to fruition. Afinal word of thanks is extended to the Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation for their core support to PIMSThreatened Marine Species Program. We would also like to acknowledge, with gratitude, that Karen Eckerts time was partially supported by the Mary Derrickson McCurdy Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Duke University. Finally, we are profoundly grateful to our husbands and families for their patience and support, in particular in tolerating our absences during thousands of hours of otherwise discretionary family time. TRAFFIC thanks the CITESSecretariat, the commissioning body, as well as PIMS; WIDECAST; the Manfred Hermsen Foundation; WWF, the conservation organization; and the Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation, for their support of this study. viTURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThis comprehensive review of exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) highlights findings related to the legal framework for marine turtle management, patterns of domestic exploitation and use and international trade, and a variety of core management issues, including population monitoring, fishery controls and law enforcement. While there have been many advancements over the past half-century in our understanding of marine turtle biology and of the management needs of these species, the review concludes that actual management of marine turtles, and of marine turtle exploitation in particular, has in many ways not kept pace with this understanding nor with the contemporary scope of threats to their survival. The report documents the implications of management shortcomings in one country for the management and conservation efforts being made in others and, finally, calls attention to a range of activities that are being undertaken at the national level to address these problems and which could be expanded or adapted across the region. Although all fall within the WCR, the 26 jurisdictions that have been reviewed for this analysis„the overseas territories and Small Island States of the Lesser Antilles, six Central American countries, Colombia and Venezuela„are widely diverse geographically, ecologically, culturally and economically. They also vary considerably as regards the status of marine turtles and the context for their conservation and management: the legal frameworks, management regimes, and type and degree of constraints on effective marine turtle management. The differences between jurisdictions and regions with respect to key elements of this study are discussed in the Regional Overview and presented in the tables in that section. The major findings are set forth below and followed by a short-list of priorities for immediate action at the national level. 1.The legal framework for marine turtle management is inadequate in large and small ways in the majority of the jurisdictions covered in this study. Not only is there often confusion as to the rules that apply and, in some instances, direct conflict between laws, but exploitation in those countries where it is permitted by law is, with few exceptions, not controlled in accordance with the principles of sustainability. In some instances, competing or overlapping management authorities create confusion„and consequent lapses„in the exercise of these authorities. In addition to shortcomings in the laws governing exploitation, there are shortcomings with respect to the laws governing marine turtle trade, internal and international. In most of the eight Latin American countries reviewed and in at least two of the insular States, there is a need to rationalize the body of legislation pertaining to marine turtles and to revise it as necessary so that there are clear rules and authorities in relation to marine turtle exploitation and trade and the broader range of marine turtle management and conservation needs. Similarly, in most of the Latin American countries examined, there is a particular need for effective controls on exploitation that is currently exempt from these laws, specifically exploitation of turtles and eggs that continues under the aegis of subsistenceŽ or indigenousŽ use but in the absence of any legal or operational definition of these terms. 2.There are many encouraging signs that governments are seeking to strengthen the legal framework for marine turtle management. In Belize, the framework has evolved, taking full note of biological principles, through maximum size limits, to a legally permitted take for traditional use only of species other than the Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata In several other jurisdictions„including Montserrat, Nevis (Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis), Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia and Guatemala„ TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu elavii

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marine turtle management measures and broader conservation needs have been or are being reviewed; in several, regulations are pending that would establish maximum versus the prevailing minimum size limits and/or lengthen closures to embrace peak nesting periods. The governments of two jurisdictions, Anguilla and Saint Lucia, implemented moratoria in the mid-1990s so as to review management measures prior to prospective reinstatement of a turtle fishery (the moratorium in Saint Lucia lapsed before revised measures could be established; the moratorium in Anguilla was renewed in 2005). 3.Marine turtles are completely protected by law from exploitation in fewer than half of the 26 jurisdictions reviewed. In the remaining jurisdictions, marine turtles benefit from varying degrees of legal protection. With few exceptions (namely, Costa Rica [in relation to a programme at Ostional on the Pacific coast] and Belize, which clearly define, regulate and control the exemptions for exploitation of marine turtles within an otherwise protective legal regime), and regardless of these differences, the legal norms in place do not limit exploitation in such a way as to contribute to the sustainability of marine turtle populations. In effect, they do not serve management that would be consistent with the standards and practice of sustainable use. Thus, for many jurisdictions, a suite of both national and international commitments to ensure the survival of these threatened species remains largely unfulfilled. 4.In some countries, turtle fisheries operate on an occasional and opportunistic basis, while in others they continue to be the focus of dedicated effort and generate significant income through the marketing of the animals and their products. Official statistics on levels of exploitation of marine turtles at the national level do not exist for any jurisdiction in which such exploitation is permitted, as monitoring is either non-existent, sporadic, or fragmentary, being based on voluntary reporting or only conducted at some of the sites where marine turtles are landed. Consequently, levels of exploitation of marine turtles are largely unknown at the national level and it is, therefore, impossible to derive any credible estimate of the numbers of marine turtles taken at the regional level. In some instances, information on exploitation is available from non-government sources. The most comprehensive dataset comprises the results of monitoring efforts by researchers working with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); these have documented the regions largest legal marine turtle fishery, as part of which ca. 300 to 500 fishers have landed ca. 11 000 Green Turtles Chelonia mydas per year over the past decade. In the insular Caribbean, research conducted by a graduate student at the University of the West Indies has documented aspects of exploitation in several Eastern Caribbean countries and, for example, estimated an annual take of 782 turtles in Grenada and almost 600 turtles in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Fewer data exist on levels of exploitation of marine turtle eggs, which are more extensively protected by law in the WCR than are marine turtles. The marketing of eggs is open and widespread in several of the Central American countries and, while in Costa Rica most of the eggs in trade are considered to derive from a specific sustainable-use programme at Ostional on the Pacific Coast, in Guatemala there is concern that virtually every egg laid in the country is collected for human consumption. Finally, the numbers of marine turtles taken incidentally in industrial and artisanal fisheries are largely unknown and, thus, impossible to factor into any overall estimates of marine turtle mortality. Losses to incidental take have been documented to be high in some reviewed jurisdictions (e.g. Trinidad and Tobago, Guadeloupe) and are believed to be high in others and, thus, warrant further investigation and, as necessary, mitigation. viiiTURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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5.Information relating to international trade in marine turtles is mixed. There is little evidence, based on official statistics, of large commercial trade; most of the trade reported to the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in recent years consists of seizures of personal items or scientific specimens, with only a small number of (illegal) commercial shipments. Notwithstanding, an extensive and clandestine regional trade persists, mainly in Central America. Most international trade from the insular jurisdictions consists of personal items and curios purchased by tourists; there are few statistics on tourist-mediated trade and often no official knowledge that such export has occurred. There is little concrete evidence of significant stockpiling of marine turtle products (Nicaragua and Costa Rica are the only two countries in which stockpiles were reported). Existing levels of international trade are described as a problem for managementŽ only for the mainland countries of the Americas. 6.Enforcement of marine turtle legislation is generally considered to be inadequate. In some instances, this arises from a lack of clarity in the legal provisions that apply and the authorities charged with enforcement. In addition, logistical and other constraints, including socio-cultural dynamics, complicate enforcement. Concerns are noted as to the low level of attention often afforded infractions of this type of legislation by law enforcement officials and the judiciary. Some participants in this study cited the low priority given to these issues as evidence of political apathy towards natural resource law in general and noted, as well, the social complexities of enforcing natural resource law in rural coastal communities where much (in some instances most) illegal activity occurs. The data suggest an increase in arrests and prosecutions in very recent years and also underscore the positive contribution of community-based beach patrols„sometimes under specific comanagement agreements with government agencies„in reducing or eliminating illegal activity, especially on nesting beaches. 7.Management of marine turtles in the region covered in this study varies greatly but in most cases must be considered inadequate not only for the recovery of populations but for the prevention of further population declines. The following points should be especially noted: €no stock assessment in the usual sense has been conducted at the national level for any jurisdiction in this study; the countries that come closest to meeting this standard are Barbados, which, uniquely, supports continual monitoring of both nesting and foraging stocks, and Nicaragua, where the Green Turtle fishery has recently been the focus of an intensive evaluation through the efforts of scientists working with WCS; €legal exploitation has not been based on any scientific evaluation of the resource; €legal exploitation continues with no consideration of effects on population levels, i.e. without taking into account the status or trend of local populations or shared stocks throughout their biological range; €controls on exploitation are not consistent with current understanding of marine turtle biology and marine turtle management best practice; in the insular Caribbean, for example, closures rarely encompass the reproductive season, and minimum-size limits target the age classes that should most be protected; €there is very little monitoring of legal exploitation and only sporadic or fragmentary monitoring where it is conducted, with the result that overall levels of exploitation and trends in those are unknown virtually throughout the region; €there is very little sustained population monitoring, such that data-based marine turtle population trends are largely unknown ; TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu elaix

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€some degree of illegal take occurs in every jurisdiction but is largely unquantified (although suspected levels of illegal take were characterized as not a problem for management in several of these); €the take of eggs, particularly in Central America, is intensive and pervasive; €levels of incidental take in fisheries are, with a few exceptions, unknown and largely unaddressed in existing management regimes, despite compelling evidence that they constitute the single largest source of mortality in some jurisdictions; and €habitats, both terrestrial and marine, critical to marine turtle survival have not been identified in most jurisdictions and, where known, often fall outside the boundaries of parks, reserves or other actively managed areas, thus suggesting that the safeguarding of critical habitat for marine turtles has generally not been well integrated into coastal zone planning processes. 8.Agrowing body of data from flipper-tagging, satellite-tracking and genetic analyses is documenting transboundary movements of marine turtles and delineating individual marine turtle stocks. These data unequivocally point to the need for co-ordinated effort in managing marine turtles that, for example, nest or forage in Bonaire, Barbados, or Costa Rica, where they are protected by law, and travel to, for example, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, or another country where they are legally exploited. In some instances, these contradictory management regimes impinge on non-extractive marine turtle projects, such as at Tortuguero and Gandoca in Costa Rica or at Matura and Grande Riviere in Trinidad, that are generating significant economic benefits to local communities. 9.The complexity of marine turtle management is clearly a challenge for many governments in the region, who face many constraints in improving their effectiveness. The limited capacity of many of the governments of Small Island Developing States of the insular Caribbean to discharge increasing environmental mandates is one such constraint. The extreme poverty of coastal communities in Central America, who have few economic alternatives to the marine turtle resource, is as serious a challenge as any government can face and has not only regional but hemispheric implications. As inadequate marine turtle management is the result of many economic, cultural and political factors, improvements must be devised that, if not fully address, at least take into account, these many factors. While, in many jurisdictions, marine turtle management is by law already cross-sectoral, it is not adequately integrated at the operational level. Although migratory marine turtles offer the best example of the need for an integrated approach to ensure effective management, this need also applies to other marine resources (e.g. Queen Conch Strombus gigas Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus and reef fishes) that are depleted or at risk of depletion. 10.The complexity of marine turtle management across the WCR suggests not only a need for a more concerted, co-ordinated, cross-sectoral approach at the operational level, within governments and among other actors, but also at the diagnostic level. Social scientists, rural development specialists and development assistance donor agencies should engage in assessing the dynamics that dictate marine turtle exploitation and in developing solutions to the factors that underlie over-exploitation. The same attention should be paid to identifying more sustainable patterns of coastal development, as habitat loss„both terrestrial and marine„is identified as a major threat to marine turtle recovery in many jurisdictions. 11.Amajor finding of this study is that non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including community-based organizations (CBOs), are making large contributions to marine turtle conservation and basic research in the region; in some countries, they are also making large contributions to marine turtle management, including xTURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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strategic planning, monitoring of legal fisheries and of nesting and other populations, record-keeping, poaching deterrence, training and capacity-building, and public outreach. While this non-governmental investment is generally viewed as positive, there is a need to recognize the essential, fundamental role of government in marine turtle conservation and management and, thus, the need for governments to engage„ politically, logistically and financially„in this work. The need for sustainability in management, which is complicated by the fact that NGOs and CBOs generally rely for their operations on funds raised from external sources, should be given serious consideration by governments and the donor community. 12.Existing and growing partnerships between government, NGOs, CBOs and local communities, built on shared priorities, pooled resources and equal credit/benefit, offer particular promise in addressing the management challenges facing marine turtles. As one of many examples, in Nicaragua, WCS is working with local communities and relevant government agencies to monitor the fishery for Green Turtles along the Caribbean coast and develop a management and conservation plan for marine turtles in that region. Many locally-based NGOs, such as Nature Seekers in Trinidad, have also been pioneers in this field. Aparticularly positive development in recent years has been the increase in co-managementŽ arrangements between governments and local communities, whereby sustainable-use projects are implemented on the basis of mutually agreed conditions and procedures. In cases where governments have come to terms with the fact that they cannot fulfill their management or enforcement mandates without reliable help from those much closer to the resource, they may grant the community (which generally seeks enhanced economic opportunity) exclusive extraction, eco-tourism or other rights. In return for needed assistance in fulfilling its public mandate to manage the resource, the government provides opportunities for local communities to benefit from the resource. This is the case in Saint Lucia (in a partnership with the Desbarras community), Trinidad (in a partnership with the Matura community and others), Costa Rica (with the [Pacific] programme in Ostional) and elsewhere in the region. These agreements, when thoughtfully constructed, produce real benefits for conservation and sustainable management because stakeholders have a true stake in the health of the affected resource. 13.There are numerous examples documented in this study of innovative approaches to addressing overexploitation of marine turtles and enhancing their management and conservation. Many of them focus on information-sharing and direct, sustained engagement of local communities and other stakeholder groups and, in doing so, have generated significant interest in and support for marine turtle conservation. Supporting and supplementing these are several dozen field projects sponsored by governments and NGOs in the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), a scientific network affiliated with the Caribbean Environment Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and providing an operational mechanism for training, communication, collaborative research and the replication of successful programmes across more than 40 participating WCR States and territories. In Costa Rica, such efforts include an NGO-run certification programme for retail establishments that undertake not to sell marine turtle products and a turtle tourism scheme at Gandoca, whereby, through an arrangement between an NGO ( Asociacin ANAI ) and the local community, lodging is provided to turtle researchers, thus generating alternative income for the community and leading to a reduction in egg poaching; in Nicaragua, community meetings and radio spots aimed at informing local communities about marine turtle conservation issues and the results of conservation projects under way have lowered the incidence of TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu elaxi

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Hawksbill Turtle poaching; in Bonaire, a local newspaper has dedicated space for regular updates of the international movements of marine turtles locally fitted with satellite-transmitters; in Antigua, a home-owners association sponsors the hemispheres most comprehensive Hawksbill Turtle demographic study; in Dominica, the hiring of former marine turtle poachers as beach patrollers has dramatically reduced the killing of nesting turtles in Rosalie Bay; in Trinidad, co-management agreements between the government and coastal communities have eliminated marine turtle poaching while creating new capacity in rural areas for entrepreneurial activity ranging from reforestation programmes to literacy campaigns and youth employment; in Barbados, the University of the West Indies hosts a regional tagging centre, providing training, field equipment and record-keeping software to small-scale marine turtle field projects throughout the region. These examples are drawn from countries examined for this review and, with numerous other initiatives in the WCR, offer an insight into what might be achieved; they also hold promise that developing partnerships between governments, private and corporate interests, NGOs and other sectors may meet with enduring success Particularly worthy of note is a multi-institutional, multi-stakeholder effort in Colombia to develop a sustainable-use regime to alleviate heavy, largely illegal commercial exploitation of over 1000 marine turtles per year in Guajira Department. Bringing together indigenous Wayu fishers, economists, biologists, and management agencies, a programme has been developed that includes a system of transferable capture quotas for certain size classes of turtles; these would decline in number over time and apply only to local use of meat, thus excluding other marine turtle products and marketing and sale beyond these points. Although this programme has not yet been implemented, the process of its development and analyses undertaken thus far offer numerous suggestions for similar efforts to contain illegal and/or unsustainable marine turtle exploitation in the region. 14.Further improvements in marine turtle management at the national level will clearly involve operationalizing management at the regional level in the WCR. The differing legal protection afforded marine turtles at the national level results in an incoherent regional scenario whereby the same turtles are fully protected in some jurisdictions and legally hunted in others, and investments in management and conservation in one jurisdiction are undermined by inadequate management measures in others. Designing and implementing an integrated, unified, collaborative management strategy for marine turtle stocks using the entire Caribbean basin, under the aegis of regional bodies with relevant mandates, such as the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAWProtocol) and/or the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), is essential. Priority first steps at the national level that can serve as a basis for such a strategy are set out below.Priorities for immediate actionThe Recommendations section of this report contains comprehensive guidance for improving the management and conservation of marine turtles in the WCR. Recognizing, however, that addressing the full management needs of marine turtles necessitates a long-term commitment, the setting of priorities for implementation, and consultation with other governments sharing turtle stocks, immediate first-step priorities foraction by governments and theircollaborators based on the elements specifically evaluated in this review, are to: xiiTURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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1.Establish scientifically based limits on the exploitation of marine turtles If marine turtle populations are not to be further depleted owing to inappropriate and inadequate restrictions on legal exploitation (including in cases where legal exemptions to marine turtle protections exist, such as for subsistence and indigenous uses), measures must urgently be taken to protect the large juvenile and adult turtles that are the most important marine turtle age classes to conserve. Particularly important measures are: €legal protection for all turtles on land, in order to protect nesting females; €maximum size limits in order to protect large juveniles and breeding-age animals (the life stages known to have the highest reproductive value); and €limits on access and codification of use rights, such as specific licences and exploitation quotas for marine turtle fishers and egg collectors. 2.Organize and conduct a comprehensive frame survey (marine turtle catch and use assessment) to quantify and characterize marine turtle exploitation at the national level, including the landing of turtles at sea or hunting on nesting beaches, the exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products, numbers and types of fishers (and gears) involved, processing and marketing patterns, and the importance to livelihoods of the income derived from marine turtle exploitation. This survey should also aim to assess the role of incidental take of marine turtles in other fishing operations, including the extent to which this constitutes the primary means of capturing marine turtles, the parameters that dictate whether a turtle is landed or killed, and how significant this take might be for marine turtle management. 3.Establish a systematic monitoring programme including national and regional networks of Index monitoring sites1(to document population size and trend in situ ) and recording requirements for all fishers landing marine turtles. The involvement of fishers should be considered integral to the development and implementation of effective monitoring programmes, which should be designed to offer reliable indications of the numbers of marine turtles captured, the species and sizes, as well as catch-per-unit effort (CPUE), and the importance of the marine turtle exploitation to subsistence and livelihoods. In addition, it should be designed to enable these data to be managed over time so as to serve as a basis for analysis of trends and what these might mean for marine turtle populations and their management needs. 4.Prepare and implement an outreach strategy to increase awareness of and appreciation for marine turtle conservation and management and their relation to the broader national agenda as regards land use and development patterns, biodiversity conservation, economic priorities and cultural norms. Such a strategy should seek to engage multiple sectors„fishers and coastal communities, the tourism industry, and residents and visitors, especially in high-tourism areas. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu elaxiii1Characterizing a site, whether foraging or nesting, as an 'Index' site implies the consistent and long-term application of stan dardized population monitoring protocols to ensure the data are suitable for trend analysis. Survey boundaries are specifically set and adhered to from year to year, and the survey area is representative (i.e. it should attempt to represent a range of threat and protection level s, a variety of turtle life stages, and a range of turtle population densities). The emphasis of this protocol is on establishing index methods for m easuring trends in relative abundance at fixed locations; therefore, the sampling strategies at each Index site should ideally be structured in a manner that allows inference to a larger area of interest.

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5.Develop and implement a compliance strategy including stakeholder workshops; periodic patrols of landing sites and markets and other points of sale, as well as beaches and foraging areas at times of heightened marine turtle activity; and training for members of the law enforcement community and the judiciary. Such a strategy should recognize the deterrent effect of an enforcement presence, which could be made possible through the deputizing of members of the community (cf.Trinidad and Tobagos Honorary Game Warden programme) to support marine turtle enforcement. Proactive, non-punitive judgments„such as those mandating that offenders participate in conservation-related activities, including habitat clean-ups or supervised beach patrols„have been described as successful in some jurisdictions, as have been the operation of marine turtle hotlinesŽ for reporting and seeking a response to marine turtle infractions and other activities. Greater awareness of and support for the legal norms applying to marine turtles, including the prohibitions in place and penalties that apply, are needed throughout the WCR. Similarly helpful would be the development and dissemination of protocols to follow in cases of specific marine turtle interactions, such as when a turtle is taken incidentally in a net or reported to be injured. 6.Increase government participation in regional agreements that provide an operational basis for a unified, science-based and multilateral response to the management, recovery and sustainable use„whether extractive or non-extractive„of marine turtles in the WCR. The most prominent of these agreements are the SPAW Protocol to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, and IAC. Sub-regional agreements, such as the trilateral Acuerdo de Cooperacin para la Conservacin de las Tortugas Marinas en la Costa Caribea de Costa Rica, Nicaragua y Panam ( Acuerdo Tripartito ), provide additional possibilities for co-operation in management efforts for these species. xivTURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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INTRODUCTIONMarine turtles enjoy iconic status in many parts of the world, in many cultures and many sectors (Frazier, 2005a and b), including in the Caribbean (Eckert and Hemphill, 2005). Being among the first reptiles„and marine species„to have been identified as threatened with extinction, marine turtles have been largely protected from international commercial trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since the late 1970s and have benefited from several decades of conservation investment. While there have been many advancements over the past half-century in our understanding of marine turtle biology and management needs, the actual management of marine turtles, and of marine turtle exploitation in particular, has in many ways not kept pace with this understanding nor with the contemporary scope of threats to their survival. The consequence of this has been continued high levels of mortality in legal target fisheries, as fisheries by-catch, among adult females on nesting beaches, and through widespread collection of eggs, as well as losses from habitat and other factors. Until the Japanese Government disallowed the import of Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata shell (or bekko ) on 1 January 1993, exploitation included large numbers of this species killed around the world, including the Caribbean Sea, to supply this international market. There is long-standing concern, as expressed by governments and civil society alike, that continuing exploitation in many marine turtle range States is compromising management and conservation efforts in other range States and inhibiting the recovery of depleted populations at regional and global levels. Much of this concern arises from increasing understanding and appreciation of the shared nature of marine turtle stocks. Marine turtles benefiting from legal protection or active, science-based management in certain range States invariably travel through or to countries where they are„or risk being„subject to exploitation that is legal and, in many instances, subject to few controls. Effective management and conservation of these species clearly requires a co-ordinated approach amongst countries harbouring the same turtle stocks. Anumber of multilateral initiatives aimed at providing a basis for collaboration and co-ordination on marine turtle management have been undertaken in recent years. In the Wider Caribbean, these include the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAWProtocol) to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, which entered into effect in 2000, and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), which entered into force in 2001. In addition, region-wide inter-governmental meetings devoted to addressing shared marine turtle management have been convening in the region for more than two decades (e.g. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela1 Hatchlings,from left to right:Hawksbill Turtle,Green Turtle,Leatherback,Loggerhead,Kemps Ridley and Olive Ridley. Credit : WIDECAST/Scott A. Eckert Credit : WWF-Canon/Roger Hooper Credit : WWF-Canon/Roger LeGuen Credit : WWF-Canon/Michel Gunther Credit : WWF-Canon/Peter C.H. Pritchard Credit : WWF-Canon/Roger LeGuen

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Bacon et al. 1984; Ogren, 1989; Eckert and Abreu Grobois, 2001; IUCN, 2002), as have innumerable technical workshops and consultations. Recognizing that identifying and implementing concrete steps to co-ordinate management efforts for marine turtles at the regional level must be grounded in the management efforts and capacities of constituent States, TRAFFIC North America undertook a review of exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in 11 countries and territories in the northern Caribbean (Fleming, 2001). The review documented a patchwork of national management regimes for marine turtles ranging from complete protection and active investment in conservation and management to very few restrictions on exploitation and little to no investment in management and conservation. In so doing, the review re-emphasized the fundamental challenges of attempting to manage and conserve solely on a country-by-country basis species that use the totality of the Caribbean basin and, in the case of the Loggerhead Caretta caretta and Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea much of the North Atlantic Ocean, at different stages and times of their lives. Participants in the First CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue Meeting, held in Mexico City in May 2001, noting the TRAFFIC report and its implications for marine turtle management throughout the Caribbean, called on the CITES Secretariat to undertake a similar analysis for the rest of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR). It was clear at that time that, only once a full picture could be made of the situation in each country, could the participants and other stakeholders begin to formulate a strategy for a more co-ordinated approach to management of these species. To this end, the Secretariat commissioned TRAFFIC International to conduct an assessment of the exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the 26 political jurisdictions of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. The findings presented in the pages that follow are the result of consultation, research, analysis and synthesis conducted by the authors over a period of nearly three years, drawing on their own decades of experience and expertise and those of many others in the region. The report highlights the persistence of largely outdated management regimes in many countries, including the minimum size limits that prevail in many insular States, a lack of systematically collected data on marine turtle landings, the near-absence of credible (data-based) estimates of population trends and, particularly in the continental States, widespread exploitation under blanket legal protection or poorly defined and largely uncontrolled exemptions to such protection. In addition, it documents the implications of management shortcomings in one country for the management and conservation efforts being made in another. Equally importantly, it documents a range of activities that are being undertaken at the national level to address these problems and which could be expanded or adapted across the region. It is within this context that this report aims to form the basis of an open, deliberate, constructive dialogue between governments and other stakeholders in the WCR regarding shared needs and responsibilities for marine turtle management. The commitment of the authors and that of their institutions, as well as of the many contributors, to the analysis presented here stands as testament both to the gravity ascribed to the marine turtle management failings that are revealed and to the hope that, in documenting both these failings and the many innovative„and pioneering„approaches to marine turtle conservation in the region, with a well-co-ordinated effort, it will be possible to build a future where marine turtles might once again fill a varied panoply of ecological, socio-cultural, and economic roles. 2TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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MARINE TURTLES OF THE CARIBBEANThe WCR ( Figure 1 ) includes nesting and foraging grounds, as well as important migration corridors, for six of seven extant marine turtle species. All six of these species are included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species : the Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata and Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea are classified as Critically Endangered, and the Loggerhead Caretta caretta Green Turtle Chelonia mydas and Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea are classified as Endangered (see AppendixI ) (IUCN, 2004). These classifications reflect the speciesglobal status. Extinction risk is assessed on the basis of quantitative criteria in relation to past or projected future population declines, population size and trends, and the size and trend of area of occupancy within the overall geographic range.(Fuller details of the IUCN Red List and its Categories and Criteria can be accessed at www.iucnredlist.org. ) Causal factors contributing to the threatened status of the marine turtles of the WCR include legal and illegal targeted fisheries, as well as incidental capture in fishing gear; killing of gravid females on nesting beaches; egg collection and national and international trade; pollution and other degradation to foraging grounds; and loss of nesting habitat to coastal development (e.g. NRC, 1990; Eckert, 1995a; Meylan and Donnelly, 1999; Witherington and Martin, 2000; Eckert and Abreu Grobois, 2001; Seminoff, 2004). Threats accumulate over long periods of time and can occur anywhere in a populations range; thus, declines typically result from a combination of factors, both domestic and foreign. In general, and notwithstanding documented examples of apparently rising or recovering populations (Leatherback: Dutton et al ., 2005; Green Turtle: Trong and Rankin, 2005; Hawksbill Turtle: Krueger et al ., 2003a; Richardson et al., 2004; Diez and van Dam, Chelonia Inc., unpubl. data; Kemps Ridley: Mrquez et al ., 1999), marine turtle populations throughout the WCR are so severely reduced from historical levels (Carr 1955; Parsons, 1962; Rebel, 1974; King, 1982; Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Ross et al., 1989; Reichart, 1993; Jackson, 1997; Meylan and Donnelly, 1999; Bjorndal and Bolten, 2003) as to be consideredbyBjorndal and Jackson (2003) virtually extinctŽ from the standpoint of their role in Caribbean marine ecosystems. Some of the largest marine turtle breeding colonies that the world has ever known, including those of Green Turtles in the Cayman Islands (Lewis, 1940; Aiken et al., 2001), have all but vanished. Nesting trends for Green Turtles elsewhere in the WCR are mixed, with rising trends at Tortuguero (Costa Rica), currently the regions largest colony, as well as in the USAand Mexico, but long-term declines at Aves Island (Isla de Aves, Venezuela), once a globally significant site (Seminoff, 2004). According to Len and Bjorndal (2002), current hawksbill populations in the Caribbean represent at most 10% of pre-Columbian levelsŽ, while Meylan (1999a) reported Hawksbill Turtle populations to be declining or depleted in 22 of the 26 political units in the Caribbean for which status and trend information [was] availableŽ. Hawksbill Turtle nesting in the Yucatn Peninsula (Mexico), estimated to have comprised ca. 40% of all known Hawksbill nesting in the WCR (Meylan, 1999a; IUCN, 2002), is steadily declining: nests counted in 2004 amounted to a mere 37% of those counted in 1999 (Abreu Grobois et al ., 2005). Importantly, several countries examined in the present review cited anecdotal reports of increasing numbers of juvenile Green and Hawksbill Turtles, a finding worthy of focused investigation. The largest nesting colony of Leatherbacks in the WCR (Ya:lima:po, French Guiana), recently reported as having declined by more than 50% from 1987 to 1998 (Chevalier and Girondot, 2000), has now been re-evaluated from a broader perspective, incorporating nesting data from throughout the Guianas (recognizing that the annual nesting effort tends to migrate seasonally, tracking the ever-shifting coastline). Areconstructed time-series of TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela3

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4TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Figure 1 Map to show the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR),including the Lesser Antilles, Central America,Colombia and Venezuela„the geographical focus of this report.

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Leatherback nesting activity along the 600-km coastline of Suriname and French Guiana, corrected for capture effort, shows that nesting activity has been stable or slightly increasing in this region since 1967Ž (M. Girondot, Universit de Paris, in litt .,23 November 2005). Similarly, there is no evidence of contemporary decline in nearby Trinidad, the worlds largest insular nesting Leatherback colony (S. Eckert, WIDECAST, pers. comm., 2005), and some small, long-protected colonies are growing in size (Dutton et al ., 2005). In contrast, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that Leatherback nesting has dramatically declinedŽ throughout much of the Eastern Caribbean (Eckert, 2001). Reviews are inconclusive for this species in Central America (Trong et al., 2004), indicating that longer periods of data collection are necessary. Dramatic reductions during the second half of the 20thcentury at the regions largest nesting colonies of both the Olive Ridley and Kemps Ridleyare well documented (Ross et al ., 1989; Reichart, 1993; Mrquez, 1994; Marcovaldi, 2001), presently rising numbers of nesting Kemps Ridley (Mrquez et al ., 1999) notwithstanding. Finally, the Loggerhead nesting colonies of eastern Florida (USA), the largest in the WCR, have been steadily declining since 1998 (FFWCC, 2004), following more than a decade of rising trends (Witherington and Koeppel, 2000) and despite more than three decades of federal protection. Marine turtles have provided nutrition, wealth and in other ways been useful to humans for more than 2500 years (Peterson, 1997; Versteeg et al ., 1990). They fed indigenous tribes (Frazier, 2003) and helped make foreign colonization possible; Carr (1955) observed that, all early activity in the New World tropics„exploration, colonization, buccaneering, and even the manoeuverings of naval squadrons„was in some way or degree dependent on turtle.Ž Green Turtles, exclusively herbivorous (Bjorndal, 1982), were savoured for their mild flesh and historically traded in enormous volumes (Parsons, 1962; King, 1982; Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Jackson, 1997). Similarly, the colourful carapace scutes of the Hawksbill Turtle once featured prominently in the regions foreign export earnings, historically in trade with Europe but more recently (increasingly dramatically in the early 1970s) in trade to Asian markets, primarily Japan (Parsons, 1972; Mack et al ., 1982; Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Meylan and Donnelly, 1999). Often overlooked have been the ecological services that these species deliver. Marine turtles, once numbering in the inestimable tens of millions (Jackson, 1997) and not atypically described by early writers as a never failing resourceŽ (e.g. Long, 1774, cited in King, 1982), are becoming known to science as having contributed significantly to nutrient cycling on sandy beaches (Bouchard and Bjorndal, 2000), as well as productivity in seagrass beds and diversity in coral reefs (Len and Bjorndal, 2002; Bjorndal and Jackson, 2003). Hatchlings entered the food chain by the millions, month after month during the nesting season, with, by current estimates, only one egg in a thousandsurviving to become an adult turtle (Frazer, 1986). More recently, marine turtles have become popular subjects for dive and nature tourism and, in this context, are increasingly becoming a source of revenue for coastal communities in the region, such as in Costa Rica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago (e.g. Trong and Drews, 2004). Life history and life cycleMarine turtle life-history strategies, complex but largely known, have not changed over time. These animals are slow-growing, late-maturing (age at sexual maturity in the WCR ranges from 11 to 16 years [Kemps Ridley: Zug et al. 1997] to three decades or more [Green Turtle: Frazer and Ladner, 1986], depending on the species) and long-lived, with naturally high rates of egg and young juvenile mortality and low rates of adult mortality. These TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela5

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attributes, coupled with an overlapping iteroparous life cycle„long life-expectancy coupled with discrete multiple breeding seasons and overlapping generations (Chaloupka and Musick, 1997)„mean that long-term data collection is vital for the estimation of key demographic parameters and for informing management decisions. Early attempts to incorporate Western Atlantic Loggerhead life-history data into population model simulations revealed that even 100% survival in the first year of life would not reverse population decline, suggesting that protection limited to the egg/hatchling stage was unlikely to be effective and that only by reducing large juvenile and adult mortality could extinction be averted (Crouse et al ., 1987). Frazer (1989) used the concept of reproductive value„a measure of the value to the population of an individual female turtle of a particular age„ to emphasize the critical importance of ensuring that large turtles be protected. On this basis, and noting that the regulatory framework in the WCR had been focusing marine turtle fisheries incorrectly for over 350 yearsŽ, he recommended to Caribbean fishery managers at the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium in 1987 that any exploitation of marine turtle populations must be restricted on the basis of maximum„not minimum„size limits. More contemporary mathematical treatments (e.g. Crowder et al ., 1994; Heppell et al ., 1999, 2000 and 2004) have only reinforced the conclusion that protecting large juvenile and adult turtles from exploitation is an essential component of any sustainable marine turtle management regime. While Caribbean fishery managers recognize that understanding these [life-history] aspects is fundamental to the development of management programsŽ ( Santo Domingo Declaration „Eckert and Abreu Grobois, 2001), the regulatory framework has been slow to respond. Compounding the management challenges posed by life-history traits are those arising from an elaborate life cycle defined by a broadly predictable but often poorly understood series of changes„so-called ontogenetic shifts in location and habitat (Frazier, 2001; Heppell et al ., 2003)„that occur over the course of a marine turtles life and often incorporate long-distance migration. At any point in time, a genetically distinct population of marine turtles is spread across several, and perhaps several dozen, geo-political units. This complicates significantly the delivery of management and conservation and evidences the need for active co-operation and collaboration among range States in the management of shared stocks. Research indicates that individual marine turtles are unlikely to remain in natal habitats throughout their lives. Hatchlings emerge from the sand, orient to the sea, and engage in a swim frenzy, well known to science, that ultimately leads them into oceanic convergence zones that offer food and shelter during the early years. Young juveniles (with the exception of the elusive giant Leatherback) eventually return to coastal waters, assuming their characteristic diets, and may travel significant distances through multiple political jurisdictions during the estimated one to four decades required to reach sexual maturity. At maturity, adult females return to the general area where they were born, sometimes undertaking trans-oceanic journeys, to engage in egg-laying. Seasonal nesting populations and nearshore foraging aggregations exhibit varying degrees of genetic relation; thus, conservation measures directed at local nesting colonies will not necessarily benefit local foraging stocks and vice versa Foraging assemblages are typically a mixed assortment of (primarily) juveniles and (fewer) adults drawn from nesting rookeries near and far. Nesting assemblages, on the other hand, comprise females drawn to the beach by the gravity of instinct, the signature of their natal coastline indelibly marked in their genetic code (e.g. Bowen and Witzell, 1996; Bowen and Karl, 1997; Bass, 1999; Daz-Fernndez et al. 1999; Dutton et al. 1999; Bowen, 2003). Adult females pass the code to their daughters, who will repeat the cycle as long as the natal beach provides suitable habitat. 6TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Speciesoverviewand general trendsThe smallest and most localized marine turtle species in the WCR are the Ridleys. The Kemps Ridley, largely confined to the Gulf of Mexico, nests primarily in Tamaulipas, Mexico, with foraging grounds extending northwards along the eastern seaboard of the USA(Mrquez, 1994). Its range is not considered to extend to any of the countries examined in this review. An active bilateral conservation and research partnership between Mexico and the USAhas successfully brought this species back from the brink of extinction (Mrquez et al. 1999); while the population is still depleted, there are an estimated 6000 adults (male and female), and the population is growing (D. Shaver, US National Park Service, pers. comm., 2005). In contrast, the Olive Ridley is largely confined to the southern Caribbean, predominantly the Guianas. The largest colony in the region was until recently located at Elianti Beach, Suriname, where egg collection (Reichart, 1989) and incidental capture in commercial fisheries (Laurent et al ., 1999) are implicated in the loss of nearly 95% of this population since 1968: the number of nests declined from over 3000 per year in the late 1960s, to fewer than 500 in the early 1990s (Reichart, 1993), to fewer than 200 today (Hilterman et al ., 2001). Today, the most significant colony appears to be located in eastern French Guiana, where ca. 2000 nests were laid (by perhaps 1500 females) in 2004; lower-density nesting is recorded in western French Guiana where, in 2004, ca. 600 nests were laid within the Amana Nature Reserve (B. de Thoisy, Association Kwata, unpubl. data). In addition to hosting remnant populations of Kemps and Olive Ridleys, the WCR harbours remnant populations of four other marine turtle species that today comprise some of the worlds largest remaining stocks. In Tortuguero, Costa Rica, Green Turtles typically nest in the tens of thousands per year in a widely fluctuating pattern that shows a clearly increasing trend (Trong and Rankin, 2005). Arookery of similar size is found at Raine Island, Australia, but no other rookery in the world approaches these numbers (Seminoff, 2004). Historically, the largest Green Turtle rookery in the Caribbean is credited to the Cayman Islands, but the population was all but extinguished by commercial exploitation two centuries ago (Aiken et al ., 2001). Exploitation pressure has remained high on this, the most edible of marine turtle species, with the apparent result that nesting is reported at low densities or greatly depleted in most of the countries examined in this study. Based on the data available, the heaviest exploitation in a single country in the region occurs in Nicaragua, the primary foraging ground for the Tortuguero nesting colony and possibly the most important foraging ground for this species in the entire Atlantic system (Carr et al ., 1978), where an estimated 11 000 Green Turtles have been killed annually during the past decade (Lagueux, 1998). Hawksbill Turtles, providers of tortoiseshell (the colourfully patterned scutes that cover the carapace) have, like Green Turtles, been exploited for centuries. The tortoiseshell from hundreds of thousands of turtles in the WCR TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela7 Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii (top) and Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea Credit : WWF-Canon/Urs Woy Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST

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was imported into the UK and France during the 19thand early 20thcenturies (Parsons, 1972) and additional hundreds of thousands of turtles contributed to the regions trade with Japan prior to the imposition of a zero quota on Hawksbill shell imports to Japan in 1993 (Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Canin, 1991; Donnelly, 1991). What is believed to have been, historically, the largest nesting colony in the WCR„Playa Chiriqu in Bocas del Toro Province, Panama„reported only 465 nests in 2004 (Ordoez et al ., 2005). Today, the largest nesting colony in the WCR is located on the shores of the Yucatn Peninsula, Mexico, where long-term monitoring indicates a persistent decline in recent years: ca. 2400 nests were laid in the States of Campeche and Yucatn (including Isla Holbox) in 2004, a 63% drop in numbers since 1999, when ca. 6400 nests were laid there (A. Abreu Grobois, UNAM, pers. comm., 2005). For most of the countries in the region, nesting is characterized as depleted and occurring at low densities, with the important exception of rising trends at a handful of small but well-studied colonies (Krueger et al ., 2003a; Richardson et al., 2004) and anecdotal observations of increases in foraging juveniles at selected sites (e.g. Puerto Rico, Barbados). The spongivorous Hawksbill Turtle (Meylan, 1988) is confined to tropical latitudes and is believed to complete its life cycle within the confines of the Caribbean Sea; notwithstanding, intriguing tag returns, such as that from a juvenile tagged in Brazil and later killed in Dakar, Sngal (Marcovaldi and Filippini, 1991), hint at life-history behaviours that are still poorly understood. Leatherbacks are the largest and most migratory of the marine turtles; lacking a hard bony shell, they are also the most visually distinctive. Gravid females arrive seasonally at preferred nesting grounds, but adults spend most of their time in temperate and even sub-arctic latitudes where they prey on oceanic jellyfish and other soft-bodied invertebrates (WCR summaries by Eckert, 1995b and 2001; Dutton et al ., 1999); little is known of the biology or distribution of juveniles (Eckert, 2002). Satellite-tracking of post-nesting females has confirmed that they depart the Caribbean after egg-laying and navigate along trans-oceanic corridors to western African coasts and the high seas of the North Atlantic (Eckert, 1998 and 2006; Hays et al ., 2004a). The largest nesting colonies in the region are located in Trinidad and the Guianas (primarily French Guiana and Suriname), where several thousand adult females converge annually with no indication of declining trends, and along the Costa Rica-Panama coast, where 3000 nests were recorded at Playa Chiriqu (Panama) alone in 2004 (Ordoez et al ., 2005). Leatherbacks prefer high-energy shorelines and deep, unobstructed access (Eckert, 1987). They are often referred to as colonizers, being the first to exploit newly emerging habitat along the ever-shifting coastlines of the Guianas (Pritchard and Trebbau, 1984; Girondot and Frtey, 1996). They exhibit less site-fidelity than the other species and, while the majority of females will return repeatedly to the same nesting ground, it is not unusual for individuals tagged at one nesting beach to be reported nesting elsewhere (Pritchard, 1973; Eckert et al. 1989). Nesting by Leatherbacks has been documented in most of the insular Caribbean countries examined in this study, in several„e.g. Aruba, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago„at greater densities than other marine turtle species. 8TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata (top) and Green Turtle Chelonia mydas Credit : WWF-Canon/Urs Woy Credit : WWF-Canon/Urs Woy

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Finally, the omnivorous Loggerhead, described as the most ecologically generalized marine turtle (Bolten, 2003), is found nesting in both tropical and temperate latitudes. Hatchlings from nesting beaches in the WCR, and particularly those in the south-eastern USA, enter the North Atlantic Gyre where they remain for 7…12 years before returning to the Western Atlantic to settle in coastal benthic feeding grounds at a size of ca. 4060 cm (straight carapace length) (Bjorndal et al ., 2000). There are at least four genetically distinct Loggerhead nesting subpopulations in the western North Atlantic, based on mitochondrial DNA(Encalada et al., 1998). Only South Florida (USA) is described as a majorŽ nesting ground in the WCR, while nesting in Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia and Venezuela is described as minor [fewer than 1000 nests per year] or relatively poorly knownŽ (Ehrhart et al ., 2003). The South Florida colony has been declining for several years: fewer than 50 000 nests were laid in 2004 (State-wide), the equivalent of some 12 000 females (based on 4.1 nests per female„TEWG, 2000), the lowest nest count since 1988 (FFWCC, 2004). Transboundary movementsMarine turtles are migratory at all life-history stages (Lohmann et al ., 1997), a reality well-known to science but as yet poorly translated into national and regional management norms. As with any shared resource, coordination among range States with regard to management is an unavoidable prerequisite for success at local and national levels. Transboundary movements of marine turtles among range States in the WCR are documented through the return of flipper tags that have been fitted to marine turtles for more than five decades (Carr, 1967) and, more recently, by satellite-tracking. In addition to identifying markers, an address on the flipper tag enables fishers and others to return the tag (sometimes for a small monetary or other reward, which serves as an incentive). Asatellite transmitter fitted to a turtles carapace enables the animals movements and a range of additional data to be collected on an almost-constant basis, for more than two years in some cases (S. Eckert, WIDECAST, pers. comm., 2005). The largest bodies of data on international movements have been collected through the recovery of tags in the Nicaraguan Green Turtle fishery and from females nesting at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Carr et al. (1978) tabulated international tag returns from Green Turtles tagged at Tortuguero during the period 1956…1977, which indicated that the waters of Nicaragua, in particular the Miskito Bank area, are the principal feeding grounds for the Tortuguero nesting colony. Carr et al. (1982) reported that the recovery in Nicaragua of two tags that had been put on Green Turtles at Aves Island was the first evidence that the Miskito Bank may be a feeding habitat for two different major breeding populations of Western Atlantic Green Turtle stocks. Green Turtles caught in the waters of Nicaragua had been tagged in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Cuba, Florida (USA), Grand Cayman, Yucatn (Mexico) and Panama, as well as in Costa Rica and Venezuela. Similarly, two Loggerheads taken in Nicaragua had been tagged in Panama and the Azores (Portugal) (Lagueux, 1998). According to sources cited in Meylan TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela9 Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea (top) and Loggerhead Caretta caretta Credit : WWF-Canon/Urs Woy Credit : WWF-Canon/Urs Woy

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(1999b), Hawksbill Turtles captured in Nicaragua had been tagged at Tortuguero (Costa Rica), in the US Virgin Islands, and the Yucatn (Mexico); such tags have been recovered there in recent years from elsewhere in the region (C. Lagueux, WCS, in litt ., 13 June 2005). Evidence from flipper-tagging, satellite-tracking programmes and genetic analyses has shown that the marine turtles nesting in Costa Rica migrate through, forage and breed in various other countries and that, for example, Green and Hawksbill Turtles travel through Costa Rican waters between the reefs of Bocas del Toro, Panama and the Miskito Cays, Nicaragua. The analysis of Carr et al. (1978) of over 1100 international tag returns over the period 1956…1977 from Green Turtles tagged at Tortuguero indicated that this nesting population is drawn from turtles that feed throughout the western Caribbean. Although the great majority of tag recoveries were from Nicaragua, more than 10 returns were from Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba. Carr et al (1982) reported that a Green Turtle tagged at Tortuguero was later captured in the Gulf of Paria on the west coast of Trinidad. Movements of Hawksbill Turtles tagged nesting at Tortuguero show a similar pattern: they have been recaptured at various sites in Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras (Bjorndal et al ., 1985, cited in Meylan 1999b). Recent genetic analyses point to nesting female Hawksbill Turtles from Tortuguero foraging in Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico (Trong et al ., 2005). Similar patterns are evident in other large datasets. For example, tagging of Green Turtles nesting on Aves Island has provided evidence of long-distance movement into other jurisdictions; tags from this programme have been returned from: Barbados, Bonaire, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela (Vera, 2004). International movements are also increasingly being documented through satellite telemetry and, in many instances, made available on the Internet (e.g. at www.seaturtle.org/tracking; www.bonaireturtles.org; www.cccturtle.org and www.hawksbillwwf.org/). For example: €a Hawksbill Turtle satellite-tagged in Antigua migrated into Belizean waters (Searle, 2001); €a number of turtles (several Hawksbill Turtles, one Green Turtle and one Loggerhead) satellite-tagged in Bonaire have travelled through and to at least seven countries in the region: Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico (USA) and the Virgin Islands (Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire, unpublished data); €four post-nesting Hawksbill Turtles satellite-tagged in Barbados in 1998 stayed in the countrys waters for only a few months before travelling to Grenada, Dominica, Trinidad and Venezuela, respectively, where some foraged at the same sites for up to 1.5 years (Horrocks et al ., 2001); €three of four adult female Hawksbill Turtles satellite-tracked after nesting at Playa Chiriqu, Panama, travelled to distant countries, including Nicaragua and Jamaica, where they stayed for extended periods (the fourth was killed shortly after her release from the nesting beach) (A. Meylan, in litt. 15 March 2005); €a female Hawksbill Turtle satellite-tagged after nesting in the Zapatilla Cays, Panama, travelled to Honduras and remained there for several months, after which the battery failed, but the turtle was recorded again on the same nesting beach two years later (Meylan and Meylan, unpubl. data); and €a male Green Turtle satellite-tagged at Bocas del Toro, Panama, travelled to the San Bernardo Archipelago in Colombia (A. Meylan, in litt ., 15 March 2005). 10TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Flipper-tagging of Leatherbacks is documenting a pattern of behaviour somewhat less precise in nesting beach fidelity. Recent, largely unpublished examples documented in this review corroborate an existing body of WCRrelated literature (Pritchard, 1973; Eckert et al. 1989; Boulon et al ., 1996). For example: €a Leatherback tagged during nesting in Saint Lucia in 2003 later nested in Barbados (J. Horrocks, Barbados Sea Turtle Project, pers. comm., 2004); €a Leatherback tagged while nesting in the US Virgin Islands in April 2004 nested twice on Rosalie Beach, Dominica, in May of that year (Byrne, 2004), while a Leatherback tagged while nesting on Rosalie Beach in April 2004 later nested twice on Cipara Beach, Peninsula de Paria, Venezuela (H. Guada, CICTMAR, pers. comm., 2004), and another tagged on Rosalie Beach in 2004 nested some weeks later in Martinique (R. Byrne, RoSTI, pers. comm., 2005); €two Leatherbacks nested in Tobago in 2004 after having nested (and been tagged) in Grenada earlier in the season (W. Herron, SOS Tobago, in litt ., 8 August 2004); €a Leatherback that nested in Grenada in 2004 had originally been tagged in Panama (Ocean Spirits, in litt. 24 October 2004); and €data from the tagging of marine turtles in the Paria Peninsula and Isla de Margarita (Venezuela) have recently begun to indicate migrations of these nesting animals back and forth between Venezuela and Trinidad, as has been recorded in 1999 and during the period 2001-2004 (CICTMAR, 2002; J. Horrocks, pers. comm., cited inH. Guada, in litt ., 19 September 2004; Rondn et al ., 2004). Equally important for management is that satellite-tracking of Leatherbacks is providing unique insight into the extraordinary long-distance movements of these animals around and across entire ocean basins. Recent examples of the WCR-related trajectories include those of: €nine Leatherbacks satellite-tagged in Trinidad between 1995 and 2004: the three longest records documented post-nesting females returning to high-latitude Atlantic foraging grounds (as far north as the Flemish Cap) and continuing on to foraging grounds associated with the Mauritania Upwelling off the west coast of Africa (Eckert, 1998 and 2006); €10 Leatherbacks satellite-tracked from two Atlantic Florida rookeries during the period 2000-2002: most of these animals exploited continental shelf foraging grounds along the eastern seaboard of the USA, and as far north as Cape Breton (March-October), moving off the continental shelf during winter months; one female journeyed to foraging grounds associated with the Mauritania Upwelling (Eckert et al ., 2006); €eight post-nesting female Leatherbacks satellite-tagged in Grenada in 2003: two travelled north-west, arriving within a few hundred kilometres of Cape Cod and Nova Scotia before turning southwards, while the remaining five that left the Caribbean travelled north-east, reaching latitudes between the Azores and the UK before some turned south (Hays et al ., 2004a and 2004b); and €Leatherbacks that have been satellite-tracked from Trinidad to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and in the reverse direction: an adult male Leatherback was tracked from Nova Scotia to Galera Point, Trinidad, where it resided for 96 days before returning to Nova Scotia (James et al ., 2005). In summary, while marine turtles have clearly evolved to be faithful to a preferred nesting ground (widely believed, based on several lines of evidence, to be their natal nesting ground), there is ample evidence that some individuals, and Leatherbacks in particular, are more flexible in their nest-placement strategies. Leatherbacks may nest in multiple political jurisdictions, even over the course of a single reproductive season. In the case of TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela11

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the Guianas, where sand deposits suitable for nesting may shift with each passing year, Leatherbacks are able to locate new deposits and exploit them successfully for nesting, despite the passage of an intervening two years or more. In other cases, the cues that motivate a turtle to relocate outside preferred nesting ground can be deadly, such as when a female leaves a protected rookery and enters the waters of a jurisdiction where she is not protected. In all cases, the implication for management is that a unified regulatory regime would greatly assist in the regional conservation and sustainable use of shared stocks. The situation of turtles protected on their nesting grounds returning to foraging grounds in other jurisdictions where some type of legal exploitation (for commercial or subsistence purposes or indigenous use) is permitted extends across the WCR; less documented but known also to occur is the scenario whereby turtles protected on their foraging grounds return to nest in jurisdictions where they are partially protected or unprotected. For example, legally protected Hawksbill and Green Turtles tagged in Barbados have been captured in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Cuba, Saint Lucia, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Venezuela (J.A. Horrocks, University of the West Indies, pers. comm., cited in Meylan, 1999; Krueger et al ., 2003b; Luke et al ., 2004; J.A. Horrocks, pers. comm., 2006). Post-nesting Hawksbill Turtles from the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project in Long Island, Antigua, have been captured in Dominica (Fuller et al ., 1992) and Saint Kitts (Meylan, 1999). Marine turtles protected in Bonaire have travelled to several countries where exploitation is permitted, including Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. In Central America, post-nesting Green Turtles leave the protection of Tortuguero National Park and return to foraging pastures characterized by high levels of exploitation in Nicaragua (Campbell, 2003). METHODS AND DEFINITIONSAs mandated by the CITES Secretariat, this study reviewed marine turtle exploitation, trade and management in 26 political jurisdictions in the WCR: Anguilla and Montserrat, two UK overseas territories; Guadeloupe (comprising Saint Martin and Saint Barthlmy) and Martinique, two overseas departments of France; the five islands comprising the Netherlands Antilles (Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Curaao); Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago; Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Venezuela. For each of these jurisdictions, the study aimed to: €document current legislation governing exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles; €document„and quantify where possible„levels of legal and illegal exploitation and trade in marine turtles and their products; €document the existence and status of stockpiles of marine turtle products; €document management initiatives being undertaken and the constraints to conservation and management of marine turtles; and €provide recommendations for improving the management of exploitation and trade in marine turtles at the local, national and regional levels, in order to maintain the availability of the marine turtle resource, focus management planning, strengthen conservation initiatives and enhance law enforcement efforts. Funding constraints dictated that this be largely a desk study, a compilation of information obtained from government and non-government sources in the region and a review of available statistics and relevant literature. As a first step, a questionnaire was designed to gather relevant information and available data from within the 12TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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different jurisdictions. This questionnaire was produced in three languages and individualized to each jurisdiction through the inclusion of information on the legal framework, as available from existing sources, and of international trade information from the CITES database (up to and including 2000) and from Japanese Customs statistics on Hawksbill shell imports up to and including 1992. The questionnaire was circulated to all CITES Management and Scientific Authorities, to the agencies responsible for fisheries (including marine turtles) in the target region, to country co-ordinators of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), and other agencies and individuals known to be involved in marine turtle management and conservation. Questionnaires were completed for all but two of the 26 jurisdictions reviewed, and for many both government and non-government responses were returned. The authors were persistent in seeking direct input from stakeholders in all jurisdictions, including the two for which no questionnaire was returned. An English version of the questionnaire is included in Appendix III Although a specific request was made in the questionnaires for available statistics on exploitation and trade, few data on this aspect of the study were returned by respondents; a major effort was, thus, directed at the compilation and review of information from other sources. All marine turtle species with the exception of the Australian population of the Green Turtlehave been included in CITES Appendix I since 1977, and the Caribbean population of the Hawksbill Turtle has been listed in CITES Appendix I since 1975. Areview was undertaken of all trade in marine turtles reported to CITES for the countries concerned during the years from 1975, when CITES entered into force, to 2004, inclusive. Statistics on CITES trade derive from annual reports filed by CITES member States in fulfillment of their obligations under Article VIII of the Convention and are maintained in the CITES Trade Database, which is managed by the UNEPWorld Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEPWCMC), based in Cambridge, UK. The Centre provided a comparative tabulation, reports of trade in marine turtles made by exporting and importing countries, for this purpose. Because CITES trade data were not expected to provide much more than a glimpse into a trade that has been largely illegal under the terms of the Convention for the past 30 years, and because the largest documented international trade in marine turtles during this time involved Hawksbill shell, or bekko imported into Japan TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela13 Figure 2Map showing islands of the Lesser Antilles included in this study

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under the terms of that countrys CITES reservation (which exempted it from CITES Appendix-I commitments for this species until it was formally withdrawn in July 1994), Japanese Customs statistics for the years up to and including 1992, the last year that Japan permitted Hawksbill shell imports, were compiled by TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan. An important source of information on international, regional trade in Central America„as well as internal trade in those countries„was the assessment of trade in marine turtles and their products in Central America undertaken by the Red Regional para la Conservacin de las Tortugas Marinas en Centroamrica (Central American Marine Turtle Conservation Network) (Chacn, 2002). Acentral focus of this review has been the national legal framework for management of exploitation and trade in marine turtles. For the insular Caribbean, it has generally been possible to review directly the legal instruments governing exploitation of marine turtles. For most of the mainland Americas, however, where there is an enormous body of legislation of different types„and numerous, sometimes conflicting, legal analyses on the subject„it has, at times, only been possible to consult secondary sources. It should be noted that access to national environmental, including fisheries, legislation is increasingly available through the Internet, such as through the websites of national legislative assemblies (e.g. those of Costa Rica and Guatemala) or individual government agencies that have responsibilities for wildlife and environmental management (e.g. the Corporacin Hondurea de Desarrollo Forestal (COHDEFOR) and the Secretara de Agricultura y Ganadera (SAG) in Honduras and the Ministerio de Fomento, Industria y Comercio (MIFIC), in Nicaragua) and the on-line legislation database maintained by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at faolex.fao.org/faolex/. However, the available documentation generally does not include the agency resolutions and decrees and supporting regulations that form part of the full body of legal measures relevant to marine turtles. Information on the adequacy of CITES-implementing legislation is largely derived from reports on the CITES National Legislation Project, which has been under way since 1992. Although in some instances the information has been readily available, it was impossible under the terms of reference for this review to address systematically the legal measures in place to deal with the other pressures that marine turtles face, which themselves are numerous and diverse, such as protected area designation and management and coastal zone management; these are in many instances directly relevant to overall marine turtle management. It has likewise been impossible to investigate the full range of socio-economic aspects of marine turtle exploitation, which are varied and variably important across the region and merit further analysis. An essential source of information has been the national marine turtle strategies that have been compiled for most of the jurisdictions examined in this study. For seven countries in the insular Caribbean, as well as Belize and Venezuela, these have been the national Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plans (STRAPs) prepared by WIDECAST and published under the auspices of the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP). (Acomplete list of CEPTechnical Reports, including all STRAPs, is available at www.cep.unep.org/pubs/Techreports/techreports/) For three additional countries (Anguilla, Trinidad and Tobago, and Panama), draft STRAPs, currently in review, have been used. National marine turtle strategies have been prepared through government-led processes in Colombia (MMA, 2002), Guatemala (Snchez Castaeda et al., 2002) and the French Antilles (overseas departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique), the last of which is a draft recovery plan still in review (Chevalier, 2003), and these have been equally useful. The final report on the status and exploitation of marine turtles in the UK overseas territories in the Wider Caribbean (Godley et al. ,2004), prepared under the auspices of the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has been an essential source of information for Anguilla and Montserrat. It should 14TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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be noted that for only five of the 26 jurisdictions reviewed for this study„Dominica and Grenada in the insular Caribbean and Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua„is there currently no national strategy for marine turtle conservation and/or management; a WIDECAST-led national strategy is currently in process for Dominica, Grenada and Costa Rica, as is a management plan for marine turtle conservation in the Nicaraguan Caribbean (Lagueux et al ., 2002). Additional foundational documents were the national reports submitted to the First and Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposia (in 1983 and 1987, respectively), the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans and national reports (including those on protected areas) prepared under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the national reports and supporting documents submitted to the First and Second CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue Meetings (in 2001 and 2002, respectively), available from the CITES Secretariat, the CITES website, or other sources. While for a few of the jurisdictions, the relative lack of recent information and in-country input, especially from government sources, has created difficulties, the major challenge in compiling this report has been the opposite problem„an enormous body of information from a range of stakeholder processes, field studies, legal analyses, scientific literature, website postings and other activities, as well as reports to CITES and other inter-governmental fora, including the CEPand FAO. Persistent effort was directed, particularly through the Internet and WIDECASTcountry co-ordinators, to identifying and locating primary sources of information and as much as is known to be readily available is reflected here. All documentation„primary and synthesis sources, legislation, unpublished data„was reviewed in the original language of publication, whether English, Spanish or French or, in the case of the Netherlands Antilles, in official English translations. Apoint of geography should be noted. With the exception of Belize, which borders only the Caribbean Sea, and El Salvador, which borders only the Pacific Ocean, the Central American countries and Colombia harbour marine turtle populations on both their Caribbean and Pacific coasts. Because the focus of this study has been on the marine turtles of the Caribbean, the status of and management programmes for marine turtles on the Pacific coasts of these countries have generally been excluded from the review. In some instances, however, it has been impossible to separate out issues relating to marine turtles on the Pacific coasts from those in the Caribbean sector of these countries. In order to assess fully the importance and implications of the present situation with respect to the parameters examined, it was considered essential to review the historical context, including, where possible, the evolution of national legislation, historical information on exploitation and trade, and other relevant information. This is particularly important in the case of marine turtles, which are documented as being severely depleted in the Caribbean Sea after centuries of exploitation and are still subject to exploitation throughout the region. The assessment incorporated several rounds of multi-sectoral in-country review and required nearly three years to complete. While some jurisdictions may be mildly outdated by the time of publication, the review comprises the most up-to-date information available from published and non-published sources (English, Spanish, French). Aconcerted effort was made, in conjunction with TRAFFIC, to provide the responsible government agencies with an opportunity to review their national summary prior to publication and to incorporate the comments received. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela15

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Afew points are necessary with respect to definitions. The operative definitions are those associated with exploitation, trade and management. We have defined exploitationŽ as the direct take of marine turtles and their eggs, excluding indirect exploitation, such as by fisheries by-catch or mortality associated with habitat degradation (e.g. hatchling death associated with beach-front lighting), and non-extractive uses, such as ecotourism associated with marine turtles. TradeŽ refers to international movement of marine turtles, eggs and/or marine turtle products, except where specifically described as domestic or internal. The review is predicated on the assumption, encoded in various international treaties and agreements and often explicit in national law, that living marine resources are to be managed in a sustainable fashion for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations and, furthermore, that use, if sustainable, can serve human needs on a continual basis while fulfilling ecological roles and contributing to the conservation of biological diversity. Therefore, in documenting marine turtle managementŽ in the jurisdictions under review, the focus has not been simply on the legal measures in place to control exploitation but on whether those measures were and are sufficient to ensure that exploitation is sustainable, namely that it is not causing or exacerbating population declines in marine turtle populations. In recognition of the fact that the legal measures are only a framework for management, an analysis was undertaken of the operational measures taken by governments, in many instances supported by NGOs or CBOs, to ensure that exploitation is not causing population declines. Most important among these measures is the monitoring of marine turtle exploitation through the recording of the number of animals killed or eggs collected and the biometrics of that exploitation, including catch-per-unit effort and other parameters that would enable an assessment of trends over time; and the monitoring of wild populations so as to discern trends and inform assessments of the affects of exploitation on marine turtle populations and whether any adjustments in controls on that exploitation may be necessary to prevent population declines. Along a similar vein, in recognition of differing interpretations of the terms conservationŽ and managementŽ, this study took a broader view of management to embrace what many would consider conservationŽ measures, including the establishment of protected areas, to protect marine turtle habitats and/or marine turtles from direct fishing or incidental mortality in fishing operations; education and awareness aimed at promoting compliance with the law and engaging stakeholders in management efforts; species research and conservation, including population surveys and nest protection programmes; as well as a wide variety of training and capacity-building initiatives. Awaiting a similarly comprehensive assessment are a number of foundational issues„including development priorities (especially pertaining to the coastal zone), access and use rights, regulatory capacity, trade controls, and the cultural and socio-economic dimensions of marine turtle use„which, along with a working knowledge of biological factors and constraints, help define a modern management regime. These issues are presented in context, but not treated in-depth. Final mention should be made of the fact that, although governments are the major actors in deciding on management policy and practice affecting marine turtles and thus their action (and inaction) is of primary relevance in this study, the contribution of NGOs and CBOs is also of major importance. Not only are such organizations undertaking many of the actions relating to marine turtle management in the WCR, they are often doing so in close co-ordination with government agencies, typically under a government permit, and in some instances through formal agreements. Hence, an effort has been made to document the key contributions that are being made by these organizations to marine turtle conservation and management in individual countries. 16TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Monetary values in this text are, in most instances, given in local currencies, using ISO codes, and weights expressed variously in imperial and metric units, as originally reported: one kilogramme = 2.2046 lb; t = metric tonne.REGIONAL OVERVIEW As would be expected of a region as geographically, ecologically, culturally and economically diverse as the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, there is considerable variability in the status of marine turtles and the context for their management: the legal frameworks, management regimes and types and degrees of constraints to effective marine turtle management. The differences between jurisdictions and regions with respect to key elements of this study are discussed below and summarized in the three tables in this section.Legal framework for marine turtle management Variability in legal frameworksThe variability of the legal frameworks in place for marine turtle management in the 26 jurisdictions reviewed is illustrated in Table 1 The situation of a patchwork of different and often conflicting legislation was a key finding of the TRAFFIC review of marine turtle management in the northern Caribbean and Mexico (Fleming, 2001) and it is not surprising that the pattern extends throughout the WCR. Some jurisdictions have completely protected marine turtles for over a decade; others have few controls on the exploitation and trade in these species. These differences affect individual marine turtles travelling short and long distances from one jurisdiction to another; they also affect fishers, in some instances travelling a very short distance from one site to another. This variability has obvious implications for the efficacy of the legal controls that a country has put into place with the ostensible purpose of managing marine turtles. Because marine turtles are migratory at all life-history stages (Lohmann et al ., 1997), as with any shared resource, a co-ordinated region-wide approach to management is an unavoidable prerequisite for success at local and national levels. Perhaps the most extreme example of the implications of the difference in legalframeworks is the situation of the Tortuguero nesting population of Green Turtles in Costa Rica, the largest in the Western Hemisphere and one of the two largest remaining in the world. Alarge (but unknown) proportion of this nesting population forages off the coast of Nicaragua, where these turtles are subject to heavy fishing pressure. Although scientists in the past decade have discerned promising signs that the Tortuguero nesting population is increasing, there is concern that the Green Turtle fishery in Nicaragua, renewed in the 1990s after operating at much lower levels during the previous decade as a result of the countrys civil war, has been depleting the next breeding cohort, such that this population may suffer a sudden and severe decline. The region is replete with examples of marine turtles tagged at protected nesting grounds, only to be killed in foraging grounds during open seasons in other jurisdictions. Contacts in at least two insular Caribbean jurisdictions indicated that the existence of a legal fishery for marine turtles in a neighbouring jurisdiction was a factor cited by fishers responding negatively to proposals for stricter limits on the exploitation of marine turtles. Hence, there are political as well as management consequences of the difference in legal regimes. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela17

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There is particular variability in the legal frameworks in place among„and within„the eight Latin American countries examined. Marine turtles are fully protected in Venezuela (although the extent to which legal protection applies operationally to indigenous take requires clarification); in Belize and Costa Rica (in relation to the Pacific coast), there are clearly defined, regulated and controlled exemptions for certain forms of exploitation within an otherwise protective legal regime. In Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia, important exemptions to otherwise complete legal protection allow for the extraction of eggs (Guatemala), of turtles for indigenous use (Honduras), and turtles for subsistence use (Colombia), but these exemptions are not clearly defined, specifically regulated, or limited on a scientific basis, nor are they effectively enforced. These exemptions effectively negate protection. In the Nicaraguan Caribbean, marine turtles are legally protected with the exception of Green Turtles, the fishery for which is, as of 2005, limited to subsistence use but not restricted on any scientific basis. In Panama, the legal situation appears confused, in that marine turtles are conferred full protection under certain legal instruments, while exemptions for subsistence and indigenous use (of wildlife and natural resources, not specifically marine turtles) are set forth in other pieces of legislation. Within this variability is an unfortunate common thread, as discussed below: with the exception of Belize and Costa Rica, no jurisdiction in which exploitation is legally permitted has established a scientific basis for that exploitation and/or manages it in accordance with the principles of sustainability. This is a major shortcoming in the management of marine turtles at both the national and regional level.Adequacy of the frameworksIn many of the jurisdictions under review, the legal framework is weak by nature, or there are major gaps in the law. In some instances, the framework is largely composed of administrative law versus decrees or other higherŽ instruments, thus meaning that (in addition to being less well known) they carry less weight and are more difficult to enforce. The converse is also a problem: laws are not supported with regulations detailing how and by whom they should be implemented or enforced. Shortcomings that are particularly noteworthy for this study are: €Lack of clarity .In many countries, there is a relatively long history and a large body of laws and legal measures adopted on behalf of marine turtles. Consequently, there is often confusion as to what laws and regulations apply. This problem is particularly acute in the mainland American countries reviewed, which operate in a maze of laws, decrees, ministerial resolutions, departmental resolutions, interim memoranda, etc. Not only is it difficult to discern what legal provisions take precedence over what others, this situation also leads to differing interpretations of the law. This confusion extends in many instances to protections„or exemptions„afforded marine turtle eggs as opposed to marine turtles. The apparent high demand and extensive use of marine turtles, as well as varying levels of internal and international trade in marine turtle eggs and other products, in particular in these mainland American countries, underscore the need for a much clearer set of rules governing the exploitation and trade in marine turtles, their eggs, and products. €Lack of coherence In addition to confusion regarding the rules that apply there are, in many instances, conflicts within the legal framework. These result in large part from the way in which wildlife legislation, generally but not exclusively relating to terrestrial species, and fisheries legislation, applying to aquatic, including marine species, have evolved. Marine turtles, largely but not exclusively marine species, have been variably interpreted as wildlifeŽ (e.g. in relation to hunting prohibitions and penalties set forth in wildlife legislation) but have most commonly fallen, legislatively speaking, under the fisheries framework which, 18TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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generally (several jurisdictions in the insular Caribbean being an exception), does not provide measures to control activities relating to marine turtle exploitation on land. As the legislation has evolved, so have the structures for implementation. Because marine turtles are listed under CITES, which generally translates automatically into national law in CITES Parties operating under civil law, and because they are also listed as threatened species on national Red Lists in most of the Latin American countries reviewed, they come under the mandate of wildlife departments and environment ministries; however, fisheries agencies often have a mandate that includes marine turtles, as exploited marine species, and have issued separate provisions relating to their exploitation. This has created jurisdictional conflict in several countries that has, in some instances, severely impeded management. In Belize, for example, full protection provided for marine turtles in the 1981 wildlife law was rescinded early in 1982 owing to provisions in the fisheries regulations that permitted exploitation of marine turtles. In Trinidad and Tobago, the conflict between the absolute protection afforded through the wildlife law and the five-month open season provided through the fisheries regulations has created a situation whereby few controls on marine turtle exploitation are exercised outside protected areas. In Costa Rica, a similar conflict was ultimately adjudicated by the countrys Supreme Court ( Sala Cuarta ), which, in 1999, declared unconstitutional the issuance of permits for a Green Turtle fishery by the national fisheries agency. Exacerbating the problems arising from overlapping or conflicting mandates amongst different government agencies is the situation whereby management responsibility has devolved to regional governments or municipalities or indigenous regions or communities (e.g. in Panama and Nicaragua) that have been conferred degrees of autonomy regarding natural resource use. In several of the Latin American countries reviewed, marine turtles are an important resource for indigenous peoples and at least three countries explicitly permit the exploitation of marine turtles for subsistence and/or indigenous use. However, this exploitation is not regulated or controlled and is not monitored. In Nicaragua, levels of exploitation of Green Turtles by the indigenous Miskitu and others during an open season that, as of 2005, allows for subsistence use only have been estimated to be in the order of 11 000 per year. Virtually all of the turtles taken in the fishery over the past decade have been sold in commercial markets. In Venezuela, where there is no legal exemption for indigenous or subsistence take, exploitation by indigenous Wayu and others is extensive, but there appears to be little effort to bring it under control. That several of the countries in the region (Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela) have ratified International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention N 169 Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, which gives autonomy to indigenous peoples to use natural resources in their natural habitat, appears to have created a constitutional conflict and a de facto exemption to prevailing marine turtle protective legislation in certain countries where exploitation continues in the absence of specific management measures and effective controls. €Obsolescence Wildlife legislation enacted several decades ago in many countries often did not take account of economic and/or cultural realities and has either not evolved to address these more fully or has evolved in a less-than-comprehensive manner. Blanket bans on the take and sale of wildlife, a standard for several decades in most (if not all) of the mainland American countries reviewed, have not been consistent with the true situation of wildlife use, with the result that such use„which in the case of marine turtles is extensive„ has often been uncontrolled and unmanaged. As efforts are being made to bring wildlife and related legislation more in line with current principles and practice of sustainable-use and socio-cultural realities, the TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela19

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20TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Table I Summary findings on the legal status of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America,Colombia and Venezuela

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TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela21 Table I (continued) Summary findings on the legal status of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America,Colombia and Venezuela

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necessary provisions to ensure that the exemptions are well-defined, adequately controlled and monitored have generally not been included. There is also a need for greater flexibility in the evolving legal framework so as to enable management agencies to implement„and adapt in a timely as well as case-specific fashion„ management strategies that may involve sustainable-use components. Despite a body of scientific knowledge of marine turtles that has been rapidly growing over the past several decades, the legal controls on marine turtle exploitation in most cases do not reflect current understanding of marine turtle management requirements. It has been known for two decades that the most important size classes to protect (in almost any long-lived, late-maturing species) are the large juveniles and breeding-age adults, yet minimum size limits„which focus the take on large juveniles and adults„are, inexplicably, the standard throughout the insular Caribbean where legal fisheries operate. This is often coupled with a lack of coincidence between the annual closed season and the annual nesting season, again leaving breeding-age adults vulnerable to capture. The only jurisdiction to have implemented maximum size limits is Belize, which later prohibited all marine turtle exploitation with the exception of capture for traditional purposes, authorized on the basis of a specific permit. €Lack of enforceability .In addition to the above-mentioned inadequacies,management of marine turtles is often hindered by the lack of implementing regulations or regulations that not only lack clarity, coherence and relevance, but can be unenforceable. Size limits based on weight versus length, for example, are difficult to adhere to if implemented at sea (where, appropriately, animals not within the limit can more easily be returned to the water), while restricting exploitation to males caught particular distances from shore„when neither condition is verifiable (pre-reproductive turtles cannot be visually distinguished as to sex; the site of capture often cannot be known)„only further reduces the potential effectiveness of the regulatory framework in promoting sustainable use. €Inadequate trade controls Anumber of the jurisdictions under review have been identified by the CITES National Legislation Project as having inadequate legislation to implement CITES and supporting wildlife trade controls. Particularly acute in Central America is the lack of legal provision for controlling internal and international trade in marine turtles and turtle products. In several countries, there appears to be a need for much more specific provisions regarding the marketing and sale of marine turtles and marine turtle products, as documented by Chacn (2002). €Inadequate penalties and judicial procedures Enforcement of management controls and protective legislation is impeded in some jurisdictions by inadequate penalties for offences and by the lack of either clear judicial procedures or a body of case law that supports vigorous prosecution and punishment for offences. Where seizures have been made and court cases filed, there have been problems of these not being taken forward by the courts or of court cases taking so long to proceed that they effectively serve as no deterrent to illegal activity. In the case of Costa Rica, the absence of penalties under the wildlife legislation for marine species had until recently made it difficult to prosecute marine turtle violations; this shortcoming has now been rectified through enactment of a specific marine turtle law that provides for such penalties. Conversely, the question has been raised as to whether particularly severe penalties (very high fines and long prison terms) in two of the jurisdictions reviewed actually impede enforcement, in the sense that they are so punitive that no law enforcement or fisheries officer enforces them. In addition, they are also viewed by some 22TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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members of the public as ridiculous, thus suggesting that they may engender disrespect for the law„and marine turtle conservation„more generally. There appears to be a need for further effort to review and establish penalties that will serve as effective deterrents to marine turtle infractions and to encourage proactive and non-punitive options designed to enhance compliance. €Significant progress being made in some jurisdictions There are numerous examples of significant progress made in recent years in enhancing the legal frameworks for marine turtle conservation and management. Particularly notable are the jurisdictions that have recently enacted full or partial (e.g. speciesspecific, such as for Leatherbacks in Grenada) moratoria to safeguard depleted populations and assess future management options; have recently enacted legislation that both clarifies and enhances the norms that apply to marine turtles (e.g. a national marine turtle law and new fisheries law in Costa Rica that, inter alia ,provide specific penalties for marine turtle infractions); or have recently enacted legislation that significantly enhances the basis for management and/or enforcement (e.g. a new fisheries law and implementing regulations in Nicaragua). Revisions to prevailing legal frameworks that are pending in several countries provide for more appropriate restrictions on exploitation, such as maximum size limits (e.g. in Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica), while stakeholder processes are also under way in several countries (e.g. Grenada, Nicaragua, and Trinidad and Tobago) to review marine turtle management objectives and/or address specific marine turtle management problems. Finally, the institution of national moratoria on the capture, sale and possession of marine turtles is under discussion in several countries. In all these instances, and in order for such measures to be successful, they will require public support, as well as the capacity to follow through with monitoring programmes and other management measures, and in the case of moratoria, to use the period of the moratorium to conduct a marine turtle stock assessment aimed at defining current population trends and the feasibility of managing a truly sustainable take. Also noteworthyare changes in the regulatory framework relative to habitat conservation, including lighting ordinances (e.g. in Belize) designed to minimize disorientation and mortality of egg-bearing females and their young while on the nesting beach; marine protected area designations that embrace critical marine turtle habitat (e.g. Belize, Costa Rica, Dominica, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua); and the establishment of marine reserves, where fishing is prohibited, or other time-area fisheries closures (e.g. Belize, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). Exploitation of marine turtles at the national level €Widespread exploitation of marine turtles Of the 26 jurisdictions covered in this study, fewer than half fully protect marine turtles. In the remaining jurisdictions, marine turtles benefit from varying degrees of legal protection. In at least four Latin American countries, legal exemptions for subsistence and indigenous take provide for significant levels of exploitation. In the insular Caribbean jurisdictions reviewed, full protection is afforded marine turtles in: Aruba, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique and the Netherlands Antilles. In Anguilla, a 10-year moratorium on marine turtle exploitation was renewed for a further 15 years in December 2005. In Saint Lucia, a moratorium on marine turtle exploitation instituted in 1996 lapsed in September 2004 and was not renewed. In Trinidad and Tobago, a decades-long conflict between the wildlife and fisheries legislation has created a degree of management confusion for marine turtles. The remaining jurisdictions, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela23

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Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (seven of the nine members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)) regulate marine turtle exploitation on the basis of an archaic framework that ignores the fundamentals of marine turtle biology and wildlife management, i.e. through: minimum size limits, which target exploitation on large juvenile and adult age classes critical to maintaining marine turtle populations; closed seasons that often do not cover the full breeding season; unenforceable mandates (e.g. restricting exploitation to males caught particular distances from shore); and few other restrictions, such as quotas and licences, on access or gear. In the mainland America countries reviewed, full legal protection for marine turtles is afforded in only one country, Venezuela (where it appears to be unenforced in relation to indigenous take). In Honduras, the countrys adherence to ILO Convention N 169 provides an exemption for exploitation by indigenous peoples. In Panama, exploitation appears to be legal at least in some circumstances (subsistence, indigenous use). Legal exemptions to the full protection afforded marine turtles are narrow, clearly articulated and closely regulated in both Costa Rica (managed collection of Olive Ridley eggs in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge on the Pacific coast) and Belize (traditional take of marine turtles other than Hawksbill Turtles by permit only). In Guatemala, an exemption for the collection and marketing of eggs, the legality of which is subject to debate, has created a situation where well over 90% of marine turtle eggs laid in the country are believed to be collected for consumption. In Nicaragua, which during the past decade has harboured the regions largest legal marine turtle fishery, enactment of a new fisheries law and fisheries regulations in 2005 restrict the heretofore artisanal Green Turtle fishery to subsistence-use only but provide for no biologically based limits. In Colombia, an exemption to full protection permits subsistence fishing for marine turtles. For every jurisdiction for which information has been obtained, illegal take is known to occur, but few statistics exist on the numbers involved. In some jurisdictions, illegal take is not considered to be at levels that impede management, and an objective assessment suggests that that is the case. In others, illegal take is recognized as a serious management challenge. Illegal exploitation of marine turtles includes the collection of eggs, killing of nesting females (e.g. of Leatherbacks in Tobago, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica), and fishing with prohibited gear, during the closed season, or in violation of the minimum size limits. €Exploitation is largely undocumented .With the possible exception of Nicaragua, where information is available through the monitoring efforts of individual researchers working with an NGO, there is no national jurisdiction covered in this study for which there is official documentation or estimates of the total number of turtles taken legally at the national (in the case of the mainland Americas, Caribbean) level. Similarly, and once again with the exception of Nicaragua, none of the countries in which a legal take of marine turtles (or eggs) exists has in place a systematic monitoring programme to document marine turtle exploitation, such that the numbers of animals taken, importance of marine turtles to subsistence and livelihoods and other parameters of exploitation are largely unknown. Marine turtles are recorded at some landing sites (e.g. in Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), but not all, and many fishers do not land turtles at these landing sites. There are no mandatory reporting requirements for marine turtles, and voluntary reporting is recognized as documenting only a portion of marine turtle landings statistics. Hence, an unknown proportion of marine turtles are not recorded in official landings statistics. In the mainland Americas, where exploitation occurs largely through 24TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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exemptions to legal protection, there is no official recording of the numbers of turtles that are landed or other aspects of the exploitation. In addition, there is little information available on exploitation for most of the jurisdictions in which legal fisheries operated but which now prohibit exploitation. Some of the most comprehensive information derives from non-government sources, such as research reports by NGOs (e.g. Chacn, 2002) and university students (Grazette, 2002), but is isolated in time or geographic scope. There is a great range in the numbers of turtles estimated to be taken per year, and some level of take was reported from nearly all jurisdictions participating in this review. In the insular Caribbean these numbers can be very low, but, compared with the size of the nesting (which may number fewer than 10 reproductively active females per year) or foraging populations, may be significant. No fewer than 93 Green and Hawksbill Turtles were landed in January and February of 2002 around the tiny island of Nevis in the Lesser Antilles. Arecent study estimated as many as 576 turtles, primarily Hawksbill and Green Turtles, landed annually in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Grazette, 2002) and 782 in Grenada (Grazette et al ., in press). In Colombia, where subsistence fishing is permitted by law but the number of turtles killed annually is unknown, a recent study in one region of the country (Instituto Alexander von Humboldt, 2000, cited in MMA, 2002) estimated the annual take to be more than 2000 turtles, an impressive number in light of these species recognized threatened status in the country. As noted above, more than 11 000 Green Turtles are estimated to be taken annually in the legal Green Turtle fishery operating on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The collection of eggs„in both the insular Caribbean and mainland Americas„is even less reliably quantified and the take associated with incidental capture in artisanal and commercial fisheries is, with a few notable exceptions, essentially unknown. €Widespread collection and marketing of eggs .Although marine turtle eggs are more widely protected by law in the WCR than marine turtles, the collection of marine turtle eggs is intensive and pervasive throughout the region and is especially viewed as problematic in Central America. Although this exploitation is considered more intensive in relation to Olive Ridleys along the Pacific coast of the isthmus, it appears to be important in some areas on the Caribbean coast as well. This exploitation and the resulting trade are proving to be a serious challenge for management. In Guatemala, for example, where most if not all of the marine turtle nests laid are believed to be collected, the government authorities have instituted an informal conservation quotaŽ system that requires egg collectors to donate a percentage (15%, proposed to be increased to 20%) of the eggs from each nest to marine turtle hatcheries, in return for a receipt that legalizes the remainder for consumption and sale. In the absence of sustained patrols on all nesting beaches, it is impossible to determine the extent of compliance with this system. Some insular jurisdictions also reported egg poaching levels approaching 100% on some beaches. The exploitation is largely unquantified, and its impact on the Critically Endangered (cf. IUCN) Hawksbill Turtle and Leatherback is impossible to judge. €Declining markets forturtle products in the insularCaribbean countries reviewed While the consumption and marketing of marine turtle meat continue to be important in most of the insular Caribbean jurisdictions where marine turtle fisheries continue to operate, the commercial market for other marine turtle products in those jurisdictions examined for this review appears to have declined in relation to the situation 10 and certainly 20 years ago. In particular, there appears to be very little marketing of shell or shell products. Other than for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where some fishers have indicated to an independent researcher that they retain Hawksbill shells in anticipation of a possible opening of international markets TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela25

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(Grazette, 2002), no information has been provided in the course of this study to suggest that there is a high demand for or that there are stockpiles in the insular Caribbean of Hawksbill shell products. Although there continue to be seizures of tourist souvenirs from the insular Caribbean in the USAand other countries (see International trade in marine turtles ), these appear to be relatively low in number. As has been documented, for example, in Grenada and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, where the majority of Hawksbill shells tend to be discarded, the impact of CITES and other controls in both exporting countries and import markets appears to have considerably reduced, if not virtually eliminated, the trade in Hawksbill shell in most of the insular Caribbean countries reviewed. €Persistent high demand formarine turtles and turtle products in the mainland Americas Consumption and marketing of marine turtles and turtle products in the mainland Americas reviewed are extensive. In most Central American countries, for example, the markets are many, and the marketing extends throughout the country. Although marine turtle meat appears to be marketed in coastal markets, Hawksbill objects and eggs of all species are marketed nationwide. The use of Hawksbill scutes in the manufacture of spurs for cockfighting is particularly common and supports both national and regional trade. Cosmetics and other products made from marine turtle oil are also marketed. Many of these products no doubt derive from subsistenceŽ and indigenousŽ take and might be considered legal; however, this depends on the clarity and specificity of the laws in effect, which, in these countries, is a recognized problem. Much of it is clearly illegal. The national and international dimensions of this are documented in detail by Chacn (2002).International trade in marine turtlesAll marine turtle species occurring in the WCR have been included in CITES Appendix I since 1977 and the Caribbean population of the Hawksbill Turtle has been listed in CITES Appendix I since 1975. All jurisdictions examined for this review, with the exception of the UK overseas territory of Anguilla, are currently CITES Parties and many have been so since the early days of the Conventions operation. Hence, the complete protection from international trade afforded through CITES has applied to the marine turtles in much of the WCR for nearly three decades. €Little evidence of large commercial trade based on official statistics There is very little evidence in official statistics of significant trade in marine turtle products in the years since the closing of the Japanese market for bekko (Hawksbill shell) as of 1 January 1993. CITES annual report data, derived from the UNEPWCMC CITES Trade Database, document relatively low levels of trade, primarily in scientific specimens and personal items, often reported seized, mostly tothe USA. Fisheries departments in the insular Caribbean are generally unaware of seizures in importing countries: most reported no knowledge of any international trade in marine turtles from their jurisdictions. What is interesting to note from the CITES statistics is the number of transactions (the great majority recorded by the USA) involving the import of marine turtle eggs from Central America, most (but not all) of which were recorded as personal items that were seized on entry. It is unknown to what extent these transactions represent the full volume of illegal trade in eggs into the USA. However, they clearly reflect the importance of this commodity in these countries. In addition to trade in marine turtle eggs, CITES statistics document continued trade in marine turtle products„again, largely imports reported by the USA„such as Hawksbill shell items and turtle carapaces, as tourist souvenir specimens. There have also been a number of seizures of shipments that were recorded as 26TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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commercial shipments, of meat, relatively large numbers of carapaces, and shell items. As with eggs, it is impossible to make an inference from these statistics as to the true level of illegal trade in these items. However, there appears to be consensus from within the region that this international trade is low in comparison with the level of regional trade, in Central America in particular. €Extensive regional trade in Central America As documented most recently by Chacn (2002), the extensive marketing of marine turtle eggs and Hawksbill shell objects within Central American countries clearly moves beyond national borders. This trade is believed to be primarily regional, with the exception of the many Hawksbill shell objects which are also purchased by foreign tourists and exported„to an unknown degree without detection„to their home countries. There is some evidence of international trade in commercial quantities, namely in the form of seizures (including one shipment of Hawksbill scutes intercepted at the airport in Cartagena, Colombia, destined for Panama) and reports from market vendors of the origin of Hawksbill shell or shell objects (such as Colombian Hawksbill shell items on sale in Bocas del Toro, Panama). In some cases, these products are regularly (and illegally) exported to nearby island jurisdictions, such as cockfighting spurs from Colombia to Aruba. €Take by foreign fishers and the potential fortrade Whether or not it is properly characterized as international trade, throughout the region covered in this study there are reports based on anecdotal information or documented evidence of take of marine turtles by foreign fishers, either subsistence/artisanal or industrial. In Honduras, fishers reported landing Hawksbill Turtles captured in Belize; in the San Andrs Archipelago (Colombia), marine turtles are believed to be captured by the Honduran conch and lobster fleets that operate in the area; in Trinidad, marine turtles are observed being brought on board Venezuelan vessels operating in Trinidadian waters. In Anguilla, where a moratorium on the take of turtles is in place, there have been enquiries into whether marine turtle meat could be imported from a neighbouring country where a legal fishery exists. This clearly demonstrates the potential for international trade even if such trade is not currently taking place.Management issues Management of exploitationWith few exceptions and regardless of the differences in the legal frameworks between the 26 jurisdictions reviewed, the legal norms in place in those countries in which exploitation is permitted do not limit exploitation in such a way as to contribute to the sustainability of marine turtle populations. In effect, they do not serve management that would be consistent with the standards and practice of sustainable use (see Table 2 ). Based on the broader definition of management adopted for this review, it is difficult to conclude other than there is little active management of marine turtles in many of the jurisdictions examined. This is not to say that a jurisdiction might not be quite adept at basic and/or applied research, habitat protection and/or general conservation, but less apparent is a holistic integrated effort aimed at maintaining the marine turtle resource over time, despite the fact that best practices developed to achieve this end are increasingly available. There is a general failure to apply basic principles of resource management, such as those set by FAO in the its Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995) and Guidelines on the Precautionary Approach to Capture Fisheries and Species Introductions (FAO, 1996). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela27

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It is not clear whether this failing results from the array of constraints to marine turtle management or from more perverse circumstances, whereby marine turtles, having either ceased to be an export commodity or been depleted to the point of no longer being considered a fisheries resource, are not valued as sufficiently important to warrant investment in their management. Clearly these animals continue to be an economic resource for some sectors of society, albeit primarily at the subsistence or artisanal level, and the object of attention for numerous research and conservation projects largely managed by NGOs and CBOs; however, they remain largely outside the priority management framework of governments. €Lack of stock assessment orimpact assessment aimed at sustainability With the possible exception of a management programme for the legal collection and marketing of marine turtle eggs by the community of Ostional on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and a recent comprehensive evaluation of the Green Turtle fishery in Caribbean Nicaragua under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in no country has any stock assessment or impact assessment been reported to have been undertaken as a precursor to or part of the establishment or revision of legal controls on marine turtle exploitation. No attempt has been made, in any jurisdiction participating in this review, to determine a sustainable level of exploitation based on defined criteria, despite the fact that a sustainable take, even from such depleted populations as those in the Caribbean, is at least theoretically possible for some stocks. (Whether it would be truly sustainable would depend on the level of compliance, systematic monitoring and other aspects of the management regime.) €Failure to adopt marine turtle fishery controls that fostersustainability All of the legal fisheries in the insular Caribbean countries reviewed operate on the basis of minimum size limits (coupled, in most cases, with protection of nests and eggs), which targets exploitation on the large juveniles and adult turtles that decades of scientific research have demonstrated are the most important age classes to protect in order to prevent population declines and foster population recovery. Maintenance of this anachronistic standard defies the principles and practice of sustainable use. In no case are these fisheries defined as limited entry, with access restricted to bona fide turtle fishers, or restricted by quotas or other controls that could assist in promoting sustainability. An analogous problem exists in most of the mainland Americas countries reviewed, where exemptions for indigenous or subsistence take allow for uncontrolled, largely artisanal fisheries. Efforts under way to address high levels of marine turtle exploitation, much of it illegal, in Nicaragua and Colombia offer numerous insights into how such measures might be devised and implemented. In the case of Nicaragua, WCS, working with government agencies, fishers and other stakeholders, is discussing dramatic reductions in marine turtle fishing effort and options for alternative livelihoods as it works to develop a conservation and management plan (Lagueux et al ., 2002). In Colombia, a multi-institutional, multistakeholder effort including indigenous Wayu fishers aims at a sustainable-use regime for marine turtles in Guajira Department (Hernndez, 2002). Aprogramme not yet in implementation includes a system of transferable capture quotas for certain size classes of turtles, which would decline in number over time and apply only to local use of meat, thus excluding other marine turtle products and marketing and sale beyond these points. In both instances, the analyses undertaken and lessons learned thus far in these processes should be highly instructive for efforts to address illegal and/or unsustainable exploitation of marine turtles elsewhere in the region. €Lack of monitoring of legal exploitation to ensure sustainability The numbers of marine turtles being taken in legal fisheries are, with few exceptions, unknown, as, in most situations, no systematic or compre28TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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hensive monitoring is being taken of the number of turtles landed. The same is true of the legal collection of eggs. This situation is compounded by the lack of quantitative information on the number of turtles killed and nests excavated illegally. For some of the smaller islands in the Caribbean, estimates of both legal and illegal take are made, but these range in reliability, some of them being based on seizures and documented evidence and others on anecdotal information. In no instance, however, is there any indication that these numbers are analysed with a view to detecting trends that may be meaningful for an assessment of the impact of exploitation on marine turtle populations. The lack of monitoring of a legal take of marine turtles must be recognized as a serious shortcoming in management. In fact, there can be no management where systematic monitoring„recording of the numbers, species and age classes landed, fishing effort, and other parameters and analysis of the trends in those„is not taking place, and there can be no adaptive regime where there are no baseline data against which to evaluate the success (or failure) of conservation measures. €Insufficient monitoring of population trends .In few of the jurisdictions where a legal fishery exists has there been a concerted effort to monitor marine turtle population trends in situ to ensure the fishery is not depleting marine turtle numbers. Some jurisdictions have had nesting beach programmes in place for years (in rare cases over a decade), but in many such programmes have only recently begun. In relatively few instances (Costa Rica, Antigua, Barbados, and Trinidad offer the best examples from this study), have these been under way long enough to allow managers to develop credible assumptions about the status of local populations. Nesting populations offer excellent insight into the status of the population as a whole and have the advantage of being predictable in place and time, which can facilitate regular monitoring. However, by the time a manager documents a serious decline on the nesting beach (reflecting unsustainable rates of mortality 20 to 40 years earlier), it can be too late to design and implement a successful recovery strategy„particularly if the major source of mortality is in a distant country. As earlier recommended by the CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Turtle Dialogue Meetings, there is a need to develop standardized population monitoring protocols for implementation at Index sites throughout the region. Any successful management scheme must incorporate monitoring of both nesting and foraging populations, particularly foraging juveniles. At-sea census techniques are not as well developed or as straightforward to undertake from a statistical (analysis) point of view, but they are fundamental to understanding the dynamics of a population and its ability to sustain targeted levels of exploitation. €Arange of noteworthy policy and management successes .Many advancements are being made throughout the WCR in marine turtle management, including: national-level strategic planning; long-term population monitoring projects; dozens of basic and applied research programmes; innovative co-management agreements; monitoring programmes to document marine turtle exploitation; analyses and processes aimed at the development of sustainable-use regimes; organized public outreach initiatives; active media campaigns; public-private partnerships; involvement of communities and fishers in research and monitoring; certification schemes to encourage vendors to abide by national and international rules and regulations; significant investments in training and mentoring within and between countries; development of regional best practices on a wide variety of subjects; availability of conservation tools (e.g. a regional clearinghouse for tags and tagging technologies, database management software, curriculum materials, Internet-based resources); strengthening of national-level regulations; active regional networking among scientists and policy-makers; TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela29

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and participation in two treaties that have recently entered into force and provide for the protection of marine turtles at the regional level. These have been emphasized in the country reports and can serve as models for replication.Addressing other threats to marine turtlesAdequate management of exploitation of marine turtles (or any species) should take into account the other threats that they face. Two important threats of particular relevance to the WCR„but beyond the scope of this review„ are discussed briefly below. Both warrant a comprehensive regional evaluation, along with recommendations and priorities for management action. €Loss and degradation of habitat In the insular Caribbean in particular, loss of nesting habitat to beach-front development is a major pressure on marine turtles. Degradation of nesting habitat can take many forms, but three problems that are particular prevalent in the insular Caribbean are: mining of beach sand for construction, coastal construction and armouring, and the effects of beach-front lighting, which deter females from coming to shore to nest and disorient hatchlings so that they are unable to find the sea. Similarly, and throughout the region, the loss of foraging habitat presents a significant management challenge. Losses accrue through the degradation and destruction of seagrass and live coral reef and more general degradation (e.g. from pollution, anchoring, over-fishing and marine recreational activities) of shallow coastal ecosystems, including mangrove and estuary habitats, that offer refugia, nurture prey species, and provide other important services. Marine turtle nesting and foraging habitats have been set aside in legally protected areas in a number of jurisdictions, but other measures to control the effects of human encroachment and activity have also been implemented and may be just as effective. There is a need for much broader consideration of marine turtle management needs as part of environmental impact assessment of coastal development projects. €Incidental mortality in fisheries. In both the insular Caribbean and mainland Americas, the problem of incidental take and mortality of marine turtles in commercial and artisanal fisheries has been raised by many participants in this study and cited by a number of authors as a causal factor in population declines. Rates of incidental take may be even higher at a regional level than rates of direct take. Incidental capture of marine turtles in fisheries operations may be the most important factor limiting the recovery of marine turtles in the French Antilles, for example (Chevalier, 2003): more than half of the marine turtle mortalities or injuries recorded in Guadeloupe in the period 1999-2002 were attributable to fisheries interactions (Lartiges, unpubl. data, cited in Chevalier, 2003), and findings from a recent study (Delcroix, 2003) suggest that in Guadeloupe this is the single greatest cause of marine turtle mortality, exceeding all others combined and probably involving more than 1000 turtles per year (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 27 August 2004). In another example,ca. 3000 gravid Leatherbacks have been estimated to be accidentally caught in gill nets offshore from nesting beaches in Trinidad every year (Lee Lum, 2003), killing more turtles than all other sources of mortality combined; this situation is currently receiving priority attention at the highest levels of government. There is a recognized need to quantify and promote measures to reduce incidental take of marine turtles. The deployment of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) is required by law in those countries operating a trawl fishery for shrimp, but some questions have been raised about how effectively this requirement is being enforced. In 30TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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the insular Caribbean, the problem of incidental mortality relates more to the use of coastal gill nets, longlines and other (non-trawl) fisheries, which are also deployed elsewhere in the region. It is noteworthy that significant recent progress has been made in understanding the global challenge of incidental capture of marine turtles in fishing operations, but few countries have comprehensive programmes in place to address the problem at local levels. While the issue of incidental capture was outside the scope of this review, the subject has increasingly been the focus of inter-governmental dialogue. According to FAO (2004), the question of marine turtle conservation and interactions with fishing operations was raised at the 25thSession of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI), which agreed that a Technical Consultation on the topic should be held. An Expert Consultation on Interactions between Sea Turtles and Fisheries within an Ecosystem Context (organized to provide technical input to the Technical Consultation) convened in Rome in 2004, building on the proceedings of several other expert-based fora„including the Second International Fisheries Forum (2002), the US National Marine Fisheries Service International Technical Expert Workshop on Marine Turtle Bycatch in Longline Fisheries (2003), and the Bellagio Conference on Sea Turtle Conservation in the Pacific (2003)„that have recently addressed marine turtle issues, including fisheries interactions, and offered recommendations. An expert-based consultation convened to address„and offer solutions to„these issues from a WCR standpoint would be both timely and useful.Constraints to managementGovernments and other stakeholders in the region describe a range of constraints to more effective management of marine turtles. In addition to the issues discussed above, such as an inadequate legal framework and lack of a coherent, scientifically based, and effective management regime, these constraints include: understaffed and under-resourced fisheries/wildlife/parks offices; insufficient infrastructure for monitoring (e.g. lack of transportation for fisheries/wildlife officers, lack of reporting requirements and/or protocols) and enforcement; unreliable support from law enforcement; lack of trained personnel or training opportunities; limited (but clearly improving) political and public support; gaps in knowledge, such as marine turtle population numbers and critical sites; the absence of a baseline against which to define current population trends; the difficulty in securing funding to undertake long-term studies; and a generally poorly informed citizenry (many jurisdictions nevertheless reported progress based on an increasingly informed public, including more reporting of marine turtle sightings and infractions). Although many of these factors are common throughout the region and in particular in relation to the Small Island Developing States of the insular Caribbean, they vary in their degree of tractability depending on the jurisdiction. It is a noteworthy result of this review that many jurisdictions have reported clear progress in addressing one or more of these constraints. In many jurisdictions, in particular the Latin American countries reviewed, the socio-economics of marine turtle exploitation present a major management challenge. Much of this exploitation is undertaken by indigenous and/or economically depressed coastal communities with few income-generating alternatives to the marine turtle resource. Improving management of marine turtles in these instances necessitates addressing in a holistic way the larger questions of sustainable livelihoods and rural development. Afinal point should be noted regarding the importance of sustained technical assistance and training for individuals and agencies discharging marine turtle management responsibilities or otherwise engaged in marine turtle management efforts. The need for more training opportunities, and funding to take advantage of them, has been highlighted by several governments in the context of this review. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela31

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32TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Table 2 Summary findings on management issues relating to exploitation and trade of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America,Colombia and Venezuela

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TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela33 Table 2 (continued) Summary findings on management issues relating to exploitation and trade of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean sector of Central America,Colombia and Venezuela

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Enforcement issuesEffective law enforcement is about more than a coherent legal framework, effective enforcement protocols and trained personnel. It requires a well-co-ordinated administration, an informed and supportive citizenry and judicial system, credible socio-economic alternatives, and incentives that minimize the attractiveness of illicit activity. Acomprehensive review of the state of law enforcement in the region, of incentives that work and of models suitable for replication, would be both timely and useful. In the interim, the following observations are offered based on the results of this analysis. €Improving compliance The extent of illegal take and trade indicates a clear need to improve compliance with the law. Whether this would be done more effectively through punitive measures (and vigorous enforcement) or incentive-based measures and sustained engagement with communities and relevant sectors clearly depends on the situation. On small islands, for example, there is generally less interest in taking strict enforcement measures against individuals in ones own community, and such measures could be counterproductive. The first step in compliance is informing the public and concerned parties of the regulations in force. This is a recognized problem in a number of jurisdictions. In addition to greater information through a range of media, there appears to be a need for more active extension work with fishers and fishing cooperatives, as well as coastal communities, to consult with them about marine turtle and other relevant regulations (current and proposed) and conservation and management issues. As is suggested by other analyses of illegal wildlife exploitation (e.g. Milner-Gulland and Leader-Williams, 1992), the effectiveness of a mere enforcement presence in deterring poaching should not be under-estimated. Along a similar vein, there is a clear need to work with hoteliers and other coastal landowners, as well as with planning authorities, to ensure compliance with conservation regulations, such as setback requirements, armouring and mining statutes, pollution laws, beach-front lighting ordinances, construction and zoning restrictions, etc. €Enhancing capacity formonitoring and enforcement Whether the object is to pursue violations or monitor fishing activity, there is clearly a need for more patrols at sea and on marine turtle nesting beaches to document legal and deter illegal activity. As highlighted above, illegal exploitation and trade of marine turtles are still common, but a lack of manpower and equipment impedes more effective enforcement. In some instances, this might be as simple as having a reliable boat to enable patrols at sea. That nesting beach monitoring has proved to be a very successful deterrent to poaching should be considered an important added benefit to that type of population monitoring. Similarly, turtle-watching tourism has deterred poaching and stimulated enforcement at sites where the revenue generated by such tourism is valued and fostered by communities, NGOs and governments. Improving enforcement of trade controls requires a strengthening of existing efforts and capacities as well. In many jurisdictions in (and outside) the region, the interception of illegal wildlife shipments is not viewed as a priority by government agencies. In addition to regular training and support for Customs officers and other personnel responsible for controlling international trade, greater co-operation between government agencies in-country and between neighbouring jurisdictions is clearly needed. 34TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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€Generating greaterpolitical support forenvironmental enforcement .In addition to being a material resource constraint, the lower priority afforded marine resource offences as opposed to other criminal offences by enforcement agencies is a problem for marine turtle management. In addition to enforcing controls on the take of marine turtles, there needs to be more effective enforcement of controls on other activities negatively affecting marine turtles, such as sand-mining. €Seizures and prosecutions Although this information is very incomplete, there appear to be considerably fewer prosecutions than seizures. Whether the seizures are considered a sufficient deterrent or whether the lack of support from law enforcement agencies and the courts is a major factor behind this is not clear. €Range in penalties Although this information is very incomplete, there appears to be quite a range in penalties for marine turtle violations, including some that would seem to be a very strong deterrent and some that are so punitive that they appear never to be fully enforced. However, with little or no enforcement effort (and, thus, a low risk of apprehension), it is impossible to judge whether the established penalties are an effective deterrent. €Stockpiles There is no evidence to indicate that stockpiling of marine turtle parts or products is occurring in the vast majority of States participating in this review (see Table 3 ). Governments are making seizures, but how they dispose of the products or whether they maintain an inventory of these could not be documented by any participants in this review. There has been some evidence uncovered of stockpiled Hawksbill shell products (e.g. Chacn, 2002), but the extent of stockpiling appears to be a matter of speculation. €Apparent lack of monitoring of enforcement effort There appears to be little systematic approach to law enforcement effort as regards marine turtles. With illegal exploitation being a factor in every jurisdiction covered in this study, this should be considered a problem. Amore systematic approach, such as is being implemented in Saint Lucia, involving the recording of relevant data„reports from citizens, seizures, etc. and enforcement effort„and the analysis of that information for marine turtle and broader marine resource management purposes would be useful for assessing the enforcement effort required and the effectiveness of that effort. €Public awareness and education Anumber of jurisdictions see public awareness and education and training as one of the few viable approaches to stemming illegal exploitation. Echoing the concerns of many countries in the region, the Department of Fisheries in Saint Lucia believes effective enforcement to be nearly impossibleŽ owing to resource and other constraints and, for this reason, is seeking to expand public awareness efforts. It should be noted that significant advances have been made in many jurisdictions to heighten awareness and appreciation for marine turtle conservation, such as through engaging local communities and the media in satellite-tracking efforts, turtle-watching schemes, marine turtle hotlinesŽ and workshops and other outreach activities with user communities. There are many very successful approaches being deployed in the region that are being or could be adapted elsewhere. Perhaps one of the most important gaps in information-sharing is with the tourism sector (e.g. hotels, yachters, dive and tour operators), which would appear to have little awareness of the widespread effect of beach-front development and marine recreation on the survival of marine turtles. Addressing continued marketing and trade of marine turtle products will also require more extensive public awareness efforts, including more targeted information for the travelling public. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela35

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36TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Table 3 Summary findings on enforcement issues relating to exploitation and trade of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbea n sector of Central America,Colombia and Venezuela

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TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela37 Table 3 (continued) Summary findings on enforcement issues relating to exploitation and trade of marine turtles in the Lesser Antilles and Caribbea n sector of Central America,Colombia and Venezuela

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RECOMMENDATIONSThis study has identified a wide range of problems with marine turtle management in the region examined and documented a similarly wide range of innovative approaches to addressing these problems. That some of these management problems persist after decades of discussion (cf. Bacon et al ., 1984; Ogren, 1989; Eckert and Abreu Grobois, 2001; IUCN, 2002) is testament to their complexity and the need to harness a broader pool of expertise and capacities than has heretofore been brought to bear on behalf of marine turtles. In some instances, there is clearly a need for greater political will. In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), which states that the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resourcesŽ, the management of marine turtles should seek to maintain the availability of the resource in sufficient quantities for present and future generations in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable developmentŽ. Management measures should, inter alia prevent over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations, incorporate the best scientific evidence (taking into account traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environmental, economic and social factors), assign priority to research and data collection (including at international scales) and promote environmentally safe fishing gear and practices in order to protect both the target resource and the ecosystems upon which it depends. 1.In the light of the recognized depleted status of marine turtles in the WCR and in most of the jurisdictions reviewed for this study (the status in some jurisdictions is unknown or, in the absence of objective data, subject to differing views), and in the light of the potential for continuing declines resulting from the legally mandated exploitation of large juvenile and adult turtles or the lack of meaningful controls on marine turtle exploitation, governments allowing legal exploitation of marine turtles should move expeditiously to review and revise comprehensively the legal framework and the broader institutional mandates and priorities that provide for marine turtle management. In so doing, they should clarify their national policy regarding marine turtles. In addition to measures governing exploitation, including exemptions for subsistence and indigenous use and for the collection of eggs, this review should address the marketing and trade, both internal and international, of marine turtles and turtle products and enforcement of legal provisions, including appropriate penalties and capacities for enforcement. Revised legislation should allow for flexibility in the implementation of effective management regimes and ensure that the competent authorities have the powers to amend relevant regulations in a timely fashion in order to implement management changes. Finally, this review should include the necessary provisions to enable full implementation and enforcement of CITES. Consideration should be given as to whether this review can be effectively undertaken while hundreds and thousands of marine turtles continue to be exploited, uncounted thousands more drown in indiscriminate fishing gear every year and, in at least some jurisdictions, the majority of eggs laid are collected for sale and consumption. With these challenges apparently in mind, a moratorium on the capture of marine turtles, seen as a useful interim step to enable national stock assessments, was recommended more than a decade ago by the harmonized fishery regulations of OECS (FAO, 1993), a recommendation that was never realized. 38TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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2.In support of a comprehensive review and revision of the legal framework for marine turtle management, a comprehensive frame survey (marine turtle catch and use assessment) should be undertaken to quantify and characterize exploitation and use of marine turtles at the national level, including: € the landing of turtles at sea and hunting on nesting beaches; € exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products; € numbers and types of fishers (and gears) involved, including the extent to which marine turtle landings result from incidental or opportunistic take in other fishing operations or from a targeted fishery; € processing and marketing patterns; and € the importance to livelihoods of the products and income derived from marine turtle exploitation. This investigation should also aim to establish the nature and extent of illegal exploitation and trade of marine turtles and eggs and marine turtle products, and the extent to which they may negatively impact marine turtle populations and compromise marine turtle management. 3.If legal exploitation of marine turtles is to continue, the restrictions on this exploitation must reflect the biological parameters of marine turtles, take into account their depleted status and aim, at a minimum, at preventing any further population declines. Any exploitation regime promoting population recovery and maintenance should be established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice, which should include the following: A.Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including: €complete protection of nesting females at all times; €complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November; €complete protection of the Leatherback, which occurs in the region only as an adult, and typically an egg-bearing female; €maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight, so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults; €a conservative limit on the numbers of animals and/or eggs that may be exploited, such as through quotas and/or licences; and €a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on a stock assessment, on data derived from national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographical ranges. B.Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at establishing trends and monitoring these over time. Anational programme to monitor marine turtle exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such records to be analysed and compared over time, the following: €the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means; €the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed; €the locality where the animals were taken; €catch-per-unit-effort; and €the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animal and/or products if sold or traded. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela39

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In support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be required: €that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets); €that turtles be landed alive or intact, prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle landings; and €that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme. C.Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will: €document distribution and abundance of local populations; €identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas; €designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds and document the numbers of marine turtles occurring in these over time; €manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and inform management; and €identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival. 4.Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental mortality of marine turtles, arguably the largest single sources of mortality in some jurisdictions, should be developed. Drawing on examples from within the region (e.g. from Trinidad and Guadeloupe) and beyond, measures to reduce or eliminate the incidental capture and mortality of marine turtles, such as through stakeholder-led processes, incentives packages, time-area closures and/or alternative types of gear or fishing methodology, should be researched, evaluated, and implemented. 5.Critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, for marine turtles should be identified and protected and incorporated into broader biodiversity management programmes. The identification of critical habitats should occur over the range of the population, taking into account that foraging habitats for seasonally encountered breeding animals may be located in distant range States. It is noted that new governance regimes may be necessary to safeguard marine turtles in international waters, including high-seas migratory corridors, and to protect highly mobile life stages adequately. 6.Increased efforts should be made to engage rural communities and fishers in marine turtle conservation and management. Fisheries and rural development extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular exchanges with fishers and hunters regarding marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and their participation in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for marine turtle management. Support directed toward sustainable fishery practices and/or alternative livelihoods, including but not limited to non-extractive use of marine turtles, should be provided, as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers and hunters meaningfully in their efforts to comply with revised marine turtle regulations. Recognizing the range of negative impacts of coastal development (e.g. sand-mining, destruction of vegetation, beach construction and armouring, beach-front lighting, vehicular use of nesting beaches) on marine turtles and turtle habitat and the increasing role of marine turtles in the tourism productŽ of many countries in the WCR, increased efforts should likewise be made to engage the tourism sector in comprehensive efforts to manage and conserve marine turtles and their habitats. 40TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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7.Agreater investment of resources„human, financial, logistical„in marine turtle management is clearly needed if these species are to recover. Financial, logistical and political support and encouragement should be extended to relevant government agencies to develop and implement a modern, scientifically based conservation and management regime for nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the legal framework, scientific studies, monitoring programmes, co-ordination with other jurisdictions sharing the same turtle stocks, enforcement capacity and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Sustained technical assistance, including training and other forms of professional development, is essential if these efforts are to succeed. In this context, it should be noted that substantial financial, technical and infrastructural investments are being made in the region in the form of fisheries development and management. By and large, these investments appear to be focused on maximizing catches and economic returns rather than fostering sustainability. Government budgetary appropriations, overseas development assistance and private-sector investment must recognize that there can be no such thing as fisheries managementŽ if there is no baseline stock assessment or trend data, no monitoring of fisheries landings, no enforcement presence at sea and no underlying legal or regulatory framework that supports controls and their enforcement in relation to marine resource use. Similarly, the development of tourism infrastructure should more effectively address impacts on biodiversity and marine turtles. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries and tourism sectors should take account of the increased responsibilities„and costs„of the relevant government agencies in managing for sustainability the resources concerned and the broader biodiversity impacts that may ensue. 8.The essential role of the non-government sector, in some instances including universities, research institutions and other agencies, as well as NGOs and CBOs, in partnering (including through co-management arrangements) with governments to undertake marine turtle conservation and management should be enhanced through the provision of financial, logistical and political support by governments and the donor community, in particular in the development of partnerships, including co-management arrangements, to meet mutually agreed objectives. 9.Due recognition should be afforded the socio-economic circumstances, in particular in the Latin American countries reviewed, that drive much of marine turtle exploitation. There is a clear need for a multi-sectoral, integrated approach that brings marine turtle exploitation in line with the principle of sustainability and finds solutions that enhance rather than depress livelihoods and quality of life, especially for the most vulnerable of human populations. Donor and technical assistance agencies with capacities in rural development should be encouraged to engage in efforts to improve the balance between marine turtles and coastal communities. 10.Effective management of marine turtles at the national level necessitates a regional approach to management, in the collection and recording of data on marine turtles and in the design of management regimes aiming at the sustainability of marine turtle populations. Greater emphasis, including by donor agencies, should be given to identifying the boundaries of shared stocks, such as through telemetric and/or genetic studies. In addition, range States should be afforded greater access to the research tools necessary for a modern understanding of stock origin, movement and home range. Data should be collected and analysed to contribute not only to national stock assessments, but to provide a scientific basis for co-ordinated responses to shared marine turtle management issues. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela41

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11.Along the same vein, mechanisms must be developed and implemented that provide not only for co-operation but also for co-ordination in implementing management measures between countries that share management responsibility for marine turtle stocks. Developing a scientifically based regime for exploiting marine turtles at the nationalŽ level will focus exploitation on foraging populations which, in most instances, comprise stocks of mixed origin. There is a need for management measures to factor in exploitation and other impacts outside nationalŽ jurisdictions, as well as the management objectives of jurisdictions that are placing a priority on the recovery of marine turtle populations. Many contributors to this review noted the importance to their national management efforts of a regional management plan and of funding to support the co-operative efforts needed to implement such a plan. The WCR benefits from two regional treaties relating to marine turtles: the SPAWProtocol, which entered into force in 2000, and IAC, which entered into effect in 2001. Comprehensive membership by the countries of the WCR will greatly enhance the effectiveness of these instruments in serving as a regional forum for collaboration and co-operation in marine turtle management. Serious consideration should be afforded to how these agreements could provide the political apparatus for multilateral decision-making on specific management measures as well as how they can facilitate the process and assist in providing for the technical and institutional infrastructure that will be required if the process is to be successful. 12.There is a need for greater international co-operation in stemming illegal international trade in marine turtle products. Existing efforts to address regional wildlife trade issues in Central America, in particular, should be strengthened through increased financial, logistical and political support and expanded to support necessary bilateral and multilateral efforts in other jurisdictions in the region.REFERENCESAbreu Grobois, F.A., V. Guzmn, E. Cuevas and M. Alba Gamio (Compilers). (2005). Memorias del Taller Rumbo a la COP3: Diagnstico del estado de la tortuga carey (Eretmochelysimbricata) en la Pennsula de Yucatn y determinacin de acciones estratgicas. SEMARNAT, CONANP, IFAW, PRONATURA…Pennsula de Yucatn, WWF, Defenders of Wildlife. Aiken, J.J., B.J. Godley, A.C. Broderick, T. Austin, G. Ebanks-Petrie and G.C. Hays. (2001). Two hundred years after a commercial marine turtle fishery: the current status of marine turtles nesting in the Cayman Islands. Oryx 35:145…152. Bacon, P., F. Berry, K. Bjorndal. H. Hirth, L. Ogren and M. Weber (Eds). (1984). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica I. RSMAS Printing, Miami. 306 pp. Bass, A.L. (1999). Genetic analysis to elucidate the natural history and behaviour of hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) in the wider Caribbean: a review and re-analysis. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2):195…199. Bjorndal, K.A. (1982). The consequences of herbivory for the life history pattern of the Caribbean green turtle, Chelonia mydas Pp. 111…116. In: K.A. Bjorndal (Ed.). Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. Bjorndal, K.A. and A.B. Bolten. (2003). From ghosts to key species: restoring sea turtle populations to fulfill their ecological roles. Marine Turtle Newsletter 100:16…21. (To access all articles published in the Marine Turtle Newsletter visit www.seaturtle.org/mtn/) Bjorndal, K.A. and J.B.C. Jackson. (2003). Roles of sea turtles in marine ecosystems: reconstructing the past. Pp. 259…273. In: P.L. Lutz, J.A. Musick and J. Wyneken (Eds). The Biology of Sea Turtles II. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. 42TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Frazer, N.B. (1989). Management options: a philosophical approach to population models. Pp. 198…207. In: L. Ogren (Ed.-in-Chief). Proceedings of the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium. NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-226.US Department of Commerce. Frazer, N. B. and R. C. Ladner. (1986). Agrowth curve for green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas in the US Virgin Islands, 1913…14. Copeia 1986:798…802. Frazier, J. (2001). General natural history of marine turtles. Pp. 3…17. In: K.L. Eckert and F.A. Abreu Grobois (Eds). Proceedings of the Regional Meeting, Marine Turtle Conservation in the Wider Caribbean Region: A Dialogue for Effective Regional Management Santo Domingo, 16…18 November 1999 WIDECAST, IUCNMTSG, WWF and UNEP-CEP. www.iucn-tsg.org/publications/DR_Proceedings/Index.htm (English) and www.iucn-mtsg.org/publications/Memorias_RD/ContenidoRD.htm (Spanish) Frazier, J. (2003). Prehistoric and ancient historic interactions between humans and marine turtles. Pp. 1…38. In: P.L. Lutz, J.A. Musick and J. Wyneken (Eds). The Biology of Sea Turtles II. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. Frazier, J. (2005a). Marine turtles: the role of flagship species in interactions between people and the Sea. MAST 3(2) and 4(1):5…38. www.marecentre.nl/mast/MASTturtleissue.html Frazier, J. (2005b). Flagging the Flagship: Valuing Experiences from Ancient Depths. MAST 3(2) and 4(1):273…303. www.marecentre.nl/mast/MASTturtleissue.html Fuller, J.E., K.L. Eckert and J.I. Richardson. (1992). WIDECASTSea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Antigua and Barbuda CEPTechnical Report No. 16. UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. 88 pp. Girondot, M. and J. Frtey. (1996). Leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea nesting in French Guiana, 1978…1995. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2(2):204…208. Godley, B.J., A.C. Broderick, L.M. Campbell, S. Ranger, P.B. Richardson. (2004). An assessment of the status and exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla. Pp. 39…77. In: An Assessment of the Status and Exploitation of Marine Turtles in the UK Overseas Territories in the Wider Caribbean Final project report for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Foreign Commonwealth Office. www.seaturtle.org/mtrg/projects/tcot/finalreport Grazette, S. (2002). Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Pp. 45…63. In:Harvest and national trade of sea turtles and their products in the Eastern Caribbean. MSc. thesis, Natural Resource Management Programme, University of the West Indies, Barbados. Grazette, S. (In press.) An assessment of the sea turtle fishery in Grenada, West Indies. Oryx Groombridge, B. and R. Luxmoore. (1989). The Green Turtle and Hawksbill (Reptilia: Cheloniidae): World Status, Exploitation and Trade. Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Lausanne, Switzerland. 601 pp. Hays, G.C., J.D.R. Houghton and A.E. Myers. (2004a). Pan-Atlantic leatherback turtle movements. Nature 429:522. Hays, G.C., J.D.R. Houghton, C. Isaacs, R.S. King. C. Lloyd and P. Lovell. (2004b). First records of oceanic dive profiles for leatherback turtles, Dermochelyscoriacea indicate behavioural plasticity associated with longdistance migration. Animal Behaviour 67:733…743. Heppell, S.S., L.B. Crowder and T.R. Menzel. (1999). Life table analysis of long-lived marine species with implications for management. Pp. 137…148. In: J.A. Musick (Ed.). Life in the Slow Lane: Ecology and Conservation of Long-Lived Marine Animals American Fisheries Society Symposium 23. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. Heppell, S.S., D.T. Crouse and L.B. Crowder. (2000). Using matrix models to focus research and management efforts in conservation. Pp. 148…168. In: S. Ferson and M. Burgman (Eds). Quantitative Methods for Conservation Biology Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 46TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Heppell, S.S., M.L. Snover and L.B. Crowder. (2003). Sea turtle population ecology. Pp. 275…306. In: P.L. Lutz, J.A. Musick and J. Wyneken (Eds). The Biology of Sea Turtles II. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. Heppell, S.S., D.T. Crouse, L.B. Crowder, S.P. Epperly, W. Gabriel, T. Henwood, R. Mrquez and N.B. Thompson. (2004). Apopulation model to estimate recovery time, population size and management impacts on Kemps ridley sea turtles. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 4(4):767…773. Hernndez, P., S. (2002). Sistema de Aprovechamiento Sostenible de la tortuga verde ( Chelonia mydas ), la tortuga carey ( Eretmochelys imbricata ), la tortuga caguama ( Caretta caretta ), y la tortuga canal ( Dermochelys coriacea ). Presentacin general, 11 de diciembre de 2002. Programa Uso y Valoracin, Instituto Alexander von Humboldt. Hilterman, M.L., E. Goverse and C.J. de Bres. (2001). The Sea Turtles of Suriname, 2000 Biotopic Technical Report, commissioned by World Wildlife Fund„Guianas Forests and Environmental Conservation Project (GFECP), Paramaribo, Suriname. Horrocks, J.A. (2001). Reducing threats on foraging grounds. Pp. 121…126. In: K.L. Eckert and F.A. Abreu Grobois (Eds). Proceedings of the Regional Meeting, Marine Turtle Conservation in the Wider Caribbean Region: ADialogue for Effective Regional Management Santo Domingo, 16…18 November 1999 WIDECAST, IUCN-MTSG, WWF and UNEP-CEP. www.iucn-tsg.org/publications/DR_Proceedings/Index .htm (English) and www.iucn-mtsg.org/publications/Memorias_RD/ContenidoRD.htm (Spanish) Horrocks, J.A., L.A. Vermeer, B. Krueger, M. Coyne, B. Schroeder and G. Balazs. (2001). Migration routes and destination characteristics of post-nesting hawksbill turtles satellite-tracked from Barbados, West Indies. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 4(1):1…7. Instituto Alexander von Humboldt. (2000). El uso de la fauna silvestre como estrategia de conservacin. Convenio de Cooperacin Tcnica y Cientfica 043. Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Colombia. Anexos. IUCN. (2002). Hawksbill Turtles in the Caribbean Region: Basic Biological Characteristics and Population Status. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Background Paper. www.cites.org/eng/prog/HBT/intro.shtml IUCN. (2004). 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species www.iucnredlist.org. Jackson, J.B.C. (1997). Reefs since Columbus. Coral Reefs 16, Suppl.: S23 … S32. James, M.C., S. A. Eckert and R.A. Myers. (2005). Migratory and reproductive movements of male leatherback turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea ). Marine Biology 147(4):845…853. King, F.W. (1982). Historical review of the decline of the green turtle and the hawksbill. Pp. 183…188. In: K.A. Bjorndal (Ed.). The Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. Krueger, B., J. Horrocks and J. Beggs. (2003a). Increase in nesting activity by hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) in Barbados. P. 149. In: J.A. Seminoff (Comp.). Proceedings of the 22ndAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-503. US Department of Commerce.(All proceedings available at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/symposia.htm) Krueger, B. K., J. A. Horrocks and J. Beggs. (2003b). International Movements of Adult Female and Juvenile hawksbill Turtles, Eretmochelys imbricata from Barbados, West Indies. Paper presented at the 23rdAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 2003. Lagueux, C.J. (1998). Marine Turtle Fishery of Caribbean Nicaragua: Human Use Patterns and Harvest Trends Doctoral dissertation. University of Florida, Gainesville. 215 pp. Lagueux, C.J., C.L. Campbell and L.W. Lauck (Eds). (2002). Draft Management Strategy for Sea Turtle Conservation on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Project #99-033-001, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Washington, DC. 113 pp. Unpublished. Laurent, L., R. Charles and R. Lieveld. (1999). The Guianas: Sea Turtle Conservation Regional Strategy and Action Plan 2001…2006. Fishery Sector Report, commissioned by World Wildlife Fund„Guianas Forests and Environmental Conservation Project (GFECP), Paramaribo, Suriname. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela47

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Lee Lum, L.M. (2003). An assessment of incidental turtle catch in the gillnet fishery in Trinidad and Tobago. Research Report. Institute of Marine Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago. 38 pp. Len, Y.M. and K.A. Bjorndal. (2002). Selective feeding in the hawksbill turtle, an important predator in coral reef ecosystems. Marine Ecology Progress Series 245:249…258. Lewis, C.B. (1940). The Cayman Islands and marine turtle. Bulletin of the Institute of Jamaica Science Series 2:56…65. Lohmann, K.J., B.E. Witherington, C.M.F. Lohmann and M. Salmon. (1997). Orientation, navigation, and a natal beach homing in sea turtles. Pp. 107…135. In: P.L. Lutz and J.AMusick (Eds). The Biology of Sea Turtles CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. Long, E. (1774). The History of Jamaica, or General Survey of the Ancient and Modern State of that Island. T. Loundes, London. Luke, K., J. Horrocks, R. Leroux and P. Dutton. (2004). Origins of green turtle feeding aggregations around Barbados, West Indies. Marine Biology 144:799…805. Mack, D., N. Duplaix and S. Wells. (1982). Sea Turtles: Animals of Divisible Parts: International Trade in Sea Turtle Products. Pp. 545…563. In: K.A. Bjorndal (Ed.). The Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. Marcovaldi, M.A. (2001). Status and distribution of the olive ridley turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea in the Western Atlantic Ocean. Pp. 52…56. In: K.L. Eckert and F.A. Abreu Grobois (Eds). Proceedings of the Regional Meeting, Marine Turtle Conservation in the Wider Caribbean Region: ADialogue for Effective Regional Management Santo Domingo, 16…18 November 1999 WIDECAST, IUCN-MTSG, WWF and UNEP-CEP. www.iucn-tsg.org/publications/DR_Proceedings/Index.htm (English) and www.iucn-mtsg.org/publications/ Memorias_RD/ContenidoRD.htm (Spanish) Marcovaldi, M.Aand A. Filippini. (1991). Trans-Atlantic movement by a juvenile hawksbill turtle. Marine Turtle Newsletter 52:3. (To access all articles published in the Marine Turtle Newsletter visit www.seaturtle.org/mtn/) Mrquez-M., R. (1994). Synopsis of Biological Data on the Kemps Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelyskempi (Garman, 1880) NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-343. US Department of Commerce. Mrquez, R., J. Daz, M. Snchez, P. Burchfield, A. Leo, M. Carrasco, J. Pea, C. Jimnez and R. Bravo. (1999). Results of the Kemps ridley nesting beach conservation efforts in Mxico. Marine Turtle Newsletter 85:2…4. (To access all articles published in the Marine Turtle Newsletter visit www.seaturtle.org/mtn/) Meylan, A.B. (1988). Spongivory in hawksbill turtles: a diet of glass. Science 239:393…395. Meylan, A.B. (1999a). Status of the hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelysimbricata ) in the Caribbean Region. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2):177…184. Meylan, A. (1999b). International movements of immature and adult hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) in the Caribbean Region. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2):189…194. Meylan, A.B. and M. Donnelly. (1999a). Status justification for listing the hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) as Critically Endangered on the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2):200…224. Milliken, T. and H. Tokunaga. (1987). The Japanese Sea Turtle Trade 1970…1986 Aspecial report prepared by TRAFFIC (Japan). Center for Environmental Education, Washington, DC. 171 pp. Milner-Gulland, E.J. and N. Leader-Williams. (1992). Illegal exploitation of wildlife. Pp. 195…213. In: T.M. Swanson and E.B. Barbier (Eds). Economics for the Wilds: Wildlife, Wildlands, Diversity and Development Earthscan Publications, London. MMA(Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Colombia). (2002). Programa Nacional para la Conservacin de las Tortugas Marinas y Continentales de Colombia Direccin General de Ecosistemas. 63 pp. 48TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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NRC. (1990). Decline of the Sea Turtles: Causes and Prevention National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. 259 pp. Ogren, L. (Ed.-in-Chief). (1989). Proceedings of the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-226.US Department of Commerce Ordoez, C., A., Ruiz, S., Trong, A. Meylan and P. Meylan (2005). Final Project Report„2004 Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) Research and Population Recovery, at Chiriqu Beach and Escudo de Veraguas Island, Kribo region, Ngbe-Bugl Comarca, and Bastimentos Island Marine National Park. Prepared for ANAM, Ngbe-Bugl Comarca and APRORENANB. Gainesville, Florida. Parsons, J. (1962). The Green Turtle and Man University of Florida Press, Gainesville. 121 pp. Parsons, J. (1972). The hawksbill turtle and the tortoise shell trade. Pp. 45…60. In: tudes de gographie tropicale offertes Pierre Gourou. Mouton, Paris. Petersen, J.B. (1997). Taino, Island Carib, and Prehistoric Amerindian Economies in the West Indies: Tropical Forest Adaptations to Island Environments. Pp. 118…130. In: S.M. Wilson (Ed.). Indigenous Peoples of the Caribbean. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. Pritchard, P.C.H. (1973). International migrations of South American sea turtles (Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae). Animal Behaviour 21:18…27. Pritchard, P.C.H. and P. Trebbau. (1984). The Turtles of Venezuela Contributions to Herpetology No. 2. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, NY. 401 pp. + plates and maps. Rebel, T.P. (1974). Sea Turtles and the Turtle Industry of the West Indies, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico revised edn.. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables. 250 pp. Reichart, H.A. (1989). Olive ridley turtle ( Lepidochelys olivacea ): status report. Pp. 175…188. In: L.H. Ogren (Ed.-in-Chief). Proceedings of the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-226. US Department of Commerce. Reichart, H.A. (1993). Synopsis of Biological Data on the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea (Eschscholtz, 1829), in the Western Atlantic NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-336. US Department of Commerce. Richardson, J.I., R. Kerr Bjorkland, P. Mason, D.B. Hall, Y. Cai, K. Andrews and R. Bell. (2004). Seventeen years of saturation tagging data reveal a significant increase in nesting hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) on Jumby Bay, Long Island, Antigua, West Indies.Poster presented at the 24thAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, San Jos, Costa Rica, February 2004. Rondn M., M.A., H.J. Guada and R.A. Hernndez S. (2004). Research and conservation of sea turtles in the Paria Peninsula, Venezuela: Results of the 2003 nesting season. Poster presented at the 24thAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, San Jos, Costa Rica, February 2004. Ross, J.P., S. Beavers, D. Mundell and M. Airth-Kindree. (1989). The Status of Kemps Ridley Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, DC. 51 pp. Snchez Castaeda, R., M.R. Jolon Morales, C. Gonzlez Lorenzana, J.C. Villagrn Coln, J.L. Boix Morn and H. Dieseldorff Monzn. (2002). Estrategia nacional de manejo y conservacin de tortugas marinas : Guatemala Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas-CONAP/FONACON/CBM/EPQ/UNIPESCA. 112 pp. Searle, L.A.W. (2001). ABrief History of Sea Turtle Communities, Conservation and Consumption in Belize. Paper presented at the 21stAnnual International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, Philadelphia, USA, February 2001. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela49

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Schroeder, B.A. (2001). Reducing threats at nesting beaches. Pp. 115…120. In: K.L. Eckert and F.A. Abreu Grobois (Eds). Proceedings of the Regional Meeting, Marine Turtle Conservation in the Wider Caribbean Region: ADialogue for Effective Regional Management Santo Domingo, 16…18 November 1999 WIDECAST, IUCN-MTSG, WWF and UNEP-CEP. www.iucn-tsg.org/publications/DR_Proceedings/Index .htm (English) and www.iucn-mtsg.org/publications/Memorias_RD/ContenidoRD.htm (Spanish) Seminoff, J.A. (2004). Red List Assessment of the Green Sea Turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) using the 2001 Red List Criteria IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group. 34 pp. www.iucnmtsg.org/red_list/cm/MTSG_Chelonia_mydas_assessment_expanded-format.pdf TEWG (Turtle Expert Working Group). (2000). Assessment Update for the Kemps Ridley and Loggerhead Sea Turtle Populations in the Western North Atlantic NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-444. US Department of Commerce. www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/readingrm/Turtles/tewg2000.pdf Trong, S. and C. Drews. (2004). Money Talks: Economic Aspects of Marine Turtle Use and Conservation WWF-International, Gland, Switzerland. www.panda.org Trong, S. and E. Rankin. (2005). Long-term conservation efforts contribute to positive green turtle Chelonia mydas nesting trend at Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Biological Conservation 121:111…116. Trong, S., D. Chacn and B. Dick. (2004). Possible decline in leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nesting along the coast of Caribbean Central America. Oryx 38(4):395…403. Trong, S., P.H. Dutton and D. Evans. (2005). Migration of hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata from Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Ecography 28(3):394…402. Vera, V. (2004). Proyecto de seguimiento y conservacin de la poblacin de tortuga verde ( Chelonia mydas ) en el Refugio de Fauna Silvestre Isla Aves (Dependencias federales). Pp. 55…61. In: Tortugas Marinas en Venezuela: Acciones para su Conservacin Oficina Nacional de Diversidad Biolgica, Direccin de Fauna, Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales, Venezuela (MARN). Versteeg, A.H., J. Tacoma and P. van de Velde. (1990). Archaeological Investigations on Aruba: The Malmok Cemetery. Publication of the Archaeological Museum Aruba 2. Witherington, B.E. and C.M. Koeppel. (2000). Sea turtle nesting in Florida, USA, during the decade 1989…1998: An analysis of trends. Pp. 94…96. In: H. Kalb and T. Wibbels (Compilers). Proceedings of the 19thAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Conservation and Biology NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-443. US Department of Commerce. Available at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/symposia.htm Witherington, B.E. and R.E. Martin. (2000). Understanding, Assessing, and Resolving Light-Pollution Problems on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches ( Revised Edition ). Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FMRI Technical Report TR-2. Tallahassee, Florida. 73 pp. www.nests-certified.org/pdf/LightingTechReport.pdf Zug, G.R., H.J. Kalb and S.J. Luzar. (1997). Age and growth in wild Kemps ridley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys kempii ) from skeletochronological data. Biological Conservation 80:261…268. 50TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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NATIONAL REVIEWS:LESSER ANTILLES Anguilla IntroductionAnguilla is the northernmost of the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. Alow coralline island covering a land area of 91 km2, with sandy bays in the south and cliffs and many sandy bays in the north, Anguilla also comprises several small, uninhabited cays, namely Dog Island, Prickly Pear Cays, Seal Island, Sandy Island, Sombrero Island, Scrub Island, Scilly Cay and Anguillita. It is situated on the Anguilla Bank, which it shares with the French/Netherlands Antilles island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten and the French island of Saint Barthlmy (both of these part of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe) and has an Exclusive Fishery Zone ofca. 85 000 km2, extending primarily to the north. Anguilla was established as a British dependent territory through the UK Anguilla Act of 1980 Carr et al. (1982) and Meylan (1983) characterized marine turtles at the time of their writing as appearing to be more abundant in Anguilla than in most of the other Leeward Islands. They attributed this situation to the relative absence of tourist development and to the existence of extensive nesting and foraging habitats, many of them on and around the offshore cays. Afew years later, all residents interviewed by Hall (1987) reported a decrease in nesting on the mainlandŽ, and coastal development was proceeding rapidly. In the 20 years or so since Carr et al. and Meylan published their accounts, the situation in Anguilla has changed considerably (Procter and Fleming, 1999; Godley et al ., 2004; Hodge and Eckert, in review): few marine turtles nest in Anguilla today, as compared with historical accounts of inexhaustible numbers in the water and on nesting beachesŽ. After centuries of exploitation and dramatic declines in numbers of both nesting and foraging turtles in recent decades, a moratorium on the exploitation of marine turtles and eggs was instituted in 1995 for five years and later extended until December 2005. In 2001, the process of developing a Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) for Anguilla was initiated under the auspices of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) and the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (Hodge and Eckert, in review) and in collaboration with local stakeholders. In addition to documenting the status of and threats to marine turtles in Anguilla, the STRAPidentifies a range of issues to be addressed and measures to be taken in order to promote marine turtle population recovery. Amongst these are the protection of nesting beaches, measures to control and manage coastal development and the design and implementation of research activities to identify important habitats and establish a baseline for monitoring marine turtle populations. The STRAPsupports the moratorium on the take of marine turtles in that it provides an opportunity to assess population status and promote consensus among stakeholders on how best to manage remnant populations. However, the document cautions that this measure alone will not secure their survival in Anguilla: the tourism economy still controls the future of Anguillas beachesŽ and, thus, presents a challenge to efforts to secure and safeguard critical habitats for these animals. The status and exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla have also been recently investigated as part of a threeyear, UK Government-funded project, Turtles of the Caribbean Overseas Territories(TCOT). This project involved a range of activities in the six territories, including a socio-economic survey, field-based population assessment and extensive consultation with the government, NGOs and other stakeholders. Among the results of TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela51

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this project, which have recently been published (Godley et al ., 2004), are a suite of recommendations to foster the recovery of marine turtles in Anguilla. These include: revision of existing legislation, including in relation to the protection and management of habitats that are increasingly under pressure from tourism development; enhancing the management capacity of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (DFMR); and establishing a systematic monitoring programme for marine ecosystems so as to determine abundance trends for marine turtles. In particular, the TCOTreport, noting the pending expiration of the moratorium in December 2005 (now renewed to 2020) and the demands that an appropriately controlled and regulated marine turtle fishery would place on an already over-stretched DFMR, proposes that the prohibition on marine turtle exploitation be continued, but that a three-year participatory marine turtle research programme be conducted, involving interested fishers and others in both in-water and nesting beach monitoring and sampling, in order, inter alia to assess the viability of establishing a highly regulated experimental fishery. In making that recommendation, the report proposes a number of revisions to the current legal regime and measures to be incorporated into a comprehensive monitoring programme that would be necessary to ensure that any future exploitation of marine turtles is consistent with the overall recovery needs of these species. Many of the TCOTreport's findings and recommendations are being taken forward through a successor project, Turtles in the UK Overseas Territories (TUKOT), funded by the UK Governments Overseas Territory Environment Programme (OTEP) (see www.seaturtle.org/mtrg/projects/tukot).Summary of the status of marine turtles in AnguillaFour species of marine turtle are known historically from Anguilla (see table below). Loggerheads are infrequently encountered and are not known to nest on the island. Leatherbacks are present only during the annual egg-laying season (March…July), while Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles both nest on coastal beaches and forage in nearshore and offshore waters. Only Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks nest in discernible numbers. Foraging turtles, nearly all juveniles, are more in evidence than are nesting adults and include Hawksbill Turtles regularly encountered in the vicinity of reefs and cliffs, Green Turtles on seagrass beds in several nearshore areas and the occasional Loggerhead in hard-bottom habitats. The most important foraging areas are Scilly Cay (Island Harbour) and Forest Bay for Green Turtles; Junks Hole/Savannah Bay for Hawksbill Turtles; and Little Bay/Crocus Bay for both species (DFMR, 2002). 52TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta I Green Turtle Chelonia mydas N, F Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea A Occurrence of marine turtles in Anguilla Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent

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Periodic monitoring of nesting beaches since 1998 (Connor and Connor, 1998) has provided an estimate (on mainland beaches) of fewer than 20 Leatherback nests and fewer than 30 Hawksbill Turtle nests per year. According to Hodge and Eckert (in review), the total number of female Hawksbill Turtles nesting on mainland beaches and offshore cays (Dog and Scrub islands primarily) is not likely to be more than 30 (the equivalent of some 150 nests). Leatherback nesting appears to be rising, as is also the case in the nearby US Virgin Islands (Boulon et al. 1996) and British Virgin Islands (Hastings, 2002). The most important nesting areas (all species) are Captain's Bay, Scrub Island and Dog Island (DFMR, 2002). Hodge and Eckert (in review) report the consensus of informed residents that the size of both nesting and foraging populations has declined dramatically during the last 40 years. The TCOTreport (Godley et al. 2004) concluded that the most that can be surmised from the available data is that marine turtle nesting in Anguilla is at critically low levelsŽ. Regarding foraging turtles, one fisher interviewed by Hall (1987) assessed the marine turtle population to be seriously depleted based on his counting approximately one-tenth the number of turtlesŽ per boat trip he had in past years. However, there are very recent reports, following the 1995 moratorium, of slightly increasing trends in sightings by fishers. These observations may be related to the increased number of sightings in the Virgin Islands in recent years, a trend that has been attributed to the protection of marine turtles in US waters for the past three decades. It may also be because local turtles are less cautious and, thus, more visible, now that fishing pressure has eased. Unfortunately, with no baseline data available, the extent to which local populations may be increasing is impossible to quantify as yet. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela53 Fishers bringing in a beach seine net at Crocus Bay,one of the most important foraging areas for Green and Hawksbill Turtles around Anguilla. Credit : P. Richardson/MCS

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O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties As an overseas territory of the UK, Anguillas membership in international agreements is dependent on UK membership, but the membership is not automatic. Anguilla participates in only a small number of the agreements to which the UK is party. Of those considered most relevant to the conservation of marine turtles, set out in the table below, Anguilla is party only to the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) and the World Heritage Convention. Anguilla was not included in the UKs ratification of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and is, thus, not party to the treaty. In an effort to address these lacunae, the Government of Anguilla initiated, in 2004, the drafting of comprehensive environmental legislation that will enable the extension of appropriate multilateral environmental agreements to Anguilla. Technical assistance for this effort is being provided through OTEP(www.ukotcf.org/OTEP/index.htm, viewed 6 December 2005). In this context, it should be noted that the UK ratified the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention,on 28 February 1986 but has not ratified the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAWProtocol)under that Convention, 54TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Convention Anguilla (UK) Cartagena Convention No Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)No Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean RegionNo Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and ActivitiesNo Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)No Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) No Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)No Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex III)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex V)No Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)1990 (R) UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)25.07.97 Western Hemisphere ConventionNo World Heritage Convention29.08.84 Membership of Anguilla in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Ratification (R)Source : S. Earl, UKForeign and Commonwealth Office, in litt. to J. Gray, TRAFFIC International, 8 November 2005.

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which it signed on 18 January 1990. The UK has also not acceded to the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC). In 2001, the UK Government and Government of Anguilla concluded an Environment Charter as the basis for collaborative efforts in planning for and implementing biodiversity conservation and environmental management in Anguilla. Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles The exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla has been regulated since 1948. In that year, the Turtle Ordinance Cap. 99 established a four-month closed season on the take of turtles and turtle eggs extending from 1 June to 30 September and a minimum size limit for all species of turtle of 20 lb (nine kilogrammes). These same provisions were incorporated into subsequent regulations, the most recent of which were the Fisheries Protection Regulations of 1988 issued under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance No. 4 of 1986 The Fisheries Protection Regulations of 1988 were amended on 31 May 1995 ( Am. SRO No. 4 of 1995 ), thus bringing into effect a moratorium on the capture of turtles and take of turtle eggs for a period of five years. The amended Regulations also placed an indefinite ban on the use of gill nets, thereby reducing the risk of incidental take of marine turtles in fishery operations. The 1995 moratorium was renewed for another five-year period through the Fisheries Protection (Amendment) Regulations of 15 December 2000 (Part 3: Conservation Provisions) Section 17 of the law specifically prohibits for a period of five years from 15 December 2000: a) the take or attempted take of any turtle; b) the killing, purchase, sale or exposure for sale, or possession of a whole turtle or any portion of the meat of a turtle; or c) the take or attempted take, purchase, sale or exposure for sale, or possession of turtle eggs. In contrast to the general penalty set out in these regulations, which is a fine of 5000 East Caribbean dollars (XCD5000) and/or or one months imprisonment, the penalties mandated for violations of these specific prohibitions are the maximum allowed under the Fisheries Protection Act (Chapter F40 of 15 December 2000) : if convicted, a person is liable to one years imprisonment and a fine of XCD50 000 for a first offence and the department may confiscate any vessel, equipment, such as nets, or any other thing connected with such offenceŽ. These penalties are increased to a fine of XCD250 000 or two yearsimprisonment for a second or subsequent offence. In the case of offences committed in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), imprisonment is not imposed. Numerous other measures are enabled by Part 3 of the Fisheries Protection Regulations including no-take zones, licensing requirements and the development of a fisheries management and development plan that sets out management objectives and measures for each fishery. The 2000 moratorium was renewed for another 15-year period through the Fisheries Protection (Amendment) Regulations (Part 3: Conservation Provisions) which, as this review goes to press, have yet to be gazetted and dated. The same provisions and penalties apply, as noted above, for the 1995 renewal (J.C. Gumbs, DFMR, in litt ., 18 May 2006). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela55

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As already noted, Anguilla is currently not party to CITES. Allan (1998) reported that there was no legislation in the territory governing the import and export of wildlife and wildlife products, including CITES-listed species. This has proved to be a problem in the context of the current moratorium, as enquiries have been made about importing marine turtle products from neighbouring islands (countries) (DFMR, 2002). Hodge (2002) reported that the government was drafting legislation that would support the extension of CITES to Anguilla and, according to S. Nash, Chief, Capacity Building Unit, CITES Secretariat, ( in litt. to J. Gray, TRAFFIC International, 21 September 2005), this has now been developed. Several pieces of legislation offer habitat protection that is relevant to marine turtles. The Marine Parks Act, Revised Statutes of Anguilla, Chapter M30 of 15 December 2000 supersedes an ordinance of 1982 and provides for the designation of any portion of the marine areas of AnguillaŽ as a marine park, so as to: a) protect the fish, flora and fauna and wrecks; b) preserve and enhance the natural beauty; c) promote enjoyment by the public and d) promote scientific study and research in such areas. In addition, the Act provides for designation of management authorities and regulations affecting the use of these areas. Specific measures provided by this Act are set out in the Marine Parks Regulations, Revised Regulations of Anguilla (R.R.A.) M30-1 of 15 December 2000 ; one such measure is a prohibition on fishing in a marine park. The Beach Protection Act, Chapter B25 of 15 December 2000 which supersedes the 1988 Beach Protection Ordinance protects listed beaches from sand and gravel extraction within 200ft of the foreshore and sets a penalty for violation of the Act at a fine of XCD5000 and 12 monthsimprisonment. The Beach Protection Orders, Revised Regulations of Anguilla (R.R.A.) B25-1 designates 18 beaches as protected. Responsible authorities DFMR, established in 1991, has authority for exploitation, conservation and enforcement of legislation relating to marine resources, including marine turtles. It is also responsible for the development and management of fisheries and marine parks and all coastal zone management (Godley et al. 2004). Customs is responsible for oversight of imports and exports. Authority for enforcing marine turtle legislation is vested in the Royal Anguilla Police Force.Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective According to Hodge and Eckert (in review), exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla has been carried out for centuries; recent archaeological evidence suggests that these animals have been hunted from local waters for at least 1000 years (Crock, 2000). This exploitation has involved all species, for meat, oil (used as recently as the 1960s, primarily for lubricating tools), shell, and eggs. During this long history of exploitation, there has never been a systematic effort to quantify the numbers of turtles or eggs taken and further characterize„and monitor„ this exploitation; as a consequence, exploitation levels and trends in these over time are unknown. 56TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Connor and Connor (1998) reported from an interview with one of several fishers that they interviewed about past exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla (prior to the moratorium enacted in 1995), that the majority of turtles hunted in Anguilla were mainly caught for their shells; he vividly recalled that the shells were exported to some of the neighbouring Caribbean islands and reported that several people from Saint Lucia frequented Anguilla to collect turtle shells. In addition, shells were used to make jewellery and other articles. As regards meat, this fisher reported that it was not in great demand in Anguilla, where it was cooked like any other meat with rice and potatoes, and that it was mainly sold locally or in Saint Martin. By contrast, turtle eggs were collected by many peopleŽ in Anguilla, including himself. Meylan (1983) expressed concern that increased use of spear guns in Anguilla was leading to an increased take of turtles. Turtles were being taken predominantly by divers with spear guns seeking lobsters, conches and reef fishes. Although this was largely opportunistic, the spear guns enabled them to take nearly every turtle they encountered. She further reported that turtle eggs were taken whenever they were found. Hall (1987) provided a similar report: eggs were taken whenever possible, including during the closed season, and used locally to increase male staminaŽ; turtles weighing 10…15 lb were often taken in violation of the 20-lbminimum size limit because the meat was considered more tender and these animals were easier to spear; and sub-adults and adults of all species were taken for their meat, although Hawksbill Turtles were most often taken for their shells. Meylan (1983) provided details of the domestic trade in turtle products in Anguilla, which included the sale of Green and Hawksbill Turtle meat to individuals and hotels, and polished carapaces, but did not involve eggs. She further reported that there was no local handicraft in tortoiseshell. There are few estimates of the numbers of turtles that have been exploited in Anguilla in past decades and there appears to be very little basis on which to judge their veracity. Richardson and Gumbs (1984) provided no estimates of numbers of turtles taken in their report to the First Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, although they reported that there were 5…10 turtle fishers, none of whom were dependent on marine turtles as their sole source of income. Hall (1987), reporting to the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, estimated the annual exploitation of marine turtles to be 100…200, as compared with an estimated 200-300 per year in 1984, again, with no-one fishing for turtles as a full-time occupation. Information collected as part of the TCOTproject (Godley et al ., 2004„see next section) suggests that the exploitation levels in the decade immediately prior to the 1995 moratorium may have been much higher; indeed, Gumbs (J.C. Gumbs, DFMR, pers. comm., 27 October 2004) believes Halls figures to be way too lowŽ and that at least 1000 and possibly many more turtles may have been taken in a good yearŽ during the 1980s. Recent (since 1992) exploitation According to DFMR (2002), no records were maintained by the Department of the number, size or species of marine turtles taken in the legal fishery that operated until 1995. Although the number of fishers regularly landing turtles was considered small, perhaps no more than the 5…10 estimated by Richardson and Gumbs in 1983, the number of turtles any one of them might have taken in a given year could vary from 20 to 100 (J.C. Gumbs, in litt ., 27 September 2002). That said, turtles are not considered to have been a major source of sustenance or income for these fishers and there does not appear to have been a commercial market: turtles were most likely to have been shared amongst family and friends or sold to persons on orderŽ. Green Turtles were targeted more than others, for meat, and turtle eggs continued to be taken. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela57

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Godley et al. (2004) present a somewhat different picture of marine turtle exploitation prior to the moratorium, based on information compiled from a socio-economic survey of 72 Anguillian residents. Sixty-two of these interviewees reported that they had eaten turtle meat prior to the 1995 moratorium; while for many it was an occasional variation in the diet, it appears to have constituted a very important source of protein for some families. Of the 51 respondents who engaged in fishing for whatever purpose, 27 reported that they fished for marine turtles prior to the moratorium and provided information on their activities. From these responses, the pattern of exploitation in Anguilla appears to have been one of many fishers taking a small number of turtles with a small number of fishers regularly taking high numbers of turtles; at least one fisher reported catching 2000 Green Turtles per year. Because interviewees were reporting on activities of more than a decade ago, were doing so from different perspectives and with different desired outcomesŽ (S. Ranger, Marine Conservation Society, in litt ., 2 March 2005), and did not offer any component data (number of fishing days, average number of turtles landed per day), it is difficult to judge the accuracy of these figures. DFMR (J.C. Gumbs, pers. comm., 2004) believes these figures to be far higher than the numbers actually involved, at least for the years just prior to the implementation of the moratorium. Additional information compiled from the recent socio-economic survey (Godley et al. 2004) confirms the findings of Connor and Connor (1998) that many of the marine turtles caught were sold in neighbouring Saint Martin. The single fisher reporting an unusually high annual take of 2000 Green Turtles reported selling his entire catch to restaurants, hotels and the market in Saint Martin (with the shells reported to have been sold annually to traders in both Anguilla and Saint Martin), while other fishers also reported selling portions of their catch in Saint Martin. Eight of the fishers who reported selling whole shells did so at points consistent with a local market (e.g. on the street, at the harbour, at peoples homes), and eight reported selling them at places consistent with a tourist market (e.g. market in Saint Martin, restaurants, retail outlets, hotels); most catered to both markets. The majority of sales of Hawksbill Turtle scutes were reported to be to traders from other Caribbean islands (e.g. Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts, Antigua). Only one vendor was found to have regularly sold shells or shell products. DFMR (2002) has reported that, although there have been complaints, fishers have generally been adhering to the moratorium and this has been confirmed by the findings of the TCOTproject. Although, in 2002, there was no evidence of illegal nets being set for turtles and little evidence of illegal take (although there is little enforcement and no formal monitoring), DFMR (2002) considered it likely that some fishers continued to take turtles opportunistically when spear-fishing. More recently, according to DFMR (J.C. Gumbs in litt ., 10 August 2004), there has been evidence of targeted, illegal take of turtles (i.e. with nets), including: a turtle net set in the nearshore that was discovered by the Department in April 2003; reports from credible sources of nets set in areas not visited by the Department (namely the southern coast of the island); and a report from a fisher of two men butchering turtles at sea. At least some of this take is believed to be for sale on the illegal market. The Department also reports that there still seems to be a problem with poaching of turtle eggs on a number of the offshore cays: J.C. Gumbs ( in litt ., 10 August 2004) indicates that there is hard evidence of continued egg poaching, including emptied nests and discarded eggshells behind a restaurant on one of the offshore cays. There are no estimates of the numbers involved in any of these illegal activities. Allan (1998) reported finding some Green Turtle shells for sale in Anguilla in the course of his market surveys there in early 1998; however, the number was small, only five from 59 survey sites visited. 58TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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International trade Historical perspective There are no statistics on international trade in marine turtles involving Anguilla. There are no records of such trade for the period 1975 to 1992 in CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database, and no exports of Hawksbill Turtle shell from Anguilla recorded as imports in Japanese Customs statistics for the same period. Both Meylan (1983) and Hall (1987) reported on international trade of marine turtles from Anguilla. Meylan reported fishers carrying Green and Hawksbill Turtle meat to Saint Martin and occasionally live turtles being transported by ferry to Saint Martin for sale to hotel restaurants on the island. In addition, she reported that Hawksbill Turtle shell was sold to buyers on Saint Martin or to entrepreneursŽ from Saint Thomas and Puerto Rico, who visited the island for this purpose. She reported that the price for raw shell in 1980 was 20 US dollars (USD20)/kg. Also, in addition to being sold locally, the dried carapaces of Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles were sold to shops on Saint Martin. She considered this latter trade to be small in magnitude. Hall (1987) indicated that fishers from Saint Martin, including Haitians living on the island, were accused by Anguillians of taking many juvenile turtles in Anguillian waters and suggested that fishers from Saint Barthlmy could be doing the same. She further reported that Hawksbill Turtle scutes from locally taken turtles were sold internationally for handicraftsŽ at USD25…30/lb and that whole shells were offered for sale in local gift shops at USD35…50. Jewellery was not made locally, but she encountered one shop selling Hawksbill Turtle shell bracelets that„because of the way in which they were designed and fashioned„she believed could have been imported from the Dominican Republic. Information gathered through the TCOTproject from a single vendor in Anguilla would appear to confirm the information presented by Meylan (1983) and Hall (1987). The vendor acted as a broker for shells and scutes that he purchased directly from fishers on a monthly basis. He sold these to traders from the Dominican Republic, who in turn sold him items made from scutes. Adecline in demand prompted this TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela59 A bucket of Hawksbill scutes (top) left in a fishers back yard from a time when he used to sell to traders,and tortoiseshell jewellery bought from foreign traders and left over from a time when a vendor sold these items in a shop in Sandy Ground,Anguilla. Credit : P. Richardson/MCS

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vendor to stop buying from these traders and the traders ceased to visit in the 1980s. He no longer trades in turtle shell items. Recent (since 1992) international trade The only records of trade in marine turtle products to or from Anguilla reported to CITES for the period 1993…2004, inclusive, date from 2004 and, with the exception of two Hawksbill shells reported imported into the USAas personal items, these are limited to exports to the UK of scientific specimens (blood samples for genetic analysis)„recorded as one kilogramme each from Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks„ presumably associated with the TCOTproject. Allan (1998) reported that several sources in Anguilla claimed that any marine turtles caught illegally by locals would usually be taken to Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, where the demand for turtle meat and shell was said to still be high. This is apparently still the case, as the Sint Maarten Nature Conservation Foundation (A. Caballero, in litt ., 23 March 2005) reports that Anguillian fishers sell in Sint Maarten turtles that they have taken as by-catch while fishing. DFMR (2002) also makes note of this trade, but adds that no turtles are believed to be imported to Anguilla; the Department does not consider international trade in marine turtles involving Anguilla to be anything but negligible. Enforcement issues DFMR (2002) reports that enforcement [of the moratorium] is lackingŽ and turtles are probablyŽ still taken opportunistically by a few spear-fishers and known still to be taken illegally with turtle nets (J.C. Gumbs, in litt ., 10 August 2004). The absence of surveillance and enforcement means that the risk of a penalty has not stopped the few fishers who are determined to break the law (J.C. Gumbs, in litt ., 27 September 2002). In addition to capacity, there is a problem of capability in that not all DFMR staff have powers of arrest. There can be little doubt that, in theory, the penalties provided in the 2000 (and 2005) Fisheries Protection (Amendment) Regulations for violating the turtle conservation provisions„one year's imprisonment, a fine of XCD50 000 for a first offence (and XCD250 000 for a subsequent offence) and confiscation of any equipment„ should be an effective deterrent. However, findings of the TCOTproject indicate that none of the respondents to their socio-economic questionnaire knew what the specific penalties were. In addition, although there have been confiscations of marine turtles, there have been no successful prosecutions in instances where the authorities have apprehended individuals who acted in contravention of the moratorium. Investigating this via a separate survey, the TCOTproject found that several respondents indicated that the penalties for turtle violations (fines of XCD50 000 or XCD250 000 and one or two years' imprisonment) were wholly inappropriate and some suggested that the severity of the penalty may also result in Fisheries Officersbeing reluctant to prosecute. This perception has been borne out by at least one enforcement incident cited in the TCOTreport (Godley et al. 2004). DFMR (2002) further reports a potential problem relating to the lack of legislation on the import and export of marine turtle and other wildlife products. The Department has had at least one enquiry from a fisher about the legality of importing turtle meat from a neighbouring island where a legal fishery for turtles still operates. This underscores the need for wildlife trade legislation to be enacted in Anguilla and the need for harmonized marine turtle legislation across range States. 60TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Marine turtle management Management of exploitation Until the moratorium entered into effect in 1995, exploitation of marine turtles was controlled only through the provisions set in place in 1948, i.e. a four-month closed season and a minimum size limit of 20 lb (nine kilogrammes). These restrictions were clearly inadequate in preventing over-exploitation of marine turtles. Hodge and Eckert (in review) point to the following in particular: € the closed season did not encompass peak periods of nesting, which for Leatherbacks is April…June and for Hawksbill Turtles is July…October; € the minimum size limit did not account for size differences between species and protected only young turtles rather than the large juveniles and adults that are most important for population maintenance and recovery; € the penalties were not commensurate with product value and there was no provision for the confiscation of equipment used in the offence; and € the fishery was open entryŽ and there was no limit to the number of turtles that could be caught per year. In addition to these regulations (and their deficiencies), there appear not to have been any other management activities for marine turtles in Anguilla. No records were maintained of the numbers of turtles taken, the species, weights, or other data and, thus, no analyses have been undertaken of trends in these from which to infer population trends and judge the adequacy of the fisheries controls. There are also no data on the numbers of eggs collected from turtle nests. Finally, based on reports from the 1980s, there appears to have been little enforcement of the few restrictions that were in place, a situation that, by all accounts, continues. This rudimentary management regime cannot be considered an appropriate framework for reinstatement of a legal fishery. There appears to be recognition of this. Because of the moratorium, however, there has been little formal discussion about revising the marine turtle provisions (DFMR, 2002), so as to include, for example, maximum size limits, quotas and licensing of fishers (Hodge, 2002), measures that should be considered as fundamental to any marine turtle management regime that involves exploitation. DFMR (2002) has taken the position that 10 years of reliable and consistent population data should be available before a determination can reasonably be made on the status (and trends) of local marine turtle populations and whether or not they can withstand renewed exploitation. It was with this perspective that the current moratorium was extended in 2000 and again in 2005. Although there has been progress in that selected beaches in Anguilla have been monitored for nesting since 1995, these efforts have been inconsistent and data on the distribution, abundance and trend of foraging assemblages, which would be the target of any renewed exploitation scenario, are non-existent. DFMR (2002) is severely limited by internal resources and has been unable to undertake the research required. Hence, 10 years after the moratorium was first put in place, the knowledge base has not significantly advanced, and important population parameters remain unknown. There is, thus, no scientific basis to evaluate a management proposal that would include a resumption of the legal fishery, at whatever level. This gives rise to the question of how the current moratorium, set to be lifted in December 2020, will be reviewed. In so far as international trade in marine turtles is concerned, Anguillas status as a non-Party to CITES and lack of wildlife trade legislation should be considered a shortcoming for marine turtle management, particularly in the light of enquiries regarding possible imports of marine turtles from neighbouring islands. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela61

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Species research and conservation Although there has not been a great deal of research on marine turtles in Anguilla, several projects have been initiated in recent years that, if sustained, could fill important information gaps. Hodge (2002) reports that nesting beach monitoring, through the Anguilla National Trust, has been under way at a number of beaches island-wide since the first marine turtle conservation project was initiated in partnership with WIDECAST following the establishment of the moratorium in 1995. One Index beach has now been designated, at Captain's Bay on the eastern end of the island, but, despite a plan to monitor intensively all nesting on the beach, these efforts have only been sporadic and, thus, have not yielded enough data for meaningful analysis. Similarly, plans to begin monitoring on one of the offshore islands (Scrub Island) and develop it as a site for saturation monitoringŽ (whereby all-night patrols by project personnel record and tag every nesting female for the purpose of building a comprehensive database on the status and trend of the nesting population at the site) have proven unfeasible in the light of the limited resources of DFMR (J.C. Gumbs, in litt. ,10 August 2004). Monitoring of foraging populations in Anguilla is less advanced. Sightings of turtles and the number of different species seen at each dive site were provided to the Anguilla National Trust by the island's three dive shops during the 1990s (Hodge et al. 2003), forming a potentially valuable baseline for future efforts. 62TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Staff of the UK Government-funded project,Turtles of the Caribbean Overseas Territories(TCOT),and of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (DFMR) of Anguilla carry out research with fishers at Fish Hole Pond,Scrub Island,in 2002. Credit : S. Ranger/MCS

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An in-depth investigation of marine turtles in Anguilla was initiated in December 2002 by DFMR as part of the three-year TCOTproject conducted by the UK Marine Turtle Research Group, Marine Conservation Society and collaborators and funded by the UK Government. This project included several components aimed at enhancing understanding of marine turtle populations in Anguilla, including nesting beach surveys, in-water sampling of foraging areas and preliminary sampling for genetic studies. These activities have yielded useful information and laid the basis for future work, much of which is being taken forward by its successor project, TUKOT(Turtles in the UK Overseas Territories), funded by OTEP. The TUKOTprogramme in Anguilla includes marine turtle monitoring, training of DFMR staff and others in sampling and other field research methodologies, investigations of the movements of marine turtles to and from Anguilla and their genetic relationship to populations elsewhere in the Caribbean, as well as consultations with government agencies and key sectors and stakeholders, such as representatives from the tourism industry and former turtle fishers. Habitat conservation There are numerous habitat issues facing marine turtles in Anguilla, as a result of an increasing human population and rapid tourism growth (Hodge and Eckert, in review; Godley et al ., 2004). Asystem of marine protected areas for Anguilla has been under development since the early 1980s (Procter and Fleming, 1999). In 1989, the Government of Anguilla put forward a proposal for a comprehensive marine parks programme and many of the associated activities have since been carried out. In 1993, five areas were designated as marine parks: Sandy Island; Prickly Pear Cays and Seal Island; Dog Island; Little Bay and Shoal Bay; and Island Harbour (Procter and Fleming, 1999). According to DFMR (2002), anchoring is prohibited in these areas, except at permanent moorings that have been installed (and for which permits are required), thus protecting important seagrass and coral reef habitats. Godley et al. (2004) echo the earlier recommendations of Hodge and Eckert (in review) that management plans need to be prepared for these marine parks that would ensure, inter TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela63 Credit : S. Ranger/MCS (L) Turtle tracks indicating attempted nesting at Windward Point,a beach on Anguilla where sand-mining is officially prohibited but,apparently,still conducted.(R) Great Bay, Dog Island,a designated marine park on Anguilla. Credit : S. Ranger/MCS

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alia permanent and complete protection for marine turtles, such as through no-take zones, and regulation of tourism activities that could have negative impacts. There is no complete protection of any nesting beach at the moment. Through the Beach Protection Orders of December 2000, sand-mining is prohibited on 18 beaches, at least two of which (Captain's Bay and Windward Point) are visited by nesting marine turtles. Godley et al. (2004) raise questions about the protection conferred on Windward Point, which they found being heavily mined for sand. Although surveys by DFMR in 2003/2004 found no evidence of actual nesting on Windward Point beach, surveys during the period 1997…2000 undertaken by the Anguilla National Trust documented marine turtle nesting there (J.C. Gumbs, in litt ., 24 March 2005), thus suggesting that the continued sand-mining on the beach is affecting the number of turtles nesting, as well as perhaps, any nests that have actually been deposited. Given the low levels of nesting turtles in Anguilla, protection of this beach and all other turtle nesting beaches from sand-mining and other impacts from development activities is an important element in fostering these species' recovery (Godley et al ., 2004). Education and public awareness Hodge and Eckert (in review) make a number of recommendations for fisheries extension activities to inform fishers about marine turtles, the regulations in effect and related issues. Godley et al. (2004) identify the need to target the tourism sector in similar efforts. The Anguilla National Trust has historically taken the lead in fostering public awareness of marine turtle conservation issues by sponsoring public lectures and school competitions (artwork, poetry), involving the media in reporting of the issues and encouraging coastal hotels and landowners to participate in nesting beach monitoring. In partnership with WIDECAST, the Trust produced a curriculum manual (Hodge et al 2003) designed for use as a teaching supplement in the environmental education syllabus being infused, at that time, into the education system; it was also intended to foster dialogue within the community with regard to the moratorium, engender community support for conservation and sustainable management of marine turtles, and encourage awareness of the value of turtles in our environmentŽ. Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management Although there are shortcomings in the legal framework for marine turtle management and conservation in Anguilla, DFMR (2002) views the major problems to be lack of resources and political support. With only six full-time staff responsible for discharging a broad mandate that includes fisheries management and development, marine park and coastal zone management, monitoring and enforcement, the Department has insufficient human resources to carry out a full range of marine turtle management activities. In addition, limited financial resources prevent it from carrying out many activities, including surveillance and law enforcement. The assignment of designated marine enforcement officers to promote compliance with and enforcement of environmental laws is one measure suggested to address this problem. Finally, there is a need to generate more public support (DFMR, 2002). According to Hodge (2002), public support is minorŽ and environmental issues need to be a higher priority on the political agendaŽ. DFMR (2002) also reports that fishers complain about the current moratorium because turtle fisheries are still operating in a number of other islands (e.g. Saint Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands). In their judgment, there 64TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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would be greater support for marine turtle conservation in Anguilla if other countries were making similar efforts, such as through a regional management plan.Summary and recommendationsThe management framework in place for the legal fishery of marine turtles in Anguilla, which operated until 1995, was inadequate to prevent population declines and these declines have occurred. The moratorium on the take of marine turtles and eggs instituted in 1995 and extended to 2020 is believed to have given the marine turtles of Anguilla a reprieve: although illegal take of both turtles and turtle eggs has continued, there appears to be generally high compliance with the moratorium. While the penalties for violations of the moratorium constitute, in theory, a strong deterrent, lack of awareness of the specifics of the penalties, as well as their overall severity (they are considered by many, it would appear, to be far beyond what is appropriate for the offences), appear to have compromised their effectiveness. Most importantly, there has been a general lack in enforcement effort, owing primarily to the limited resources of DFMR. Given the general lack of population monitoring during the time that the moratorium has been in place and the time required to develop an adequate baseline for marine turtles and collect sufficient data to evaluate statistically meaningful population trends, there is little scientific basis at this time on which to evaluate the reinstatement of the legal fishery. In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), an explicitly precautionary code, which states that the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resourcesŽ, the management of marine turtle resources in Anguilla should seek to maintain the availability of the resource in sufficient quantities for present and future generations in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable developmentŽ. Management measures should, inter alia prevent over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations, incorporate the best scientific evidence (taking into account traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environmental, economic and social factors), assign priority to research and data collection (including at international scales) and promote environmentally safe fishing gear and practices in order to protect both the target resource and the ecosystems upon which it depends. To this end, consideration should be given to strengthening Anguillas capacity to meet the fundamental requirements of a management regime when the moratorium is lifted, namely: restrictions on exploitation that are consistent with the species' biological requirements; a monitoring programme„systematic, sustained and rigorous collection and review of data„either on the specifics of exploitation or of wild populations so as to discern trends that can inform management; mechanisms to identify, monitor and address other threats to the species being exploited, so that these threats can be factored with exploitation to assess what level of overall mortality the species might sustain; and a high level of compliance (sometimes achievable only through vigorous enforcement) with the restrictions put in place to ensure that management goals are achieved. As the government debates the nature of any exploitation regime that may re-emerge in 2020, the following suggestions may be helpful: TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela65

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1. If legal exploitation is to resume, the restrictions on this exploitation should reflect the biological parameters of marine turtles and be established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice, and aim to achieve the following: A.Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including: €complete protection of nesting females at all times; €complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November; €complete protection of the Leatherback, which occurs in the country only as an adult, and typically an egg-bearing female; €maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight, so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults; €a conservative limit on the numbers of animals that may be exploited, based on a scientific stock assessment; and €a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on stock assessment, on data derived from national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographic ranges. B.Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at establishing trends and monitoring these over time. Anational programme to monitor marine turtle exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such records to be analysed and compared over time, the following: €the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means; €the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed; €the locality where animals were taken; €catch-per-unit effort; and €the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animal and/or products if sold or traded. In further support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be considered as requirements for participation: €that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets) €that turtles be landed alive or intact; prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle landings; and €that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme. C.Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will: €document distribution and abundance of local populations; €identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas; €designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds and document the numbers of marine turtles occurring in these over time; 66TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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€manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and inform management; and €identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival. Irrespective of whether a moratorium is in place, the following are recommended as essential in promoting the recovery and maintenance of Anguilla's marine turtle resource: 2.Given the current moratorium on exploitation of marine turtles and the rapid expansion of the tourism sector, habitat pressures are likely to represent the major challenge to marine turtle recovery in Anguilla over the coming years. Recognizing the potential importance of marine turtles and intact marine turtle habitat for Anguillas tourism productŽ, critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, should be identified and protected and incorporated into broader biodiversity management programmes. The government should consider: €expanding the number of protected nesting beaches; €enhancing habitat protection measures, including restriction/regulation of tourism and other activities near nesting beaches during the egg-laying season and vigorous enforcement of such measures, such as against sand-mining; €adopting regulations to prevent or otherwise manage leaving of nets and other debris on the beach; €improving coastal zone management (and monitoring) capacity, including through environmental impact assessment, particularly in relation to the construction of beach-front hotels and other tourism infrastructure; €expanding the system of protected areas; and €strengthening the management framework for protected areas to ensure that these areas fulfill their stated objectives. 3.Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental catch of marine turtles should be developed. Measures to reduce or eliminate incidental catch of marine turtles, such as through time-area closures and/or alternative (especially to gill nets) types of gear, should be implemented. 4.There is a need for greater enforcement capacity and effort, including training, logistical support and a mobile enforcement unit. This capacity should involve outreach and other activities that will engage greater efforts on the part of police for fisheries and broader environmental enforcement. Amutually agreed set of protocols and procedures for these agencies to follow in such circumstances may be an option to consider. 5.Increased efforts should be made to engage local communities, including fishers, in marine turtle conservation and management. Fisheries extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular exchanges with fishers of information on marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and the participation of fishers in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for marine turtle conservation. Support directed towards sustainable fishery practices and/or alternative livelihoods should be provided, as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers meaningfully in their efforts to comply with revised marine turtle regulations. 6.Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should be extended to relevant government agencies to develop and implement a modern, scientifically based conservation and management regime for nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the legal framework, scientific studies, TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela67

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monitoring programmes, enforcement capacity and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries and tourism sectors in Anguilla should take account of the increased responsibilities„and costs„of DFMR and other agenciesin managing for sustainability the resources concerned and the broader biodiversity impacts that may ensue. 7.Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should also be extended to active NGO research, conservation, monitoring and public outreach efforts. Partnerships between the government and relevant NGOs should benefit from increased financial commitments on the part of bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies; co-management agreements, developed by consensus, are encouraged. 8.Finally, Allan (1998) notes the concerns raised at the CITES Training Seminar held for UK overseas territories in 1997 regarding the fact that ratification of CITES would have serious resource implications for Anguilla, including for the drafting, implementation and enforcement of legislation, designation of CITES Management and Scientific Authorities and discharging of their responsibilities. These concerns were raised again at the UK Caribbean Overseas Territories Wildlife Trade Law Enforcement Workshop held in Anguilla in July 2003 (Pendry and Allan, 2003), particularly in regard to inadequate staff resources and training and other forms of capacity-building. These concerns and the enforcement priorities identified at the workshop in 2003 should be taken into account as Anguilla moves forward with the drafting of CITES-implementing legislation that, inter alia should address the possibility of localized international trade in marine turtles and other CITESprotected speciesReferencesAllan, C. (1998). Conched Out. Areview of the trade in CITES-listed species in the United Kingdom overseas territories in the Caribbean WWF-UK, Godalming, Surrey, UK. Boulon, R.H., Jr., P.H. Dutton and D.L. McDonald. (1996). Leatherback turtles ( Dermochelys coriacea ) on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands: Fifteen years of conservation. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2(2):141…147. Carr, A., A. Meylan, J. Mortimer, K. Bjorndal, and T. Carr. (1982). Surveys of sea turtle populations and habitats in the Western Atlantic NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-91. US Department of Commerce. Connor, R. and J. Connor. (1998). Anguillas Sea Turtle Project: April…November 1998 (Nesting Period). Presented to: Anguilla National Trust. Unpublished. Crock, J.G. (2000). Inter-island Interaction and the development of chiefdoms in the Eastern Caribbean. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. DFMR (Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources). (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of the Marine Turtles of Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Completed by Mr. James C. Gumbs, Marine Biologist. Dated 16 September 2002. Eckert, K.L. (1995). Draft General Guidelines and Criteria for Management of Threatened and Endangered Marine Turtles in the Wider Caribbean Region UNEP(OCA)/CAR WG.19/INF.7. Prepared by WIDECAST and adopted by the 3rdMeeting of the Interim Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the SPAW Protocol. Kingston, 11…13 October 1995. United Nations Environment Programme. Kingston, Jamaica. 95 pp. 68TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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FAO. (1995). Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Adopted by the 28thSession of the FAO Conference. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. 34 pp. + annexes. www.fao.org/fi/agreem/codecond/codecon.asp Godley, B.J., A.C. Broderick, L.M. Campbell, S. Ranger, P.B. Richardson. (2004). An assessment of the status and exploitation of marine turtles in Anguilla. Pp. 39…77. In: An Assessment of the Status and Exploitation of Marine Turtles in the UK Overseas Territories in the Wider Caribbean Final project report for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Foreign Commonwealth Office. www.seaturtle.org/mtrg/projects/tcot/finalreport Hall, K.V. (1987). National Report for Anguilla. Submitted to the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 12…16 October 1987, Mayagez, Puerto Rico. 5 pp. + tables. Unpublished. Hastings, M. (2002). Aconservation success: Leatherback Turtles in the British Virgin Islands. Marine Turtle Newsletter 99:5…7. (To access all articles published in the Marine Turtle Newsletter visit www.seaturtle.org/mtn/) Hodge, K.V.D., Associate Executive Director, The Anguilla National Trust. (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of the Marine Turtles of Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Dated 16 September 2002. Hodge, K.V.D., R. Connor and G. Brooks. (2003). Anguilla Sea Turtle Educators Guide The Anguilla National Trust. Anguilla, British West Indies. 45 pp. Hodge, K.V.D. and K.L. Eckert. (In review.) WIDECASTSea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Anguilla WIDECASTand UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme Technical Report Series. Kingston, Jamaica. Meylan, A.B. (1983). Marine turtles of the Leeward Islands, Lesser Antilles. Atoll Research Bulletin 278:3…6. Pendry, S. and C. Allan. (2003). UK Overseas Territories Wildlife Trade Law Enforcement Workshop, Anguilla, 14…18 July 2003. Draft summary report. TRAFFIC International and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 17 pp. Unpublished. Procter, D. and L.V. Fleming (Eds). (1999). Biodiversity: the UK Overseas Territories Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Peterborough, UK. Richardson, L. and C. Gumbs. (1984). National Report for Anguilla. Submitted 6 January 1983. Pp. 7…11. In: Bacon, P., F. Berry, K. Bjorndal, H. Hirth, L. Ogren, and M. Weber (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica III, Appendix 7. University of Miami Press, Florida. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela69

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Antigua and Barbuda IntroductionThe archipelagic State of Antigua and Barbuda, independent since 1981, liesca. 250 miles south-east of Puerto Rico in the southern sector of the Leeward Islands. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the smallest countries in the Western Hemisphere and one of the smallest countries in the world (GOAB, 2001). Habitat important to marine turtles, including seagrass beds, coral reefs and sandy beaches, can be found throughout the islandsterritory. Sandy beaches potentially suitable for nesting cover an estimated 102 km of coastline on the main islands of Antigua (26 km) and Barbuda (76 km) (Joseph et al .,1984). Marine turtles feed in the seagrass meadows and coral reefs that surround, to varying degrees, all of the islands of the archipelago. Demographic research on the Hawksbill Turtle, conducted at Pasture Bay (Long Island, a privately owned islet) since 1987, has provided one of the most robust and valuable datasets in the world for this marine turtle species. Based on these data, as well as other information available at the time, a Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) for Antigua and Barbuda was developed and published under the auspices of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) and the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (Fuller et al .,1992). The STRAPreviewed in detail the status of and threats to marine turtles in the country and provided a series of recommendations for improving the management and recovery of populations. It concluded that only a fraction of the number of turtles that once occurred historically persisted in the country and cautioned that unless action is taken very soon, the last remaining sea turtles may vanish from Antiguan beaches much as they did from the Cayman Islands 150 years agoŽ. In addition to exploitation, both legal and illegal, the STRAPdocumented an array of threats facing the countrys marine turtles, including: incidental take in fishing gear, particularly longlines, and the loss of nesting beaches to coastal development. Adecade later, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda echoed these findings in reporting to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that nesting females and hatchling turtles [were] threatened by coastal developmentŽ (GOAB, 2001). Among the recommended actions put forward by Fuller et al. (1992) were the enactment of a moratorium on the exploitation of marine turtles and their eggs (until such time as there is sufficient information to show that a regulated harvest will not compromise the sustainable recovery of depleted sea turtle stocksŽ); an increase in law enforcement capacity and effort; the protection of essential habitat; development of an effective coastal zone management framework; and surveys to establish baselines and monitor population trends and to identify locally important nesting and foraging grounds for protection and management. According to the Fisheries Division (2002), it is only now that the capacity exists within the government to consider these comprehensive recommendations seriously.Summary of the status of marine turtles in Antigua and BarbudaThree marine turtle species are known to nest in Antigua and Barbuda: the Green Turtle Hawksbill Turtle and Leatherback (see table opposite). In addition, foraging Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles of varying sizes are present in the countrys waters throughout the year. Leatherbacks occur only seasonally to nest: gravid females arrive in early summer to lay their eggs and presumably return to more temperate latitudes in June or July after 70TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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egg-laying has been completed. The Loggerhead is not known to nest but is occasionally caught offshore. Neither the Kemps Ridley nor the Olive Ridley has ever been documented, although there are anecdotal accounts of the latters being caught in the waters of Barbuda (Fuller et al .,1992). Major marine turtle foraging areas in Antigua and Barbuda are not known. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda reports marine turtle nesting on several of Antiguas beaches, including Jabberwock, Pearns, Rendezvous Bay, Turtle Bay and Devils Bridge, in addition to Welcher Bay in Barbuda and a number of beaches on offshore islets (GOAB, 2001). The Fisheries Division (2002) has identified the major nesting grounds as: Antigua : Mill Reef beaches (Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles), Crabbe Hill (Hawksbill Turtles, Leatherbacks, Green Turtles); Sandy Island (Hawksbill Turtles and Green Turtles) Barbuda : Low Bay (Hawksbill Turtles) Long Island : Pasture Bay (Hawksbill Turtles) Fuller et al. (1992) reviewed available information on trends in marine turtle numbers, including published 19thand early 20thcentury reports, from which they concluded that the small numbers of turtles occurring in the country were remnants of a much larger population. They noted that warnings that marine turtles, especially nesting assemblages, were declining steadilyŽ had been sounded in the literature in the early 1970s and continued with the findings of Rebel (1974) and Cato et al (1978), which noted that heavy exploitation, including killing of breeding females and extensive collection of eggs, was causing declines in the numbers of turtles caught and nesting on beaches. Based on this research and extensive interviews with fishers and others, Fuller et al (1992) reported that some beaches that once supported nesting were no longer visited by nesting turtles and that many others received only a few nests per year. Further, several fishers had indicated to them that they no longer hunted turtles on the nesting beaches because the number of arriving females had declined to the point where it was no longer worth the effort. At the time of their writing, Fuller et al. (1992) estimated that fewer than 130 females (of the three species combined) nested annually in the country, of which 100 were thought to be Hawksbill Turtles. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda still characterizes Hawksbill Turtles as the most commonŽ nesting species, followed by the Green Turtle (noting that populations have declined dramaticallyŽ) and the Leatherback, a seasonal visitorŽ that rarely nests (GOAB, 2001). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela71 English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta I Green Turtle Chelonia mydas N, F Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea A? Occurrence of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent

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Studies designed to investigate the genetic identity of Hawksbill Turtles nesting on Long Island are under way; early results were reported by Bass et al. (1996) and Bass (1999). The Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP) (Pasture Bay, Long Island) has been at the forefront of satellite-tracking post-nesting females. In 1998, three turtles fitted with satellite transmitters left Long Island and travelled to foraging grounds in Redonda (Antigua and Barbuda), Saint Kitts and Sint Eustatius (J. Richardson and K. Andrews, University of Georgia, unpubl. data). The recapture of turtles carrying metal flipper tags has also provided insight into wider-ranging international movements. For example, Cato et al. (1978) reported that one female Green Turtle tagged while nesting on Aves Island (Isla de Aves, Venezuela) was later caught in Barbuda. Fuller et al. (1992) reported a Hawksbill Turtle that was tagged nesting on Long Island and captured five months later in Dominica; similarly, Meylan (1999) reported another Hawksbill Turtle tagged on Long Island and later recaptured in Saint Kitts.O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties Antigua and Barbuda actively participates in relatively few multilateral agreements that are directly or indirectly relevant to the conservation of marine turtles (see table below). The country became a Party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1997 but, notably, has not yet acceded to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areasand Wildlife (SPAWProtocol) of theConvention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), or the global Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). 72TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Convention Antigua and Barbuda Cartagena Convention 11.09.1986 (A) Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)18.01.1990 (S) Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region11.09.1986 (A) Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and ActivitiesNo Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)09.03.1993 (R) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)06.10.1997 (E) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)No Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II)29.04.1988 (A) MARPOL73/78 (Annex III)29.04.1988 (A) MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV)29.04.1988 (A) MARPOL73/78 (Annex V)29.04.1988 (A) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)02.10.2005 (E) UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)02.02.1989 (R) Western Hemisphere ConventionNo World Heritage Convention 01.11.1983 (A) Membership of Antigua and Barbuda in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Signature (S); Ratification (R); Accession (A); Entry into force (E)

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Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles Until 1990, exploitation of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda was governed by the Turtle Ordinance of 1927 This law established: a four-month closed season from 1 June to 30 September for all marine turtle species, with the exception of the Loggerhead; a minimum size limit of 20 lb (nine kilogrammes) in weight; and penalties, including a fine of 10 poundsŽ, for violations. Recognition that these requirements were inadequate to prevent declines in marine turtle numbers led to the adoption of the Fisheries Regulations of 1990(Section 21 of The Fisheries Act 1983), which provide for: €until otherwise declared,Ž a six-month closed season from 1 March to 31 August, during which it is illegal to fish for, take, sell, purchase or possess any turtle or turtle part; €a complete prohibition of: disturbance, take, sale, purchase or possession of any turtle eggs or interference with any turtle nest; take, sale, purchase or possession of any undersized turtle; sell or purchase of shell of any undersized turtle. €minimum size limits, undersizedŽ turtles being: (a) Leatherbacks weighing less than 350 lb (158.75 kg); (b) Green Turtles weighing less than 180 lb (81.65 kg); (c) Hawksbill Turtles weighing less than 85 lb (38.50 kg); (d) Loggerheads weighing less than 160 lb (72.57 kg). The Regulations further prohibit the use of spear guns for fishing in Antigua and Barbuda without prior written permission from the Chief Fisheries Officer. Any person convicted of contravening any of the provisions of the Regulations is liable to a fine of 5000 East Caribbean dollars (XCD5000)or 12 monthsimprisonment. In addition, any fishing vessel (together with its gear, stores and cargo) and any vehicle, fishing gear, net or other fishing appliance used in the commission of the offence may be forfeited (Section 33 of the Fisheries Act 1983). This legislation has recently been updated with the assistance of the FAO and includes new and more stringent measures for the management and conservation of marine turtle populations in Antigua and Barbuda. The new draft regulations prohibit the capture/taking of all marine turtles, turtle eggs and the disturbance of turtles found on shore. The result is a moratorium on the capture of marine turtles, but for which the Minister may still declare open seasons. The draft regulations also set maximum (rather than minimum) size limits, a measure that is set in place to protect mature femalesŽ (T. Lovell, Fisheries Division, in litt ., 12 April 2005). According to the Fisheries Division (2002), although Antigua and Barbuda became a Party to CITES in 1997, there is currently no legislation to implement the Convention. The CITES National Legislation Project, initiated in 1992, assessed Antigua and Barbudas CITES-implementing legislation as believed generally not to meet the requirements for the implementation of CITESŽ (Anon., 2002) and assigned a deadline of 30 June 2004 for enactment of adequate implementing legislation. This deadline was subsequently extended and, by the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee (27 June…1 July 2005), Antigua and Barbuda had submitted a CITES Legislation Plan and draft legislation to the CITES Secretariat for comments; the Standing Committee will review legislative progress at its 54thmeeting (scheduled for late 2006) (Anon., 2005a and b). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela73

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There is no legislation in Antigua and Barbuda providing for enforcement of the fisheries regulations, nor conservation and management measures, such as the protection of important sites (e.g. critical breeding habitat). Responsible authorities According to the Fisheries Division (2002), that agency is solely responsible for all aspects of marine turtle management, including exploitation, trade, conservation and enforcement.Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective The history of commercial and subsistence exploitation of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda extends back to the pre-Columbian era. Few marine turtle bones survived the millennia buried in kitchen middens in Antigua and Barbuda, but turtle idols have been found and pottery shards displaying marine turtle motifs are quite common. There is also evidence that seamen and fishers wore turtle motif jewellery, presumably to bestow swimming prowess like that of marine turtles (D. Nicholson, Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, pers. comm., cited in Fuller et al. 1992), and that several products were used, including oil (medicinal purposes), shell (e.g. cradle) and scutes (utility items, such as fish hooks), in addition to meat and eggs. Fuller et al (1992) reported that both resident and foreign fishers have a long history of taking turtles and that although catch records have never been kept, annual landings over the two decades prior to the time of their writing had sometimes reached several hundred„and some estimate several thousand„animals. They cite, for example, the estimate of Cato et al. (1978) that 500…3000 turtles were caught annually for domestic consumption in Barbuda alone and Josephs (1984) estimate that 150 Green Turtles, 250 Hawksbill Turtles and one Leatherback were landed nationwide by local fishers in 1982. Turtles have traditionally been netted or taken from the nesting beaches, but as of the time of Meylans (1983) writing, they were increasingly being speared by fishers seeking lobsters, reef fishes and conches. Fuller et al (1992) estimated that the number of turtles caught each year at the time of their writing did not exceed 50 turtles and was probably closer to 30, Green and Hawksbill Turtles combined, with an unknown proportion of nesting females, down from many hundreds a half-century earlier. They reported that Leatherbacks were rarely killed and that the take, whether in nets or from the nesting beach, was probably largely opportunistic. A combination of depleted stocks and low demand had reduced the number of active turtle fishers for whom turtling represented a significant source of income to only two to three individuals. While targeted exploitation of marine turtles was thought to be declining, incidental catch and opportunistic take with spear guns, as had been reported by Meylan (1983), appeared to be growing. In 1992, turtle meat was selling for up to XCD6/lb(comparable to fish), orca. XCD100 for a whole turtle (Fuller et al .,1992). Loggerheads were also taken, but in much fewer numbers than Green or Hawksbill Turtles. Meylan (1983) reported that most were of intermediate size, weighingca. 18…45 kg, and that they were most common around the north-western end of Barbuda, apparently feeding on Queen Conch Strombus gigas and in deep waters east of Antigua. 74TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Fuller et al (1992) expressed concern about the continued, illegal (as of 1990) take of eggs, which they believed exceeded 5000 eggs, the equivalent ofca. 40 clutches, annually. Their informants estimated that roughly half of all eggs laid on Barbuda were collected each year. They noted that Joseph et al (1984) had estimated that in 1982, 2500 eggs were collected nationwideŽ for subsistence useŽ but indicated that that number was, in 1992, perceived to have been a gross underestimate. Marine turtle eggs used to be available in the public market, but once sale and possession became illegal, eggs were consumed by the collector, shared amongst friends, or sold on the black market. Fuller et al. (1992) characterized the entanglement of marine turtles in fish pot lines and longlines as an increasingly serious problemŽ, implicating a multi-national legal and illegal longline fishing industry within and adjacent to national waters in the take of 100 or more turtles each year, mainly Loggerheads and Leatherbacks. They noted that entanglement and incidental catch also occurred in trammel nets, seines and gill nets. Recent (since 1992) exploitation According to the Fisheries Division (2002), current exploitation of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda focuses on Green and Hawksbill Turtles, mainly taken incidentally in trap and net fisheries. Although no records have been maintained of the number and species of turtles taken, based on interviews with fishers, it is estimated that the total number is less than 20 peryear and that Hawksbill Turtles are more commonly caught. Fewer than 10 fishers are estimated to retain the turtles that they catch and they are not a major source of income. These turtles are generally shared amongst family and friends or sold informally by the fishers, primarily to rural residents. The Fisheries Division does not regulate or monitor the sale of marine turtles or products and reports no market as such for marine turtles or turtle products. Although the legal take of turtles would appear to be at low level, illegal take of turtles and turtle eggs is known to occur. The Fisheries Division (2002) has received reports of turtle nests being excavated for their eggs and, based on additional anecdotal evidence, estimates that the number of turtles taken illegally is small, less than 50 per yearŽ and that these are taken by locals on an opportunistic basis. International trade Historical perspective Fuller et al (1992)documented a long history of trade in marine turtles from Antigua and Barbuda. They cited the report of Cato et al (1978) of an estimated annual take of 150 animals in Barbuda for export, with Hawksbill Turtle shell buyers from Martinique, Saint Lucia and Guadeloupe visiting the island three times each year to buy shell, for which they paid XCD7…8 per lb. In addition, they cited Meylans (1983) report of the take of turtles in Barbuda for meat for hotel restaurants, not only in Antigua but also Guadeloupe, and, to a lesser extent, Saint Thomas and Puerto Rico and, further, that during the winter season, live Green Turtles were flown out several times a week on cargo planes coming to the island to pick up lobsters. Most of these were sub-adult and adult TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela75 Loggerhead caught in a fishing net. Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST

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Green Turtles„the juveniles were kept for local consumption. Meylan indicated that a resident who coordinates the export businessŽ reported that several hundredŽ marine turtles were exported annually and that these exports included turtle carapaces and tortoiseshell. On Antigua, Meylan found that, in addition to being worked locally and marketed in tourist shops, tortoiseshell was exported raw, with buyers visiting fishershomes directly to purchase it; in 1980, the price paid was 12 US dollars (USD12)/kg. For the period 1975…1992, inclusive, CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database record: four carapaces, seized on entry to the USAduring the period 1982…1989; one body, imported into Switzerland in 1995; 340 live Hawksbill Turtles, imported into Canada in 1989 (180) and 1990 (160), for scientific purposes; and 60 Hawksbill Turtle eggs, imported to the USA, also for scientific purposes. The Fisheries Division (2002) indicates no knowledge of the reported live Hawksbill Turtle exports, no doubt because the permits in fact were for Hawksbill Turtle e ggs exported to the University of Toronto for scientific research related to conservation (N. Mrosovsky, University of Toronto, in litt ., 3 November 2004 and see Mrosovsky et al .,1992). Japanese Customs statistics document a significant trade in Hawksbill Turtle shell reported as originating in Antigua and Barbuda. These data, as analysed by Milliken and Tokunaga (1987) for the period 1970…1986 and compiled for later years by TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan, record imports of Hawksbill Turtle shell into Japan from Antigua and Barbuda for the period 1970…1992 totalling 5559 kg, all of it during the period 1983…1991 (see table below). Fuller et al (1992) refuted the accuracy of these Customs statistics. Based on the estimate of dealers in Hawksbill shell, 1.1 kg of shell derived from a single Hawksbill Turtle from Antigua and Barbuda (Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987) and, therefore, these import volumes would have derived from thousands of the animals, a far greater number than they believed were taken from the countrys waters. Instead, they argued, because the country was not a party to CITES, dealers were fraudulently recording it as the country of origin, a practice apparently not uncommon at the time among dealers trying to evade CITES restrictions (Canin, 1991). Having made that judgment, they conceded that the number of locally caught marine turtles entering international trade was not known. This is the case for the total volume of trade recorded in Japanese Customs statistics for the period 1970…1992: 5559 kg, or the possible equivalent of over 5000 Hawksbill Turtles. After surveying tourist-oriented shops in Saint Johns and Nelson Dockyard National Park in October 1992, Fuller et al. (1992) reported the retail sale, aimed at tourists, of tortoiseshell jewellery (bracelets, earrings, rings), 76TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Japanese imports (kg) of Hawksbill Turtle shell,1970-1992,from Antigua and Barbuda,as recorded in Japanese Customs statistics Year197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981 000000000000 Year19821983198419851986198719881989199019911992Total 049286221293317146562250511800 5559 Source : Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; H. Kiyono, TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan Office, in litt to TRAFFIC International, 29 July 2002.

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trinkets (charms, money clips, hair combs) and polished shells ranging in price from USD5 (rings) to USD30 (for polished Hawksbill Turtle shellsca. 25cm in length), with much higher prices reported from airport shops (e.g. polished shells priced at about USD100Ž). These items were made by local artisans from turtles caught locally. Recent (since 1992) international trade As previously stated, Antigua and Barbuda became a CITES Party in 1997. The only records of trade in marine turtles originating in the country and reported to CITES for the period 1993…2004, inclusive,were: a Hawksbill carapace seized upon entry into the USAin 1994; 30 Hawksbill specimens (presumably blood samples for genetic analysis) imported into Barbados for scientific purposes in 2004; and one kilogramme of Hawksbill meat recorded as having been imported into the USAin 2004. The Fisheries Division (2002) reported no knowledge of the export in 1994 or of any other export of marine turtles or turtle products from the country until the time of their writing and indicated that there were no imports. There are no known stockpiles of raw or worked Hawksbill Turtle scutes or shell products (Fisheries Division, 2002). Enforcement issues Fuller et al (1992) cited several authorsreports of problems of illegal exploitation of marine turtles and their eggs over several decades, which they indicated persisted at the time they were writing. They attributed poaching to several factors: €fines for turtle violations had only recently been increased to levels likely to serve as a deterrent; €there appeared to be no precedent for enforcement of conservation laws„at the time of their writing, no infraction of a wildlife protection law had ever been brought to court or successfully prosecuted; and €no resources were available for effective law enforcement, such as salaries for wardens or a boat or a plane for surveillance. Fuller et al. (1992) recommended that a conservation warden be employed to address this problem and that the creation of a separate Division of Conservation Law Enforcement would enable the government to enforce a growing number of important environmental regulations more effectively, including those related to pollution, protected species, mining and minerals, fisheries and marine resources, boater safety, game and hunting, and coastal zone management. More recently, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB, 2001) has emphasized the enforcement of policies, regulations and legislationŽ related to biodiversity as one of four strategic objectives of the countrys Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.Marine turtle management Management of exploitation Fuller et al (1992) identified three deficiencies in the 1990 Fisheries Regulations that comprise the current legal framework for the management of marine turtle exploitation in Antigua and Barbuda. These are discussed below. 1.Although the minimum size limit was raised to embrace a larger range of juvenile size classes and included the Loggerhead for the first time, this provision persists in exempting from protection the breeding adults that TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela77

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are most important age class to conserve in order to maintain population viability and promote population recovery. 2.The closed season does not encompass the entire marine turtle breeding season and, thus, puts at risk breeding adults, in particular females coming to shore to nest, that are the priority age class for conservation effort. Because the majority of Hawksbill Turtles are still nesting when the season opens on 1 September, some three-quarters of the entire breeding population in Antigua and Barbuda could be legally exterminated. 3.Size limits should be expressed in shell length (CCL„curved carapace length) rather than total weight to enable measurements to be taken at sea and prior to landing; in this way, undersized turtles may be returned to the sea more readily. It should be noted that there are other deficiencies in the overall framework for managing exploitation of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda, in particular the absence of a monitoring programme to document marine turtle landings, catch-per-unit effort and other parameters that would enable inferences to be made of trends in marine turtle populations and what those might suggest for revised management measures. That, in addition, there is no other marine turtle population monitoring under way other than at Long Island means that there is no scientific basis upon which to assess population trends, the effects of exploitation and the urgency of revised management measures. The number of turtles caught and released ( versus landed) incidentally in fishing operations appears also to warrant investigation and, possibly, sustained monitoring. There has been no stock assessment in the usual sense for any species of marine turtle in Antigua and Barbuda and the Fisheries Division (2002) recognizes that the measures currently in place to manage and monitor the legal fishery are insufficient to prevent a decline in marine turtle populations. For this reason, the Division has been reviewing the 1992 STRAPand discussing revisions to the management provisions in place for these species. Some of the revisions that are being discussed are: a moratorium on the exploitation of marine turtles, extension of the closed season to encompass the full nesting season and establishment of maximum size limits. As this report goes to press, the Fisheries Regulations of 1990have been updated with the assistance of the FAO and, while they are still in draft form, they are reported to prohibit the capture/taking of all marine turtles, turtle eggs and the disturbance of turtles found on shore. Open seasons may yet be declared by the Minister, but the new draft regulations set maximum (rather than minimum) size limits, a measure that is set in place to protect mature femalesŽ (T. Lovell, in litt ., 12 April 2005). 78TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Scientists measure the curved carapace length of a nesting Leatherback. Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST

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Species research and conservation The JBHP, initiated in 1987 as a partnership between WIDECASTand the Jumby Bay Island Company, is the only marine turtle research programme in Antigua and Barbuda. The intensive study of this small population (ca. 50 reproductively active females per year„e.g. Stapleton and Stapleton, 2004) nesting at Pasture Bay, Long Island, has made significant scientific contributions to the understanding of Hawksbill Turtle life-history characteristics, including adult female recruitment and survival, and has meaningfully informed national and regional policy debates (Richardson et al .,1999 and McIntosh et al .,2003). The Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB, 2001) also recognizes the JBHPas an excellent example of a planned (and successful) co-existence between development, marine turtle conservation and tourism and has recommended that it and the materials and methodologies developed for it should serve as models to safeguard other Hawksbill Turtle nesting beaches. Fuller et al (1992) proposed a five-year national Sea Turtle Conservation Programme that included as major components : €quantifying the legal and illegal take of marine turtles, including incidental take; €strengthening the regulatory framework, including enacting a moratorium on the take of marine turtles and their eggs as soon as practicable; €obtaining comprehensive and accurate data on the distribution of turtle nesting and foraging habitat; €conducting an island-wide survey of Barbuda and surveys of three potentially very important Hawksbill Turtle nesting grounds in Antigua„Sandy Island, Pearns Bay beach group, and Mill Reef beach; €designating Index sites (both nesting beaches and foraging grounds) to serve as focal areas for long-term research and monitoring; €initiating systematic study of marine habitat use by marine turtles, including residency patterns, foraging behaviour and movement corridors; and €promoting greater public involvement in marine turtle population monitoring, conservation and recovery initiatives, habitat protection and reporting offences. In furtherance of these objectives, Eckert (2002) details a national workplan emphasizing: a national socioeconomic survey regarding marine turtle use and attitudes; creation of a National Sea Turtle Network (including sightings and population monitoring networks); review and revision of the regulatory framework; development of public awareness materials and activities; and general capacity-building and training for government officers, NGOs and coastal communities. Funding is currently being sought by the Fisheries Division to improve nesting beach management by involving private property owners, hoteliers and coastal communities through a series of outreach and training workshops; target beaches will be selected based on information provided in Fuller et al (1992) and the project will also seek to reach the wider community in an effort to sensitize them about sea turtle conservationŽ (T. Lovell, in litt ., 5 April 2005). Habitat conservation According to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB, 2001), the identification of critical habitats and species (terrestrial and marine) for conservationŽ is a priority in their biodiversity action planning, as the loss of habitat is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the country. In particular, the loss of nesting habitat is the greatest threat to the three species of endangered sea turtles that are known to nest in Antigua and BarbudaŽ, while TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela79

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seagrass, although little researched and underestimatedŽ, is also recognized as important habitat for two priority marine animal taxa„turtles and conchŽ. Several areas important to marine turtles (e.g. Point North-east Area from Boon Point to Indian Town and Barbuda Lagoon) have been proposed as marine reserves (GOAB, 2001), but, as yet, no reserves have been set aside to protect turtle nesting or foraging sites (Fisheries Division, 2002). Cades Bay Marine Reserve, located on the south-west coast, embraces mangrove, coral reef, seagrass and sandy beach habitat and while it was not specifically designed to benefit marine turtles, it does safeguard potentially important habitat (P. James, Senior Fisheries Officer, pers. comm., 2004). Fuller et al (1992) strongly recommended an island-wide survey of Barbuda; an assessment of three potentially very important Hawksbill Turtle nesting grounds in Antigua (namely, Mill Reef beaches, Sandy Island and Pearns Bay beach group); the designation of Index beaches to serve as focal areas for long-term research and monitoring; and systematic study of marine habitat use by turtles. They also suggested that consideration be given to designating the island of Barbuda as a Sea Turtle Refuge. Education and public awareness Aside from public school presentations sponsored by the JBHPand the Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua and Barbuda, there appears to have been little effort to heighten awareness of marine turtle conservation in the country. As part of their biodiversity action planning, the government (GOAB, 2001) has identified increasing public awareness of policies and laws relating to biodiversityŽ as a priority. The Fisheries Division (2002) views such efforts as the most importantŽ ingredient for effective marine turtle management in the country. Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management The Fisheries Division (2002) is putting measures in placeŽ to address a number of issues that impede marine turtle management in the country. These include: shortcomings in the legal and regulatory framework, lack of knowledge of marine turtles, limited manpower, lack of trained personnel, insufficient funding and lack of public support. Greater advantage could be taken of regional resources available to assist in these areas, including capacity-building, training and public awareness. WIDECAST, for example, makes available tags and basic field equipment, database management software and other record-keeping tools, educational materials, off-site training and mentoring programmes, best practices documentation and assistance with project development and fundraising.Summary and recommendationsAlthough there has been little systematic monitoring of marine turtle populations in Antigua and Barbuda, they were identified over 10 years ago as representing only a fraction of historical numbers, with nesting populations at risk of complete extirpation, as a result of both legal and illegal exploitation and loss and degradation of both nesting and foraging habitats from a range of factors (Fuller et al ., 1992). Alegal fishery has persisted and, although it has been regulated for almost 80 years, the restrictions in place not only do not significantly restrict the exploitation of marine turtles, but also target exploitation on large juvenile and adult turtles that are the most important age classes to conserve in order to maintain populations and promote population recovery. Further, 80TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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there has been no monitoring of the legal fishery to record landings and other parameters of the fishery and assess trends in these and their implications for marine turtle populations and their management needs and, other than by the JBHP, there has been no population monitoring and no active marine turtle conservation efforts. The current regime fails to achieve management and is inconsistent with the principles and practice of sustainable use. That these shortcomings have been recognized by the government is a positive first step in what should be a comprehensive effort to modernize the management framework relevant to marine turtle stocks in the country. The lack of a scientifically based stock assessment and limits on the numbers of turtles that may be taken or of fishers licensed to take turtles suggests a need for additional measures that would assist in preventing further population declines and, possibly, promoting population recovery. Fundamental to any exploitation regime aimed at sustainable use is the development and implementation of a monitoring programme for the fishery to record relevant data on landings so as to assess compliance, monitor trends, and infer what those trends may mean for marine turtle populations and for the effectiveness of management measures. In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), an explicitly precautionary code, which states that the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resourcesŽ, the management of marine turtle resources in Antigua and Barbuda should seek to maintain the availability of the resource in sufficient quantities for present and future generations in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable developmentŽ. Management measures should, inter alia prevent over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations, incorporate the best scientific evidence (taking into account traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environmental, economic and social factors), assign priority to research and data collection (including at international scales), and promote environmentally safe fishing gear and practices in order to protect both the target resource and the ecosystems upon which it depends. Among the fundamental components of any regime aimed at management of wild populations are: restrictions on exploitation that are consistent with the speciesbiological requirements; a monitoring programme„ systematic, sustained, and rigorous collection and review of data„either on the specifics of exploitation or of wild populations so as to discern trends that can inform management; mechanisms to identify, monitor and address other threats to the species being exploited, so that these threats can be factored with exploitation to assess what level of overall mortality the species might sustain; and a high level of compliance (sometimes achievable only through vigorous enforcement) with the restrictions put in place to ensure that management goals are achieved. It does not appear that any of these activities are being undertaken„at least not on the systematic basis that is required„on either Antigua or Barbuda. 1. In the light of the recognized depleted status of marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda and the potential for continuing declines resulting from the legally mandated exploitation of large juvenile and adult turtles, and in the absence of systematic population monitoring, there is no discernible basis for the maintenance of a legal fishery for marine turtles in Antigua and Barbuda. The government should move expeditiously on a comprehensive revision of both the regulatory framework and the broader institutional mandates and priorities that provide for the types of activities that form part of a management programme. Recently revised draft (not yet gazetted) regulations that fully protect marine turtles in the countrys waters, as well as during nesting, would appear to be a useful advance. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela81

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2.In support of a comprehensive review and revision of the legal framework for marine turtle management, a comprehensive frame survey should be undertaken to quantify and characterize exploitation and use of marine turtles at the national level, including: €the landing of turtles at sea and hunting on nesting beaches; €exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products; €numbers and types of fishers (and gears) involved, including the extent to which marine turtle landings result from incidental or opportunistic take in other fishing operations or from a targeted fishery; €processing and marketing patterns; and €the importance to livelihoods of the products and income derived from marine turtle exploitation. This investigation should also aim to establish the nature and extent of illegal exploitation and trade of marine turtles and eggs and marine turtle products, and the extent to which they may negatively impact marine turtle populations and compromise management. 3. If legal exploitation is to continue, the restrictions on this exploitation should reflect the biological parameters of marine turtles, take into account their depleted status and aim, at a minimum, at preventing further population declines. Any exploitation regimen promoting population recovery and maintenance should be established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice, which should include the following: A.Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including: €complete protection of nesting females, their eggs and young at all times; €complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November; €complete protection of the Leatherback, which occurs in the country only as an adult, and typically an egg-bearing female; €maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight, so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults; €a conservative limit on the numbers of animals that may be exploited, based on a scientific stock assessment; and €a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on stock assessment, on data derived from national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographic ranges. B.Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at establishing trends and monitoring these over time. Anational programme to monitor marine turtle exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such records to be analysed and compared over time, the following: €the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means; €the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed; €the localities where the turtles were taken; €catch-per-unit effort; and €the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animal and/or products if sold or traded. 82TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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In further support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be considered as requirements for participation: €that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets) €that turtles be landed alive or intact; prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle landings; and €that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme. C.Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will: €document distribution and abundance of local populations; €identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas; €designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds and document the numbers of marine turtles occurring in these over time; €manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and inform management; and €identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival. 4. Recognizing the importance of habitat pressures on marine turtles and the role of marine turtles and intact marine turtle habitat in the tourism productŽ, critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, should be identified and protected and incorporated into broader biodiversity management programmes. The government should consider: €expanding the number of protected nesting beaches; €enhancing habitat protection measures, including restriction/regulation of tourism and other activities near nesting beaches during the egg-laying season and vigorous enforcement of such measures, such as against sand-mining; €adopting regulations to prevent or otherwise manage leaving of nets and other debris on the beach; €improving coastal zone management (and monitoring) capacity, including through environmental impact assessment, particularly in relation to the construction of beach-front hotels and other tourism infrastructure and sand-mining; €expanding the system of protected areas; and €strengthening the management framework for protected areas to ensure that these areas fulfill their stated objectives. 5. Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental catch of marine turtles should be developed. Measures to reduce or eliminate incidental catch of marine turtles, such as through time-area closures and/or alternative (especially to gill nets) types of gear, should be implemented. 6. There is a need for greater enforcement of marine turtle regulations and, as has been recognized by the government (Fisheries Division, 2002), a need for an improved legal basis for enforcement. Existing legislation should be revised to establish clear authorities for environmental enforcement, including of the Fisheries Regulations 7. There is a need for greater enforcement capacity and effort, including training, logistical support, and a mobile enforcement unit. This capacity should involve outreach and other activities that will engage greater efforts TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela83

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on the part of police for fisheries and broader environmental enforcement. Amutually agreed set of protocols and procedures for these agencies to follow in such circumstances may be an option to consider. 8. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda should move forward expeditiously to enact legislation to enable full implementation and enforcement of CITES provisions, including wildlife trade controls, scientific nondetriment findings and control and monitoring, as appropriate, of stockpiles of CITES species. 9. Increased efforts should be made to engage local communities, including fishers, in marine turtle conservation and management. Fisheries extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular exchanges with fishers of information on marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and the participation of fishers in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for marine turtle conservation. Support directed towards sustainable fishery practices and/or alternative livelihoods should be provided, as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers meaningfully in their efforts to comply with revised marine turtle regulations. 10.There should be effective co-ordination between the fisheries offices in Antigua and Barbuda, so as to ensure that the management measures being implemented for the marine turtles that are undoubtedly moving around the two islands are well integrated and mutually reinforcing and enhance these agenciesabilities to assess trends in the fishery and in the countrys turtle populations. Monitoring, including the sharing of data on marine turtle distribution and exploitation, enforcement and public outreach, are two areas that would particularly benefit from effective co-ordination. 11.Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should be extended to relevant government agencies to develop and implement a modern, scientifically based conservation and management regime for nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the legal framework, scientific studies, monitoring programmes, enforcement capacity, and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries and tourism sectors in Antigua and Barbuda should take account of the increased responsibilities„and costs„of the Fisheries Division and other agencies in managing for sustainability the resources concerned and the broader biodiversity impacts that may ensue. 12.Community outreach and population monitoring efforts being undertaken by NGOs in collaboration with the government should be expanded through increased financial commitments from bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies. Co-management agreements between the government and NGOs/CBOs, developed by consensus, are encouraged. 13.Antigua and Barbuda, through the Jumby Bay Island Company, is credited with the hemispheres longestrunning and most comprehensive population monitoring programme for the Hawksbill Turtle. Government recognition of this programme as a model for other efforts, both nationally and regionally, speaks to the countrys commitment to establishing a leadership role in marine turtle research and management. Efforts to build on existing successes are encouraged. 84TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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ReferencesAnon. (2002). CITES Document CoP12 Doc. 28 Working document of the 12thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties, Santiago (Chile), 3…15 November 2002. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Anon. (2005a). CITES Document SC53 Doc. 31 Working document of the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Anon. (2005b). SC53 Summary Record. Official report of the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Bass, A.L. (1999). Genetic analysis to elucidate the natural history and behaviour of hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) in the wider Caribbean: a review and re-analysis. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2):195-199. Bass, A.L., D.A. Good, K.A. Bjorndal, J.I. Richardson, Z. Hillis, J.A. Horrocks and B.W. Bowen. (1996). Testing models of female reproductive migratory behaviour and population structure in the Caribbean Hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata with mtDNAsequences. Molecular Ecology 5(3):321. Canin, J. (1991). International trade aspects of the Japanese Hawksbill shell (Bekko) industry. Marine Turtle Newsletter 54:17…21. Cato, J.C., F.J. Prochaska and P.C.H. Pritchard. (1978). An Analysis of the Capture, Marketing and Utilization of Marine Turtles. Areport to NOAANational Marine Fisheries Service, Environmental Assessment Division. St. Petersburg, Florida. 119 pp. Eckert, K.L. (2002). Antigua and Barbuda Sea Turtle Program Objectives and Work Plan: Meeting Report and Recommendations. Prepared by WIDECASTfor the Division of Fisheries, Government of Antigua and Barbuda, based on a Joint Consultation, 26…27 September 2002, St. Johns. Unpublished. 6 pp. FAO. (1995). Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Adopted by the 28thSession of the FAO Conference. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. 34 pp. + annexes. www.fao.org/fi/agreem/codecond/codecon.asp Fisheries Division. (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of the Marine Turtles of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Completed by Ms. Candia Williams, Consultant Marine Ecologist, Fisheries Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries. Dated 30 September 2002. Fuller, J.E., K.L. Eckert and J.I. Richardson. (1992). WIDECASTSea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Antigua and Barbuda CEPTechnical Report No. 16. UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. 88 pp. GOAB (Government of Antigua and Barbuda). (2001). Antigua and Barbudas First National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Prepared under UNDPProject ANT/97/G31/1G … Biodiversity Enabling Activity Project. Office of the Prime Minister. March 2001. ag-nr-01-en.doc, available from www.biodiv.org Groombridge, B. and R. Luxmoore. (1989). The Green Turtle and Hawksbill (Reptilia: Cheloniidae): World Status, Exploitation and Trade. Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Lausanne, Switzerland. 601 pp. Joseph, D., J.E. Fuller and R. Camacho. (1984). The National Report for Antigua and Barbuda Pp. 12…29. In: P. Bacon et al. (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica ,III, Appendix 7. University of Miami Press, Florida. McIntosh, I., K. Goodman and A. Parrish-Ballentine. (2003). Tagging and nesting research on Hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) at Jumby Bay, Long Island, Antigua, West Indies: 2003 Annual Report. Prepared for the Jumby Bay Homeowners Association, Long Island, Antigua. Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project/WIDECAST. 29 pp. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela85

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Meylan, A.B. (1983). Marine turtles of the Leeward Islands, Lesser Antilles. Atoll Research Bulletin 278:1…24 + figs. Meylan, A.B. (1999). International movements of immature and adult hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) in the Caribbean Region. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2):189…194. Milliken, T. and H. Tokunaga. (1987). The Japanese Sea Turtle Trade 1970…1986 Aspecial report prepared by TRAFFIC (Japan). Center for Environmental Education, Washington, DC. 171 pp. Mrosovsky, N., A. Bass, L.A. Corliss, J.I. Richardson and T.H. Richardson. (1992). Pivotal and beach temperatures for Hawksbill turtles nesting in Antigua. Canadian Journal of Zoology 70:1920…1925. Rebel, T.P. (1974). SeaTurtles and the Turtle Industry of the West Indies, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico revised edn. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables. 250 pp. Richardson, J.I., R. Bell and T.H. Richardson. (1999). Population ecology and demographic implications drawn from an 11-year study of nesting Hawksbill turtles, Eretmochelys imbricata at Jumby By, Long Island, Antigua, West Indies. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2)244…250. Stapleton, S. and C. Stapleton. (2004). Tagging and nesting research on Hawksbill turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) at Jumby Bay, Long Island, Antigua, West Indies: 2004 Annual Report. Prepared for the Jumby Bay Homeowners Association, Long Island, Antigua. Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project/WIDECAST. 23 pp. 86TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Aruba IntroductionThe island of Aruba is locatedca. 30 km off the coast of Venezuela and 67 km west of Curaao; it is the westernmost island of the Dutch Caribbean. Small and flat, Aruba covers a total land area of 193 km2and is semiarid in climate and vegetation type. It was one of six islands comprising the Netherlands Antilles until 1986, when it became a separate, autonomous entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Until recently, very little was known about the distribution and abundance of marine turtles in Aruba, other than that their numbers were very low and appeared to have been so for a long time. According to Zeinstra (2002), Arubas human history dates to 2500 BC and is interwoven with sea turtlesŽ. Citing Rooze and Kristensen (1977) and Versteeg et al. (1990), she reviews historical evidence that Green Turtle shields (shells) were found in archeological excavations near Malmok and that the shields were used at funerals for leaders of pre-ceramic indigenous societies. All marine turtle species have been protected by law in Aruba since 1987 and their eggs have been protected since 1980. However, formal data-collection on nesting and other activities did not begin until 1992, through a formal partnership between the Directie Landbouw, Veeteelt en Visserij (LVV„the Directorate of Agriculture, Husbandry and Fisheries) and the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) (T. Barmes, LVV, in litt ., to K. Eckert 8 September 1992). ASea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) for Aruba, developed and published under the auspices of WIDECASTand the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (Barmes et al .,1993), reviewed available information on the status and trends of marine turtles in Aruba and the threats they faced. Although the STRAPnoted concerns with respect to continued, low-level illegal exploitation of marine turtles, particularly in relation to the very small numbers of animals believed to occur there, it identified habitat issues, largely associated with the high levels of tourism on the island, as the major problems to be addressed. These included: loss and degradation of nesting habitat from tourism infrastructure and recreational equipment; destruction of nests from vehicles driving on the beach; and the effects of beach-front lighting on females coming to shore to nest and on hatchlings, who were often disoriented from reaching the sea. In the decade that has followed publication of the STRAP, a great deal has been achieved in terms of datagathering, awareness, and improvements in the laws affecting marine turtles. However, not only has the lighting problem not been solved, it has exacerbated during this time, owing to a doubling of the human population and the infrastructural and other developments and increase in human activities that have ensued (van der Wal and van der Wal, 2004). On the north-east coast, the main threat is from motorized vehicles driving on the beaches, the large amountsŽ of inorganic waste that accumulate on the coast and, in recent years, the proliferation of weekend housesŽ illegally constructed on the beach and in marine turtle nesting zones (Zeinstra, 2002).Summary of the status of marine turtles in ArubaFour species of marine turtle nest on the beaches of Aruba: the Loggerhead, Green Turtle, Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtle (van der Wal and van der Wal, 2003; see table overleaf). There is no indication that TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela87

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Loggerheads or Leatherbacks are present outside the nesting season. Intriguing is the lack of evidence for Leatherbacks nesting on the island at the time of van Buurts writing (1984), as later reports note that this is the primary species nesting on Aruba: he reported nesting along various beaches on the north coastŽ, but that only Hawksbill Turtles had been positively identified. Barmes et al (1993) considered it likely that the total number of marine turtle nests laid per year„for all species„in Aruba was fewer than 30 and that the number of nesting females„which evidence at that time suggested were mainly Leatherbacks„might be fewer than 10. Van der Wal and van der Wal (2003) summarized census data for the period 1999…2002. They documented, definitively, 0 (1999), 0 (2000) and 34 (2001) Leatherback nests, as well as nesting by Loggerheads, Hawksbill and Green Turtles, based on daily nest counts on 2700 m of sandy beaches on the western shore of Aruba, during the morning hours, from 1 March to 1 August. Further efforts documented seven, 47 and 24 Leatherback nests on the west coast, in 2002, 2003, and 2004, respectively, and 12 more in Arikok National Park, suggesting that perhaps 140 or more Leatherback nests were laid in Aruba during the period 1999…2004 (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, Turtugaruba Foundation, in litt ., 27 October 2004) and offering hope that reproductive activity by this species is increasing on the island. Van der Wal and van der Wal also report, based on beach monitoring, that nesting by species other than Leatherbacks fluctuates and is very smallŽ: 5…20 Hawksbill Turtle nests, 2…20 Green Turtle nests and 0…12 Loggerhead nests, annually. Information collected in the past decade or so has documented the relative importance of the various nesting beaches. The islands primary nesting grounds are: for Leatherbacks, Eagle Beach (from Amsterdam Manor to Tamarijn) on the west coast and Dos Playa Grandi and Dos Playa Chikitu (Arikok National Park) facing the 88TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Nesting Leatherback Credit : WWF-Canon/Roger LeGuen English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta N, F? Green Turtle Chelonia mydas N, F Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea A Occurrence of marine turtles in Aruba Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; A=absent

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north-east; for Loggerheads, Malmok on the west coast; for Hawksbill Turtles, Arashi Beach near the western point of the island; and, for Green Turtles, very low-density nesting is reported at several locations around the north-eastern coast from California to the Pet Cemetery (van der Wal and van der Wal, 2002). Although Green and Hawksbill Turtles of varying sizes are present in Aruba year-round and presumed to feed in the islands waters, the extent to which Loggerheads and Olive Ridleys forage is unknown. Van Buurt (1984) reported foraging (observed by divers) along the north coast of ArubaŽ but provided no further details. Barmes et al. (1993) summarized the distribution of living coral reef and seagrass and recommended that an assessment of the importance of these habitats as foraging grounds for marine turtles be undertaken, with the resulting baseline data centrally compiled and archived. To date, the major foraging areas around the island remain unknown. Because there is no local tagging of nesting or foraging turtles, no international tag returns are available to indicate the full geographic range of Arubas marine turtle stocks.O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties Aruba enjoys a unique status as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is not automatically covered by the membership of the Netherlands in international agreements, nor is it covered by commitments made on behalf of the Netherlands Antilles since its change of status in 1986. See table below. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela89 Convention Aruba Cartagena Convention 01.01.1986 (R) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) 17.06.2000 (R) Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region 30.03.1986 (E) Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities06.10.1999 (S) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)04.06.1999 (E) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 29.03.1995 (E) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)01.01.1986 (E) Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)Yes MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II)01.01.1986 (Ap) MARPOL73/78 (Annex III) 19.04.1988 (S) MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex V)19.04.1988 (S) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 23.09.1971 (E) UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)Yes (R) Western Hemisphere ConventionNo World Heritage Convention 16.03.1993 (E) Membership of Aruba in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Signature (S); Ratification (R); Entry into force (E); Approval (Ap)

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Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles Marine turtle nests and eggs have been protected in Aruba since 1980 through the Marien Milieuverordening Aruba (Marine Environment Ordinance of Aruba) AB 1980, No. 18 Article IVstipulates that it is illegal to disturb marine turtle nests, or to remove, destroy, possess, deliver, transport, buy or sell marine turtle eggs. In addition, Article Vstipulates that it is prohibited to kill animals and/or plants from the waters of Aruba if such animals and/or plants are listed by subsequent decree. In addition, it is prohibited to sell, purchase, deliver, import, export, or possess such animals and/or their parts or products (living or dead). It is similarly prohibited to use their products for making goods„such as tortoiseshell earrings, for example. All Atlantic/Caribbean species of marine turtle„the Loggerhead, Green Turtle, Leatherback, Hawksbill Turtle, Olive Ridley and Kemps Ridley„were listed under this law by Decree No. 51 of 1987 Barmes et al. (1993) noted that the maximum penalty for violation of the Ordinance was one month in prison and/or a fine of 2500 Aruban guilders (AWG2500), as well as confiscation of the equipment used in committing the violation. Arepeat offence within a year doubled the penalty due. They recommended that these penalties be increased in order substantially to exceed product value. The recommendation was achieved with the Natuurbescherming Beschermingsverordening (Nature Conservation Ordinance) AB 1995, No. 2 under which thepenalties for killing a protected species, such as a marine turtle, are at most two years in prison and/or a fine of AWG100 000. Provisions for implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) were included in the Landsbesluit in-en Uitvoerverbod Bedreigde Dieren en Planten (Import and Export of Animals and Plants Decree) AB 1991, No. 102 but the Decree was withdrawn from consideration with passage of the Natuurbescherming Beschermingsverordening of 1995, which made it possible to: protect indigenous fauna and flora; designate nature reserves; and prohibit trade, import, export, possession (dead or alive), killing or wounding of species listed in the Appendices of CITES or the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAWProtocol) to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention. Arubas CITES-implementing legislation is under review as part of the CITES National Legislation Project (dependent territories have recently been included in the Project). The deadline for having adequate CITES-implementing legislation enacted in the case of Aruba is 30 September 2006 (Anon., 2004; S. Nash, Chief, Capacity Building Unit, CITES Secretariat, in litt. to J. Gray, TRAFFIC International, 21 September 2005) It is expected that at some point the Natuurbescherming Beschermingsverordening will replace the Marien Milieuverordening Aruba but at present both remain in force (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 28 October 2004). There is no legislation in place in Aruba for coastal zone management, including for the designation of marine protected areas. Two decrees are in process, however, under the aegis of the Natuurbescherming Beschermingsverordening of 1995: the Landsbesluit Parke Marino Aruba and the LandsbesluitParke Natural Spaans Lagoen intended to designate the waters entirely surrounding Aruba as a marine park (using the Bonaire Marine Park as a model) and, independently, to confer protection to the unique ecosystem of Spaans Lagoon, a designated Ramsar Convention site since May 1980. These decrees also provide a national coastal zone management framework, including a coastal zone management authority. These decrees were expected to be finalized and adopted by Parliament before the end of the legislative session in September 2005 (B. Boekhoudt, Ministry of Labour, Culture and Sports, pers. comm., 18 November 2004). Pending their enactment, an interagency task force has been co-ordinating relevant activities and making recommendations. 90TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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The Landsverordening openbare wateren en stranden (Public Waters and Beaches Ordinance), AB 1987, No. 123 prohibits, inter alia driving on beaches and disposal of solid waste materials on beaches and in public waters. Responsible authorities LVV(part of the Ministry of Labour, Culture and Sports) has primary conservation and management authority over marine turtles. The same ministry has jurisdiction over protected areas, although, in practice, protected areas are managed as a partnership between the government and two national NGOs: FANAPA(the Aruba Foundation for Nature and Parks) and StimAruba. The Ministry of Public Health and Environment includes veterinary services and, in that context, is responsible for the implementation of CITES (CSA, 2004; B. Boekhoudt, pers. comm., 18 November 2004).Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective Marine turtle exploitation was entirely unregulated„and, it would appear, unmonitored„at the time of van Buurts (1984) writing; he could find no information on landing sites, species landed, fishing gear used, months of landing, or numbers of fishers or turtles involved. Similarly, other than abattoir records from 1977 to 1986 (31 turtles processed in 1977; only four in 1983; and a total of 127 processed over the 10-year period), Barmes et al (1993) could find no data on historical exploitation of marine turtles in Aruba. The consumption of marine turtle meat, considered a delicacy (Barmes et al .,1993), and the sale of marine turtle meat in restaurants and hotels were known but had never been documented or quantified. Barmes et al. (1993) reported that the extent of collection of eggs (prohibited since 1980) was unknown, but no evidence of poached nests or sale of eggs had been recorded by the local authorities. Barmes et al (1993) concluded that there were no turtle fishers in Aruba, nor had there been in recent memory, and that any catch of marine turtles was opportunistic. Local fishers participated in a multi-species fishery and occasionally brought turtles to shore that had been ensnared in seine nets drawn in shallow, nearshore waters. Many of the turtles killed in the abattoir (as required by law until full protection went into effect in September 1987) were known to have been imported from Venezuela and, to a lesser degree, Colombia. These imports apparently diminished in the late 1980s, presumably as a result of the 1987 legal protection measures. Recent (since 1992) exploitation Barmes et al (1993) reported evidence of continued exploitation and trade in marine turtles, despite the legal protections in place at the time. In addition to marine turtles taken incidentally by local fishers, meat was still being imported on Venezuelan fishing boats and sold in the floating market in Oranjestad Harbour. Marine turtle carapaces were also imported from Venezuela and sold in gift shops catering to tourists. Finally, there was a low level of illegal trade in tortoiseshell jewellery, also sold in gift shops; total numbers and volumes were unknown. Today, when tortoiseshell-like jewellery appears in local gift shops there is usually an enquiry by informed residents; regarding the last such report (2002), examination by the local CITES Authority indicated that the suspicion was falseŽ (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 12 November 2004). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela91

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Contemporary levels of poaching appear to be extremely low. In an incident described by informed observers as unique and opportunisticŽ (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 12 November 2004), a Leatherback was killed and offered for sale in June 1999. The carcass was confiscated and the three offenders fined AWG150each. Although there was no shrimp trawling in Aruba at the time of their writing (Venezuelan trawlers having been prohibited from Arubas waters by the Algemene Visserij Verordening (General Fisheries Ordinance) of 1993), Barmes et al (1993) noted that a feasibility study for a domestic longline fishery was under way and expressed concern that if this fishery were expanded, it would be likely to result, based on evidence from elsewhere in the region, in the incidental take and mortality of Leatherbacks and Loggerheads. Today there is no evidence that the fleet has undergone a significant expansion, or that longlining is a marine turtle management issue in Aruba (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 10 April 2005). International trade Historical perspective International trade in marine turtles involving Aruba is thought to have been limited to the import of live marine turtles and turtle meat from Venezuela and Colombia, mostly adult Green Turtles but also some Hawksbill Turtles, for sale on the domestic market. There are no data on the numbers involved. However, Barmes et al. (1993) cite the report of Guada and Vernet (1988) of the killing of Green Turtles along the east coast of the Paraguana Peninsula of Venezuela for black market export to Aruba and Curaao. This trade was more lucrative for the fishers than sale on the domestic market. In addition to reports of continued imports of marine turtle meat via Venezuelan fishers, Barmes et al. (1993) provided details of illegal sale of marine turtle meat and carapaces and Hawksbill jewellery. The latter appear to have been directed at the tourist market, thus suggesting that additional illegal international trade was occurring through these channels. At the time of their writing, restaurants still purchased some if not most of the turtle meatŽ purchased from the floating market, but public awareness of the ban on marine turtle products was growing. In one case (May 1993), a restaurateur advertised a Mothers Day SpecialŽ that included turtle meat and several residentsŽ contacted authorities to request enforcement action; the proprietor willingly agreed to dispose of 10 kg of meat and not to purchase it again and no further action was necessary (Barmes et al .,1993). The only marine turtle exports from Aruba reported to CITES, as required under the Convention, from 1975 to 1992, inclusive, were of two Cheloniidae carapaces, presumably transported by tourist(s), seized upon entry into the Netherlands in 1989. There are no other records of international trade in marine turtles or turtle products involving Aruba, including in Japanese Customs statistics for Hawksbill shellimports into Japan up to 1993, after which such imports were illegal. Recent (since 1992) international trade There is little evidence of international trade in marine turtles involving Aruba since 1992: there are no records of such trade reported in CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database for the period 1993…2004, inclusive. According to the Aruba CITES Scientific Authority (CSA, 2004), there is no trade of importanceŽ from Aruba, for which the Authority credits local turtle watches for generating an appreciation for these animalsŽ that has led to increased awareness and responsibility. 92TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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With regard to marine turtle imports, Aruban Customs regularly seizes spurs for cockfighting, which, upon investigation or acknowledgement by the importing individual, were produced from [Hawksbill] sea turtle shellŽ; on average,ca. 100 pairs of spurs are confiscated per year, originating in Colombia (CSA, 2004). Despite the fact that cockfighting is illegal in Aruba, the spurs are clearly intended for local use; there are no indications of re-export (CSA, 2004). In the view of the CITES Scientific Authority, there are fewer CITES infractions today than a decade ago when the Natuurbescherming Beschermingsverordening came into force, and Customs officials are described as having awareness and preparednessŽ when CITES-listed species enter the country. The import of cock spurs, identified upon entry by x-rays of luggage, is a perpetual challenge and one that recently resulted in a fine of AWG1000 for 24 tortoiseshell spurs (P. Barendsen, CSA, in litt ., 12 April 2005). No stockpiles, registered or otherwise, of marine turtle materials are known to exist in Aruba (van der Wal and van der Wal 2002; CSA2004). While carapaces are still observed as wall decorations in some restaurants and private homes, van der Wal and van der Wal (2002) offer their impression that these were obtained prior to the 1987 ban and that such displays have not increased in recent years. Enforcement issues Barmes et al (1993) reported that enforcement of marine turtle protections were carried out by the police in the absence of fisheries or conservation/natural resource enforcement personnel. Although they noted that there had never been an arrest for a marine turtle violation, the police did confiscate 15 carapaces from a gift shop in September 1993 (but levied no fine). In June 1999, as reported in the national newspaper Dario three offenders were fined AWG150 each in connection with the killing and attempted sale of an adult Leatherback turtle (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 27 October 2004). In general, however, the conclusion of Barmes et al. (1993) that enforcement agencies are over-extended and under-staffed, and crimes against wildlife are not viewed as prioritiesŽ appears as true today as it was a decade ago. This would appear to be particularly the case in relation to cockfighting and the apparently persistent demand for Hawksbill shell spurs that sustains an illegal trade into the island from Colombia.Marine turtle management Management of exploitation Marine turtles have been protected from exploitation, including international trade, in Aruba since 1987; hence, any such exploitation is illegal. Continued illegal exploitation appears to be sporadic and at low levels (as in the example of the gravid Leatherback turtle killed in 1999), although the illegal import of Hawksbill shell spurs for illegal cockfighting appears to be persistent and to warrant targeted enforcement effort. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela93

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Species research and conservation There has been no stock assessment in the usual sense for any species of marine turtle in Aruba. However, some population assessment data are available. Foot surveys of primary nesting beaches began in 1993 and are continuing. Eagle Beach on the west coast is the most important site for Leatherbacks and has been monitored since 1993; in 1999, these surveys were upgraded to comprehensive daily morning nest and track counts and regular night patrols. The beaches of Arikok National Park have been patrolled daily by Park Rangers and twiceweekly by local biologists since 2000 (Zeinstra, 2002; E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 12 November 2004). No tagging programmes have yet been initiated. In addition to protection with beach patrols, turtle nests at Eagle Beach are protected in situ during incubation and hatching. Immediately after nesting, four barricades are placed around the nesting site to reduce human interference (such as driving, digging, littering). After 60 days a wooden enclosure is made on the sand with an additional four barricades. During the day the ocean-facing side of this square is open and hatchlings can find their way to the sea. Just after sunset the enclosure is shut, but re-opened the next morning at daybreak. Without such efforts, the hatchlings invariably crawl to the public road. Some, but not all, hotels are willing and able to turn off lights on the night of an emergence. If photo-pollution is present at the time of an emergence and likely to cause disorientation, a special controlled release method is necessary. Volunteers use dark screens for shading the hatchlings, to allow them to locate the sea. Typically, however, ambient photo-pollution on Eagle Beach necessitates a commitment by hundreds of volunteers each year to participate in shadingŽ the hatchlings as they emerge and orient to the sea. To re-establish any possibility for natural and independentŽ nesting, hatching and reaching the sea, much effort is still needed to achieve acceptable levels of lighting control (cf. Witherington and Martin, 2000), as well as elimination of beach driving (motorized police, transporting of watersports equipment, beach clean-up) (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 27 October 2004). 94TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela In situ beach protection for turtles on Aruba; barricades are placed around nesting sites. Credit : Edith van der Wal

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The recent establishment of a local NGO, Turtugaruba Foundation, aims at institutionalizing and expanding these volunteer activities, in particular in relation to the need for better regulation and mitigation of beach-front lighting (van der Wal and van der Wal, 2004). Success has already been demonstrated in that two more nesting areas now co-operate in turning off street illumination during the hatching season. These efforts are undertaken both by the government (at Fishermans Huts Beach) and by the private sector (Arashi Beach) (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 12 November 2004); see Habitat conservation below. Threats to nesting on the more remote north-eastern coast of Aruba include the illegal construction of weekend housesŽ (temporary structures typically sited on the beach), illegal but uncontrolled vehicle-driving in nesting habitat, and threats posed by human presence, including beach fires, lights, and general activity, often at night. In response, Zeinstra (2002) has urged rigorous supervisionŽ of the driving prohibition on beaches and dunes, emphasized by signage and boulders placed to block beach access points; she notes that in some places, including Arikok National Park (Boca Prins and Andicuri beaches), this type of mitigation appears to be working. Habitat conservation Since 1963, administration and management of protected areas in the Netherlands Antilles has been the responsibility of the Netherlands Antilles National Parks Foundation, a government-funded non-profit foundation better known by its Dutch name and acronym Stichting Nationale Parken Nederlandse Antillean: STINAPA. Since 1983, Aruba has had an independent STINAPA, now officially known as FANAPA, the aim of which is to promote nature conservation through acquisition of land, establishment of parks and education (UNEP, 1996). The Turtugaruba Foundation has, with permission from local authorities, blocked vehicular access to several of the islands key marine turtle nesting beaches, including Arashi Beach and the Fishermans Huts area, by strategically placing natural rocks and boulders at access points. Astart has now (2005) been made on replacing these boulders by a wall. In the case of Arikok National Park, large pieces of driftwood have been used in place of boulders. The Foundation also participates in several annual beach clean-ups, e.g. with Reef Care, Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association, and others (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 12 November 2004). Government entities, including the police, LVVand the Dienst Openbare Werken (DOW„Department of Public Affairs), are also involved in various ways in the protection of turtle nests. Police officers on the scene of a turtle nesting at Eagle Beach call the local Sea Turtle Hotline and then proceed to inform onlookers to keep a distance, not to use light or flash photography, etc.; they remain on the scene until a Turtugaruba Foundation representative or volunteer arrives. In 2001, permission was granted by the police to extinguish street lights in two areas (Fishermans Huts, Arashi) where the disorientation of Loggerhead and Hawksbill hatchlings was a persistent threat to their survival. In 2003, in response to security concerns along the shoreline and on tourist beaches, a special  warda nos costa Ž division (supervised by the Police Department) has been patrolling selected beaches day and night; following negotiations with the Turtugarguba Foundation, they agreed to minimize their use of light and alert the Sea Turtle Hotline when signs of marine turtle activity were noticed (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal 2002, in litt ., 12 November 2004). Until 2002, LVVsupplied the road barricades used to protect Leatherback nests at Eagle Beach; subsequently, these were donated by DOW, which is also involved in the placement of boulders at nesting beach access points to discourage vehicular traffic. Finally, the rangers that patrol the beaches of Arikok National Park (and who are TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela95

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employed by LVV) co-operate in monitoring and protecting the nests in that area (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal 2002, in litt ., 12 November 2004). Education and public awareness Barmes et al. (1993) recommended that concerted effortsŽ be made on the part of both the government and the non-governmental conservation community to provide residents, resource users (such as fishers) and other audiencesŽ (including schools and tourists) with relevant conservation material. Today, the Turtugaruba Foundation is the most active entity in implementing this recommendation. The Foundation interacts regularly with the media (including by providing press releases at the beginning of the annual nesting season); routinely gives public lectures; participates in local open daysŽ and civic events in order to share information broadly with the general public; distributes WIDECASTmaterials, such as Watch Where You DriveŽ bumper stickers, to influence public behaviour; creates original posters and flyers for sharing with both residents and tourists; provides expertise and support for students conducting projects on marine turtles; and contributes to CITES and wildlife trade awareness by sharing information (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal, in litt ., 27 October 2004). Heightening awareness and light managementŽ are considered the most serious needs at the present time, as disorientation of nesting females and emergent hatchlings along the well-developed west coast is pervasive (van der Wal and van der Wal, 2002). Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management The usual suite of constraints to optimal marine turtle conservation apply to Aruba, including: insufficient compliance with existing regulations; lack of visibility (and therefore deterrence) on the part of law enforcement; incomplete legislation on coastal zone management and protected areas (still in processŽ); inadequate funding and trained personnel (within the hotel community, as well as within the government) to address the considerable beach-front lighting problem; and a lack of consensus between NGOs, environmentalist groups and the government on the definition of sustainable development (E. van der Wal and R. van der Wal 2002, in litt ., 27 October 2004). Summary and recommendationsThe STRAPfor Aruba (Barmes et al .,1993) set forth the following priorities for recovery of the marine turtles of the island: strengthening public awareness initiatives; encouraging greater activism on the part of law enforcement officials in the confiscation of contraband and prosecution of offenders; determining the distribution and timing of the breeding effort; eliminating illegal vehicle traffic on nesting beaches; and promoting full involvement of all beach-front hoteliers in reducing beach-front lighting on the nesting beaches and rescuing (and releasing to the sea) disoriented hatchlings. An active coalition of governmental and non-governmental entities in Aruba, initiated during the process of developing the STRAP, has an impressive record of effort and achievement in the management of marine turtles and these efforts offer an example for countries in similar circumstances to consider. Among the measures that 96TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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the government has taken are: a prohibition on marine turtle exploitation, implemented in 1987; development of CITES-implementing legislation; and development and enactment of laws and regulations regarding designation of protected areas and the mitigation of potentially negative impacts (such as beach driving) on marine turtle habitats. In addition, systematic monitoring has been under way since 1999 and has resulted in a national database on the distribution and abundance of the annual nesting effort. With these successes in mind, there is progress to be made to correct deficiencies in the overall framework for managing marine turtles in Aruba, and to promote sustained recovery in local stocks. Recommendations to these ends are set out below. 1.Habitat issues constitute the primary threats facing marine turtles in Aruba. There is a need for improved regulations to address human activities, construction and access around nesting beaches and to provide for mitigation of beach-front lighting during the nesting and hatching season. Similarly, there is a need for more public awareness of marine turtle habitat issues coupled with changes in behaviour (e.g. reducing vehicular driving on active nesting beaches and littering of beaches with plastic and other solid waste). 2.Greater enforcement effort, through an increase in directed effort by relevant government agencies or through expanded public awareness activities, should be directed at the persistent illegal use of vehicles on marine turtle nesting beaches and illegal cockfighting, which sustains the demand for illegal imports of Hawksbill shell spurs. 3.Identification and protection of critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, for marine turtles should be incorporated into broader biodiversity management efforts. 4.Legislation currently under development for the designation of national marine parks and a comprehensive coastal zone management authority should proceed expeditiously. 5.Based on demonstrated successes and existing partnerships between the government, NGOs, local communities and the commercial (e.g. hotel) sector, increased efforts should be made to engage coastal hoteliers and other beach-front establishments, tourists, marine resource users (fishers, divers, yachters) and local communities in marine turtle conservation and management. 6.The dedicated work of the Turtugaruba Foundation and its local partners, together with relevant government agencies, should be encouraged and facilitated with support (financial, logistical, political support), training, and institutional strengthening sufficient to fulfill existing mandates towards marine turtles and their habitats.ReferencesAnon. (2004). CITES Decision 13.81. Decision of the 13thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties, Bangkok (Thailand), 2…14 October 2004. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Barmes, T., K. Eckert, and J. Sybesma. (1993). WIDECASTSea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Aruba CEP Technical Report No. 25. UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. xiv + 58 pp. van Buurt, G. (1984). National Report for the Netherlands Antilles. Pp. 329…333. In: P. Bacon et al (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica III, Appendix 7. University of Miami Press, Florida. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela97

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CSA(CITES Scientific Authority). (2004). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Completed by Theo Wools, DVM (Director, Veterinary Service) and Pieter Barendsen, DVM (Subst. Head of Service), Barcadera, Aruba. Dated 5 November 2004. Guada, H. J. and P. Vernet (1988). Informe del proyecto situacin actual de las tortugas marinas en la costa Caribea de Venezuela. Estado Falcn: Costa Oeste y Peninsula de Paraguan. Informe interno de FUDENA. 25 pp. Rooze, V. and I. Kristensen. (1977). Onze schildpadden verdwijnen. In: Aruba, zijn voorgeschiedenis met zijn dieren STINAPANewsletter No.14:43…48. UNEP. (1996). Status of Protected Area Systems in the Wider Caribbean Region CEPTechnical Report No. 36. UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. Veersteeg, A.H., J. Tacome and P. van de Velde. (1990). The archaeological investigation on Aruba: the Malmok cemetery. Pp. 14…18. In: Publications of the Archaeological Museum Aruba 2 Oranjestad, Aruba. van der Wal, E. and R. van der Wal (Turtugaruba Foundation). (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITESReview of Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela. Dated 25 September 2002. van der Wal, E. and R. van der Wal. (2003). Monitoring the west coast of Aruba. Pp. 170…171. In: J.A. Seminoff (Compiler), Proceedings of the 22ndAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-503. US Department of Commerce. van der Wal, E. and R. van der Wal. (2004). Aruba Country Report Invited Oral Presentation to WIDECAST Annual Meeting, 21 February 2004, San Jos, Costa Rica. Witherington, B.E. and R.E. Martin. (2000). Understanding, assessing, and resolving light-pollution problems on sea turtle nesting beaches Second Edition, revised 2000. FMRI Technical Report TR-2. Florida Marine Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida. 73 pp. Zeinstra, L.W.M. (2002). Census of sea turtle nests on Aruba, specifically on the northeast coast Prepared by CARET: Conservation and Research of Sea Turtles on Aruba. Oranjestad, Aruba. 27 pp. 98TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Barbados IntroductionWith a total land area of 432 km, Barbados is the most easterly and only non-volcanic island in the Lesser Antilles (Hunte, 1984). Barbados achieved independence from the UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance (Government of Barbados, 2002). Historical evidence suggests that Green Turtles may never have been particularly common around Barbados (Ligon, 1673). Hawksbill Turtles were, however, clearly fairly abundant. In a letter dated 8 December 1948, Dudley Wiles, the first Fisheries Officer of Barbados, indicated that 50…60 fishers set nets to catch Hawksbill Turtles on inshore (fringing) reefs between March and July each year. Alegal fishery for marine turtles operated in Barbados until 1998, when all marine turtle species were conferred legal protection through an indefinite ban on exploitation (Government of Barbados, 2001). This measure was the first revision of the marine turtle regulations since 1904 and especially benefited the Hawksbill Turtle, which is the only species that nests in significant numbers in the country and had, until that time, been subject to heavy levels of legal and illegal exploitation (Horrocks, 1992). ASea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) for Barbados (Horrocks, 1992), elaborated and published under the auspices of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) and the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme, has guided a range of conservation and management actions taken on behalf of marine turtles by government agencies and NGOs during the last decade. These are being led and facilitated by the Barbados Sea Turtle Project (BSTP), which was initiated in 1987 and operates as a collaborative effort of the Barbados campus of the University of the West Indies and the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Government of Barbados, 2001). Through the research and education efforts of the BSTP, poaching of marine turtles has been much reduced on regularly monitored beaches, and although some poaching continues on isolated beaches (MPDE, 2002; Government of Barbados, 2002), levels are believed to be considerably lower than in previous years (Government of Barbados, 2001; J.A. Horrocks, University of the West Indies-BSTP, in litt ., 20 August 2004). While enforcement of the ban on exploitation seems likely to become an increasingly important issue if numbers of turtles continue to increase, the major challenges currently facing these species in Barbados are habitat-related, namely deterioration and loss of nesting habitat owing to coastal construction, beach armouring, sand-mining, vehicular use of beaches and beach-front lighting, as well as deterioration and degradation of foraging habitat from agricultural run-off, sewage pollution, anchorages and over-fishing (Horrocks, 1992; Government of Barbados, 2002). The Barbados National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), developed by the Government of Barbados (2002) in fulfillment of obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), has set out a series of measures for addressing the stresses on the countrys species and ecosystems, which, as they are implemented, are yielding significant benefits for marine turtles. Specific recommendations made in Horrocks (1992), many of which have been addressed over the course of the last decade, are also credited with contributing to observed marine turtle population increases. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela99

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The achievements of the BSTP, which now include the provision of a regional marine turtle tagging facility and database archive (WIDECASTMarine Turtle Tagging Centre), are an impressive example of what can be accomplished through sustained effort and commitment, as well as strong collaboration between government, non-government, and academic partners.Summary of the status of marine turtles in BarbadosThree marine turtle species regularly occur in Barbados. The Green Turtle forages in nearshore waters but does not nest; the Leatherback arrives seasonally to nest; and the Hawksbill Turtle both forages and nests (see table opposite). The Loggerhead is occasionally caught by fishers in open waters, but does not nest in Barbados. The Hawksbill Turtle forages primarily on the bank reef along the west coast and on the patch reefs on the south coast (MPDE, 2002) and nests on the more sheltered and steeply sloping west and south coast beaches (Horrocks, 1992). The most important Hawksbill nesting site on the island is the 1.5 km length of beach between the Hilton Hotel and Coconut Court Hotel at Needhams Point on the south-west tip of the island (MPDE, 2002). Survey effort has been standardized on this beach and the dataset is considered an index of nesting activity at a national (island-wide) scale. Considering only the nesting occurring on the Hilton Index beach each year between 1 June and 30 September, there has beenan average annual increase of 47.8% over the last 10 years (Krueger et al ., 2003a). Based on public reports, surveys and a tagging programme, the number of nesting females island-wide was estimated at 171…285 in 2000 and nesting frequency increased through 2003 (Government of Barbados, 2001; Horrocks, 2004). 100TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST Hotels,working in partnerships with regional experts,are committed to reducing hatchling disorientation through turtle-friendly lightning on the coastline of Barbados. Predation on turtle eggs by exotic and domestic species,including dogs,is a serious management concern in many Caribbean countries.

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Typically, fewer than 100 nests are made by Leatherbacks each year, but 200 were recorded in 2003 (Horrocks, 2004). Mostoccur on the east coast, but occasional nests have been made on the west and south coasts (MPDE, 2002). Green Turtles forage on algae and seagrass at 10 main nearshore sites on the south and east coasts; no nesting by this species has been documented (MPDE, 2002; Government of Barbados, 2002). There is a growing dataset on the stocks of marine turtles that occur in Barbados. The rookery origins of both Hawksbill and Green Turtle foraging populations are known from genetic studies and the extra-territorial foraging grounds of the nesting Hawksbill population of Barbados have been at least partially described from international flipper tag returns and satellite telemetry (MPDE, 2002). Flipper tags of Green and Hawksbill Turtles tagged in Barbados (and captured elsewhere) have been returned from Cuba, Grenada, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela (J.A. Horrocks, pers. comm., cited in Meylan, 1999; Krueger et al., 2003b; Luke et al. 2004; J.A. Horrocks, pers. comm., 2006). Four post-nesting Hawksbill Turtles satellite-tagged in 1998 stayed in the waters of Barbados for only a few months before travelling to Grenada, Dominica, Trinidad and Venezuela, respectively, where some foraged in the same sites for up to 1.5 years (Horrocks et al .,2001). Genetic stock analysis is currently under way with nesting Leatherbacks (MPDE, 2002).O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties Barbados is a contracting member of numerous international environmental agreements that relate to the conservation of marine turtles, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the CBD, and the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention. Barbados ratified the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAWProtocol) to this Convention in 2002 (see table below). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela101 English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta I, F? Green Turtle Chelonia mydas F Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea A Occurrence of marine turtles inBarbados Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent

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Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles The Fisheries Regulation Act of 1904 consolidated all other fisheries acts into one piece of legislation.The turtle preservation sectionof this Act made it unlawful to: (1) take or capture, or attempt to take or capture, any turtle or turtle egg on the beach or within one hundred yards of the shore; (2) set, or attempt to set, any net or seine or other instrument for the purpose of taking, capturing or fishing for turtles within 100 yards of the shore; and (3) buy, sell or expose for sale any turtle weighing less than 30 lb (13.6 kg). The penalties for contravention of these provisions in 1992 were fines of 100 Barbados dollars (BBD100) and seizure of any turtles caught and any gear used, including boats (Horrocks, 1992). These provisions remained in effect until implementation of the Fisheries Act (1993), which provided for the management and development of fisheries and protection of marine turtles, through the Fisheries (Management) Regulations of 1998. These established an indefinite ban on the exploitation of marine turtles and also prohibited the possession, purchase and sale of marine turtles and products. Export is only permitted for research/scientific purposes. Penalties for violations of these prohibitions are a fine of BBD50 000 and/or two yearsimprisonment (MPDE, 2002). According to the Ministry of Physical Development and Environment (MPDE) (MPDE, 2002), other legislation that provides for the conservation of marine turtles includes the: 102TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Convention Barbados Cartagena Convention 28.05.1985 (R) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)11.2002 (A) Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region28.05.1985 (R) Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and ActivitiesNo Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)10.12.1993 (R) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)9.03.1993 (E) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)No Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II)06.05.1994 (A) MARPOL73/78 (Annex III)06.05.1994 (A) MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV) 26.11.2001 (S) MARPOL73/78 (Annex V)06.05.1994 (A) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)No UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)12.10.1993 (R) Western Hemisphere ConventionNo World Heritage Convention09.04.2002 (Ac) Membership of Barbados in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Signature (S); Ratification (R); Accession (A); Acceptance (Ac); Entry into force (E)

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€ Marine Boundaries and Jurisdiction Act of 1979,which identifies marine conservation officers to be police, fisheries officials and Coast Guard and Defence Force personnel; € Defence Act of 1979,which assigns responsibility to the Barbados Coast Guard for the enforcement of laws relating to fisheries, territorial waters, beach mining, and other activities; and € Coastal Zone and Management Act (1998…39),which provides a statutory basis for coastal management and planning in Barbados and includes specific provisions for protection of resources, such as from destruction of corals and degradation of the foreshore, and for the designation of marine protected areas and marine parks. The import and export of wildlife products has not been controlled under a single piece of legislation but, rather, through various statutes and regulations, including the Fisheries Act of 1993; the W ild Birds Protection Act (cap. 398) ; the National Conservation Commission Act 1982 (cap. 393) and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA),which together offer protection for some species of plant life (Government of Barbados, 2002). There are no legal provisions for registering stockpiles that might have existed prior to the implementation of the 1998 Fisheries Regulations The Government of Barbados is in the final stages of drafting CITES-enabling legislation that will specifically regulate wildlife trade (MPDE, 2002). The CITES National Legislation Project assessed the CITESimplementing legislation of Barbados as believed generally not to meet the requirements for the implementation of CITESŽ (Anon., 2002) but, by 31 May 2002, the Government of Barbados had filed a CITES Legislation Plan outlining the process and timeline for enacting adequate implementing legislation and, by 31 December 2003, had submitted draft legislation to the CITES Secretariat for review (Anon., 2005). This legislation is now quite close to enactment (S. Nash, Chief, Capacity Building Unit, CITES Secretariat, in litt. to J. Gray, TRAFFIC International, 21 September 2005). Administrative measures taken to support CITES implementation include the training of Customs officers and relevant private sector personnel (e.g. pet shop owners) and the activation of an import/export permit system (Government of Barbados, 2002). Areview of biodiversity legislation for the Barbados NBSAP(Government of Barbados, 2002) identified the need for revision of various statutes and the adoption of others so as to provide a comprehensive legal framework and clearer authorities for, inter alia environmental impact assessment. These and other provisions were included in the Draft Environmental Management and Conservation Act for Barbados aimed at implementing the CBD and the SPAWProtocol. Responsible authorities CITES implementation responsibilities rest with various ministries and departments, including MPDE (Environment Unit), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Fisheries Division) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MPDE, 2002; Government of Barbados, 2002). Marine turtle management responsibilities are shared between the Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Environment Unit and Coastal Zone Management Unit, both within MPDE. The Fisheries Division, Royal Barbados Police Force, Barbados Coast Guard and Barbados Defence Force have enforcement authorities for laws relating to the management and conservation of marine turtles. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela103

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Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective The Barbados Fisheries Division (J.A. Horrocks, in litt ., 2 November and 8 December 2004) has provided details of a letter dated 8 December 1948 written by Mr. Dudley Wiles, the first Fisheries Officer of Barbados, reporting on the Barbados turtle fishery. In this letter, Wiles reported that, between 1945 and 1948, the turtle industry was steadily developed and a larger number of fishermen have become interested in this phase of the fishing industry. At the moment, it is estimated that 50…60 fishermen go after Hawksbill Turtles. The industry became more lucrative to the fishermen on account of a contract being established with an English firm that would buy their raw shell.Ž Wiles further reported that these fishers used weighted nets positioned on the ledges of inshore (fringing) reefs during the months of March to July. He estimated that the numbers of turtles legally landed in Barbados had steadily increased from 1945 to 1948: 92 turtles in 1945, to 128 in 1946, to 160 in 1947 and 165 in 1948, most of them Hawksbill Turtles. Thirty-three percent of the value of the catch was obtained through the sale of the shells, which were used in the manufacture of various ornaments. Finally, Wiles reported that this export market has been checked due to the build-up of surplus stocks in the UK. This has been another disappointing phase in the development of this industry, for just as soon as the fishermen have established suitable fishing boats and nets there is a break in the export market.Ž Hunte (1984) reviewed available information on the turtle fishery in Barbados, which included records that had been collected by the Division of Fisheries since the early 1960s from 11 of 29 designated fisheries landing sites. Because no specific record-keeping had been undertaken for marine turtles, which were included under any other deep water speciesŽ, Hunte (1984) concluded that these statistics could not be relied upon to reflect trends in abundance of marine turtle stocks around Barbados. However, the weight (kg) of turtles documented as landed in Barbados per operational landing site was recorded each year. Hunte (1984) reviewed these data for the years 1962…1982 and concluded that landings had declined over that period, a trend he noted was supported by everyone that he interviewed. Specifically, he reported that: 1.there was a continuous decline in turtle catch between 1963 (ca. 1300 lb/landing site) and 1974 (ca. 100 lb/landing site); then, catches increased and levelled off until 1982 (ca. 200 lb/landing site), the last year data for which were available; 2.during the 1950s, the average number of turtles caught per fisher, per month, was of the order of 35, but by 1983 this number had declined to about two; and 3.many fishers he interviewed felt that the average size of turtles taken had declined. Finally, Hunte (1984) reported that the west coast landing sites had recorded the most turtle landings in the past, but by the time he was writing most turtles were caught off the east coast, by only a few fishers, and for supplemental income rather than as their main source of livelihood. Horrocks (1992) provided more recent data: fishers continued to target adult females and a high percentage (16…22% per annum) of nesting Hawksbill Turtles were killed; females were killed prior to laying and the eggs removed and sold, or the eggs were taken from the nest; in some instances, poachers took the nesting females but 104TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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left the eggs. Most turtles were taken while nesting, but turtles were also captured at sea using nets set at both the surface and the bottom; sometimes turtles were speared. Because of the regulations in effect at the time, which protected nesting turtles and eggs, most of this take was illegal. Horrocks (1992) further reported that there were several market points around the island for the processing and sale of turtle meat, eggs and shell, but because the sale of marine turtles was increasingly covertŽ, the exact number of turtles sold was not known. Meat and eggs were sold and consumed locally, as was some shell. Turtle shell articles were widely available in tourist-oriented shops and, until they were reminded of the laws protecting small turtles, department stores had offered whole stuffed juveniles for sale. Finally, she noted that restaurants were responding positively to current public awareness efforts and had voluntarily removed turtle meat from their menus. According to the calculation of Horrocks and Willoughby (1987), an adult Hawksbill Turtle, with an average weight of 160 lb, was worth a total of BBD329 (BBD224 forca. 80 lb of meat plus BBD105 forca. 6…8 lb of shell). Leatherbacks were not usually fished or killed, though an adult female was washed ashore headless and limbless in December 1991 (Horrocks, 1992). Recent (since 1992) exploitation There was no systematic data collection on marine turtle landings prior to the implementation, in 1998, of the moratorium on exploitation (MPDE, 2002). Current exploitation is limited to illegal take, which is greatly reduced on regularly monitored beaches and, although it continues on isolated beaches, is thought to be at low levels (MPDE, 2002; Government of Barbados, 2001). International trade Historical perspective Japanese Customs statistics record imports of Hawksbill shell from Barbados over several decades. Only 81 kg were imported from 1950 until 1970 (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989), but in that latter year imports increased markedly to almost 400 kg and, over the next two decades, totalled 2845 kg (see table below). At the time Horrocks wrote the STRAPfor Barbados (1992), the export of turtle shells and shell products required the permission of the Chief Fisheries Officer and documentation from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela105 Japanese imports (kg) of Hawksbill Turtle shell,1970-1992,from Barbados,as recorded in Japanese Customs statistics Year197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981 3983383373443103113023090 Year19821983198419851986198719881989199019911992Total 1100011614037252900 2845 Sources : Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; H. Kiyono, TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan Office, in litt to TRAFFIC International, 29 July 2002.

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Commerce„but the policy at that time did not permit any exports. She considered it unlikely that the Hawksbill Turtle population of Barbados could supply this amount of shell, which was probably recorded as having originated in Barbados (a non-CITES Party until 1993) so as to evade CITES restrictions, a practice apparently not uncommon at the time (Canin, 1991). CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database record very international little trade in marine turtles originating in Barbados from 1980 to 1993. This trade primarily involved single items, such as bodies, carvings or carapaces, and over half of these imports were seized on entry. Recent (since 1992) international trade Barbados ratified CITES in 1993. Most of the trade in marine turtles recorded in CITES trade statistics as involving Barbados during the period 1993…2004, inclusive,has been for scientific purposes. In addition to imports (including, in 2004, from Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis), of what have generally been blood samples for use in genetic and other analyses in partnership with the BSTPat the University of the West Indies, there have been exports for scientific purposes, including: three Loggerhead and 10 Leatherback specimens to Canada in 2001 and 105 Green Turtle and two Hawksbill specimens to the USAin 2002. Although one Green Turtle carapace from Barbados was seized on entry into the UK in 2002 and another was recorded as imported into the USAthe following year, illegal export and import of marine turtles are not known by authorities in Barbados to occur and are currently not thought to be a problem for management (MPDE, 2002). Enforcement issues Prior to the implementation of the 1998 Fisheries (Management) Regulations enforcement of the 1904 regulations was clearly undermined by inadequate penalties (Hunte, 1984; Horrocks, 1992). In addition to the inadequate penalties for violations, Horrocks (1992) included as enforcement shortcomings: the fact that environmental laws were not well publicized and/or not respected as being important by the public; the difficulties of achieving a successful prosecution (no prosecutions have ever been made for violating legislation protecting marine turtles); and insufficient capacity in terms of equipment (e.g. boats for the police), personnel and training. The current regulations provide for a much more serious penalty of a BBD50 000 fine and/or two yearsimprisonment. Although this should be a more effective deterrent against poaching, it is possible that the size of the penalty may render it less likely that offenders will be prosecuted (J.A. Horrocks, in litt ., 20 October 2004). However, according to the Government of Barbados (2001), even when human and financial resources constrain full enforcement of the ban, the combination of the ban, removal of the shell trade as an incentive, and educational programmes can be highly effectiveŽ. Although poaching of turtles„primarily for eggs and meat and sometimes scutes (J.A. Horrocks, in litt ., 20 August 2004)„persists on nesting beaches that are not patrolled, this is not considered to be a major problem facing marine turtles in the country. However, the increasing numbers of nesting turtles have made it more productive for poachers to stake out non-monitored or infrequently monitored beaches (Horrocks, 2004), suggesting that poaching may be increasing and that, if monitoring of beaches were to cease, nesting turtles would be very vulnerable. 106TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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There are currently no legal provisions for registering stockpiles of marine turtles or products that might have existed prior to implementation of the Fisheries (Management) Regulations in 1998. No stockpiles are known to exist, although there is evidence that some poachers are still preserving shells or collecting scutes (J.A. Horrocks, in litt ., 20 October 2004).Marine turtle management Management of exploitation The management measures that were in place before the moratorium was adopted in 1998 were inadequate in a number of areas. For example: €the minimum size limit failed to protect the large juveniles and adults that are most important for maintaining populations and promoting population recovery; €the fishery was open entryŽ and there was no limit on the number of turtles that could be caught per year; and €there was insufficient monitoring of landings and no records maintained of poaching activities. The current moratorium on the exploitation of marine turtles is indefinite and will remain in place until the government is satisfied that population recovery has occurred and that a sustainable harvest quota has been determinedŽ (Government of Barbados, 2001). Species research and conservation The BSTP(www.barbadosseaturtles.org) was initiated in 1987 and operates from the Barbados Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies. Activities include: monitoring of nesting and foraging animals (in-water monitoring was initiated in November 1998„Government of Barbados, 2001); tagging of nesting females; monitoring of hatching events; investigations into the genetic structure of nesting and foraging populations of Hawksbill Turtles; studies of international migratory behaviour as revealed by tagging and, more recently, satellite-tracking of nesting females and some males (Horrocks, 2004); response to turtle strandings and care of sick/debilitated turtles; and maintenance of a database to manage all the data collected through these activities. The project has operated a full-time (day and night), year-round Sea Turtle Hotline since the early 1990s that has enabled project staff to respond to many calls for assistance regarding turtle sightings and turtles injured or otherwise in difficulty (Horrocks, 2004). Population-monitoring studies, facilitated by systematic tagging of nesting females or by regular morning nest counts, are under way to determine long-term population trends at the main Index beach at Needhams Point (Hilton…Coconut Court) and high-density west coast beaches (MPDE, 2002). During the peak Hawksbill nesting season (1 June…30 September), beaches are patrolled all night with the assistance of national and international volunteers and according to established best practices (Eckert et al .,1999; Beggs et al .,2001). Systematic tagging also occurs at Index Hawksbill foraging grounds (selected sites on the west coast bank reef). Research into foraging populations is year-round and also focuses on answering questions related to abundance, behaviour, growth rates and habitat use. Hawksbill Turtles (and occasionally Green Turtles) are captured using TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela107

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standardized field methods, then weighed, measured, checked for tags and photographed, and the location of capture is recorded through GPS (Global Positioning System) before the animals are returned to the water. Laparoscopic investigation and blood-sampling to identify the sex of immatures has recently been initiated. Long-term objectives of this research include a greater understanding of the ecological roles of marine turtles and stock assessment, which for both species is complicated by the fact that foragers in the waters of Barbados are derived from nesting populations in the wider Caribbean and beyond (Horrocks, 2004). Research into foraging populations has been facilitated through collaboration with watersports operators (Horrocks, 2004). With a grant from the Global Environment Facility, administered through the United Nations Development Programme in 2002, a regional Marine Turtle Tagging Centre (MTTC) was established to maintain a Caribbean database for tagging records and serve as a centre of excellence for marking technologies. Operating through WIDECASTand based at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, the MTTC is assisting marine turtle population monitoring efforts throughout the region through the provision of tags and tagging equipment (now being used in 15 different jurisdictions„Horrocks, 2004), standard record-keeping tools, training and other forms of technical assistance. Habitat conservation There is a range of habitat issues affecting marine turtle nesting and foraging habitat in Barbados, in particular as a result of tourism infrastructure and activities. However, numerous legislative and other measures have been put into place or proposed that aim at mitigating negative impacts (Horrocks, 1992; Government of Barbados, 2002). The Integrated Coastal Management Plan (ICMP) and the CZMAprovide support through several statutory and policy mechanisms for the management of turtle nesting sites on the island, including elements of beach management in relation to sand-mining, setbacks, vehicular beach access, enclosures and fences, in addition to replanting and protection of littoral vegetation. Further, as part of the development control process, the Coastal Zone Management Unit carefully reviews any application that proposes lighting for upper beach areas and recommends appropriate adjustments in lighting arrangements to prevent possible disorientation of nesting and hatching turtles (Government of Barbados, 2002). These efforts, including relevant environmental impact assessments (Horrocks, 2004), draw on data collected through the BSTP. The majority of hatchlings from nests laid on developed south coast beaches and a third of those on developed west coast beaches are disoriented and misdirected by artificial lighting; without human intervention, these hatchlings would succumb to attacks by predators, exhaustion, desiccation, or strikes by vehicles on nearby roads and in car parks (Horrocks, 2002). To enhance awareness of the problem, a national workshop entitled Sea Turtles and Beachfront Lighting: An Interactive Workshop for Industry Professionals and Policy-Makers in BarbadosŽ was convened by the BSTP, WIDECASTand the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association in 2000. The workshop described problems (for marine turtles) posed by artificial shore-based lighting, with particular emphasis on the technologies that are available to solve these problems. Aunanimous resolution urged local hoteliers and the villa rental community to implement, as soon as practicable, turtle friendlylighting on all beachesŽ. To this end, the resolution called upon the Tourism Development Corporation, in consultation with relevant experts, to: (i) draft a Sea Turtle Policy Statement to be adopted and implemented nationwide; (ii) provide hoteliers and villa rental agencies with standard guidelines and criteria for implementing the Sea Turtle Policy Statement; and (iii) provide coastal hoteliers and landowners with emergency numbers for reporting marine turtle sightings and violations, as well as a calendar noting the nesting and hatching months of local 108TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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marine turtle species (Eckert and Horrocks, 2002). As a result, several local hotels have altered their lighting schemes to reduce negative effects on nesting turtles and their young (J.A. Horrocks, pers. comm., 2004), setting an example for others to follow. No marine turtle nesting sites or foraging areas are completely protected as reserves or parks (J.A. Horrocks, in litt ., 20 August 2004). However, discussions are currently under way to designate the main Index beach as protected under the CZMA, thus enabling regulations to be drafted which, inter alia should mitigate the lighting and other impacts from the Hilton and other hotels on that beach (Horrocks, 2004). The BSTPadvises hotels and others on best practice for eco-tourism involving marine turtles (Horrocks, 2004). Education and public awareness The Barbados Environmental Association and the BSTPhave conducted a range of education and public awareness activities over many years, including monitoring of beaches using volunteers and presentations and provision of materials, such as leaflets and posters, in primary and secondary schools and hotels, and presentations through the media (Horrocks, 1992; Government of Barbados, 2001). Several public education projects have been developed involving residents, fishers and tourists and the Fisheries Division has close and constructive ties with the fishing community (Horrocks, 1992). In addition, the general public has been encouraged to call in information on nesting turtles, poaching incidents and stranded animals. Prior to the onset of the nesting season, a letter is sent to all hotels and restaurants advising them of the laws protecting turtle nesting and about problems that hatchlings may have with beach lighting (Horrocks, 1992). Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management The Government of Barbados (2002) notes in the Barbados NBSAPa number of institutional constraints facing the Environment Ministry in fulfilling its mandates in Barbados, including: inadequate staffing, a deficiency in appropriate training, unavailability of vital technical support in terms of information technology and lack of direct financial support. Similarly, it notes that the expanding environmental mandate of the Fisheries Division is stretching that agencys resources. Specifically, limited manpower for monitoring and enforcement on the beaches is an impediment and more training is needed for Customs officials; both of these problems can be rectified through adequate funding and provision of training opportunities (MPDE, 2002). MPDE (2002) notes that the protection of the beaches has sometimes been confounded when alternative uses, e.g. tourism-related, are considered to be of higher priority. For instance, the need to ensure tourist security has been a major impediment to the maintenance of dark stretches of beach during the nesting season, despite the fact that lighting alternatives are widely available that address both the need for security and the survival requirements of nesting and hatching turtles (Witherington and Martin, 2000; Eckert and Horrocks, 2002). The difficulties of conserving and managing migratory marine turtles are raised forthrightly by the Government of Barbados (2001) in their national report to the first regional CITES Hawksbill Dialogue. The results of recent scientific studies suggest that the nesting Hawksbill Turtle population of Barbados stays in the countrys waters for only a few months each year, before moving to other countries to forage. That three of four post-nesting Hawksbill Turtles satellite-tracked in 1998 returned to foraging grounds located in countries where a legal take TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela109

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is still allowed (Grenada, Dominica, Trinidad) and that flipper tags are returned from neighbouring countries that have legal fisheries (Saint Lucia, Grenada, Saint Vincent) underscore the limits of national efforts to conserve and manage these animals. The extensive efforts being made in Barbados to conserve local nesting populations, therefore, are compromised by the fact that these animals are taken in legal (and illegal) marine turtle fisheries in other countries, while animals nesting in other countries are protected in the foraging grounds of Barbados. This reality and the widespread problem of incidental take in artisanal and commercial fisheries needs to be addressed at a regional level (MPDE, 2002).Summary and recommendationsThe advances that have been made in Barbados over the past decade or so in marine turtle management, conservation and research are testament to what can be accomplished with committed and sustained„and collaborative„effort by government agencies, NGOs and academia. An indefinite ban on exploitation, adopted after at least 10 years of research and public awareness and education efforts, appears to have been justified, based on what was known (and not known) of turtle populations and levels of off-take. In addition, it appears to have been widely accepted and, finally, to have been successful, as poaching is considered to be at very low levels. However, a suspected increase in poaching on non-monitored or infrequently monitored beaches in response to increasing numbers of nesting turtles suggests a need for increased law enforcement and public outreach initiatives, including talking openly about future research and conservation priorities and the need for stewardship and vigilance during the population recovery process. The current priority is to mitigate habitat-related problems. Barbados has one of the most comprehensive integrated coastal zone management programmes in the region; marine protected areas have been established (although these to date have not included important marine turtle nesting or feeding grounds); and further improvements in these programmes are under way (Government of Barbados, 2002). Marine turtle population monitoring programmes are in place and knowledge on the status of stocks is improving. Agreat deal of the information that is being generated through these activities is of great relevance to marine turtles and marine turtle management programmes elsewhere in the region. Finally, through the University of the West Indies and the long involvement of the BSTPin WIDECAST, Barbados is making significant contributions to marine turtle tagging and associated research and conservation efforts in the wider Caribbean basin. It should be noted that despite these exemplary achievements, the marine turtles of Barbados, its nesting Hawksbill population in particular, continue to be exploited elsewhere in the Caribbean where legal (and illegal) fisheries for marine turtles continue to operate. That the extent of these losses„and the extent to which they jeopardize the recovery of this nesting population„are unknown must be considered a major challenge to the efforts in Barbados over both the short and long terms. Other considerations are the following: €Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental catch of marine turtles should be developed. Measures to reduce or eliminate incidental catch of marine turtles, such as time…area closures and/or alternative types of gear, should be implemented. 110TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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€Increased efforts should be made to engage local communities, including fishers, in marine turtle conservation and management. Fisheries extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular exchanges with fishers of information on marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and the participation of fishers in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for marine turtle conservation. €Finally, it is hoped that the CITES-implementing legislation that is in the final stages of preparation will provide a legal basis for the registration of wildlife products, such as CITES Appendix-I specimens or nationally protected species, that are legally held by private parties but are considered to represent a possible cover for continued illegal exploitation or trade. Afull inventory„and registration„of marine turtle products held by individuals and businesses would establish a baseline for distinguishing newly acquired, illegal products from those pre-dating the 1998 ban and, thus, may assist in efforts to discern the true extent of poaching, as well as to discourage continued poaching activities.ReferencesAnon. (2002). CITES Document CoP12 Doc. 28. Working document of the 12thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties, Santiago (Chile), 3…15 November 2002. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Anon. (2005). CITES Document SC53 Doc. 31 Working document of the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Beggs, J., B. Krueger and J. Horrocks. (2001). Barbados Sea Turtle Project: Nesting Beach Monitoring Programme Procedures Manual Barbados Sea Turtle Project, University of the West Indies. 35 pp. + app. Canin, J. (1991). International trade aspects of the Japanese Hawksbill shell (Bekko) industry. Marine Turtle Newsletter 54:17…21. Eckert, K.L., K.A. Bjorndal, F.A. Abreu-Grobois and M.A. Donnelly (Eds). (1999). Research and Management Techniques for the Conservation of Sea Turtles IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group Publication No. 4. Washington, D.C. 235 pp. Eckert, K.L. and J.A. Horrocks (Eds). (2002). Proceedings of Sea Turtles and Beachfront Lighting: An Interactive Workshop for Industry Professionals and Policy-Makers in BarbadosŽ, 13 October 2000 Sponsored by WIDECAST, Barbados Sea Turtle Project, and Tourism Development Corporation of Barbados. WIDECASTTechnical Report 1. v + 43 pp. Government of Barbados. (2001). Barbados National Report to the First CITES Wider Caribbean Hawksbill Dialogue (Mexico City, 15…17 May 2001). 5 pp. www.cites.org/common/prog/hbt/country_report/Barbados .pdf Government of Barbados. (2002). ANational Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Barbados July 2002. Ministry of Physical Development and Environment. xviii + 155 pp. bb-nbsap.01.en.pdf available from www.biodiv.org/world/reports Groombridge, B. and R. Luxmoore. (1989). The Green Turtle and Hawksbill (Reptilia: Cheloniidae): World status, Exploitation and Trade Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Lausanne, Switzerland. 601 pp. Horrocks, J.A. (1992). WIDECASTSea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Barbados (K.L. Eckert, Ed.). CEP Technical Report No. 12. UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. 61 pp. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela111

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Horrocks, J.A. (2002). Sea Turtles and Beachfront Lighting in Barbados. Pp. 5…8. In: K.L. Eckert and J.A. Horrocks (Eds). Proceedings of Sea Turtles and Beachfront Lighting: An Interactive Workshop for Industry Professionals and Policy-Makers in BarbadosŽ, 13 October 2000 Sponsored by WIDECAST, Barbados Sea Turtle Project, and Tourism Development Corporation of Barbados. WIDECASTTechnical Report 1. v + 43 pp. Horrocks, J.A., Senior Lecturer, University of the West Indies-Cave Hill. (2004). Invited Oral Presentation to the 2004 Annual General Meeting of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). 21 February 2004, San Jos, Costa Rica. Horrocks, J.A., L.A. Vermeer, B. Krueger, M. Coyne, B. Schroeder and G. Balazs. (2001). Migration routes and destination characteristics of post-nesting Hawksbill Turtles satellite-tracked from Barbados, West Indies. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 4(1):1…7. Horrocks, J.A. and S. Willoughby. (1987). The National Report for Barbados. Presented to the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, Mayagez, Puerto Rico, October 1987. Hunte, W. (1984). Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium National Report for Barbados. Pp. 36…40. In: P. Bacon et al. (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica III, Appendix 7. Univiversity of Miami Press, Florida. Krueger, B.K., J.A. Horrocks and J. Beggs. (2003a). Increase in nesting activity by Hawksbill Turtles ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) in Barbados. Pp. 149. In: J.A. Seminoff (Compiler). Proceedings of the 22ndAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation NOAATechnical Memorandum. NMFS-SEFSC-503. US Department of Commerce. Krueger, B.K., J.A. Horrocks and J. Beggs. (2003b). International Movements of Adult Female and Juvenile Hawksbill Turtles, Eretmochelys imbricata from Barbados, West Indies. Paper presented at the 23rdAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 2003. Ligon, R. (1673). ATrue and Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes 1970 reprint of the second edition, Frank Cass and Co., Ltd. London. Luke, K., J. Horrocks, R. Leroux and P. Dutton. (2004). Origins of green turtle feeding aggregations around Barbados, West Indies. Marine Biology 144:799…805. Meylan, A.B. (1999). Status of the hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) in the Caribbean Region. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3(2):177…184. Milliken, T. and H. Tokunaga. (1987). The Japanese Sea Turtle Trade 1970…1986 Aspecial report prepared by TRAFFIC (Japan). Center for Environmental Education, Washington, DC. 171 pp. MPDE (Ministry of Physical Development and Environment). (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of the Marine Turtles of Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Completed by Mr. Kwame Emmanuel, Research Officer, Environmental Unit, and Dr. Julia Horrocks, Senior Lecturer, University of the West Indies-Cave Hill and Chair, Barbados CITES Scientific Authority. 30 September 2002. Witherington, B.E. and R.E. Martin. (2000). Understanding, Assessing, and Resolving Light-Pollution Problems on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches 2nd edn, revised 2000. Florida Marine Research Institute Technical Report TR-2. Florida Marine Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Florida. 73 pp. 112TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Commonwealth of Dominica IntroductionThe Commonwealth of Dominica is located in the middle of the Lesser Antilles archipelago, flanked by the French departments of Guadeloupe to the north and Martinique to the south. Avolcanic island with a total land area of ca. 750km, it is the largest and least populated of the Windward Islands (Government of Dominica, 2002). The islands coastline extends over 153 km and comprises limited seagrass, mangrove and coral reef habitats owing to the steep topography and rugged coastal terrain (UNEP, 1996). Dominica gained independence from the UK in November 1978. As the Nature Island of the CaribbeanŽ, Dominica is considered the most pristine of the Windward Islands. Its lush tropical rainforests harbour a great diversity of plant and animal species, among them two of the worlds most stunning and endangered parrot species, the Imperial Parrot, or Sisserou, Amazona imperialis the countrys national bird,and the Red-necked Amazon, or Jaco, Amazona arausiaca, both endemic to the island. In addition to its wealth of terrestrial biodiversity, Dominica is increasingly known for the splendour of its marine biodiversity. The Government of Dominica has initiated protection of much of this diversity through the establishment of forest and wildlife reserves, national parks, protected areas and marine reserves, among these Morne Trois Pitons National Park, which is one of only two (along with the Pitons Management Area in Saint Lucia) natural World Heritage sites in the Eastern Caribbean, and the Scotts Head…Soufriere Marine Reserve (SSMR). Local marine turtle populations in Dominica are considered threatened, with population declines attributed to illegal exploitation and loss of habitat, including nesting sites (Government of Dominica, 2002). Marine turtle nests, eggs and nesting turtles have been fully protected by law since 1927 and marine turtles are fully protected in the countrys marine reserves. The capture of turtles at sea outside these areas is permitted by law during eight months of the year. This exploitation has been regulated since 1927, including through minimum size limits, which result in the targeting of the large juvenile and adult turtles that are the age classes that are most important for population maintenance and recovery. An organized turtle fishery does not operate in Dominica; rather, capture of marine turtles is occasional and opportunistic or incidental to other fishing activities (H. Guiste, Fisheries Division, pers. comm., 2005). Although the numbers of marine turtles recorded at designated fisheries landing sites are considered insignificantŽ (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005), anecdotal reports of turtle captures and landings at other sites indicate that marine turtles are regularly killed around the island throughout the year (R. Byrne, RoSTI, pers. comm., 2005), while 49% of interviewees in a survey in 2003 (Franklin et al ., 2004) stated that they ate marine turtle meat. Illegal exploitation, fuelled at least in part by beliefs in the health benefits of turtle meat, is pervasive and persistent. On some beaches, poaching results in the collection of virtually 100% of eggs laid and the killing of any turtles encountered (Durand, 2004; Byrne, 2004a). Anumber of initiatives implemented through the efforts of the government, local communities and businesses together with the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), hold great promise for marine turtle conservation in Dominica (Franklin et al. 2004). The Rosalie Sea Turtle Initiative (RoSTI), the countrys first marine turtle conservation project, began in 2003 and continues as a partnership between TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela113

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WIDECAST, the Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division (FWPD) of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment and other public and private agencies. In addition to regular nesting beach monitoring on two of the islands highest-density nesting beaches, the project involves a range of education and outreach activities and a national Sea Turtle Hotline that, among other things, assists FWPD in their enforcement efforts. Draft fisheries regulations„currently awaiting only ministerial approval„significantly revise the restrictions governing the exploitation of marine turtles, including through the establishment of maximum size limits, extension of the closed season and a permit requirement for catching turtles (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005). When adopted, these should greatly enhance the management framework for these species. Similarly, implementation of the countrys National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2001…2005 (NBSAP), developed by the Government of Dominica (2002) in fulfillment of its obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), should significantly enhance the prospects for marine turtles and their habitats. The NBSAPsets forth a set of strategies for conserving the countrys terrestrial and marine biodiversity, including the review and revision of existing legislation and development of new legislation to provide, inter alia for the conservation and management of coastal biodiversity; protection of vulnerable/fragile/indigenous marine species and ecosystems; coastal zone management; local community participation in coastal and marine conservation and management; and the implementation and enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Akey element of the NBSAPis improved and expanded measures for the conservation and protection of threatened marine and terrestrial ecosystems and speciesŽ.Summary of the status of marine turtles in DominicaFour species of marine turtle occur in Dominica (Edwards, 1984; Lawrence, 1987; Government of Dominica, 2002; see table below). The Hawksbill Turtle is the most common in the islands waters and nests seasonally. The Leatherback also nests seasonally (usually along the eastern coast), but is not a year-round resident. Both the Loggerhead and Green Turtle occur in the waters around the island. The Loggerhead, referred to as the Channel TurtleŽ, is apparently best known by people who fish in the deep channels between the islands (Carr et al ., 1982). There is no contemporary evidence of nesting by Loggerheads, although Lawrence (1987) reported 0…1 nestingsŽ per year. Green Turtles are infrequent nesters relative to Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks; Franklin et al (2004) documented only 10 nesting visits to their study site (Rosalie and La Plaine beaches) in 2003, with a peak between July and September. 114TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta I Green Turtle Chelonia mydas N, F Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea A Occurrence of marine turtles inDominica Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent

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Although marine turtle nesting surveys were first initiated more than two decades ago (Edwards, 1984), these monitoring activities have, until recently, been sporadic, with the result that there remain insufficient data to establish statistically significant trends in marine turtle populations in Dominica. Informed observers have, however, for many years characterized the nesting populations of Green and Hawksbill Turtles as decreasingŽ (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989). Based on interviews conducted by the Fisheries Division in 2003, 18 nesting beaches were identified as active. Moving north and then east from the capital city of Roseau, these beaches are Fond Cole, Rock Away, Donkey Beach, Layou, Mero, Batalie, Prince Rupert Bay (Picard/Secret Beach), Douglas Bay, Toucari, Clifton, Batibou Bay, Hampstead Bay, Woodford Hill Bay, Pagua Bay, Saint David Bay, Rosalie Bay, Bout Sable (La Plaine) Bay and Stowe. Durand (FWPD, in litt ., 15 September 2005) reports an additional nesting site, a small section of Lanse Bateau beach, just south of Point Mitchel. In general, based on observed patterns of poaching and reports to the national Sea Turtle Hotline, the most important marine turtle nesting grounds, including Rosalie Bay, are located on the north-east and south-east coastlines for all three species (Byrne, 2004a), with the highest-density nesting at Woodford Hill, Rosalie, Bout Sable (La Plaine) and Cabana (FWPD, 2004). RoSTI started the countrys first comprehensive population monitoring programme at Rosalie and La Plaine (Bout Sable) beaches in April 2003. The project, which continues today, has confirmed that Leatherbacks and Hawksbill and Green Turtles nest at low densities along the countrys south-eastern coast. Rosalie and La Plaine beaches supported a nesting population (all species combined) of fewer than 20 adult females in 2003 (of which three were lost to poaching„Franklin et al. 2004) and fewer than 40 adult females in 2004 (of which two were lost to poaching„RoSTI, unpubl. data). Preferred foraging grounds are relatively shallow and feature seagrass beds and reefs (Lawrence, 1987). Based on observations and fishermen reportsŽ, Edwards (1984) reported foraging by Hawksbill and Green Turtles in northern and eastern bays, including Toucari, Hampstead and Saint David. Today, according to FWPD (2004) and Byrne (2004a; in litt .,29 September 2005), the major foraging grounds for Hawksbill Turtles are found along the south-west coast and for Green Turtles along the south-east coast, including in the SSMR, while other marine turtle foraging grounds include those off Rosalie, La Plaine and other beaches along the west coast. There is little information on international movements of marine turtles occurring in Dominica. There have been no satellite-tracking or genetic studies undertaken to address stock origin, residency and home range, or migratory patterns. However, with some nesting beaches now routinely surveyed at night and gravid females tagged, the prospect of identifying movements by adult females is more likely. For example, a Leatherback tagged while nesting in the US Virgin Islands on 12 April 2004 nested twice on Rosalie Beach, Dominica, in May of that year (Byrne, 2004a). Similarly, a Leatherback tagged while nesting at Rosalie on 25 April 2004 later nested twice on Cipara Beach, Peninsula de Paria, Venezuela (H. Guada, CICTMAR, pers. comm., 2004). Another Leatherback tagged (but which did not nest) on Rosalie Beach in 2004 nested some weeks later in Martinique (R. Byrne, pers. comm., 2005). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela115

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O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties Dominica (a British Overseas Territory until 1978) was not included in the UKs ratification of CITES in 1976 and acceded to the Convention in 1995. Although a Party to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, Dominica is not party to that Conventions Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areasand Wildlife (SPAWProtocol), norto the InterAmerican Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC) (see table below). Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles The first legal provisions on behalf of marine turtles in Dominica were enacted in 1927. These provided for, inter alia a closed season, a minimum size limit and a prohibition against interference with turtle nests, eggs and nesting turtles (Durand, in litt. ,15 September 2005) These provisions have remained in place, with some variation, since that time. The Turtle Ordinance of 24 November 1972 set the following restrictions (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989): €a four-month closed season from 1 June to 30 September, during which it was prohibited to catch or take marine turtles or their eggs or buy, sell or expose for sale, or possess turtle meat or eggs; €a minimum size limit of 20 lb (nine kilogrammes) in weight; and 116TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Convention Dominica Cartagena Convention 05.10.1990 (A) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)No Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region05.10.1990 (A) Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and ActivitiesNo Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)06.04.1994 (R) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)02.11.1995 (E) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)No Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II)21.09.2000 (A) MARPOL73/78 (Annex III)31.08.2001 (S) MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex V)21.09.2000 (A) Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)No UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)24.10.1991 (R) Western Hemisphere ConventionNo World Heritage Convention04.04.1995 (R) Membership of Dominica in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Signature (S); Ratification (R); Accession (A); Entry into force (E)

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€a prohibition on the disturbance of turtle eggs or nests and on the take or attempt to take of any turtle laying eggs or on the shore engaged in nesting activities. The Forestry and Wildlife Act, Chapter 60:02, Act 12 of 1976repealed the Turtle Ordinance and, in its Ninth Schedule, reiterated most of its provisions; these were carried forward in the Acts most recent amendments, Act 1 2 of 1990, Section 21, Ninth Schedule, setting forth: €a four-month closed season (1 June to 30 September), during which it is prohibited to catch or take or attempt to catch or take any marine turtleŽ; €a minimum size limit of 20 lb in weight; and €a prohibition on the disturbance of any turtle nest or eggsŽ or the taking or attempting to take any turtle laying eggs or on the shore engaged in nesting activitiesŽ. It should be noted that these current regulations omit the explicit prohibition provided in the Turtle Ordinance of the marketing of marine turtles and products during the closed season. Except for their inclusion in the Ninth Schedule, marine turtles appear to be excluded from much of the Forestry and Wildlife Act s provisions by its definition of wildlife, namely animals of the following groups living beyond the control of man: mammals (including feral pigs); birds and the eggs thereof; frogs and the eggs thereof; reptiles and fishes, their fry and eggs, and crustaceans found in fresh water streams or impoundmentsŽ. The only possible basis for penalizing violations of the Ninth Schedule proscriptions is Section 61 (Part VIII), which states that, Unless a different or other penalty or punishment is specifically prescribed, a person who contravenes any provision of this Act or any regulation is liable to a fine of four hundred dollars and to imprisonment for three months.Ž The Government of Dominica (2002) has recognized that the Forestry and Wildlife Act of 1976 is inadequateŽ and has drafted a set of amendments and implementing regulations that are currently undergoing ministerial review. Among the improvements set out in this draft are provisions for penalties to deter poaching more effectively (S. Durand, FWPD, pers. comm., 2005). The Fisheries Act (No. 11) of 1987, which defines fishŽ as any acquatic [sic] animal, whether piscine or not and includes any shellfish, turtle, mollusc, crustacean, coral, sponge, echinoderm, its young and its eggsŽ, mandates the relevant minister to take such measures as he thinks fit under this Act to promote the management and development of fisheries, so as to ensure the optimum utilization of the fisheries resources in the fishery waters for the benefit of DominicaŽ. Among the many measures stipulated in this Act are the preparation and continual review, for approval by the Minister, of a plan for the management and development of fisheries in the fishery waters, which shall: €identify each fishery and assess the present state of its exploitation; €specify the objectives to be achieved in the management of each fishery; €specify the management and development measures to be taken; and €specify the licensing programmes to be followed for each fishery, the limitations, if any, to be applied to local fishing operations and the amount of fishing, if any, to be allocated to foreign fishing vessels. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela117

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Part III of the Act sets forth a suite of conservation measures, including a prohibition on the use, for fishing, of explosives, poisons and other noxious substancesŽ and establishes strict penalties (1000 East Caribbean dollars [XCD1000]or, in case of default, six monthsimprisonment) for violations of this provision and any gear restrictions established in the Acts implementing regulations. Finally, the Act specifies the enforcement powers of authorized officers, defined as any fisheries officer, any customs officer or police officer and any other person or category of persons designated as an authorized officer by the Minister under Section 26Ž. The Fisheries Act s general provisions authorize ministerial promulgation of regulations for a range of purposes, including: €providing for the licensing, regulation and management of any particular fishery; €prescribing fisheries management and conservation measures, including gear standards, minimum species sizes, closed areas, prohibited methods of fishing or fishing gear and schemes for limiting entry into all or any specified fisheries; and €prescribing measures for the protection of turtles, lobsters and conches. They further authorize ministerial promulgation of regulations that provide penalties of a fine not exceeding XCD5000 and, in case of default of payment, a 12-month prison term, for violations of any implementing regulation of the Act. Although comprehensive draft regulations for implementing the Fisheries Act have been under review since 1987, they have yet to receive ministerial approval and be made into law. This has created numerous problems for implementation of the Act, including for effective enforcement. In addition, although the Fisheries Act provides ample scope for enhanced conservation and management measures for marine turtles, no specific regulations have yet been promulgated for these species. The Fisheries Division (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005) reports that the draft fisheries regulations significantly revise the provisions for protecting and managing marine turtles; in addition to retaining the protections for marine turtle eggs and nests and marine turtles on land that are currently afforded through the Forestry and Wildlife Act these provisions include: €maximum size limits; €extension of the closed season; and €a permit requirement for the capture of marine turtles. The Fisheries Division is optimisticŽ that these regulations will be promulgated by 2006 (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005). The conservation of marine turtle habitats is provided for by at least two pieces of legislation. Chapter 42:02 of the National Parks and Protected Areas Act 16 of 1975 (amended by 54 of 1986, 12 of 1990) provides for the designation and management of areas set aside as national parks or protected areas. The Act provides for a National Parks Advisory Council and for the promulgation of regulations requiring, inter alia ,preservation of flora and fauna; regulation and prohibition of hunting and fishing; preservation and maintenance of water supplies and any water catchment area; prevention of soil erosion and landslides; construction, maintenance, operation and administration of roads, ways, public works and utility services; and the regulation and control of development, construction and building within the national parks system. In addition, the Act provides authorities to police 118TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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officers and park wardens to enforce the provisions of the Act and its implementing regulations and sets forth penalties for violations. Section 22 (Part III) of the Fisheries Act of 1987 provides for the designation and management of any fishery area and, as appropriate, any adjacent or surrounding land, to be set aside as a marine reserve where special measures are necessaryŽ to, inter alia afford special protection to the flora and fauna of such areas and to protect and preserve the natural breeding ground and habitats of aquatic life, with particular regard to flora/fauna in danger of extinctionŽ. Except as permitted at ministerial level so as to enhance the management of these areas, the Act prohibits in marine reserves: €fishing or attempting to fish; €taking or destruction of any flora and fauna other than fish; €dredging, extraction of sand or gravel, the discharge or deposit of waste or any other polluting matterŽ, or the disturbance, alteration of destruction of the natural environment; and €construction or erection of any buildings or structures on or over any land or waters within such a reserve. Finally, the Act establishes a fine of XCD5000 and, in cases of default of payment, a 12-month prison term, for those convicted of violating any of these proscriptions. The CITES National Legislation Project assessed Dominicas CITES-implementing legislation as believed generally not to meet the requirements for the implementation of CITESŽ (Anon., 2002). Adeadline of 30 June 2004 for enactment of legislation was not met, although Dominica had submitted a Legislative Plan outlining the timeline and process to that end, and the deadline was subsequently extended. Draft implementing legislation has now been submitted to the CITES Secretariat (Anon., 2005). The Government of Dominica (2002) has noted that implementation and enforcement of CITES have been hampered by the absence of an enforceable regulatory frameworkŽ. Responsible authorities Within the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment, the Fisheries Division is responsible for managing exploitation and trade, while FWPD is charged with conservation and enforcement (Fisheries Division, 2002; FWPD, 2004). The draft fisheries regulations grant authority to the Fisheries Division to engage in conservation and enforcement, as well (H. Guiste, Fisheries Division, in litt ., 12 September 2005). The Environmental Coordinating Unit serves as the CITES Management Authority, and the Fisheries Division and FWPD serve as CITES Scientific Authorities for marine and terrestrial species, respectively. The Dominica Marine Reserves Service, within the Fisheries Division, serves as the management body to protect, promote and educate about the marine environment on the west of the islandŽ (www.dominicamarinereserves.com, viewed 19 September 2005). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela119

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Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective Carr et al. (1982) reported local consumption of the meat and eggs of Green and Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks in Dominica. Edwards (1984), based on interviews conducted for the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, confirmed that local consumption focused on meat and eggs, with the Hawksbill shell often being sold to Martinique or GuadeloupeŽ. In addition, she reported that many of the fishers exploited all of the species when they could, that meat (Hawksbill, Leatherback and Green Turtle) sold for XCD2.50/lb and that none depend totally on it for a livelihoodŽ. She concluded that skins and stuffed juveniles are of no importance in Dominica at this timeŽ and that local craftspeople do not utilize Hawksbill shell in their workŽ. In a follow-up report prepared for the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, Lawrence (1987) described the local tradition of fishing from the beaches at night, which led to the capture of turtles during their nesting ventures; the disturbance of turtle nests; the collection of turtle eggs and eating of turtle meat„a tradition in itselfŽ. He noted that these practices were imposed on the population because Dominica has a very narrow coastal shelf with limited demersal fish resources near-shore, which has continuously been under severe pressure over the last yearsŽ, concluding that the nature of the fishing industry has determined the fate of the turtle resources to some extentŽ. Lawrence (1987) reported that turtles comprised a fair percentage of the fish resources that are landedŽ in many coastal communities. At the same time, he reported that there was no particular turtle fishery in DominicaŽ, neither were there any specialized turtle fishers; rather, exploitation was haphazardŽ. He further reported that some 60% of the turtles landed were adults captured at sea as they swam towards the coast to nest and the remaining 40% landed were from incidental catchesŽ in gill nets and longlines; Leatherbacks were caught most frequently by longlining operations. He stated that newer mid-water and bottom gill nets (as opposed to the conventional beach seine) brought a tremendous degree of mortality pressure on young turtlesŽ. In one monitored period following the opening of the turtle season, a group of gill net fishers averaged four turtles (all four species, carapace lengths of 40…130 cm) in each net set (Lawrence, 1987). High levels of exploitation have been attributed to fishers in neighbouring Guadeloupe and Martinique who fished the surrounding waters and caught turtles throughout the year with trammel nets, according to Lawrence (1987). He estimated that this exploitation accounted for at least three times the turtles landed locally in Dominica. Recent (since 1992) exploitation Although it is permitted to capture marine turtles at sea during eight months of the year in Dominica, an organized marine turtle fishery does not exist and no turtle nets are in use. The marine turtle fishery is informal, occasional and opportunistic or incidental to other fishing operations (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005). Although turtle landings are recorded at designated fisheries landing sites as part of the marine fisheries catch documentation efforts of the Fisheries Division, the numbers recorded are considered so insignificant as not to merit synthesis 120TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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and analysis. By contrast, the number of marine turtles that are captured and killed at sea or landed at other sites around the island is thought to be much higher: reports received by the RoSTI project indicate that turtles are killed at least weekly and sometimes more frequently throughout the year in the waters around the island (R. Byrne, pers. comm., 2005). According to the Fisheries Division (2002), eggs and Green Turtle meatŽ are considered to be the products most in demand, while FWPD (2004) reports a demand for all turtle meat, but especially the LeatherbackŽ. The sale of marine turtles and their parts and products is conducted on a very informal basis (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005): products are distributed amongst family and friends or sold by individual fishers, most commonly in rural areas, at a price of XCD5.00/lb (Fisheries Division, 2002). There is some trade in marine turtle products aimed at tourists (Byrne, 2004a). The Fisheries Division (H. Guiste, in litt ., 11 October 2005) indicates that regulation and monitoring of sales of marine turtles and their parts and products are inadequate and that existing efforts need strengthening. In contrast to earlier reports (Lawrence, 1987), there is no evidence that foreign fishers are currently involved in marine turtle exploitation and such exploitation does not appear to provide a major source of sustenance or income to the individuals involved (FWPD, 2004). Illegal exploitation of marine turtles in Dominica takes the form of capture of animals at sea in marine reserves, outside the open season, in violation of the minimum-size limit or in violation of regulations regarding nesting females and their eggs. Poaching on nesting beaches is often conducted by individuals in non-fishing communities (H. Guiste, in litt ., 12 September 2005) and may claim 100% of turtles and eggs in some areas (Durand, 2004; Byrne, 2004a). Leatherbacks, the most prevalent nesting species, are most often involved, but all species are taken (Fisheries Division, 2002; FWPD, 2004). The RoSTI project began maintaining records of poaching reports and observations in 2003. Franklin et al. (2004) report that in addition to the documented kills [of three Leatherbacks] at La Plaine, calls to the Sea Turtle Hotline and verbal reports to RoSTI staff indicate that extensive poaching occurred during the research season [April…December 2003] in the areas of Woodford Hill, Calibishe, Anse de Mai, and northeastern DominicaŽ. They also report that poaching was evident around the island, in some areas more than others, but as a result of the RoSTI project poaching was remarkably reduced within the study siteŽ, and that all gravid turtles survived their nesting attemptsŽ at Rosalie and La Plaine beaches after the last turtle was killed on 26 May 2003. As part of a RoSTI Public Awareness Survey designed by WIDECASTand conducted by Dominican youth (trained in interviewing techniques and working in pairs) in 2003, a geographically representative sample of 180 Dominicans were asked a series of questions, including some that focused on the subject of marine turtle use and trade. Most (95%) respondents agreed that marine turtles were important to the people of Dominica; 81% believed that marine turtles had been an important aspect of Dominican culture since they were children; and while more than 60% could recall eating turtle meat and eggs on a regular basis in years past, relatively few (25%) regarded it as a special mealŽ. When queried on their present day habits: 49% reported eating turtle meat, 42% reported not, and 9% declined to answer; 27% had taken part in the hunt, 70% had not, and 3% declined to answer; 71% believed that fewer marine turtles are being caught today than in the past, 18% believe that more are caught today; and a majority (55%) believed that there are fewer sea turtles in Dominica today than in years pastŽ (Franklin et al ., 2004). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela121

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International trade Historical perspective Edwards (1984) reported that a man from Martinique, Mr. Albert, regularly visited Dominica to purchase Hawksbill shells from the fishers; he gave the fishers tangle nets and let them keep the meat. He paid XCD15…20/lb for the shells (which averaged 2…3lb each). According to Lawrence (1987), local use of turtle products as souvenirs was uncommon at the time of his writing because of a fair degree of consciousness of CITESŽ. He confirmed, however, that the overseas on-seatradeŽ involved high levels of year-round exploitation by fishers from neighbouring Guadeloupe and Martinique. CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database record very little international trade in marine turtles originating in Dominica up to and including 1992„only a few specimens. Groombridge and Luxmoore (1989) presented Japanese Customs statistics on imports of Hawksbill shell from Dominica totalling 9613 kg for the period 1962…1968, levels far higher than the 1273 kg recorded imported during the next two decades (see table below). Based on confusion between Dominica and the Dominican Republic that has arisen in other analyses of Japanese Customs statistics, it appears likely that these imports were erroneously ascribed to„and therefore did not involve„Dominica. The Fisheries Division (2002) indicates no knowledge of the trade recorded by CITES or the Government of Japan. In response to a RoSTI Public Awareness Survey (administered in 2003 and described above), most (74%) respondents remembered that turtle shells had been used in the past more for decoration than for utilitarian purposesŽ, such as display. Most (65%) also recalled the use of turtle scutes in the production of jewelleryŽ. Opinion was fairly equally divided as to whether these products were consumed locally or traded to merchants from the French islands but sometimes the respondent simply couldnt recall (Franklin et al. 2004). Recent (since 1992) international trade There is virtually no evidence of international trade in marine turtle products involving Dominica since 1992. CITES trade statistics for the period 1992…2004 record only two Hawksbill carapaces, seized on arrival in the USA. 122TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Japanese imports (kg) of Hawksbill Turtle shell,1970-1992,from Dominica,as recorded in Japanese Customs statistics Year197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981 000600126001149060 Year19821983198419851986198719881989199019911992Total 394001742191420026300 1273 Sources : Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; H. Kiyono, TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan Office, in litt to TRAFFIC International, 29 July 2002.

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There are no statistics and no estimates on the extent of illegal trade in marine turtles or turtle products to or from Dominica. The Fisheries Division (2002) considers it very likelyŽ that exports are still occurring to Guadeloupe and Martinique. Byrne (2004a) reports that products are available for sale, mainly to tourists, including small amounts to cruiseship visitorsŽ, and that raw material (e.g. Hawksbill scutes) is also sometimes sold to tourists. He notes that there is no public awareness (on the part of buyers or sellers) of CITES provisions prohibiting international trade in Appendix-I species, including marine turtles, and no relevant law enforcement. It cannot be known at this time whether these largely informal trade patterns pose a serious problem for the conservation and management of marine turtles in Dominica, but FWPD (2004) ranks such trade as a low priority compared with other contemporary threats. No stockpiles of marine turtle parts or products are known to exist (Fisheries Division, 2002; FWPD, 2004), only, according to Byrne (2004a), some products displayed in private homes. Enforcement issues Illegal exploitation of marine turtles, adult females in particular, and turtle eggs continues to be a challenge to both marine turtle management and law enforcement in Dominica (Durand, 2004; Byrne, 2004a). In some instances, poaching of marine turtles involves armed poachers facing off against unarmed Forestry Officers (Durand, 2004) and individuals hired by others to poach for them (Byrne, 2004a). Notwithstanding, dedicated enforcement efforts on the part of FWPD and police officers, as well as RoSTI staff and community volunteers, have been very successful in reducing poaching. During the 2003 and 2004 nesting seasons, poaching was reduced in Rosalie Bay to zero (Rosalie Beach) and, by 2004, to affect less than 5% of nesting females at the larger La Plaine (Bout Sable) beach to the south (RoSTI, unpubl. data). Poaching was further reduced at La Plaine in 2005 and, as a result of community efforts, at Castle Bruce and Cabana beaches as well (R. Byrne, in litt ., 29 September 2005). RoSTI, in partnership with FWPD, has operated a 24-hour national Sea Turtle Hotline since April 2003. The Hotline is advertised in brochures, posters, local newspapers and related literature. Although operated by RosTI staff primarily for use by the general public, it is also used by FWPD and the Fisheries Division. Since its inception, hundreds of calls have been received about nesting and other marine turtle activities around the island. The Hotline has been particularly helpful in reporting poaching incidents and, through the response of government agencies, has helped reduce poaching in many areas. The increase in calls to the Hotline to report incidents of poaching and make requests for enforcement assistance provides evidence of public support for marine turtle enforcement efforts, as well as an increasing awareness and interest in marine turtle protection. Similarly, there are cases where communities have gathered on the beach to offer protection to egg-laying females and their nests or turtle hatchlings (R. Byrne, pers. comm., 2004). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela123 Local youths participate in an annual clean-up of Rosalie Bay,an important sea turtle nesting ground in Dominica. Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST

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The Government of Dominica (2002) has recognized that legislation in the form of the Forestry and Wildlife Act and Fisheries Act is inadequate, that fines and fees are low, and that illegal fishing occurs in marine reserves. As noted above, major advancements in redressing these and other shortcomings are pending in the form of implementing regulations for both of these laws, as well as amendments to the Forestry and Wildlife Act Pending adoption of these measures, enforcement actions have been taken under the Forestry and Wildlife Act The first arrest for a marine turtle offence was made in 2003 and resulted in a fine of XCD450 (R. Byrne, pers. comm., 2004). Asubsequent instance of poaching, of a Leatherback on La Plaine on 28 April 2005, also resulted in prosecution and imposition of a monetary fine (R. Byrne, in litt ., 29 September, 2005).Marine turtle management Legal provisions for the protection and management of marine turtles in Dominica have been in place for over half a century and their implementation has been supplemented in recent decades through nesting beach monitoring (foot patrols), establishment of protected areas, and education and outreach activities undertaken by FWPD, the Fisheries Division, RoSTI staff and community volunteers. Major advancements are pending in the form of draft regulations to implement and enable the Fisheries and Forestry and Wildlife Acts and a national marine turtle management plan is planned as a collaborative effort between government agencies, RoSTI and other local organizations and experts as part of the Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) series of WIDECASTand the United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme (Byrne, 2004a). Management of exploitation Although nesting marine turtles and turtle nests have been protected and the capture of marine turtles at sea has been regulated for many decades in Dominica, the current regime for managing exploitation of marine turtles is rudimentary, with little effort directed towards reviewing its effectiveness in preventing marine turtle population declines or ensuring the sustainability of the marine turtle resource. There has been no stock assessment in the usual sense for any species of marine turtle and, until very recently, no sustained population monitoring. Both management and monitoring of the legal fishery have been insufficient in ensuring it did not result in population declines.The absence of a monitoring programme for the legal fishery, combined with the lack of marine turtle population monitoring, results in there being no basis to assess the full extent to which the fishery has reduced population numbers, nor to deduce other trends important for informing management. The restrictions in place contradict science-based wildlife management principles in that minimum size limits target exploitation on the large juvenile or adult turtles (other than on land, during nesting), which are the most important marine turtle age classes to protect in order to prevent population declines and promote population recovery. No other limits, such as quotas, are set on the open-access fishery. Long-standing traditions of turtle consumption and economic circumstances have compounded the logistical difficulties associated with enforcing the protection of nesting females and their eggs and have had, as a consequence, widespread and significant levels of poaching, characterized by FWPD (2004) as a serious problem for management. The adoption of maximum size limits, an extended closed season and permit requirements set out in the draft fisheries regulations (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005) represent a major step forward in modernizing the legal framework for marine turtles. These legal restrictions are one component of a management programme that should also include: 124TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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€systematic, continual recording of the fishery in terms of numbers and species and sizes taken and the localities where they were taken, as well as the number of fishers, gear types, etc., and domestic marketing of derived products; €efforts„outreach, extension work, and education„to inform about and increase compliance with the legal restrictions in effect and related management efforts; €strict enforcement, through patrols on beaches and at sea and prosecution of violations, bearing in mind as well that community-based programmes and initiatives are considered to be most effective; and €systematic monitoring of marine turtle populations so as to identify and address management gaps, document critical sites for conservation and detect real and meaningful trends in marine turtle numbers. Species research and conservation Data on marine turtle nesting sites and nesting activity in Dominica have been collected since the early 1980s. However, these have not been sustained and systematic enough to enable an assessment of trends. Most recently, the RoSTI project, operating on the south-east coast, has been undertaking a range of research and conservation activities, including monitoring through daily and nightly patrols of nesting in Rosalie Bay. By establishing Rosalie Beach as an Index nesting beach with data collected on a nightly basis by community-based beach patrollers, the project is providing resource managers with the nations first demographic dataset, while at the same time facilitating training of forestry officers, including through exchange programmes with projects in other Caribbean countries, providing seasonal income to local residents, effectively deterring poaching and conducting outreach activities on behalf of marine turtles. Finally, RoSTI is investigating alternative livelihoods for turtle fishers and chronic poachers (Franklin et al. 2004; Byrne, 2004b). As a result of partnerships formed, capacity built and enthusiasm generated on the part of the government, communities, local businesses and donors„emerging from the success of the RoSTI project„a number of research and conservation initiatives are in the planning stages for the coming years, including an at-sea census of foraging populations, a series of community-based legislation and enforcement workshops, additional programming partnerships with schools and youth groups, replication of the beach-monitoring protocols at other beaches at high risk from poaching and the formation of a national board of advisors, including NGOs, to oversee the workplan (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005). Habitat conservation Dominica has a long history of habitat conservation, having protected as far back as 1952 the first site in the Eastern Caribbean to have been designated (in 1997) a natural World Heritage site, Morne Trois Pitons National Park. In addition to Morne Trois Pitons and two other national parks (Morne Diablotin and Cabrits), the countrys system of national parks and protected areas includes two marine reserves established to preserve and protect the marine environment for all usersŽ (www.domincamarinereserves.com, viewed 19 September 2005). These are the SSMR, established in 2000…2001 and located in the south, and the Cabrits Marine Reserve, originally set aside in 1987 as part of the Cabrits National Park on the northern coast. The SSMR was established to: reduce user conflicts, preserve traditional fishing practices; and ensure conservation of the resources for all usersŽ. It is composed of four zones categorized as follows: TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela125

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€fish nursery area„no fishing allowed; €recreation area„at Tous Sable beach, for swimming and snorkelling from shore; €fishing priority area„for local fishing, under strict guidelines; €scuba diving area„several such areas are demarcated by a buoy placed for dive boats only. The SSMR is managed by a Local Area Management Authority, established by law in 1998, which is composed of various local stakeholders: fishers, village councillors, the tourism industry, Dominica Watersports Association, the Coast Guard and Fisheries Division. Wardens are legally empowered to collect user fees, maintain moorings, monitor the reefs and maintain infrastructure. The Government of Dominica (2002) has recognized the need to establish additional coastal and marine protected areas. No specific marine turtle nesting or foraging area has yet been protected (Byrne, 2004a). Marine turtles face a number of habitat-related pressures in Dominica. Sand-mining was cited by both Edwards (1984) and Lawrence (1987) as a serious threat to marine turtle eggs and, although illegal, it remains a problem for coastal habitats and for marine turtle nesting habitat in particular (Government of Dominica, 2002). Lawrence (1987) also cited beach-front lighting as a management concern, noting that, in the Woodbridge area, a busy section of the waterfront near the main port, Leatherback hatchlings are commonly found completely disoriented and moving across the road towards flood lamps that light up the industrialized areasŽ. More recently, the loss of marine turtle nesting grounds (e.g. Potters-Ville, Point Mitchel) to the construction of seawalls lined with large boulders on the seaward side has become a problem (E. Hypolite, Director, FWPD, in litt. 6 September 2005; H. Guiste, in litt ., 12 September 2005) that has also affected portions of beach at Canefield Cliff and Colihaut that provided nesting areas for Hawksbill Turtles (Durand, in litt., 15 September 2005). In addition, Guiste (2003) cites sedimentation from poor agricultural practices and quarry operations along the west coast as a cause of degradation to coral reefs and seagrass beds in Dominica, potentially including important foraging habitat for marine turtles; Durand ( in litt ., 15 September 2005) reports sedimentation from quarry sites in the areas of Tarou, Layou, Saint Joseph, Mero and Colihaut. Lawrence (1987) noted that erosion claimed many nestsŽ and that development crowded along the coastline sometimes forced turtles to cross roads and nest on the landward side, endangering both themselves and their newly hatched young. Franklin et al. (2004) estimated that fewer than half of all eggs hatch, owing to cycles of natural erosion, and concluded that while illegal killing is the most important threat to nesting females, beach erosion is clearly the most significant threat to their youngŽ. Education and public awareness FWPD has been involved in education efforts on behalf of marine turtles for many years. They produced their first marine turtle conservation poster in 1984 and have produced a variety of materials for schools and community groups. In addition, they organize and undertake school (primary, secondary and college) visits, publish articles in local newspapers as well as the Divisions monthly and annual newsletters, participate in talk shows and other programmes on radio and television, organize turtle conservation workshops, and present lectures and other types of presentations to community groups, police, tour operations, fishers and other stakeholders (Durand, 2004). The Fisheries Division has also been involved in a variety of local and national outreach activities (H. Guiste, pers. comm., 2005). 126TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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The RoSTI project, in active partnership with the government, has produced t-shirts, hats, and postcards; hosted turtle watchesŽ for residents and tourists; installed informative billboards on nesting beaches; actively engaged local media; published a bi-monthly bulletin; organized an annual turtle festival (as well as participated in the islands annual dive festival); convened community meetings and training workshops; and sponsored a wide variety of events and programmes to reach the public. Particularly noteworthy amongst the findings of these efforts is the exhilaration generated by the sight of a live turtle, an emotional experience for hundreds of islanders whose only previous contact had been as a consumer of turtle products (Franklin et al. 2004; Byrne, 2004a). In addition to its role in assisting in reduction of poaching, the Sea Turtle Hotline, operated by RoSTI in partnership with FWPD, has proved very successful in building awareness and appreciation for marine turtles. Operation of the Hotline has built a network of individuals who contact the project when they have information on turtles, enabled RoSTI and FWPD staff to disseminate more educational outreach materials and information as follow-up to phone calls, and been a source for the local media, who frequently call for advice and reports. Individuals who have called often have help set up public lectures and helped bring marine turtle message to their villages by facilitating public and village council meetings as one example. Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management According to the Fisheries Division (2002), there are numerous constraints to improved management of marine turtles in Dominica, including: shortcomings in the legal/regulatory framework, lack of knowledge of marine turtles, limited manpower, lack of trained personnel, insufficient funding and lack of public support. The Government of Dominica (2002) expressed similar concerns in the countrys NBSAP, noting in particular, that wildlife covered under the Forestry and Wildlife Act was not managed on a scientific basis at the present time, TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela127 Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST The Rosalie Sea Turtle Initiative (RoSTI) provides marine turtle conservation education in Dominicas rural schools (above and right). Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST

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and that little [was] known about the extent of the resource or sustainable exploitation levels. This situation has been exacerbated by the current socio-economic situation which has resulted in increased exploitation of wildlife resources.Ž Byrne (2004a) notes the main constraints as lack of manpower and funding. The most effective use of additional funds, in his view, would be for more beach patrols and monitoring and workshops for training local police in enforcement and communities and officials at all levels in marine turtle conservation and management. FWPD (2004) views funding to support manpower and public awareness programming as the most important ingredient for effective marine turtle management in Dominica and describes as optimisticŽ the potential that, based on the success of the fledgling RoSTI project, funding will be sourced and foundŽ to enhance staff training, assist in public awareness, and conduct field work.Summary and recommendationsThe Government of Dominica has taken a leadership role in public awareness and support for community-based conservation initiatives and is actively working to modernize the current regime for managing marine turtles, which admittedly falls short of what would be considered consistent with the principles and practice of sustainable use. The lack of a scientifically based stock assessment and limits on the numbers of turtles that may be taken at sea, as well as of continual monitoring of marine turtle exploitation or foraging populations, suggests a need for additional measures that would assist in preventing further population declines and, possibly, promoting population recovery. In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), an explicitly precautionary code, which states that the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resourcesŽ, the management of marine turtle resources in Dominica should seek to maintain the availability of the resource in sufficient quantities for present and future generations in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable developmentŽ. Management measures should, inter alia prevent over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations, incorporate the best scientific evidence (taking into account traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environmental, economic and social factors), assign priority to research and data collection (including at international scales) and promote environmentally safe fishing gear and practices in order to protect both the target resource and the ecosystems upon which it depends. Among the fundamental components of any regime aimed at management of wild populations are: restrictions on exploitation that are consistent with the speciesbiological requirements; a monitoring programme„systematic, sustained and rigorous collection and review of data„either on the specifics of exploitation or of wild populations so as to discern trends that can inform management; mechanisms to identify, monitor and address other threats to the species being exploited, so that these threats can be factored with exploitation to assess what level of overall mortality the species might sustain; and a high level of compliance (sometimes achievable only through vigorous enforcement) with the restrictions put in place to ensure that management goals are achieved. None of these are yet in place for marine turtles in Dominica. Lawrence (1987) summarized the situation nearly two decades ago when he wrote, there is every need to take greater control of the manner of exploitation of the turtle resources in DominicaŽ. He applauded the governments commitment to conservationŽ and to the need to strengthen the marine turtle regulations, and 128TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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wisely concluded that laws are only one of the many components of the efforts at conservation. Education at all levels must be pursued as well. There is need for more educational projects to make the population not just follow rules, but to develop a level of consciousness for a species that can be wiped out if not adequately managed.Ž To this end, the following conclusions and recommendations are presented. 1.The Government of Dominica should move expeditiously to adopt and implement the comprehensive fisheries regulations that enable implementation of the Fisheries Act of 1987 and the regulations and proposed amendments to the Forestry and Wildlife Act of 1976, so as to modernize the management framework for marine turtles and enable more effective enforcement of marine turtle provisions. 2.In the light of the recognized depleted status of marine turtles in Dominica and the potential for continuing declines resulting from the legally mandated and unmonitored exploitation of large juvenile and adult turtles, the government should consider what legal or regulatory measures, in addition to those provided for in the regulations currently pending approval, may be necessary to ensure that any continued exploitation is consistent with accepted standards for marine turtle management. In addition, it should reconsider the broader institutional mandates and priorities that engender the types of activities that form part of a scientifically based management programme and further consider, in this context, whether a moratorium may be advisable as an interim or longer-term measure designed to facilitate a formal stock assessment. 3.In support of a comprehensive review and revision of the legal framework for marine turtle management, a comprehensive frame survey should be undertaken to quantify and characterize exploitation and use of marine turtles at the national level, including: €the landing of turtles at sea and hunting on nesting beaches; €exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products; €numbers and types of fishers (and gears) involved, including the extent to which marine turtle landings result from incidental or opportunistic take in other fishing operations or from a targeted fishery; €processing and marketing patterns; and €the importance to livelihoods of the products and income derived from marine turtle exploitation. This investigation should also aim to establish the nature and extent of illegal exploitation and trade of marine turtles and eggs and marine turtle products, and the extent to which they may negatively impact marine turtle populations and compromise management. 4.If legal exploitation of marine turtles is to continue, restrictions on this exploitation should reflect the biological parameters of marine turtles, take into account their depleted status and aim, at a minimum, at preventing any further population declines. Any exploitationregimenpromoting population recovery and maintenanceshould be established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice, which should include the following: A.Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including: €complete protection of nesting females, their eggs and young at all times; €complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November; €complete protection of the Leatherback, which occurs in the country only as an adult, and typically an egg-bearing female; TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela129

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€maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight, so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults; €a conservative limit on the numbers of animals that may be exploited, based on a scientific stock assessment; and €a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on stock assessment, on data derived from national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographic ranges. B.Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at establishing trends and monitoring these over time. Anational programme to monitor marine turtle exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such records to be analysed and compared over time, the following: €the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means; €the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed; €the locality where the animals were taken; €catch-per-unit effort; and €the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animals and/or products if sold or traded. In further support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be considered as requirements for participation: €that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets) €that turtles be landed alive or intact; prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle landings; and €that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme. C.Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will: €document distribution and abundance of local populations; €identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas; €designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds and document the numbers of marine turtles occurring in these over time; €manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and inform management; and €identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival. 5.Recognizing the importance of habitat pressures on marine turtles, critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, should be identified and protected and incorporated into broader biodiversity management programmes. The government should consider: €protecting marine turtle nesting beaches and adjacent marine areas, such as, for example, Rosalie and La Plaine, which are two of the highest-density nesting beaches in the country; €enhancing habitat protection measures, including restriction/regulation of tourism and other activities near nesting beaches during the egg-laying season and vigorous enforcement of such measures, such as against sand-mining; 130TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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€adopting regulations to prevent or otherwise manage leaving of nets and other debris on the beach; €improving coastal zone management (and monitoring) capacity, including through environmental impact assessment, particularly in relation to the construction of beach-front hotels and other tourism infrastructure and sand-mining; €expanding the system of protected areas, in particular marine reserves; and €strengthening the management framework for protected areas to ensure that these areas fulfill their stated objectives. 6.In recognition of the informal and opportunistic nature of the marine turtle fishery in Dominica and the absence of comprehensive data, an effort should be organized to characterize present levels of marine turtle exploitation in a fisheries context. This effort should assess the importance of the marine turtle resource to subsistence and livelihoods, as well as the numbers of turtles and fishers involved. 7.Recognizing that marine turtles are captured incidentally to other fishing operations, an effort should be made to quantify levels of incidental catch of marine turtles and to develop measures to reduce or eliminate it, such as through time…area closures and/or alternative (especially to gill nets) types of gear. The need for specific regulations dictating the procedures to be followed in instances of incidental capture of marine turtles should be reviewed, and dedicated outreach efforts to clarify the legal norms and procedures to follow should be undertaken. 8.Recognizing that many marine turtles are taken illegally by non-fishers, there is a need for greater enforcement of existing marine turtle laws and regulations, including those that protect nesting females and, as has been recognized by the Government of Dominica in the NBSAP(2002), for an improved legal basis for enforcement. Promulgation of the fisheries regulations and revisions and regulations of the Forestry and Wildlife Act will mark a major step in this regard, but the need for additional legal or regulatory measures should be considered, as should the human and logistical resource constraints that impede current enforcement efforts. Well co-ordinated and equipped enforcement operations are seemingly needed to address organized poaching on nesting beaches. An at-sea capacity should improve enforcement in marine reserves and monitor and promote compliance with prevailing fishery and wildlife regulations. 9.The Government of Dominica should move forward expeditiously to enact legislation to enable full implementation and enforcement of CITES provisions, including wildlife trade controls, scientific nondetriment findings and control and monitoring, as appropriate, of stockpiles of CITES species. 10.Increased efforts should be made to engage local communities, including fishers, in marine turtle conservation and management.Fisheries extension efforts should be expanded to involve regular exchanges with fishers of information on marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and the participation of fishers in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for marine turtle conservation. Support directed towards sustainable fishery practices and/or alternative livelihoods should be provided, as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers meaningfully in their efforts to comply with revised marine turtle regulations. 11.Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should be extended to relevant government agencies to develop and implement a modern, scientifically based conservation and management regime for TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela131

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nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the legal framework, scientific studies, monitoring programmes, enforcement capacity and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries sector in Dominica should take account of the increased responsibilities„and costs„of the Fisheries and Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Divisions in managing for sustainability the resources concerned and the broader biodiversity impacts that may ensue. 12.Financial, logistical, and political support and encouragement should also be extended to active research, conservation, monitoring and public outreach efforts by NGOs, especially collaborative projects such as the RoSTI Index beach monitoring programme. Partnerships between the government and relevant NGOs should benefit from increased financial commitments on the part of bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies; comanagement agreements, developed by consensus, are encouraged.ReferencesAnon. (2002). CITES Document CoP12 Doc. 28 Working document of the 12thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties, Santiago (Chile), 3…15 November 2002. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Anon. (2005). CITES Document SC53 Doc. 31 Working document of the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Byrne, R. (2004a). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Completed by Rowan Byrne, RoSTI Project Manager. Dated 8 June 2004. Byrne, R. (2004b). The Rosalie Sea Turtle Initiative (RoSTI) in Dominica. Invited Oral Presentation to the 2004 Annual General Meeting of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), 21 February 2004, San Jos, Costa Rica. Carr, A., A. Meylan, J. Mortimer, K. Bjorndal and T. Carr. (1982). Surveys of sea turtle populations and habitats in the Western Atlantic NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-91, US Department of Commerce. Durand, S., Conservation Officer, Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division. (2004). Country Report: Dominica Invited oral presentation to the 2004 Annual General Meeting of the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), 21 February 2004, San Jos, Costa Rica. Edwards, S. (1984). Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium National Report for Dominica. Submitted 15 November 1982. Pp. 161…168. In: P. Bacon et al. (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica III, Appendix 7. University of Miami Press, Florida. FAO. (1995). Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Adopted by the 28thSession of the FAO Conference. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. 34 pp. + annexes. www.fao.org/fi/agreem/codecond/codecon.asp Fisheries Division. (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment. Completed by Mr Algernon Philbert, Senior Fisheries Officer, Roseau. Dated 18 August 2002. FWPD (Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division). (2004). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment. Completed by Mr. Adolphus Christian, Forester Public Service, Roseau. Dated 27 October 2004. 132TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Franklin, A., R. Byrne and K.L. Eckert. (2004). 2003 Annual Report: Rosalie Sea Turtle Initiative (RoSTI). Prepared by WIDECASTfor the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment (Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division). Roseau, Dominica, West Indies. 57 pp. Government of Dominica. (2002). Commonwealth of Dominica Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2001…2005 (BSAP). Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment. Approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 15 January 2002. dm-nbsap-01-en[1].pdf. Available from www.biodiv.org/world/reports. Groombridge, B. and R. Luxmoore. (1989). The Green Turtle and Hawksbill (Reptilia: Cheloniidae): World Status, Exploitation and Trade Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Lausanne, Switzerland. 601pp. Guiste, H. (2003). Ascoping study aimed at identifying the challenges to the management of the coastal fisheries on the west coast of Dominica. M.Sc. thesis, Hull University, England. Lawrence, N. (1987). National Report for Dominica Presented to the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, Mayaguz, Puerto Rico. Unpublished. 48 pp. Milliken, T. and H. Tokunaga. (1987). The Japanese Sea Turtle Trade 1970…1986 Aspecial report prepared by TRAFFIC (Japan). Center for Environmental Education, Washington, D.C. 171 pp. UNEP. (1996). Status of Protected Area Systems in the Wider Caribbean Region: Country Profile for Dominica. Technical Report No. 36. UNEPCaribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela133

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Grenada IntroductionGrenada is located in the eastern Caribbean at the southern extremity of the Windward Islands,ca. 160 km north of Venezuela. In addition to the island that gives the country its name, Grenada comprises a number of islands and islets that form part of the southern Grenadines. These stretch northward, where they eventually merge with the political jurisdiction of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Grenada is the largest island in the country, with a total land area of 312 km and 121 km of coastline (GOG, 2000). The two other major islands are Carriacou (34 km in area), located 24 km north-east of Grenada, and Petit Martinique (2.3 km in area), which lies to the east of the northern section of Carriacou (GOG, 2000). The island of Grenada is predominantly volcanic in origin, very mountainous with a rainforest interior; the two smaller islands are also volcanic in origin but less diverse in topography. Exploitation of marine turtles in Grenada for meat, eggs, shell and other products, dates back centuries (Shirley, 2002) and continues today. Despite the economic and cultural importance of these animals, there is a dearth of information concerning their distribution, abundance and status. Alegal fishery for marine turtles continues to operate in Grenada. Although the fishery has been regulated at least as far back as 1931 and, in their most recent iteration, the regulations provide for full protection of Leatherbacks, there are not major limits on the fishery. A lack of awareness, coupled with insufficient legislation, results in the poaching of nests going largely unnoticed and unaddressed (Lloyd and King, 2000). Nest monitoring has been initiated through NGO efforts in recent years, but has not been conducted for long enough to discern population trends. Further, although the Division of Fisheries is recording marine turtle landings at one of the five major fisheries landing sites in Grenada (Grenville), these are only a fraction of total landings in the country and it appears that the data collected, which indicated a 50% increase in landings from 2000 to 2001, are inadequate to discern population trends. It is in this context that the Division of Fisheries (DOF, 2002) indicates that they do not know whether existing management and monitoring are sufficient to ensure that the fishery is not reducing marine turtle population numbers. Although there is inadequate information available to determine the status of marine turtles in Grenada, Eckert and Eckert (1990) reported that several fishers interviewed during the course of their surveys on the island of Grenada commented that the number of Leatherbacks coming ashore to nest had declined sharply in recent years. Shirley (2002) reports that a majority of survey respondents in Grenada considered marine turtle populations to have declined, while Fastigi (2002) reports that in Carriacou in recent years, fishers, some of whom continue to take turtles during the open season, have reported noticing a fall in the numbers of marine turtles, both in-water and at nesting sites. Grenada suffered a major blow to its infrastructure and economy from Hurricane Ivan, which hit the country in September 2004. The devastation wrought by the hurricane was extensive, and will take several years and much foreign assistance to put right. While its impact on marine turtle nesting and foraging habitats has not been assessed, it did cause disruption in population monitoring and other conservation efforts of NGOs and, no doubt, in government management efforts. There is little doubt that marine turtles have been affected in various ways by the disaster and that they may benefit from the countrys recovery if their needs are incorporated into those efforts. 134TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Summary of the status of marine turtles in GrenadaFour species of marine turtle are found in the coastal waters of Grenada. The Green Turtle and Hawksbill Turtle are the most common and forage in the islandswaters, while the Leatherback occurs seasonally to nest. The Loggerhead is found further out to sea, although occasional sightings have been made of foraging animals near offshore islands between Grenada and Carriacou (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 24 October 2004). Other than sporadic records of the Olive Ridley in the Grenville turtle landing records, there appears to be no indication that this species is anything but infrequent (see table below). Carr et al. (1982) characterized the extensive shallow waters and reefs of the Grenadines as providing excellent foraging habitatŽ for juvenile and adult Green and Hawksbill Turtles and noted that Loggerheads ranked third in abundance, and that Leatherbacks were sighted (at sea) only rarely. They further reported that around Grenada Green Turtles were the most abundant and were, with Hawksbill Turtles, present year-round; that Loggerheads were typically of sub-adult size; and that Leatherback sightings were confined to adults during the nesting season. Finlay (1987) reported the Carriacou…Petit Martinique sector of the country to be the most frequented by marine turtles and that juvenile Hawksbill Turtles were the most abundant. Bacon (1981) reported occasional nesting by Hawksbill Turtles on and around Grenada. Carr et al .(1982) reported that Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks were the predominant nesters in Grenada, that Loggerheads and Green Turtles nested only rarely, and that Hawksbill Turtles were the prevalent nesters in the Grenadines. These authors and Bacon (1981) reported no nesting by Green Turtles in the Grenadines and only at one site on Grenada, Marquis Island. Inexplicably, Finlay (1984) estimated as many as 200 female Green Turtles nesting in 1982. The Division of Fisheries (2002) reports no nesting by Green Turtles in Grenada. According to Shirley (2002), fishers report that Hawksbill Turtles nest in the south of Grenada, on Rhonde Island (Isle de Rhonde), Carriacou, and on Sandy Island. Amonitoring programme undertaken in the region in 2004 by the NGO Ocean Spirits confirmed the presence of nesting Hawksbill Turtles on both Caille and Rhonde Islands and the presence of juvenile Green and Hawksbill Turtles (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005). The Leatherback nests in the greatest densities on the island of Grenada (DOF, 2002): Levera and Bathway beaches are the highest-density beaches, and there is occasional nesting at Grande Anse beach and Pink Gin Beach; Hawksbill Turtle hatchlings have also been observed on the latter of these two beaches (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela135 English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta F? Green Turtle Chelonia mydas N, F Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea I Occurrence of marine turtles inGrenada Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent

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Around the island of Carriacou, according to Fastigi (2002), the primary nesting species are the Hawksbill Turtle and Leatherback, with some rare sightings of nesting Green Turtles. The Loggerhead is still found in-water by Carriacou but is becoming increasingly rare. The status of marine turtles in Grenada is unknown as, until very recently, there had been little systematic effort to collect relevant population data. An analysis of responses to interviews of fishers and others undertaken in early 2001 indicated that the majority of respondents (76%) believed that fewer turtles were caught today than in years past and (75%) that there were fewer turtles in Grenada than in the past (Shirley, 2002). Carr et al (1982) reported the capture at Black Bay (Grenada) and at Carriacou of two Green Turtles that had been tagged at Aves Island (Isla de Aves, Venezuela) and the capture around Carriacou of a tagged Green Turtle that had been head-started in Suriname. Tag returns from a saturation-tagging programme for Leatherbacks initiated in 2002 have been from Tobago, Trinidad, Carriacou and Bequia (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), while a Leatherback that nested in Grenada in 2004 had originally been tagged in Panama (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 24 October 2004). Several nesting Leatherbacks in Grenada have been fitted with satellite transmitters in recent years by UK researchers, facilitated by the Division of Fisheries and Ocean Spirits: of the three Leatherbacks tagged in 2002, one is thought to have been caught in Saint Vincent in 2002 (along with another female that had been flippertagged„Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005), while the two others moved out of the Caribbean into the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of eight post-nesting females satellite-tagged in 2003, two travelled north-west, arriving within a few hundred kilometres of Cape Cod and Nova Scotia before turning southwards, while the remaining five that left the Caribbean travelled north-east, reaching latitudes between the Azores and the UK, when some turned south (Hays et al .,2004a; Hays et al .,2004b); the studies could not identify preferred foraging grounds or ultimate destinations. O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties Grenadas membership of international agreements benefiting marine turtles is not comprehensive and there are important gaps at the international level in relation to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and Ramsar Convention and at the regional level in relation to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAWProtocol) under the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region, or Cartagena Convention, and the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), which entered into force in May 2001. Grenada acceded to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) relatively recently, in 1999 (see table overleaf). 136TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles Alegal fishery operates for marine turtles in Grenada and has been regulated since 1931 when the Birds and Fish Protection Ordinance of 1931established: 1) a five-month closed season for turtles from 1 May to 30 September, during which it was illegal to kill, wound, take, or possess any turtle; 2) a prohibition on the take, destruction, or possession of any turtle or its eggs on land at any time; and 3) a minimum size limit of 25 lb (11.4 kg) for turtles that could be captured, sold or purchased (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989). At least some of these provisions (a closed season on the take and possession of turtles and eggs) were taken forward in a revision of this Ordinance via the Birds and Other Wildlife (Protection Of) Ordinance (Cap. 36) of 1957. The Fisheries Regulations S.R.O. No. 19 of 1987 (Section 17: Turtles), promulgated under the Fisheries Act No. 15 of 1986, prohibited: €fishing for, take, sale, purchase or possession of any turtle or part thereof; €disturbance, take, sale, purchase or possession of any turtle egg, or €interference with any turtle during the closed season. The Regulations provided for the Minister to publish in the Gazette any closed season for Green Turtles, Loggerheads, Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks. The most recent legal provisions pertaining to marine turtles are the Fisheries Amendment Regulations 1996 SRO24 ,Section 16(5) and Fisheries Amendment Regulation 2001 SRO2 Section 17 (DOF, 2002). The 1996 Fisheries Amendment Regulations required that licences be issued by the Fisheries Officer for fishing for turtles TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela137 Convention Grenada Cartagena Convention 17.08.1987 (R) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)No Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region17.08.1987 (R) Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and ActivitiesNo Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)11.08.1994 (R) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)28.11.1999 (E) Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)No Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II) No MARPOL73/78 (Annex III) No MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV) No MARPOL73/78 (Annex V) No Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)No UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)25.04.1991 (R) Western Hemisphere ConventionNo World Heritage Convention13.08.1998 (Ac) Membership of Grenada in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Ratification (R); Acceptance (Ac); Entry into force (E)

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and they established the legal basis for minimum or maximum size limits. In addition, they provided for the imposition, on conviction, of a fine not exceeding 5000 East Caribbean dollars (XCD5000)or up to two years imprisonment, or both, for violations of the Regulations. The 2001 Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations provided additional restrictions on the exploitation of marine turtles. As stipulated in Article 17: No person shall fish for, take, sell, purchase, have in his possession or disturb the nest of any leatherback of any size at any time. No person shall disturb, take, sell, purchase or have in his possession any turtle eggs. No person shall fish for, take, sell, purchase or have in his possession any turtle which is not of harvestable size and weight or any part thereof. No person shall fish for turtle during the closed season for turtles. No person shall interfere with any turtle nest during the closed season. The Minister may by notice published in the Gazette and in a newspaper printed or circulated in Grenada prescribe the minimum and maximum harvestable size and weight for any species of turtle other than leatherback turtle. The Minister may by Notice published in the Gazette declare any period as a closed season for turtles other than leatherback turtles.Ž The current minimum size limit is 25 lb, and the closed season is 1 May to 31 August. According to the Division of Fisheries (DOF, 2002), there is not yet legislation in place in Grenada to implement wildlife trade controls. The CITES National Legislation Project assessed Grenadas CITES-implementing legislation as believed generally not to meet the requirements for implementationŽ of the Convention (Anon., 2002) and assigned a deadline of 31 December 2003 for adequate legislation to be enacted. This deadline was subsequently extended and, by the time of the 13thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, Grenada had submitted to the CITES Secretariat a CITES Legislation Plan outlining the process and timetable for enacting this legislation (Anon., 2004). By the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee (June/July 2005), Grenada had submitted draft CITES-implementing legislation (Anon., 2005). The Fisheries Act No. 15 of 1986 provides for the promotion and management of fishing and fisheries in Grenadian waters and includes in Section 23 (Marine Reserves and Conservation Measures) provisions for the relevant minister to declare any area of the fishery waterŽ and adjacent lands as a marine reserve when it is considered that special measures are necessary, inter alia ,to protect and preserve the natural breeding grounds and habitat of aquatic life, with particular regards to flora and fauna in danger of extinctionŽ for several purposes, including the preservation and enhancement of the areas natural beauty (CCA/IRF, 1991). No marine protected area has yet been designated under the Act. Responsible authorities The Division of Fisheries is responsible for management, exploitation, conservation and enforcement of regulations relating to the take of marine turtles. The Royal Grenada Police Force is also responsible for enforcement. The National Parks and Wildlife Unit, within the Forestry Department, is responsible for all 138TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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protected areas (terrestrial and marine). Where areas are protected for their value as watersheds, management also involves the Central Water Commission (UNEP, 1996). Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective There are scattered records on the exploitation of marine turtles during the last century. Rebel (1974) wrote: Around 1949, 8…10 boats with 32 nets and 92 men fished principally from October to December and to a lesser extent in April. Today [early 1970s], about 20 boats, averaging two men each, fish for sea turtles on a part-time basis from October through May. Over three-fourths of the turtles are caught with nets; the remainder are harpooned or turned on the beach. The eggs are considered a delicacy locallyƒ Duerden [1901] reports production of shell valued at £400 during 1900ƒ With regard to present-day turtle production, N.M. Greaves (personal communication) states: the fishery division has no statistics on the amount of turtles caught, but we have just completed a survey which revealed that there are 61 turtle nets [in operation],ƒthey should catch approximately 10 turtles each during the open season, and each turtle should give 60 lbs of meatƒ Turtle turning is practiced during the closed season, which is illegal, and I assume no less than 100 are caught this wayƒfor the year 1969 [estimated] turtles caught in Grenada and Carriacou equalled 710 live, weight„71 000 lbs; 42 600 pounds of meat.Ž Rebel (1974) also cited a personal communication from J.L. Dibbs, who estimated that marine turtle landings for 1964, 1965, and 1967 were 25 000, 27 500 and 30 000 lb, respectively. Carr et al. (1982) considered exploitation of marine turtles in Grenada to be moderately intense. They reported that turtles were taken on nesting beaches and in some places caught in trammel nets set on reefs. Finlay (1984) confirmed this latter practice, particularly during the nesting season, and considered it to be a seriousŽ threat, along with the take of eggs on beaches that were becoming easier to access. In addition, Finlay (1984) reported that turtles were taken by spear-fishers, but he did not view this practice as exerting serious pressure on turtle populations. He further indicated that the meat of all turtle species found in Grenada was eaten locally, with that of Hawksbill and Green Turtles preferred to that of Loggerheads and Leatherbacks, and that Hawksbill and Green Turtles were sought after for their backsŽ, understood to be carapaces, with a clear preference for the former. According to Groombridge and Luxmoore (1989), FAO Fishery Statistics showed minimal catches of marine turtles in Grenada„50 t for the period 1965…1973 and less than 0.5 t for the period 1974…1980. Finlay (1984) noted that turtles could be landed on any beach in Grenada, which made it difficult to monitor and control turtle landings. With that caveat, he estimated from a survey in 1981 thatca. 1000 turtles were caught annually, 70% of them juveniles. From interviews and market surveys, he estimated annual landings, excluding turtles taken incidentally in other fishing operations, for the period 1980…1982 of: 30…50 (1500 kg) Loggerheads; 100…150 (2500 kg) Green Turtles; 5…10 (1000 kg) Leatherbacks; and 100…200 (5000 kg) Hawksbill Turtles. In addition, TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela139

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he reported the collection of eggs to be seriousŽ, and estimated 6000…10 000 eggs were taken for subsistence use, along with an estimated 100 nesting females and 50…75 turtles taken at sea. Finally, he estimated that 50 10 fishers were involved in turtle fishing. Turtle meat was sold on the local market and used for susbsistence. Finlay (1984) reported that Green and Hawksbill Turtles and Loggerheads were brought to the major fisheries landing sites„Sauteurs, Grenville, Calliste, Bacolet and Calivigny„and sold for XCD1.75/lb (XCD3.85/kg) for meat and XCD0.90/lb (XCD 1.98/kg) for live turtles. Carr et al. (1982) reported an active trade in stuffed turtles and shells, including in the Grenadines, between local fishers and tourists passing through on their yachts and in Grenada in the tourist shops, where one Hawksbill Turtle was priced at XCD750. In his updated report for the Second Western Atlantic Sea Turtle Symposium, Finlay (1987) presented information from interviews and observations reported by fishers and fisheries extension staff for different sectors of the country: €Carriacou and Petite Martinique and adjacent islets: marine turtles were the focus of a target fishery deploying turtle set nets, including in the nesting season; the approximate number of turtles caught (period covered not specified) was: 1900 Green Turtles, 1500 Hawskbill Turtles and 196 Loggerheads. Turtle nests were also exploited. Hawksbill and Green Turtle shells, as well as meat from all three species, were used locally and also transported to Grenada, Martinique or Union Island, whence the shells were also exported. €North Grenada Island, including Rhonde Island and other islets: marine turtles were targeted using set nets, and both females and males were taken in proximity to known nesting sites. The chief fishers in the area estimated catching 10…14 adult Hawksbill Turtles every two weeks, with higher numbers taken when they deployed larger nets. The catch was exported to Union Island and Martinique. €Eastern coast of Grenada Island: Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks nested along this coast and, thus, were taken on or just off the beach; a notable turtle hunter for meat and eggsŽ reported that he and a few others caught 27 nesting Leatherbacks in this area in 1985. Off shore, it was primarily Green Turtles that were taken in set nets. Both the meat and eggs of the turtles were consumed and marketed. €Southern Triangle/Pointe Salines, Grenada Island: as there were numerous nesting sites for Hawksbill and Green Turtles in this area, fishers reported setting nets in channels that the turtles pass through from feeding grounds or the open ocean in coming to shore to nest. One fisher in this area using set nets reported that 1985 had been a good year in that he had caught 50…60 adult Hawksbill Turtles, all but one females. Since 1985, [fishers in this sector] have observed that the numbers caught in the nets have dropped markedly but many more plate-size Hawksbill and Green Turtles than usual are seen on dives.Ž In addition to the meat, eggs were collected, and the shells were sold to persons who make ornaments or to traders who export them to the North Islands above GrenadaŽ. €West coast of Grenada Island: this area was reported to be less frequented by marine turtles, although there were known to be foraging sites in the area, where many plate-sizeŽ Hawksbill and Green Turtles were observed. In reporting for Grenada as a whole, Finlay (1987) expressed particular concern that especially at Carriacou, where most of the catches are made and it would seem that most of the mature turtles occur, the fishermen set their nets very close to the shore, and this is a serious threat to the femalesŽ. Finally, he reported that, in addition to being consumed by fishers in their villages, turtle meat was sold on market days. On these days, turtles were 140TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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regularly brought to Grenada Island by fishers from Petit Martinique as live animals to be killed or as fresh meat and weekly during the open season fishers kept turtles alive for days so that they could be killed for market day. Eckert and Eckert (1990) estimated from their field research in Grenada that 25…50% of the nesting female Leatherbacks were killed each year and that at least 50% of the eggs laid were collected from their nests. Recent (since 1992) exploitation Currently, the legal fishery for marine turtles targets species other than the Leatherback, which has been completely protected since February 2001, and operates during eight months of the year. In Grenada, turtle meat is sold in fish markets and from fishing boats (Shirley, 2002) that put in throughout the island; in many instances, fishers catch turtles on request and, thus, sell them in villages rather than at market (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 24 October 2004). The Division of Fisheries collects data on landings of marine turtles at fish markets: the species and weight of all marine turtles landed is recorded in log books. On the island of Grenada, where the major fisheries landing sitesare Grenville, Saint Georges, Sauteurs, Gouyave and Woburn, marine turtle landings data appear to have been collected in recent years only at Grenville. Landings data for this site are presentedbelow. Because these TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela141 Landings (numbers) of marine turtles at Grenville,Grenada,1996-2001 YearLoggerheadGreen TurtleHawksbill TurtleOlive RidleyTotal199694413066 1997212024065 1998292010059 199926529161 2000311019262 2001343132397 Source : Division of Fisheries, Grenada (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 1 November 2002) Average weight of marine turtles landed at Grenville,Grenada,1996-2001 SpeciesAverage weight (kg) Loggerhead93.5 Green Turtle50.0 Hawskbill Turtle41.8 Olive Ridley33.6 Source : Division of Fisheries, Grenada (Ocean Spirits, in litt. 1 November 2002).

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data only cover one landing site and many marine turtles are not landed at markets, these statistics represent only a fraction of the marine turtles landed throughout the country. According to Ocean Spirits ( in litt ., 24 October 2004), more turtles are reported to be caught in the north of the island, and Sauteurs is reported by many to be the major area for turtle fishing currently In addition, no data on landings for Carriacou or elsewhere in the Grenadines appear to be available. Marine turtle landing data from Grenville, Grenada for the period 1996…2001 showed relatively stable catches until 2001, when they increased by 50% to just under 100 turtles with a total weight of over six tonnes. The Division of Fisheries (2002) reports that 30…40 fishers take turtles in Grenada. However, turtle fishing is occasionalŽ and not a major source of income. Green Turtle, also called chicken turtleŽ, is the most soughtafter and the products most in demand are (in declining order of importance): Green Turtle meat, Hawksbill Turtle meat, and eggs; there is little apparent demand for Hawksbill shell (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005). Half of the turtles landed are believed to be shared amongst family and friends, while the other half is sold at fish markets. Rural and urban residents consume turtle products to an equal extent (DOF, 2002). Shirley (2002) provides more information on the use of marine turtles, much of it derived from interviews conducted by Ocean Spirits and the Adventurers Club, a youth group in Grenada, from December 2000 to May 2001. These interviews were conducted in the major fishing localities on Grenada and by students around their home villages. All species of turtle are eaten in Grenada, although the Green Turtle is preferred; in addition to the meat, which is cooked like ordinary meat, other parts of the turtle are used, e.g. the intestines for soup or broth. The meat is more expensive than in previous times, selling for XCD4.50/lb in the north of the island and XCD5.50/lb in Saint Georges. In addition to meat, oil is extracted from the Leatherback by boiling the flippers and liver and then straining it before bottling it for future use and sale; the oil is sometimes mixed with honey, lime and rum and taken to cure colds, cough and other ailments. Some fishers use the oil for their boat engines and to catch flying fish and others use it as they would cod liver oil or shark oil, including for frying or for therapeutic purposes, as a drink or an ointment. Turtle eggs were (and are) also eaten: 83% of survey respondents indicated that they still ate turtle meat and eggs, but for 69% of respondents such consumption was rare (generally only once or twice per year). Turtle shell products are used in Grenada, although the extent of use does not appear to have been quantified in any way. Shirley (2002) reports that turtle backs are polished and hung on walls in houses, restaurants and bars. Hawksbill shell, although widely used and sold locally as well as to traders in the past, had lost value; it once sold for XCD15/lb, but fishers in Sauteurs reported that the shells were now sold for a very low price or given or thrown away. The loss of a market for Hawksbill shell is attributed to legal prohibitions on international trade in the species. 142TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Interviews conducted on Grenada in 2000 and 2001 revealed that 83% of survey respondents ate turtle eggs and meat. Credit : WWF-Canon/Hlne Petit Credit : WWF-Canon/Roger LeGuen

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There continues to be illegal exploitation of marine turtles and turtle eggs in Grenada. The Division of Fisheries (2002) considers this to be a small problemŽ that relates primarily to Green Turtles that are taken for meat and shared between family and friends rather than sold in the market. However, other findings suggest that it may be more extensive„and more problematic. Turtle eggs are taken from nesting sites to be sold and distributed through family networks (www.oceanspirits.org, viewed 6 August 2004); in the case of Leatherbacks, poaching of nests at BathwayBeach has at times reached more than 90% and has increased with a rise in nesting to alarming frequencyŽ (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005). Although not quantified in the same way, there is also clear evidence that turtles are caught during the closed season (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 24 October 2004). With regard to Green and Hawksbill Turtles, the most recent assessment estimated 782 turtles caught annually around Grenada and Carriacou between 1996 and 2001 (Grazette et al. in press). International trade Historical perspective Rebel (1974) provided information on exports of marine turtles from Grenada. He reported that during 1948, 694 Green turtles, 279 Hawksbill Turtles and two Loggerheads were exported from Grenada to Barbados and Trinidad and that, prior to World War II, an export trade in live turtles existed with London: about 180 turtles from 80 pounds upwardƒwere shipped in troughs at freight rate of £15 per ton and were watered and fed while en routeŽ. In addition, he reported that ca. 25 lb of turtle shell were exported annually (presumably at the time of his writing) to both Barbados and Trinidad. Subsequently, Finlay (1987) reported that turtle shells were sold to individuals for crafting ornamentsŽ or to traders who exported them to the North Islands above GrenadaŽ. Grenada did not accede to CITES until 1999. CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database document no international trade in marine turtles involving Grenada from 1975, the year that CITES entered into force, until 1981. In the period 1981…1992, a very small number of imports, involving a very small number of items (primarily carapaces, including one recorded as that of a Kemps Ridley), were reported by the USA, over half of which were identified as deriving from Hawksbill Turtles and over half of which were recorded as having been seized on entry. By contrast, Grenada was a relatively important source of Hawksbill shell for Japan over the two decades before the closure of that import market in January 1993. Japanese Customs statistics show sporadic imports totalling 3881 kg of Hawksbill shell from Grenada, 1973…1991 (see table). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela143 Year197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981 00049901320590000 Year19821983198419851986198719881989199019911992Total 09700047267012877460 3881 Japanese imports (kg) of Hawksbill Turtle shell,1970…1992,from Grenada,as recorded in Japanese Customs statistics Sources : Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; H. Kiyono, TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan Office, in litt to TRAFFIC International, 29 July 2002.

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Recent (since 1992) international trade There is little evidence of significant international trade in marine turtles involving Grenada in recent decades. CITES trade statistics for the years 1993…2004, inclusive, are limited to imports of marine turtle products from Grenada, most of them to the USA, seized on entry, and comprising single items or small numbers of items. Imports over this period included: seven Green Turtle carapaces (including one seized on entry to the UK in 2003); 21 Leatherback eggs, seized on entry to the USAin 2000; one Hawksbill body and one kilogramme of Cheloniidae meat to the USA; and a pre-Convention Hawksbill carapace to Canada in 1996. In 2004, Barbados reported importing 100 Hawksbill specimens from Grenada, for scientific purposes. The Division of Fisheries (2002) reported having no knowledge of any international trade in marine turtle products from Grenada since the country's accession to CITES in 1999 and did not consider illegal trade to be a management problem. Enforcement issues Illegal exploitation of marine turtles in Grenada currently takes the form of collection of turtle eggs and capture of Leatherbacks, both of which are now completely protected by law in Grenada, and capture and sale of marine turtles during the four-month closed season. As it is generally known that the collection and sale of eggs are illegal, these activities are conducted clandestinely and, thus, are difficult to quantify, but information in the form of reports and photographs and, as mentioned above, data from the nest-monitoring activities undertaken by NGOs indicates that eggs are regularly taken, in some instances in large quantities (www.oceanspirits.org, viewed 6 August 2004). There have, however, been no prosecutions (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 24 October 2004). In Carriacou, Fastigi (2002) reports that, on Craigston beaches, nesting turtles have been killed and residents who have complained about this have been threatened. Lloyd and King (2000) reported on the results of the first years season (1 March to 31 July 2000) of recording turtle activity on both Levera and Bathway beaches in Grenada. They found the overall percentage of poaching to be 67.5%, with only 30 nests left intact, and estimated that a maximum of 10 Leatherbacks nested successfully at either of these beaches that year. (Atotal of 111 nests were recorded and divided by an average of six nests per Leatherback female, resulting in a total of 18.5 individuals„Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005). Further, they reported that the rate of egg poaching was higher (over 91% in June 2000) on Bathway beach, which is more accessible, than on Levera beach. Although they witnessed poaching activity during the closed season, the frequency fell during the months of May to July, possibly as a result of their efforts to camouflage nests to evade poaching. Finally, they reported that there were only a small number of dedicated egg poachers and it appeared through discussions that their motivation was not financial but rather habitual. Lloyd and King (2000) raised the possibility of a hatchery at Levera as a possible means to address the eggpoaching issue. However, in subsequent years, it has been shown that the continuation of research (particularly in the form of night-time tagging work) significantly reduces egg collection. While there may still be a theoretical basis for a hatchery, in practical terms, the continuation of research efforts that involve communities is likely to be considerably more effective, less invasive and more sustainable than a hatchery (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005). 144TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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The Division of Fisheries(2002) indicates that the sale of marine turtles and products is monitored during the four-month closed season; however, they provide no details, including regarding whether this monitoring is limited only to the designated fisheries landing sites, where, presumably, turtles are not taken during the closed season. Lloyd and King (2000) identified the need for a greater presence by relevant authorities so as to deter offenders and demonstrate that the laws are protection measures established for a specific reason and, thus, should be respected. In addition, the need has been recognized for more active and effective outreach regarding the laws governing the exploitation of marine turtles. Shirley (2002), for example, reports that a high proportion (65%) of respondents to the 2001 marine turtle survey in Grenada were aware of parts of the law regarding turtles, namely the open and closed seasons and the minimum size limit, but not one respondent was aware of the 2001 prohibitions on hunting Leatherback turtles and collecting eggs. These findings echo those of Lloyd and King (2000), who expressed concern regarding confusion about the legal provisions in effect and the need to communicate effectively and clearlyŽ revised fisheries restrictions with fishing and other communities. The Grenada Biological Diversity Strategy and Action Plan (GBSAP) (GOG, 2000), developed by the Government of Grenada in fulfillment of obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), notes that enforcement of many of the laws relevant to biodiversity is either poor or non-existent, owing to a lack of awareness of the legislation, lack of support for enforcement, or unclear jurisdiction, where there is overlap with several agencies or absence of regulations to implement certain Acts. The GBSAPfurther recognizes the need for revision of legislation to address inadequacies, such as to provide for better enforcement and more realistic, punitive measures and better inter-agency collaboration, which it regards as essential for conservation of terrestrial and marine resources. The Division of Fisheries (2002) reports that there are no stockpiles of marine turtle products in Grenada.Marine turtle management Management of exploitation Marine turtle management in Grenada currently relies on the restrictions set out in the 1996 and 2001 Fisheries Amendment Regulations and collection of marine turtle landing data at some fisheries landing sites. These legal measures include complete protection of the Leatherback, which is represented in the country solely by females visiting seasonally to nest. The Division of Fisheries (2002) indicates that it does not know whether current management measures are sufficient to ensure the fishery does not result in a reduction of turtle numbers but that no actions are currently under way to review the management programme or revise the regulations. An objective analysis of the current regime and these comments suggest a need for a thorough review and revision of the management regime, in particular in relation to the following: 1.Although the closed season covers the peak of the Hawksbill nesting season (DOF, 2002), the eight-month open season includes the end of the Hawksbill nesting season, thus putting at risk some of the reproductive females that are the most important segment of the turtle population to conserve. 2.The 25-lb minimum size limit does not protect the large juvenile and adult turtles that are essential for the viability of populations and population recovery. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela145

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3.If carefully formulated, the current licensing requirement for the take of marine turtles could be very useful in restricting the number of fishers taking turtles and the numbers of turtles taken and, thus, contribute significantly to management of the fishery. However, until the details of the licensing system are reviewed, the contribution of this measure to management cannot be assessed. 4.If licences are issued on a pro forma basis and not limited, monitored, or reviewed in any way, they contribute nothing to effective management of the fishery. 5.The existing restrictions of minimum size limits and a closed season have been demonstrated by history to be insufficient in preventing population declines and promoting population recovery, particularly as the minimum size limit targets exploitation on the age class that populations can least afford to lose. 6.If the Grenville landing data are indicative of landing trends on Grenada and elsewhere in the country, marine turtle exploitation could be increasing. That there appear to be insufficient data to confirm this trend and to analyse it in relation to marine turtle landing trends over a longer period of time must be considered a shortcoming in management of the fishery. 7.There are inadequate data„and marine turtle population monitoring activities„to enable any scientifically based judgment of the status and trends of marine turtles in Grenada. In the light of continued exploitation and the apparently few limits on that exploitation, this should be considered a serious shortcoming in the management of marine turtles in the country and a serious impediment to the possibility of stock recovery. Species research and conservation There has been a great deal of marine turtle research and conservation undertaken in Grenada in the past five years through the efforts of local NGOs in partnership with the Division of Fisheries and benefiting from expertise available through the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). Prior to these initiatives, the most recent scientific study conducted on the island of Grenada had been on Leatherbacks in 1990 (Eckert and Eckert, 1990). The NGO Ocean Spirits has operated, since 1999, an extensive research programme focused primarily on Levera Beach, the main nesting beach for Leatherback turtles on the north-eastern end of Grenada. Beginning in March and continuing through August, the organization undertakes nightly patrols from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and morning patrols at a selection of other nesting sites. Asaturation-tagging programme initiated in 2002 records every emerging female, along with the location of any nests laid. Ocean Spirits also monitors Leatherback nesting at Grenada Bay (Bathway) and Savan Swazee and has begun fortnightly surveys of Hawksbill nesting grounds on the outer islets to the north of Grenada.The number ofLeatherback turtle nests documented at Levera Beach are presented below (Ocean Spirits, unpublished data): 2000:50…100 nests 2001:350…400 nests 2002:150…200 nests 2003:550…600 nests 2004:300…350 nests 2005:300…400 nests On the island of Carriacou, the KIDO Foundation operates the KIDO Ecological Research Station (KERS), which carries out various activities relating to marine turtles, including monitoring and patrols for nesting Hawksbill Turtles and Leatherbacks and purchase and release of marine turtles caught by fishers. During the May…September nesting season, volunteers working with KIDO/KERS patrol four different beaches at night and 146TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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measure, tag and record data on nesting turtles, mark and disguise the location of nests and monitor hatchling activity and survival (kido.optsoftware.com, viewed 12 June 2004). They also undertake daytime beach surveys by boat. From October to January, the main turtle-netting season, the KIDO Foundation purchases live marine turtles from fishers. The turtles„primarily Green and Hawksbill Turtles and the occasional Loggerhead„are treated for injuries, measured, tagged, then released with the understanding of local fishers that, if caught again, the turtles will be recorded and released. According to Fastigi (2002), 2002 was the first year that a systematic turtle conservation programme was put in place in Carriacou. Conducted by the KIDO Foundation under the guidance of WIDECASTand the University of the West Indies, this programme focuses on the marine turtle nesting beaches„Petit Carenage, Big Field and Anse Laroche„in the proposed National Park of High North, in the northern part of the island. Petit Carenage is the main site for Leatherback nesting and there is occasional Leatherback nesting on the two other beaches. In 2002, the Kido Foundation team, comprising three local nature guides, three foundation staff and several volunteers from abroad, patrolled primarily Petit Carenage beach and occasionally the other beaches, extending operations to Craigston beaches, reportedly the most heavily poached, when personnel were available. These patrols identified nests, covered tracks and disguised nests so as to confound poachers, and verified previously disguised nests. They also tagged several turtles (five Green Turtles purchased at the fish market and one juvenile Hawksbill Turtle freed from captivity). These efforts were considered successful in deterring poaching as they received indirect complaints from poachers that they could not get a turtle or eggs that year. The 2002 patrols recorded: 17 confirmed nests„10 Leatherback and seven Hawksbill„and six more possible nests; although they were notified of many more nests on other beaches, a lack of personnel prevented their verification. Habitat conservation The Division of Fisheries (2002) reports that no marine turtle nesting or foraging areas have been specifically designated as protected in Grenada. However, the 123-ha Levera National Park (GOG, 2000) on the north-eastern coast of the island of Grenada incorporates the highestdensity Leatherback nesting beach in the country, Levera Beach, and, one kilometre away, the second-most important, Bathway Beach (Lloyd and King, 2000). Significant destruction has taken place in the Levera National Park since 2003 where an 18-hole golf course has been developed alongside plans for a 650-room resort. Initial stages of this development (clearing, landscaping, construction) have already had significant repercussions on the nesting beach. The future of this development is uncertain, but it is most likely that further development will have significant impact on this nesting population unless effective mitigations are implemented (Ocean Spirits, in litt ., 3 April 2005). Aprotected areas review undertaken in the late 1980s (GOG and OAS, 1988 ) recommended a total of 28 areas in Grenada and 12 in Carriacou for inclusion in a national TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela147 The effects of sand-mining,one of the obstacles to marine turtle conservation in Grenada,shown here at Windward Point, Anguilla. Credit : S. Ranger/MCS

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protected areas system; these included 10 as protected seascapes, several incorporating significant coral reefs and/or important habitat for both nesting and foraging marine turtles. CCA/IRF (1991) detailed a number of habitat pressures on marine turtles in Grenada, including destruction of nesting beaches by sand-mining and development; bright lighting along the shoreline disturbing nesting females and disorienting hatchlings; predation on hatchlings by domestic animals such as dogs and pigs; and, particularly for the Hawksbill Turtle, damage to and degradation of coral reef habitats from siltation, pollution and dredging. Lloyd and King (2000) mention the dumping of plastics, glass and other partydebris on Bathway Beach and, on Levera Beach, vehicles driving over the popular nesting areas. This continued even after signs were posted during the nesting season advising visitors to avoid disturbing nests and driving on the beach. Although it makes no specific mention of the impacts on marine turtle nesting habitat, the GBSAP(GOG, 2000) identifies extensive localized beach sand-mining as a problem and expresses concern that continued growth in the construction industry will impose further pressures on these coastal areas unless alternatives are put in place immediatelyŽ. In Carriacou, illegal sand-mining was reported as rampantŽ by Fastigi (2002), owing to the increase of building activities on the island; an illegal sand-mining operation in early May 2002 in Petit Carenage resulted in the destruction of at least one Leatherback nest. Education and public awareness Avariety of marine turtle outreach and educational activities has been undertaken in Grenada in recent years through the efforts of NGOs. Ocean Spirits has developed a range of programmes and materials aimed at educating local communities about marine turtles and involving them in conservation efforts. They have conducted school visits, field trips and summer camps and organize an annual Ocean Spirits Festival aimed at increasing understanding and appreciation of marine turtles. Their most recent initiative is E.A.R.T.H (Environmental Academic Resources for Teaching and Higher education), a computer-based, interactive educational tool for students and teachers that includes lesson plans, classroom activities and experiments and a range of resources in the form of video clips, pictures and animations for use in learning more about marine turtles and biodiversity more generally (www.oceanspirits.org, viewed 6 August 2004). In addition to these initiatives, Lloyd and King (2000) have emphasized the need for improved educational efforts for those who are actively contributing to the heavy losses of nesting turtles. It is along this vein that Ocean Spirits established Grenadas first turtle watchingprogramme, emphasizing best practices as developed by WIDECAST. Run entirely by Grenadians, who escort visitors to the island to Levera Beach to observe the nesting Leatherbacks, and facilitated by Ocean Spirits, employing bus drivers and others from the local community, this programme generated direct income for these communities. Ocean Spirits calculated that, in its first season, one turtle generated XCD8600 for the local economy and local communities, as compared with the XCD200 that would have accrued had the turtle been killed (www.oceanspirits.org, viewed 6 August 2004). This venture is now run by the islands tour operators and, thus, is wholly Grenadian-operated; locally trained guides are hired and a donation per person is contributed to further research efforts. The KIDO Foundation/Ecological Research Station also undertakes outreach efforts on behalf of marine turtles in Carriacou. 148TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management In addition to limited baseline data and a flawed management regime, the Grenada Division of Fisheries (2002) has identified a number of constraints to managing„and improving the management of„marine turtles, namely limited manpower, lack of trained personnel, and insufficient funding. Lack of public support is a problem for stemming illegal exploitation. In the Divisions judgement, public awareness and enforcement of restrictions, which are not available owing to lack of funds and personnelŽ, are the most important ingredients for marine turtle conservation in Grenada. The GBSAP(GOG, 2000) identifies a range of gaps, including the lack of effective enforcement of existing legislation and the need to revise existing legislation, which must be filled in order to improve the regulation of activities that have adverse impacts on habitats and species. In addition, the GBSAPincludes as one of its main objectives the development and encouragement of sustainable use of biological, including fishery, resources essential to the livelihood of local communities.Summary and recommendationsWith the exception of the complete protection afforded the Leatherback, the current management regime for marine turtles in Grenada does not significantly restrict the taking of marine turtles nor contribute to the maintenance of their populations. Particularly problematic are the provisions in the regulations that, in effect: focus legal exploitation on large juvenile and adult turtles, the age classes that are most important for population maintenance and recovery; and permit the take of Hawksbill Turtles during a portion of the speciess nesting season. These provisions should be revised to better account for current understanding of the biology of marine turtles and its implications for sustainable use. In addition, although efforts are being made to monitor at some level the number and composition of turtles taken in the legal fishery, the monitoring programme should be reviewed and revised, as appropriate, to ensure that it is effective in implementing and informing management. In accordance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (FAO, 1995), an explicitly precautionary code, which states that the right to fish carries with it the obligation to do so in a responsible manner so as to ensure effective conservation and management of the living aquatic resourcesŽ,the management of marine turtle resources in Grenada should seek to maintain the availability of the resource in sufficient quantities for present and future generations in the context of food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable developmentŽ. Management measures should, inter alia prevent over-fishing, rehabilitate depleted populations, incorporate the best scientific evidence (taking into account traditional knowledge, as well as relevant environmental, economic and social factors), assign priority to research and data collection (including at international scales) and promote environmentally safe fishing gear and practices in order to protect both the target resource and the ecosystems upon which it depends. The lack of a scientifically based stock assessment and limits on the numbers of turtles that may be taken or of fishers licensed to take turtles suggests a need for additional measures that would assist in preventing further population declines and, possibly, promoting population recovery. As far back as the early 1980s, Finlay (1984) recommended measures to enhance the management of marine turtles, namely increased enforcement of the closed season and related regulations, including the use of turtle nets during the closed season, and the protection, as sanctuaries, of turtle nesting beaches on outer islands. Subsequently, Eckert and Eckert (1990), based on their TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela149

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survey of Grenadian beaches in June 1990, recommended: a short-term moratorium on capture of Hawksbill Turtles to facilitate a stock assessment; extension of the closed season to encompass the breeding season for all species; establishment of a maximumsize limit, if exploitation were to continue; strengthening and increasing enforcement efforts to combat egg poaching and violations of the closed season; enhancement of education programmes with schools, restaurants, and tourists; protection of important marine turtle habitats, such as through reducing or eliminating intensive sand-mining of beaches; and conservation of foraging grounds through mooring buoy systems, controlling pollution, and other measures. These recommendations would appear to be relevant a full 20 and 15 years, respectively, after they were formulated and have been incorporated into the following recommended improvements in Grenadas management regime for these species. 1.In the light of the recognized depleted status of marine turtles in Grenada and the potential for continuing declines resulting from the legally mandated exploitation of large juvenile and adult turtles, and in the absence of systematic population monitoring, there is no discernible basis for the maintenance of a legal fishery for marine turtles in Grenada. The government should move expeditiously on a comprehensive revision of both the regulatory framework and the broader institutional mandates and priorities that provide for the types of activities that form part of a scientically based management programme. It should consider, in this context, whether a moratorium may be advisable as an interim or longer-term measure. 2.In recognition of the findings of Grazette et al (in press), and in support of a comprehensive review and revision of the legal framework for marine turtle management, a comprehensive frame survey should be undertaken to quantify and characterize exploitation and use of marine turtles at the national level, including: €the landing of turtles at sea and hunting on nesting beaches; €exchange and marketing of turtles and turtle products; €numbers and types of fishers (and gears) involved, including the extent to which marine turtle landings result from incidental or opportunistic take in other fishing operations or from a targeted fishery; €processing and marketing patterns; and €the importance to livelihoods of the products and income derived from marine turtle exploitation. This investigation should also aim to establish the nature and extent of illegal exploitation and trade of marine turtles and eggs and marine turtle products, and the extent to which they may negatively impact marine turtle populations and compromise management. 3.If legal exploitation is to continue, the restrictions on this exploitation should reflect the biological parameters of marine turtles, take into account their depleted status and aim, at a minimum, at preventing any further population declines. Any exploitationregimepromoting population recovery and maintenanceshould be established and conducted according to sound management principles and practice, which should include the following: A.Bringing exploitation in line with biological principles, including: €complete protection of nesting females, their eggs and young at all times; €complete protection of all species during the primary nesting season, 1 March to 30 November; 150TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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€as has already been done in Grenada, providing complete protection for the Leatherback, which occurs in the country only as an adult, and typically an egg-bearing female; €maximum size limits, based on length (which is easier to undertake in the field) rather than weight, so as to safeguard large juveniles and adults; €a conservative limit on the numbers of animals that may be exploited, based on a scientific stock assessment; and €a requirement that capture quotas be based, if not on stock assessment, on data derived from national processes and research activities, and that, as far as practicable, these data be collected in such a way as to be compatible with the goal of assessing stocks throughout their full geographic ranges. B.Managing the legal fishery through an enforceable, high-compliance monitoring programme aimed at establishing trends and monitoring these over time. Anational programme to monitor marine turtle exploitation should document comprehensively and systematically, and in a manner allowing such records to be analysed and compared over time, the following: €the number of fishers taking marine turtles and by what means; €the number, size and species distribution of the marine turtles landed; €the localities where turtles are taken; €catch-per-unit effort; and €the disposition of the marine turtles landed, including value of the animal and/or products if sold or traded. In further support of reliable monitoring of the fishery, the following should be considered as requirements for participation: €that ownership identification tags be installed on approved gear (e.g. nets) €that turtles be landed alive or intact; prohibiting, for example, the use of spear guns and extended net sets that can result in drowning, and providing for reliable recording and verification of turtle landings; and €that the licensing process include as a criterion full participation in the monitoring programme. C.Establishing a systematic marine turtle monitoring programme that will: €document distribution and abundance of local populations; €identify major nesting grounds and foraging areas; €designate Index nesting beaches and Index foraging grounds, and document the numbers of marine turtles occurring in these over time; €manage data records such that statistically significant trends in abundance can be identified and inform management; and €identify and monitor threats and other factors influencing marine turtle survival. 3.Mechanisms to quantify levels of incidental catch of marine turtles should be developed. Measures to reduce or eliminate incidental catch of marine turtles, such as through time…area closures and/or alternative (especially to gill nets) types of gear, should be implemented. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela151

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4.The identification and protection of critical habitats, both terrestrial and marine, for marine turtles should be incorporated into broader biodiversity management efforts. Greater attention is needed to the development and implementation of habitat-based measures to protect and reduce adverse impacts on nesting beaches (e.g. from sand-mining) and foraging areas. Recognizing as well the importance of marine turtles and intact marine habitat for the tourism productŽ, the following should be considered: €protected nesting beaches, including in Levera National Park, which is being impacted by tourism development; €enhancing habitat protection measures, including restriction/regulation of tourism and other activities near nesting beaches during the egg-laying season and vigorous enforcement of such measures, such as against vehicles driving on nesting beaches and sand-mining; €adopting regulations to prevent or otherwise manage leaving of nets and other debris on the beach; €improving coastal zone management (and monitoring) capacity, including through environmental impact assessment, particularly in relation to the construction of beach-front hotels and other tourism infrastructure and sand-mining; €expanding the system of protected areas; and €strengthening the management framework for protected areas to ensure that these areas fulfill their stated objectives 5.There is need for greater enforcement capacity and effort. This capacity should involve clearer and possibly enhanced authorities for Fisheries and other enforcement personnel and, possibly, dedicated enforcement staff. In addition, it should include training and logistical support, including a mobile enforcement unit, for both on-land and at-sea monitoring efforts. Finally, this capacity should involve outreach and other activities that will engage greater efforts on the part of police for fisheries and broader environmental enforcement. A mutually agreed set of protocols and procedures for these agencies to follow in such circumstances may be an option to consider. 6.The Government of Grenada should move forward expeditiously to enact legislation to enable full implementation and enforcement of CITES provisions, including wildlife trade controls, scientific non-detriment findings and control and monitoring, as appropriate, of stockpiles of CITES species. 7.Increased efforts should be made to engage local communities, including fishers, in marine turtle conservation and management.Fisheries extension efforts should be implemented that involve regular exchanges with fishers of information on marine turtles and their conservation and management needs and the participation of fishers in efforts to manage marine turtles so as to enhance compliance with regulations and support for marine turtle conservation. Support directed towards sustainable fishery practices and/or alternative livelihoods should be provided, as relevant and necessary, to assist fishers meaningfully in their efforts to comply with revised marine turtle regulations. 8.Financial, logistical and political support and encouragement should be extended to relevant government agencies to develop and implement a modern, scientifically based conservation and management regime for nationally depleted marine turtle stocks, including for the revision of the legal framework, scientific studies, monitoring programmes, enforcement capacity and institutional strengthening of government agencies whose mandate includes marine turtles and their habitats. Both private and public foreign investment in the fisheries and tourism sectors in Grenada should take account of the increased responsibilities„and costs„of the 152TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Fisheries Division and other agencies in managing for sustainability the resources concerned and the broader biodiversity impacts that may ensue. 9.Community outreach and population monitoring efforts being undertaken by NGOs in collaboration with the government should be expanded through increased financial commitments from bilateral and multilateral assistance agencies. Co-management agreements between government and NGOs/CBOs, developed by consensus, are encouraged.ReferencesAnon. (2002). CITES Document CoP12 Doc. 28 Working document of the 12thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties, Santiago (Chile), 3…15 November 2002. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Anon. (2004). CITES Document CoP13 Doc. 22 (Rev. 2) Working document of the 13thmeeting of the Conference of the Parties, Bangkok (Thailand), 2…14 October 2004. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Anon. (2005). CITES Document SC53 Doc. 31 Working document of the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Bacon, P.R. (1981). The status of sea turtle stocks management in the Western Central Atlantic WECAF Studies No. 7. Interregional Fisheries Development and Management Programme (WECAF component), UNDPand FAO, Panama. Carr, A., A. Meylan, J. Mortimer, K. Bjorndal and T. Carr. (1982). Surveys of sea turtle populations and habitats in the Western Atlantic NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-91. US Department of Commerce. CCA/IRF. (1991). Grenada: Environmental Profile Caribbean Conservation Association/Island Resources Foundation. St. Michael, Barbados. 276 pp. DOF (Division of Fisheries, Government of Grenada). (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire, CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of the Marine Turtles of the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela Completed by Crafton Isaac, Fisheries Officer; Paul Phillip, Acting Chief Fisheries Officer; Rebecca King, Director, Ocean Spirits. Dated 2 August 2002. Duerden, J.E. (1901). The marine resources of the British West Indies. West Indian Bulletin 2. Eckert, K.Land S.A. Eckert. (1990). Leatherback Sea Turtles in Grenada, West Indies: a Survey of Nesting Beaches and Socio-economic Status. Report to Foundation for Field Research and Fisheries Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries. July 1990. ii + 56 pp. Unpublished. FAO. (1995). Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Adopted by the 28thSession of the FAO Conference. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. 34 pp. + annexes. www.fao.org/fi/agreem/codecond/codecon.asp Fastigi, M. (2002). WIDECASTSea Turtle Monitoring and Tagging Programme. Project Report: 22 May…21 October 2002. KIDO Foundation, Carriacou, Grenada. 7 pp. + data sheets. Unpublished. Finlay, J. (1984). National Report for Grenada. Submitted 15 February 1983. Pp. 184…196. In: P. Bacon et al. (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica III. Appendix 7. University of Miami Press, Florida. Finlay, J. (1987). National Report for Grenada. 12 October 1987. Prepared for the Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 12…16 October 1987, Mayagez, Puerto Rico. WATS2 056. 16 pp. Unpublished. GOG [Government of Grenada]. (2000). Grenada Biological Diversity Strategy and Action Plan July 2000. iv + 48 pp. www.biodiv.org/doc/world/gd/gd-nbsap-01-en.pdf. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela153

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GOG [Government of Grenada] and OAS [Organization of American States]. (1988). Plan and policy for a system of national parks and protected areas. Department of Regional Development, OAS. 130 pp. Grazette, S., J.A. Horrocks, P.E. Phillip and C.J. Isaac. (In press.) An assessment of the sea turtle fishery in Grenada, West Indies. Oryx Groombridge, B. and R. Luxmoore. (1989). The Green Turtle and Hawksbill (Reptilia: Cheloniidae): World Status, Exploitation and Trade Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Lausanne, Switzerland. 601 pp. Hays, G.C., J.D.R. Houghton, C. Isaacs, R.S. King. C. Lloyd and P. Lovell. (2004b). First records of oceanic dive profiles for Leatherback turtles, Dermochelyscoriacea indicate behavioural plasticity associated with longdistance migration. Animal Behaviour 67:733…743. Hays, G.C., J.D.R. Houghton and A.E. Myers. (2004a). Pan-Atlantic Leatherback turtle movements. Nature 429:522. Lloyd, C. and R. King. (2000). Population and regional orientation of Grenadas endangered sea-turtle stocks: a study to investigate the current status of nesting of Leatherback populations. Prepared for Ocean Spirits, Grande Anse, Grenada. 19 pp. Unpublished. Milliken, T. and H. Tokunaga. (1987). The Japanese Sea Turtle Trade 1970…1986 Aspecial report prepared by TRAFFIC (Japan). Center for Environmental Education, Washington, DC. 171 pp. Rebel, T.P. (1974). SeaTurtles and the Turtle Industry of the West Indies, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico revised edn. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables. 250 pp. Shirley, C. (Ed.). (2002). Turtle Lightening : Sea turtles and the People of Grenada Ocean Spirits and the Adventurers Club. Ocean Spirits, Inc., Grenada. UNEP(1996). Status of Protected Area Systems in the Wider Caribbean Region. Country Profile for Grenada CEPTechnical Report No. 36. UN Environment Programme Caribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. www.cep.unep.org/pubs/Techreports/tr36en/countries/grenada.html 154TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Guadeloupe IntroductionGuadeloupe is an overseas department of France comprising eight islands and numerous islets: Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, which constitute Guadeloupe in the strict sense; Marie-Galante, located 43 km to the south of Grande-Terre; the six small islands of the Les Saintes archipelago (Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas being the only inhabited ones); la Dsirade; Petite Terre; and, to the north of the archipelago, the island of Saint Barthlmy and the northern part of the island of Saint Martin (the southern part forms part of the Netherlands Antilles), both of which are surrounded by a number of small uninhabited islands. In addition to a total land area of 1806 km, the archipelago of Guadeloupe comprises an Exclusive Economic Zone of 90 000 km, of which 200 km are barrier/fringing reef, the longest barrier reef in the Lesser Antilles (IFRECOR, 2005). After centuries of exploitation (du Tertre, 1667…1671, cited inChevalier, 2003), and in response to reports (e.g. Kermarrec, 1976; Claro and Lazier, 1983 and 1986, cited inChevalier, 2003) indicating severe declines in marine turtle populations in the archipelago during the 1970s and 80s, marine turtles were completely protected in Guadeloupe under French law in 1991. In recognition of the need for more effective protection, a conservation programme for marine turtles in Guadeloupe was initiated in 1998 under the auspices of the Direction Rgionale de lEnvironnement (DIREN„the Regional Directorate for the Environment), as a collaborative effort of government agencies, NGOs and other interested parties. Co-ordination of the project and scientific oversight were the primary responsibility of the Association pour lEtude et la Protection des Vertbrs des Petites Antilles (AEVA„the Association for the Study and Protection of Vertebrates of the Lesser Antilles) (Lorvelec et al ., 1999) until 2004, when these responsibilities were taken over by a new NGO, Kap Natirel (J. Chevalier, DIREN, in litt., 15 August 2004). These activities have yielded important new information on marine turtle nesting sites, as well as on the status of and threats to these species in the archipelago. They have also laid the groundwork for the development of a marine turtle recovery plan for the French Antilles ( Plan de restauration des tortues marines des Antilles Franaises ), which is currently in draft form (Chevalier, 2003) and expected to begin implementation in 2005. Since legal protection was afforded marine turtles in Guadeloupe in 1991, the number of turtles killed in the archipelago is thought to have greatly decreased and their status is considered to have improved (Chevalier, 2003). According to Chevalier ( in litt ., 15 August 2004), most (if not all)Ž of the fishers and scuba divers in Guadeloupe (including Saint Martin and Saint Barthlmy„Chevalier et al .,2003) report a very important increase in the number of turtles observed at sea and the number of nests appears also to be on the increase; notwithstanding, experts describe as probableŽ the likelihood that certain sub-populations [of Green and Hawksbill Turtles] are threatened with extinction over the short termŽ (Chevalier, 2003). There is a need, both in Guadeloupe and throughout the French Antilles, for long-term, accurate monitoring of both nesting and foraging populations to confirm emerging trends. Incidental capture of marine turtles in fishing operations is thought to be the major threat, and poaching on beaches and the destruction of nesting and feeding habitat are considered the two other major threats for their long-term survival (Chevalier, 2003; Chevalier et al .,2001). However, the conservation programme under way and signs that the cultural relationship between turtles and humans in the French Antilles is in full evolutionŽ towards an acceptance of complete protection for these species (Chevalier, 2003) would appear to augur well for the future of these animals in the archipelago. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela155

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Summary of the status of marine turtles in Guadeloupe Five marine turtle species occur in the waters of Guadeloupe (see table below). Knowledge of foraging populations is fragmentary (Chevalier, 2003; Pavis, 2002). The Green and Hawskbill Turtles are the most frequently encountered; they forage along the coasts, and certain sites, such as la Cte-sous-le-Vent (BasseTerre), les Saintes, Marie-Galante, Petite Terre and Saint Barthlmy, appear to harbour particularly important densities of Hawksbill Turtles. La Cte-sous-le-Vent, les Saintes and Petite Terre appear to be especially important for Green Turtles (Chevalier, 2003). The Loggerhead and Leatherback may also forage in the offshore waters but are only seen by fishers and boaters; their principal foraging grounds are not known (DIREN, 2002). The Olive Ridley is only rarely seen (Chevalier, 2003). Three marine turtle species nest in Guadeloupe. Although some coastal zones of continentalŽ Guadeloupe have yet to be surveyed and information for the northern islands (Saint Barthlmy and Saint Martin) is still fragmentary, the major nesting sites over the entire archipelago have now been documented (Chevalier et al ., 2003; Pavis, 2002). The Hawksbill Turtle is the most common nesting species and nests on virtually all the beaches of Guadeloupe, although the major nesting sites are lIlet Fajou, la Cte-sous-le-Vent, Petite Terre, les Saintes and, in particular, Marie-Galante, where the most important nesting beach for this species in the entire French Antilles„Trois Ilets„is found (DIREN, 2002; Pavis 2002; Chevalier et al .,2001). Although investigations prior to 2000 had failed to report any nesting activity on Trois Ilets beach, based on partial surveys during 2000 and intensive surveys during two months of 2001, Chevalier et al. (2001) concluded that Trois Ilets beach  appears to host annually about 30…40 adult female [Hawksbill Turtles] and 200 nestsŽ and noted that, if these results were confirmed through future survey work, this remnant nesting population would be of regional importance. According to Chevalier et al. (2001), Green Turtle nesting is more localized on certain beaches, such as MarieGalante, Petite Terre and in les Saintes islands, while the Leatherback nests in small numbers on the larger beaches of the archipelago, such as Clugny in Sainte Rose (Grande-Terre) and Grande Anse beach at TroisRivires and Souffleur beach in Port Louis (both in Basse-Terre). 156TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta I Green Turtle Chelonia mydas F, N Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea F?, N Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata F, N Kemps Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea I Occurrence of marine turtles inGuadeloupe Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent

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Although there has been a great deal of information collected in recent years on marine turtles in Guadeloupe, knowledge of their biology and ecology in the archipelago remains limited (Lorvelec et al .,1999), in particular in the north in Saint Barthlmy and Saint Martin, and the absence of historical data, in particular on nesting numbers, precludes a definitive assessment of population trends (Chevalier, 2003). However, some two decades after the reports by Meylan (1983), Kermarrec (1976, cited inChevalier, 2003) and Claro and Lazier (1983 and 1986, cited inChevalier, 2003) of alarming declines in marine turtles (which, in the words of Kermarrec, constituted a veritable genocideŽ), there is now anecdotal evidence from divers and fishers of an importantŽ increase of marine turtle numbers at sea (Chevalier, 2003; Chevalier et al .,2003) and personal observations and data from partial surveys of nesting beaches suggesting an increase in nesting, at least in some areas (Chevalier, 2003). The data are as yet insufficient for statistical analysis and observed increases may, in these early years of census, reflect increasing levels of effort rather than true biological realities.O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties As Guadeloupe is a French overseas department, all French national environmental laws and international treaties to which France is a party apply to the archipelago. Guadeloupe also forms part of the European Union (EU). As such, most of the agreements, directives and regulations of the EU apply. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela157 Convention Guadeloupe Cartagena Convention 13.11.1985 (R) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)05.04.2002 (R) Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region13.11.1985 (R) Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities06.10.1999 (S) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)01.07.1994 (R) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)09.08.1978 (E)~Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)01.07.1990 (E) Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II) 02.10.1983 (Ap)*MARPOL73/78 (Annex III)02.10.1983 (Ap)*MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV)02.10.1983 (Ap)*MARPOL73/78 (Annex V)02.10.1983 (Ap)*Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)01.12.1986 (E) UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)11.04.1996 (Ds) Western Hemisphere Convention No World Heritage Convention 27.06.1975 (Ac) Membership of Guadeloupe in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Signature (S); Ratification (R); Declaration (Ds); Entry into force (E); Approval (Ap); Acceptance (Ac) Notes :~Reservations entered with respect to Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata ; withdrawn in 1984.*with a reservation, declaration or statement.

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Although the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) entered into force in France on 9 August 1978, France had entered reservations with respect to Green and Hawksbill Turtles. These remained in effect until implementation in 1 January 1984 of the European Economic Community (EEC) regulations requiring uniform application of CITES, which nullified CITES reservations of EEC Member States. France formally withdrew its CITES reservations on 10 December 1984 (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989). Because of Guadeloupes status as an overseas department of France, shipments of CITES species between the archipelago and metropolitan France or other parts of the EU are not considered international and, therefore, not covered by CITES. Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles According to Chevalier (2003), the first legal measures protecting marine turtles in Guadeloupe were enacted in 1960 with the Arrt prfectoral (prefectoral decree) No. 60-2067 which prohibited the collection and sale of turtle eggs and the capture and sale of female turtles during an annualclosed season ofabout four months, from 5 May to 15 September. These measures were expanded in 1979 via the Arrt prfectoral portant rglementation de lexercice de la pche maritime cotire dans les eaux du dpartement de la Guadeloupe (prefectoral decree regulating coastal maritime fishing in the waters of Guadeloupe) No. 79-6 AD/3/3 of 26 March 1979 (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; Chevalier, 2003). This law prohibited the capture or collection, sale, purchase, import/export, transport and use, for whatever purpose, of: €eggs of all species of marine turtle; €Leatherbacks; €Green and Hawksbill Turtles less than 60 cm in carapace length, and all sizes during a four-month closed season from 15 May to 15 September. This closed season was extended to six months, from 15 April to 15 October, through a modification adopted on 17 August 1983 (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989). These advances in the legal framework towards greater protection for marine turtles are understood to have had little on-the-ground effect, as there appears from various reports during the 1980s (e.g. Frtey and Lescure, 1981; Frtey, 1988, cited in Chevalier, 2003; Benito-Espinal, 1987) to have been very little enforcement of existing legislation. Marine turtles were afforded complete legal protection via the Arrt fixant la liste des tortues marines protges dans le dpartement de la Guadeloupe (decree listing protected marine turtles in the department of Guadeloupe) of 2 October 1991. This law prohibits at all times the destruction or collection of turtle eggs and nests; and the mutilation, destruction, capture or take, taxidermy, transport, transformation, 158TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Jacques Frtey,marine turtle expert,measures the carapace of a Leatherback. Credit : WWF-Canon/Roger LeGuen

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use, sale, or purchase of either live or dead marine turtles or specimens thereof, for all six Caribbean species. In accordance with national environmental legislation, violations of this prohibition are punishable by as much as six months of prison and a fine of 60 000 French francs (FF60 000) (Chevalier, 2003), as well as confiscationof all equipment used in committing the infraction, including vehicles (DIREN, 2002). LArrt fixant la liste des tortues marines protges sur le territoire national (the decree listing protected marine turtles in national territory) of 9 November 2000 applies throughout French territory, with the exception of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana. In addition to affording complete protection for the six of the worlds seven marine turtle species that occur in French territory (i.e. excluding theFlatback Natator depressus endemic to Australia), this law sets forth the terms and procedures under which certain marine turtle specimens may be held in private possession, used in manufacturing, transported, sold or purchased. These specimens are defined as: Hawksbill Turtles imported into French national territory prior to 1 January 1984 and Green Turtles imported or collected from the wild within national territory prior to 1 January 1984 that are part of declared stocks. (For Hawksbill specimens, these are those registered with the Ministry of Environment before 1 October 1993and for Green Turtle specimens those registered with the departmental prefecture by 31 December 2001). In addition, this law sets out the terms and procedures for registering these stocks and for marking specimens that derive from these stocks. As this law does not apply to Guadeloupe, the provisions of the 1991 law remain in force. Several additional pieces of legislation provide aspects of legal conservation and management of marine turtles in Guadeloupe. For example, the Loi sur la protection de la nature (Law for the protection of nature) of 1976 provides protection for flora and fauna, regulation of hunting and fishing in freshwater and protection of natural spaces (national parks and nature reserves). The Loi littoral of 1986 establishes protection and management of coastal ecosystems. Guadeloupes CITES-implementing legislation has been assessed by the CITES National Legislation Project as believed generally to meet the requirements for implementation of CITESŽ (Anon., 2005). Responsible authorities Anumber of government agencies are responsible for implementation and enforcement of legislation relevant to marine turtles, namely the police, Customs and the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS„the National Office for Hunting and Wildlife) of DIREN. Guards in nature reserves and staff at the Office National des Forts also have enforcement authority in certain areas. Authorities for CITES implementation (e.g. for the issuance of CITES permits) in Guadeloupe (and Martinique) have been decentralized from Paris to DIREN in Guadeloupe. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela159

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Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective Chevalier (2003) provides a review of available literature on marine turtles in the French Antilles, which includes du Tertres (1667…1671) observations from Guadeloupe of an inexhaustibleŽ abundance of these animals and Kermarrecs (1976) conclusion that in the French Antillles there was a clear and present dangerŽ that these animals would disappear unless urgent conservation measures were taken. Meylan (1983) reported that marine turtles were exploited more heavily in Guadeloupe than anywhere else in the Lesser Antilles, with the possible exception of Martinique. Claro and Lazier (1983 and 1986, cited inChevalier, 2003) reported that the overexploitation of marine turtles in Guadeloupe and Martinique and neighbouring islands has led to a considerable decline in numbers of reproductive adults and juvenilesŽ and that according to certain turtle fishermen, their numbers may have dropped by 70% in the last 10 yearsŽ. Carr et al (1982) described the exploitation of marine turtles in Guadeloupe as intenseŽ and reported that fisheries statistics for Guadeloupe showed an estimated annual take of 30 t (whole animal weight, all species combined) of marine turtles for the period 1959…1976. This figure included animals taken in Saint Martin and Saint Barthlmy, although these were said to account for a small portion of the total. They observed that, the meat and eggs of Hawksbill Turtles, Green Turtles and even Leatherbacks are relished by coastal peopleŽ. Frtey (1984) stated that the real take was almost certainly considerably higher than the reported take as there was little systematic control and monitoring of the fishery. Meylan (1983) reported that most marine turtle exploitation in Guadeloupe was directed towards the tourism industry and that although the meat and eggs of all marine turtles were consumed, the largest market for marine turtles was as souvenirs, including stuffed turtles, polished carapaces and tortoiseshell jewellery and artifacts. She further reported that the largest producer of tortoiseshell souvenirs was the prison at Basse-Terre, where prisoners were trained to fashion them for subsequent sale on both wholesale and retail markets. Available data on exploitation of marine turtles in Guadeloupe prior to the 1991 prohibition are considered unreliable (DIREN, 2002): no hardŽ data exist on the legal fishery and any estimates made are not based on any field work (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 3 September 2004). However, based on the figures from a study on the legal marine turtle fishery undertaken in Martinique in the 1980s, combined with the fact that Guadeloupe covers a larger area with more good habitat for marine turtles than Martinique and reports from various expert missions, Chevalier ( in litt ., 3 September 2004) indicates that it is certain that more than 1000 and probably 2000 turtlesŽ were taken annually prior to 1991. Recent (since 1992) exploitation Exploitation levels are thought to have greatly diminished since marine turtles were afforded complete protection in Guadeloupe in 1991 (Chevalier, 2003; DIREN, 2002). Poaching (of eggs, nesting females and juveniles and adults at sea„ Chevalier, 2003) remains a major problem (DIREN,2002; Chevalier, 2003; Chevalier et al .,2003) but is thought to be at low levels (most likely no more than a few hundred) as compared with the number of 160TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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animals taken previously in the legal fishery or incidentally in current fishing operations (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 3 September 2003). At least some marine turtle consumption is of animals taken incidentally in fishing operations (Chevalier, 2003). Available data on illegal exploitation derive principally from witness accounts (often reported to the authorities), as well as from some seizures, confiscations and arrests carried out by the police; these indicate that these activities are conducted by local people and aimed at local consumption, of meat and eggs, primarily of Green and Hawksbill Turtles (DIREN, 2002). Local illegal trade appears very limited in meat and virtually non-existent in eggs, turtle shells and Hawksbill shell (DIREN,2002) and, in stark contrast to the situation prior to 1991, there is no overt marketing of marine turtle products (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 27 August 2004). Although there are no estimates, poaching appears very much reduced in les Saintes islands but is the principal threat at la Dsirade, in the north of Basse-Terre, and Marie-Galante (Chevalier, 2003). At Marie-Galante, there appear to be individuals specifically engaged in taking nesting turtles who regularly patrol certain beaches during the nesting season for this purpose (Chevalier, 2003). Although nesting surveys have had some success in deterring poaching on beaches, more effective law enforcement is made difficult by the fact that poachers operate principally at sea and at night and by the fact that the price on the black market for marine turtle meat is 15…30 Euros (EUR15…30)/kg and, thus, creates an incentive to engage in this activity (Chevalier, 2003). Incidental capture of marine turtles in fisheries operations is considered a major threat in Guadeloupe and may be the most important factor limiting the recovery of marine turtles in the French Antilles (Chevalier, 2003). As such, it has been the focus of specific study in recent years. More than half of marine turtle mortalities or injuries recorded in Guadeloupe in the years 1999…2002 were attributable to fisheries interactions (Lartiges, unpubl. data inChevalier, 2003) and findings from a recent study (Delcroix, 2003) suggest that this is the single greatest cause of marine turtle mortality, greater than all others combined, probably involving more than 1000 turtles per year (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 27 August 2004). International trade Historical perspective The extent of international trade in marine turtles involving Guadeloupe in recent decades is not well quantified, owing to a number of complicating factors, such as: the fact that Guadeloupe itself comprises numerous islands that include Saint Barthlmy and Saint Martin; that trade amongst these islands and between these and other parts of the French Antilles and France (French Guiana to the west and metropolitan France to the east) is internal trade; and that reports by importing countries, in particular Japan (see table overleaf) have specified only the French Antilles (which include Martinique) as the origin of the products imported. Carr et al (1982) wrote, Atourist market thrives, especially in the larger towns of Point--Pitre and Basse-Terre, for shells, stuffed turtles and jewellery.ŽMeylan (1983) reported on the heavy trade in tortoiseshell souvenirs in Guadeloupe, including on the fact that some of the tortoiseshell worked there was imported from other islands in the Lesser Antilles (i.e. probably in international trade) and that some of the tortoiseshell was exported to France (internal trade). Some of the tourist trade was undoubtedly international trade, but this trade is impossible to quantify and discernible only through records of seizures. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela161

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CITES trade statistics for the period 1976…1992 derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database record only these imports of marine turtle products from Guadeloupe, all to the USA: four Hawksbill carvings recorded as personal specimens and apparently allowed entry in 1980; one Green Turtle body recorded to be for personal purposes and apparently allowed entry in 1981; and one Cheloniidae carapace, seized on entry, in 1983. According to Ottenwalder (1987), official statistics from the Dominican Republic show the export to Guadeloupe of 1519 kg of turtles during the period 1979…1983. Japanese Customs statistics for Hawksbill shell imports do not record specific imports from Guadeloupe but, rather, sporadic imports from the French Antilles. During the period 1950…1992, a total of 2107 kg were imported into Japan. These imports took place between 1964 and 1982, beginning with 183 kg recorded in 1964, then continuing with 145 kg recorded imported in 1969 (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989). The table below records annual imports from 1970. Recent (since 1992) international trade There is very little evidence of international trade in marine turtles involving Guadeloupe since 1992 and of illegal trade since complete protection of these species in 1991. Although there might be some inter-island exchange of marine turtles or products, there is no credible evidence for it, suggesting that, if it exists at all, it must be at very low levels (DIREN, 2002). CITES trade statistics do not record any international trade in marine turtle products involving Guadeloupe for the period 1993…2004, inclusive, other than 83 Hawksbill and 13 Green Turtle specimens reported by the USAas having been imported for scientific purposes, in 2003. Enforcement issues While there has been little evidence of a continued market for marine turtles and turtle products in Guadeloupe since these species were fully protected in 1991, poaching of adults and sub-adults at sea and nesting females is considered to be a major threat to marine turtles in the archipelago (DIREN, 2002; Chevalier, 2003).However, current levels of poaching are clearly much lower than domestic levels of exploitation prior to 1991 (DIREN, 2002). Numbers of turtles at sea and on nesting beaches are thought to be increasing, although there is a need for more, more systematic, and longer-term data collection to substantiate this (Chevalier, 2003). 162TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela Japanese imports (kg) of Hawksbill Turtle shell,1970…1992,from the French Antilles,as recorded in Japanese Customs statistics Year197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981 2660000122152198276123196231 Year19821983198419851986198719881989199019911992Total 2150000000000 1779 Sources : Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; H. Kiyono, TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan Office, in litt to TRAFFIC International, 29 July 2002.

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Chevalier (2003) indicates that beach monitoring efforts have had a positive effect in deterring poaching, particularly at night. Nest monitoring at Trois Ilets beach in 2000 recorded two Hawksbill Turtles poached from a total of 17 Hawksbill Turtles recorded, while in 2002, not a single poaching incident was recorded from 80 turtles identified on the beach. Further, the active engagement of the police in Marie-Galante (which has led to two arrests since 2000) has also helped to contain poaching. Finally, where protected areas have dedicated guards, such as in Petite Terre and in the Grand Cul de Sac Marin, this has helped to limit poaching (Chevalier, 2003). There are not known to be stockpiles of marine turtle products in Guadeloupe (DIREN, 2002). This would appear to include the many marine turtle products that were available at the time of the 1991 prohibition and those from more recent confiscations. Although turtle shells are commonly found as decoration in homes, these are believed to date, for the most part, from the period when exploitation was legal. Most turtle shells obtained before 1991 appear to have been kept by their owners (Pavis, 2002). Because the 1991 Arrt does not specifically prohibit the possession of marine turtle products, these are probably considered legal; however, the extent to which the apparently legal retention of these products serves as a loophole for continued, illegal marketing of marine turtles may merit investigation.Marine turtle management There has been no stock assessment in the usual sense for any species of marine turtle in Guadeloupe, and management and monitoring of the legal fishery are recognized as having been insufficient in ensuring that it did not result in a reduction of marine turtle numbers, However, following implementation of complete legal protection for marine turtles in Guadeloupe in 1991, various public awareness and outreach efforts were undertaken, including posters informing of the protection measures displayed in fishing ports, newspaper articles, radio interviews and, later, the participation of the French Antilles in the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST). Active conservation efforts for marine turtles began in 1998, with the programme launched by AEVAand DIREN. The main objective of the initial phase of this programme was the collection of information and observations (e.g. on natural predation of nests, stranded turtles, turtles at sea, nesting turtles); other activities included facilitating and documenting management (e.g. enforcement) actions (Lorvelec et al .,1999) and public awareness activities (Chevalier, 2003). Asecond phase included specific scientific studies, such as nesting beach surveys and an investigation of incidental take in fishing operations. The marine turtle conservation programme has greatly increased the knowledge base on these animals and certain of the threats that they face and enabled the articulation of a broader suite of research and management actions in a marine turtle recovery plan for the French Antilles that is currently in draft form (Chevalier, 2003) and expected to be launched in 2005. This plan recognizes as a priority measures that most benefit the large juveniles and adult turtles that are the most important age classes for population recovery. If fully implemented, this recovery plan should yield important benefits not only for the marine turtles of Guadeloupe and the rest of the French Antilles, but also for the entire region. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela163

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Management of exploitation Since marine turtles were afforded complete protection in 1991, exploitation of marine turtles in Guadeloupe has taken the form of incidental take in fishing operations and poaching of adults and sub-adults at sea, nesting females and turtle nests. According to Pavis (2002), poaching activities appear to be specific to certain zones of the archipelago, suggesting that, with appropriate investments of enforcement and other forms of management, they might be brought under effective control. While quantifying poaching levels is inherently difficult, if not impossible, efforts to quantify and characterize incidental mortality of marine turtles in fishing operations (e.g. by Delcroix, 2003) have led to results that suggest that these losses are greater than all others combined. The draft marine turtle recovery plan (Chevalier, 2003) presents a range of measures to address incidental mortality and poaching, including: developing and promoting fishing gear that is less apt to catch turtles; restricting fishing at certain times or in certain areas, such as through marine reserves: more sustained and vigorous outreach efforts with fishers; and regular meetings with the different agencies involved in law enforcement, so as to exchange information and, where possible, develop collaborative efforts. It is clear that managing exploitation associated with incidental capture is a priority and will be essential to the recovery of marine turtle stocks in the archipelago. Species research and conservation The marine turtle conservation programme initiated in Guadeloupe in 1998 has enjoyed a range of achievements over a relatively short period of time, including the: €establishment of a network of observers ( Rseau Tortues Marines ); €training of project participants in marine turtle biology and conservation and the legal framework for marine turtle conservation; €preliminary assessment„ qualitative and quantitative„of marine turtle populations; €documentation and review of threats to marine turtles; €tagging and taking of tissue samples for genetic analyses; and €development of a recovery plan. Although none of the nesting beaches in Guadeloupe have been monitored thoroughly during a full nesting season and many beaches (e.g. the north of Grande-Terre) have not been surveyed for nesting activities (Chevalier et al ., 2001), at least three Index beaches are now monitored on a sustained basis: at Trois Ilets on Marie-Galante, regular monitoring has been under way for over three years (DIREN, 2002), while less exhaustive monitoring is undertaken at Ilet Fajou and Petite Terre (Pavis, 2002). Numerous nesting females have been tagged in the course of these monitoring activities (Chevalier, 2003). Protocols for monitoring over the long term, in order to evaluate population dynamics of nesting turtles, are being developed. Threats are evaluated through contacts with local people (fishers, boaters, coastal inhabitants, etc.), but no protocol has been put into place to evaluate them quantitatively. One of the conservation actions implemented by the marine turtle conservation programme organized by the staff of the Grand Cul de Sac Marin Nature Reserve has been the eradication of mongooses on Ilet Fajou, where these animals dug up and destroyed a large portion of the turtle nests laid there (Chevalier, 2003). 164TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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The Guadeloupe Aquarium has successfully rehabilitated several Green and Hawksbill Turtles, Loggerheads and Olive Ridleys that have been found ill or injured, all of which have been released after complete recovery (Chevalier et al. 2001). Habitat conservation There are a number of protected areas of different types in Guadeloupe, including at least one Ramsar site and a biosphere reserve, and several of these protect marine turtle nesting beaches and foraging areas. In addition, there is strict regulation of activities on much of the coastline, which is managed and protected by the French fisheries office, and this also provides for protection of numerous nesting beaches (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 27 August 2004). Four designated nature reserves„Petite Terre, Grand Cul de Sac Marin, Saint Martin and Saint Barthlmy (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 27 August 2004)„include marine turtle nesting beaches and, along with a fifth in progress, incorporate an important extent of marine habitat (Chevalier, 2003). Chevalier (2003) emphasizes the importance of marine reserves (either no-take zones or areas where fishing is heavily restricted) and time…area closures, in particular for mitigating the incidental take of marine turtles. One such no-take zone has been established around Ilet Pigeon in Cte-sous-le-Vent and another is being planned for les Saintes; in addition, there are other areas where certain types of fishing, such as the use of bottom nets that account for a high level of incidental catch, are prohibited during different months of the year (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 27 August 2004). Education and public awareness Arange of public awareness and outreach activities for marine turtle conservation have been undertaken in the past decade by government and non-governmental agencies, through the marine turtle conservation programme but also by others such as the Guadeloupe Aquarium (Lorvelec et al .,1999; Chevalier et al .,2001; Chevalier, 2003). Although eradicating illegal exploitation of marine turtles and eggs will necessitate a change in mentality amongst those long accustomed to using them and dedicated resources and time to affect that change (DIREN, 2002), a heightened awareness amongst the general public, which appears to be discovering turtles through these education and outreach efforts, suggests an increasing appreciation and respect for their protected status (Chevalier, 2003). Constraints to marine turtle conservation and management Much of what is needed for marine turtle management in Guadeloupe appears to be in place, including a legal framework that affords complete protection from exploitation as well as the protection of important sites through nature reserves and other forms of protected areas. Taking the present marine turtle programme forward, in particular in the context of the marine turtle recovery plan for the French Antilles, will necessitate significant investments of financial and human resources, with an effective and sustained co-ordinating capacity, access to scientific expertise and training opportunities and effective communication with scientists and other actors outside of the French Antilles, with whom there are currently few exchanges on environmental issues (Pavis, 2002; Chevalier, 2003). According to Pavis (2002), essential capacities that the programme requires over the long term are: TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela165

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€scientific competence; €monitoring capacity, in particular for Index beaches, which is difficult to sustain over the long term through nature reserve staff with increasingly heavy work loads; €policy capacity, in particular to engage government agencies (municipalities, Conseil rgional, Conseil Gnral etc.) on relevant issues, such as coastal development projects, improving legislation regulating fishing gear, and pursuing criminal cases. It is currently envisaged that Kap Natirel, the NGO that has taken over co-ordination of the Guadeloupe marine turtle conservation programme from AEVA, will be the lead agency in co-ordinating implementation of the recovery plan (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 18 August 2004). As NGOs, by their nature, rely on external funding, it is hoped that sufficient funding will be made available from government sources not only for implementation of the activities presented in the recovery plan but also for this essential co-ordinating role. The draft recovery plan for marine turtles of the French Antilles recognizes that virtually all of the marine turtles of Guadeloupe and Martinique are likely to spend either the major part of their life or the crucial reproductive period of their life outside French territory, where they may be subject to quite different threats, and notes that, although the French Antilles may be considered as the region of highest mortalities during the 1970s and 80s, it is quite possible that the major factors limiting the recovery of these animals in the French Antilles are now localized elsewhere, such as in those countries where exploitation of these species is still permitted (Chevalier, 2003).Summary and recommendationsComplete legal protection afforded marine turtles in Guadeloupe in 1991 ended an era of intensive, minimally regulated, rudimentarily managed and largely uncontrolled exploitation of marine turtles that is universally recognized to have caused a precipitous decline in marine turtle populations. Although continued losses from illegal exploitation and incidental mortality in fishing operations are currently considered the major threats to marine turtles, losses are believed to be lower than those of animals taken prior to 1991, and there are indications that marine turtle numbers have increased. The marine turtle conservation programme that has been under way in Guadeloupe for several years has clearly made significant strides in filling in important information gaps and elucidating threats to be addressed. The draft recovery plan for marine turtles of the French Antilles (Chevalier, 2003) offers a comprehensive set of measures to be implemented over five years in order to: fill remaining information gaps, address the most important threats to marine turtles and assess the conservation status of different sub-populations and the impact of management measures on this status. In recognition of the fact that a lack of quantitative data on marine turtle populations in Guadeloupe prior to the late 1990s precludes a scientifically based assessment of population trends, the recovery plan includes as important components the adoption of protocols for sustained and systematic monitoring on designated Index beaches so as to establish trends and monitor them over time. If implemented fully, this recovery plan should yield enormous benefits for the marine turtles in the French Antilles and beyond. The geographic complexity of Guadeloupe and the fact that turtles are found over a large area of both scattered islands and sea, and institutional constraints, in particular an apparently heavy reliance on NGOs, suggest a need for a much greater investment of human, financial and political resources to ensure effective and expeditious implementation of the recovery plan. 166TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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ReferencesAnon. (2005). CITES Document SC53 Doc. 31 Working document of the 53rdmeeting of the CITES Standing Committee. Accessible at www.cites.org. Viewed 12 December 2005. Benito-Espinal, E. (1987). National Report for Guadeloupe. Submitted 12 October 1987 to the Second Western Turtle Symposium, Mayaqez, Puerto Rico. WATS2 070. 22pp. Unpublished. Carr, A., A. Meylan, J. Mortimer, K. Bjorndal and T. Carr. (1982). Surveys of sea turtle populations and habitats in the Western Atlantic NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFS-SEFC-91. US Department of Commerce. Chevalier, J. (2003). Plan de restauration des tortues marines des Antilles Franaises. Document de Travail. Septembre 2003. Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS), Direction Rgionale de lEnvironnement (DIREN). www.martinique.ecologie.gouv.fr/rapports.html Chevalier, J., E. Boitard, S. Bonbon, J. Boyer, J.M. Cuvillier, P. Deproft, M. Dulorme, F. Giougou, D. Guyader, A. Lartiges, G. Leblond, A. Levesque, O. Lorvelec, C. Pavis-Buissire, C. Rinaldi, R. Rinaldi, M. Roulet and B. Thuaire. (2001). Update on the status of marine turtles in the Guadeloupean Archipelago. Poster presented at the 21stAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, Philadelphia, USA, February 2001. Chevalier, J., D. Guyader, E. Boitard, F. Crantor, E. Delcroix, M. Deries, T. Deville, X. Deville, S. Guilloux, L. Nelson, C. Pavis, M. Roulet, J. Seman and B. Thuaire. (2003). Discovery of an important Hawksbill Turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) nesting site in the Lesser Antilles: Trois Ilets beach in Marie-Galante (Guadeloupean Archipelago/French West Indies). Pp. 279. In: Seminoff, J.A. (Compiler). Proceedings of the 22ndAnnual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation NOAATechnical Memorandum NMFSSEFSC-503. US Department of Commerce. Claro, F. and C. Lazier. (1983). Les tortues marines aux Antilles Franaises. Rapport interne Guilde du Raid. 38pp. Claro, F. and C. Lazier. (1986).Les tortues marines aux Antilles Franaises I. Rpartition Geographique. Bulletin de la Socit Herptologique de France 38:13…19. Delcroix, E. (2003). Etude des captures accidentelles de tortues marines par la pche maritime dans les eaux de larchipel guadeloupen. Matrise des Sciences et Techniques Amnagement et Environnement Metz. Rapport AEVA. 85pp. Unpublished. DIREN (Direction Rgionale de lEnvironnement). (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire Etude CITES sur lexploitation, le commerce et la gestion des tortues marines aux Petites Antilles, en Amrique Centrale, en Colombie et au Venezula. Completed by M. Luc Legendre, Charg de mission biodiversit, DIREN, Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe. Dated 20 August 2002. Frtey, J. (1984). National Report for Guadeloupe. Submitted 1 July 1983. Pp. 197…200. In: P. Bacon et al. (Eds). Proceedings of the Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 17…22 July 1983, San Jos, Costa Rica III, Appendix 7. University of Miami Press, Florida. Frtey, J. (1988). Protection des tortues marines de Guadeloupe. Constat de la situation des espces dans cette region et propositions faites Rapport Commission des Communauts Europennes. 36pp. Frtey, J. and J. Lescure. (1981). Prsence et protection des tortues marines en France mtropolitaine et dOutremer. Bulletin de la Socit Herptologique de France 19:7…14. Groombridge, B. and R. Luxmoore. (1989). The Green Turtle and Hawksbill (Reptilia: Cheloniidae): World Status, Exploitation and Trade. Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Lausanne, Switzerland. 601pp. IFRECOR. (2005). La Guadeloupe: Rsum. Website of the Ministre de lcologie et du dveloppement durable. www.ecologie.gouv.fr/article.php3?id_article=791. Viewed December 2005. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela167

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Kermarrec, A. (1976). Le statut des tortues dans les Antilles franaises, une rvision urgente. Nouvelles Agronomiquesdes Antilles de la Guyane 2(2):99…108. Lorvelec, O., G. Leblond and C. Pavis. (1999). Stratgie de Conservation des Tortues Marines de lArchipel Guadeloupen. Phase 1: 1999. Rapport dfinitif: dcembre 1999. Rapport AEVAN 23. DIREN/UICN/AEVA. 15 pp. Unpublished. Meylan, A.B. (1983). Marine turtles of the Leeward Islands, Lesser Antilles. Atoll Research Bulletin 278:1…24 + figs. Milliken T. and H. Tokunaga. (1987). The Japanese Sea Turtle Trade 1970…1986. Aspecial report prepared by TRAFFIC (Japan). Center for Environmental Education, Washington, DC. 171 pp. Ottenwalder, J.A. (1987). National Report for the Dominican Republic. Presented to Second Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium, 12…16 October 1987, Mayagez, Puerto Rico. Paper WATS2 072. 53 pp. Unpublished. Pavis, C. Prsidente, Association AEVA, Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe. (2002). Response to TRAFFIC International Questionnaire Etude CITES sur lexploitation, le commerce et la gestion des tortues marines aux Petites Antilles, en Amrique Centrale, en Colombie et au Venezula. Dated 19 August 2002. du Tertre, R.P. (1667…1671). Histoire Gnrale des Antilles Habites par les Franais 2 volumes. Editions Horizons, Paris. 168TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Martinique IntroductionThe island of Martinique is an overseas department of France and the southernmost of the French Antilles. In addition to a land area of 1075 km and 350 km of coastline, Martiniques surrounding waters incorporate somewhat less than 200 km of coral reefs, including a barrier reef along the west coast of the island, a number of important seagrass beds and coastal mangroves. Approximately 80% of the coral reef ecosystems of the island have been degraded since 1980 (IFRECOR, 2005). Marine turtles in Martinique, as elsewhere in the French Antilles, were intensively exploited for centuries (du Tertre, 1667…1671, cited in Chevalier, 2003). Although there is very little quantitative data on marine turtle population numbers or the numbers exploited over this time, the available literature documents concern regarding a steady and increasingly alarming decline of marine turtles as a result of this exploitation. Kermarrec (1976, cited inChevalier, 2003) reported a veritable genocideŽ of marine turtles in the French Antilles, while Lescure (1987) reported marine turtles in Martinique to be gravely threatenedŽ and (1992, cited in Chevalier, 2003), by the unanimous account of the fishers that he interviewed, judged them to have declined dramatically over the previous 15…20 years and to have disappeared completely from certain beaches. All six Caribbean marine turtle species were completely protected in Martinique under French law in 1993, thus bringing to an end the legal fishery that at the time was estimated to be landing 1400 turtles per year (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002). It also ended a very lucrative trade in marine turtles and turtle products (Carr et al ., 1982; Chevalier, 2003). Although there are insufficient data with which to analyse quantitatively marine turtle population trends, based on the observations of divers, fishers and others, their status is considered to have improved in the past decade or so, with important (to very important)Ž increases in the foraging population and suspectedŽ increases in the nesting population (J. Chevalier,DIREN, in litt ., 16 August 2004). Notwithstanding, experts describe as probableŽ the likelihood that certain sub-populations [of Green and Hawksbill Turtles] are threatened with extinction over the short termŽ (Chevalier, 2003). Currently, the major threats facing marine turtles in Martinique are incidental mortality in fishing operations, illegal exploitation, and destruction and deterioration of habitat (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002). No data are available on the numbers of turtles lost to these threats, but the numbers are believed to be much lower than those taken legally during the period prior to 1993 (Chevalier, 2003). Amarine turtle conservation programme was initiated in Martinique in 1994 but ceased to operate in 1997 (Chevalier, 2003), and no programme then existed until 2002, when a local NGO, the Socit pour lEtude, la Protection et lAmmagement de La Nature la Martinique (SEPANMAR„Society for the Study, Protection and Managment of Nature in Martinique), launched its marine turtle conservation efforts (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 16 August 2004).Amarine turtle recovery plan for the French Antilles ( Plan de restauration des tortues marines des Antilles Franaises ) is currently in draft form (Chevalier, 2003) and expected to begin implementation in 2005. One component of this plan that is especially important for Martinique„for which so few reliable data exist„is the development of scientific protocols for population monitoring, designation of Index beaches and implementation of systematic population monitoring so as to establish and monitor population trends and confirm the effectiveness of existing and proposed management measures. TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela169

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Summary of the status of marine turtles in MartiniqueFour marine turtle species occur in Martinique (see table below). The Green and Hawksbill Turtles are the most common and forage along the entire coast, with certain sites, such as les Anses dArlet and the north-west, appearing to harbour particularly high densities. The Leatherback and Loggerhead are also believed to forage in the waters of Martinique but are observed only by fishers and boaters; important foraging sites for these species are unknown (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002). Carr et al. (1982) described the Loggerhead, typically sighted as a subadult or adult and farther offshoreŽ than the other species, as fairly commonŽ. Bacon (1981) indicated foraging by juvenile Olive Ridleys and Chevalier (2003) cites Meylans observation, reported in Carr et al. (1982), of a juvenile Olive Ridley captured at Case-Pilote in Martinique; however, he concludes from his review of the literature that the species is rare in all of the French Antilles. Only two marine turtle species, the Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtle, currently nest on the beaches of Martinique. Green Turtles may have nested there as recently as 1986 (Dropsy, 1986) but nest no longer (DIREN/ONCFS,2002). The Hawksbill Turtle is more common and is considered to nest on virtually all the beaches of Martinique, but in relatively low numbers; the principal nesting sites are Plage des Salines in Sainte Anne, the north-west beaches, such as Anse Lvrier and Anse Voile, and Plage du Diamant,and some nesting has also been observed regularly in Schoelcher (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 16 August 2004). The Leatherback nests regularly in Martinique, primarily along the Atlantic coast, but in very small numbers„a few tens per year (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002). Dropsy (1986) estimated that 56…76 and 245…375 nests were laid annually in Martinique by Green and Hawksbill Turtles, respectively, in the years 1985 and 1986. Owing to the nature of his surveys, these estimates are considered to provide a general idea of numbers rather than a precise figure. More recent surveys undertaken by the NGO Aliz Martinique during the period 1994…1997 provided an estimate ofca. 600 Hawksbill nests per year. These results notwithstanding, there has as yet been insufficient monitoring in Martinique to enable a credible estimate of the number of Hawksbill Turtles nesting annually on the islands beaches (Chevalier, 2003). Chevalier (2003) cites an early report by Carr et al. (1982) of the recovery in Martinique of a Green Turtle that had been tagged at Tortuguero, Costa Rica and of three tags from Green Turtles that had nested at Aves Island 170TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela English common name Scientific nameOccurrence Loggerhead Caretta caretta F Green Turtle Chelonia mydas F Leatherback Dermochelys coriacea N, F? Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata N, F Kemp's Ridley Lepidochelys kempii A Olive Ridley Lepidochelys olivacea I Occurrence of marine turtles inMartinique Key :N=nesting; F= foraging; I=infrequent; A=absent

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(Isla de Aves, Venezuela). Based on this and the results of more recent studies, he indicates that it seems probableŽ that the Hawksbill and Green Turtles that forage and nest in the French Antilles form part of populations that extend across the Caribbean, including Antigua, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Tortuguero (Costa Rica), Aves Island, and Nicaragua. O verview of the legal framework for marine turtle managementMembership in international and regional treaties As Martinique is a French overseas department, all French national environmental laws and international treaties to which France is a party apply to the island. Martinique also forms part of the European Union (EU). As such, most of the agreements, directives and regulations of the EU apply. Although the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) entered into force in France on 9 August 1978, France had entered reservations with respect to Green and Hawksbill Turtles. These remained in effect until implementation in 1 January 1984 of the European Economic Community (EEC) regulations requiring uniform application of CITES, which nullified such reservations. France formally withdrew its reservations on 10 December 1984 (Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989). TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela171 Convention Martinique Cartagena Convention 13.11.1985 (R) Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW)05.04.2002 (R) Protocol Concerning Co-operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region13.11.1985 (R) Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-based Sources and Activities06.10.1999 (S) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)01.07.1994 (R) Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)09.08.1978 (E)~Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)01.07.1990 (E) Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC)No MARPOL73/78 (Annex I/II) 02.10.1983 (Ap)*MARPOL73/78 (Annex III)02.10.1983 (Ap)*MARPOL73/78 (Annex IV)02.10.1983 (Ap)*MARPOL73/78 (Annex V)02.10.1983 (Ap)*Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)01.12.1986 (E) UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)11.04.1996 (Ds) Western Hemisphere ConventionNo World Heritage Convention 27.06.1995 (Ac) Membership of Martinique in multilateral agreements relating to marine turtles Key : Date of: Signature (S); Ratification (R); Declaration of succession (Ds); Entry into force (E); Approval (Ap); Acceptance (Ac) Notes :~Reservations entered with respect to Chelonia mydas and Eretmochelys imbricata ; withdrawn in 1984.*with a reservation, declaration or statement.

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Because of Martiniques status as an overseas department of France, shipments of CITES species between the island and other parts of the French Antilles, French Guiana and metropolitan France or other parts of the EU are not defined as international and are not covered by CITES. Laws and regulations relating to marine turtles Turtle eggs have been protected in Martinique since as early as 1927, but it was not until the adoption ofthe Arrt Prfectoral Martinique No. 496/PMc portant rglementation de lexercice de la pche cotire dans les eaux du dpartement de la Martinique et de la protection des tortues marines (prefectoral decree of Martinique regulating coastal fishing in the waters of Martinique and protection of marine turtles) of 19 March 1983 (Chevalier, 2003) that additional restrictions were established, namely a prohibition on taking, selling, purchasing, consuming, or using for whatever purpose: €any turtle egg; €Leatherbacks ; €Green Turtles ; €any other marine turtle of any size during a closed season extending from 15 April to 15 October; or €any marine turtle smaller than 60 cm in length during the open season. Chevalier (2003) reports that this law and a subsequent law of 17 August 1983 were not widely implemented. Complete protection of marine turtles in Martinique was conferred through the Arrt fixant la liste des tortues marines protges dans le dpartement de la Martinique (decree listing protected marine turtles in the department of Martinique) of 16 March 1993.This law prohibits at all times the destruction or taking of eggs or nests; and mutilation, destruction, capture or take, taxidermy, transport, transformation, use, offer for sale, sale, or purchase of either live or dead turtles or specimens thereof, of all six Caribbean marine turtle species. As provided for in article L.415-3 of the Code de l'environnement (Environmental Code) (Chevalier, 2003), violations of this law are punishable by a fine of 9000 Euros (EUR9000), a six-month prison term and confiscation of all equipment, including vehicles, used in committing the infraction (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002). The Arrt fixant la liste des tortues marines protges sur le territoire national (decree listing protected marine turtles in national territory) of 9 November 2000 applies throughout French territory, with the exception of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana. In addition to affording complete protection for the six of the worlds seven marine turtle species that occur in French territory (i.e. excluding the Flatback, which is endemic to Australia), this law sets forth the terms and procedures under which certain marine turtle specimens may be held in private possession, used in manufacturing, transported, sold or purchased. These specimens are defined as: Hawksbill Turtles imported into French national territory prior to 1 January 1984 and Green Turtles imported or collected from the wild within national territory prior to 1 January 1984 that are part of declared stocks. (For Hawksbill specimens, these are those registered with the Ministre de lEnvironnement (Ministry of the Environment)before 1 October 1993; for Green Turtle specimens, those registered with the departmental prefecture by 31 December 2001). In addition, this law sets forth the terms and procedures for registering these stocks and for marking specimens that derive from these stocks. As this law does not apply to Martinique, the provisions of the 1993 law remain in force. 172TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Several additional pieces of national legislation provide for aspects of conservation and management of marine turtles in Martinique. For example, the Loi sur la protection de la nature of 1976 provides for the protection of flora and fauna, regulation of hunting and fishing in freshwater and the protection of natural spaces (national parks and nature reserves). The Loi littoral of 1986 provides for the protection and management of coastal ecosystems. Martiniques CITES-implementing legislation was assessed by the CITES National Legislation Project as believed generally to meet the requirements for implementation of CITESŽ (Anon., 2005b). Responsible authorities Anumber of government agencies are responsible for implementation and enforcement of legislation relevant to marine turtles, namely the police, Customs and the national wildlife agency, the Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage (ONCFS)of the Direction Rgionale de l'Environnement (DIREN). Guards in nature reserves and staff at the Office National des Forts also have enforcement authority in certain areas. In so far as CITES is concerned, responsible authorities have been decentralized from the Ministre de lEnvironnement in Paris to DIREN in Guadeloupe (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 16 August 2004). Exploitation and trade of marine turtlesExploitation and use at the national level Historical perspective Marine turtles have long played an important role in the culture of the French Antilles, gastronomically as well as for traditional medicinal and analogous uses (Chevalier, 2003). Carr et al (1982) reported on the use of Green and Hawksbill Turtles in Martinique, which included local consumption of both meat and eggs and the sale of shells, jewellery and stuffed turtles. Citing fisheries statistics showing annual catches of 20…40 t (all species, whole turtle weights) for the period 1959…1976, they considered levels of exploitation of marine turtles in Martinique to be higher than anywhere else in the Lesser Antilles. FAO fisheries statistics,as reported by Groombridge and Luxmoore (1989), showed catchesof marine turtles, not elsewhere specifiedŽ in Martinique at similar levels to those reported by Carr et al (1982); these totalled 397 t for the period 1974…1984. Dropsy (1986) provided the first quantitative data on marine turtle nesting and exploitation in Martinique, including estimates of the mean annual catch of turtles in the years 1985 and 1986 of 437…529 Hawksbill Turtles and 595…685 Green Turtles, or an annual total of 1032…1214 turtles. He noted that turtles were taken while nesting (and eggs collected TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela173 Nesting Hawksbill Turtle Credit : Scott A. Eckert/WIDECAST

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opportunistically) and at sea, with large mesh tangle nets or by hand, and that perhaps 10 of the 1000 fishers in Martinique at the time of his writing specialized in catching turtles. Lescure (1992, cited in Chevalier, 2003) estimated at least 1500 turtles to be taken each year. ONCFS (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002) estimates that 1400 turtles„as many Green as Hawksbill Turtles„were taken annually in the years just prior to the 1993 prohibition. Carr et al. (1982) considered the tourist trade in shell, stuffed turtles and jewellery in Martinique to be monumentalŽ and observed boxes-full of juvenile Hawksbill Turtles for sale in souvenir markets in Fort de France. As was the case in Guadeloupe, some Hawksbill shell was worked locally by inmates in the Fort de France prison. In addition to tourist souvenirs, live turtles and turtle meat were sold, including in local restaurants. Both Dropsy (1986) and Le Serrec (1987, cited in Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989) reported that the prohibition on sale of turtles and turtle products during the six-month closed season was openly ignored. Recent (since 1992) exploitation As indicated above, the legal fishery for marine turtles operated in Martinique until March 1993 and, although few data are available, it was estimated by informed observers to involve the take ofca. 1400…1500 turtles per year. Exploitation since then has involved incidental mortality in fishing operations and poaching, primarily for meat and eggs, for local consumption. There appears to be little illegal trade in meat and virtually no illegal trade in shells or tortoiseshell. The only data available on this exploitation are first-hand accounts and reports from observers; virtually no formal data exist and there have been few, if any, seizures (DIREN/ONCFS,2002). It is known that a portion of the marine turtles consumed illegally have been caught incidentally in fishing operations. Although many fishers claim to release the marine turtles that are alive when captured, they often also report retaining those that have drowned in their nets, which they use for their personal consumption or sell to others (Chevalier, 2003). The tradition of turtle consumption persists in some rural areas and amongst certain fishers or older inhabitants, but appears to have sharply receded in the cities and amongst younger generations. An increase in the price for turtle meat, believed to be EUR15…30/kg, has, however, made that trade more profitable and increased the incentive to engage in it (Chevalier, 2003). International trade Historical perspective There are few formal datasets on international trade in marine turtles involving Martinique and these are limited by a number of factors. Most noteworthy is the fact that trade from Martinique to other parts of the French Antilles, French Guiana and metropolitan France is domestic. While this enabled easy movement of both commercial and personal quantities of turtle products into other parts of France, it undoubtedly provided a conduit for their movement outside France to other parts of Europe, for instance. Further, based on reports of the volume of tourist souvenirs fashioned from turtles and turtle products on sale in Martinique, it seems probable that much international trade involved these souvenirs and was undetected. CITES trade statistics derived from the UNEP-WCMC CITES Trade Database for the period 1975…1992 record two separate seizures of single carapaces imported into the USAfrom Martinique and the export in 1985 from Martinique to Saint Lucia of 14 carvings made from Hawksbill shell. Japanese Customs statistics on imports of 174TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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Hawksbill shell provide more insight into possible levels of international trade in marine turtles from Martinique, although these are reported as imports from the French Antilles and their origin is not specified further. These statistics document sporadic imports into Japan of a total of 2107 kg of Hawksbill shell during the period 1950…1992 (see table below). There is additional evidence of international trade in marine turtles involving Martinique, namely: €Frteys (1984) report of statistics that he obtained from the Prfecture showing the import in 1979 of 89 kg of raw marine turtle shell and 1214 kg of polished turtle shell; and €Ottenwalders (1987) report of records in the Dominican Republic indicating the export to Martinique of 6332 kg of marine turtle between 1980 and 1983. Also, Carr et al (1982) reported that a shell dealer from Martinique was active in purchasing tortoiseshell for export from many other Eastern Caribbean islands. This trade is not, however, documented in CITES statistics. Recent (since 1992) international trade There is very little evidence of international trade in marine turtles involving Martinique since 1992. CITES trade statistics for the period 1993…2004, inclusive, record only 1994 imports into the USAof three carapaces, of two Olive Ridleysand one Green Turtle, which, although recorded as wild-collected, were apparently not seized on entry. According to DIREN/ONCFS (2002), illegal exploitation is directed primarily for local consumption not international trade. If there is any illegal trade, it is at a very small scale, involving a few fishers and neighbouring islands. There are no specific credible data to confirm this. This is also the case with respect to any illegal imports: there are no data, but if such trade exists, it is believed to be at a very low level and not a problem for marine turtle conservation in Martinique. Enforcement issues Illegal exploitation of marine turtles continues in Martinique and is considered an important factor to be addressed in restoring marine turtle populations (Chevalier, 2003). This exploitation is linked to local TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela175 Japanese imports (kg) of Hawksbill Turtle shell,1970…1992,from the French Antilles,as recorded in Japanese Customs statistics Year197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981 2660000122152198276123196231 Year19821983198419851986198719881989199019911992Total 2150000000000 1779 Sources : Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987; H. Kiyono, TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan Office, in litt to TRAFFIC International, 29 July 2002.

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consumption by Martiniquais of meat and turtle eggs, and illegal trade appears to be limited in meat and very limited, even non-existent, in turtle shells and Hawksbill shell products (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002). Although important, illegal exploitation is not considered serious relative to exploitation levels prior to the 1993 prohibition (DIREN/ONCFS, 2002). Nevertheless, in the absence of quantitative information, it cannot be known whether illegal activity is so high as to compromise marine turtle population recovery. Nature reserve status and the presence of reserve guards have helped to limit poaching at some nesting sites, such as Presqule de la Caravelle (Chevalier, 2003). Reducing poaching, including through increased enforcement effort, is one of the components of the draft marine turtle recovery plan for the French Antilles (Chevalier, 2003). According to DIREN/ONCFS (2002), there are not known to be stockpiles of marine turtle products in Martinique. This would appear to include the many marine turtle products that were available at the time of the 1993 prohibition and from more recent confiscations. Although turtle shells and stuffed marine turtles are very commonly held by individuals (e.g. as decorative objects), these date for the most part from the time when exploitation was legal. Because the Arrt of 1993 does not specifically prohibit the possession of marine turtle products, these are probably considered legal; however, the extent to which the apparently legal retention of these products serves as a cover for continued, illegal marketing of marine turtles may merit investigation.Marine turtle management Management of exploitation Although it is believed that the legal protection conferred on marine turtles in Martinique in 1993 has afforded these animals a reprieve from the heavy levels of exploitation of the preceding centuries, the extent to which this is the case can only be determined by anecdotal evidence, such as observations of divers and fishers, as the number of animals taken illegally or killed incidentally in fishing operations is not known and cannot be estimated and no systematic, comprehensive population studies have yet been initiated. That there are so few data available on the extent of marine turtle losses to these pressures should be considered a shortcoming in management and point to the need to establish systems for recording data on enforcement-related incidents as well as incidental take and, as has been the case with incidental take in Guadeloupe, to undertake in-depth investigations to ascertain how serious a problem these pressures are. In the case of incidental take, mitigating measures can draw on some of the findings from work undertaken in Guadeloupe (Delcroix, 2003). Species research and conservation Amarine turtle conservation programme was initiated in 1994 under the auspices of the NGO Aliz Martinique but ceased to operate in 1997 (Chevalier, 2003). This programme focused on two areas of activity: public awareness (primarily through print and broadcast media) and the protection of turtle nests, such as through nightly monitoring of nesting beaches and artificial incubation of eggs. An expert mission was undertaken in 1998 with the aim of identifying and articulating the measures to be implemented through a marine turtle programme (Chevalier, 2003). It was not, however, until 2002 that marine turtle conservation efforts were reinitiated, through a programme launched by SEPANMAR that has initially focused on public awareness (Chevalier, 2003) and identifying the most important nesting beaches for each species. The next step will be the development and implementation of a scientific protocol for monitoring these as Index beaches so as to discern population trends over time (J. Chevalier, in litt ., 16 August 2004). 176TURNING THE TIDE:Exploitation,Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles,Central America,Colombia and Venezu ela

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While these efforts have facilitated conservation, few actions have been taken