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Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Jamaica Prepared by: United Nations Environment Programme Caribbean Environment Programme Regional Coordinating Unit CEP Technical Report 50
Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this document do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNEP concerning the legal status of any country, territory or city or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boun daries. The views expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Environment Programme. 201 1 UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme 14 20 Port Royal Street Kingston, Jamaica This document may be reproduced in whole or in part and in any form of educational or non proper services without s pecial permission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledge ment of the source is made. UNEP would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication that uses this document as a source. No use of this document may be made for resale or any other comm ercial purpose whatsoever without prior permission in writing from the United Nations Environment Programme. For bibliography purposes, this document may be cited as: Haynes Sutton, Ann, Rhema Kerr Bjorkland and Andrea Donaldson. 201 1 WIDECAST Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Jamaica (Ronald A. Bjorkland and Karen L. Eckert Editors). CEP Technical Report No. 50 UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, Kingston, Jamaica. x i ii + 1 24 pp.
Caribbean Environment Programme United Nations Environment Programme Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Jamaica Ann Haynes Sutto n, Ph.D. 1 Rhema Kerr Bjorkland Ph.D. 2 Andrea Donaldson 3 1 Marshall s Pen Mandeville, Jamaica 2 Duke University Marine Lab oratory North Carolina, USA 3 National Environment and Planning Agency, Kingston, Jamaica Ronald A. Bjork l and Ph.D. Karen L. Eckert Ph.D. Editors Prepared by: CEP Technical Report No. 50 ________________________________________________________________ __ 20 1 1
Page i PREFACE Of the six species of sea turtle that inhabit the Caribbean Sea, all are classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Specie s. In addition to centuries of regulated but largely unmonitored exp loitation, sea turtles are accidentally captured and often drowned in active and abandoned fishing gear, resulting in death to uncounted tens (perhaps hundreds) of thousands annually. Coral reef and seagrass degradation, oil spills, chemical waste, persis tent plastic and other marine debris, high density coastal development, and an increase in ocean based tourism have damaged or eliminated nesting beaches and feeding grounds. Population declines are complicated by the fact that causal factors are not al ways local. Sea turtles are migratory at all life stages, meaning that what appears as a decline in a local population may be a direct consequence of the activities of people many hundreds of kilometers away Thus, while local conser vation is crucial, a ction is also called for at the regional level. To adequately protect migratory sea turtles and achieve the objectives of the UNEP/CEP Regional Pro gramme for Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife, The Strategy for the Development of the Caribbean Enviro nment Programme (1990 1995) or vulnerable species of sea turtle. This is consistent with Article 10 of the Cartagena Convention (1983), Article 1 0 of the 1991 Protocol to the Cartagena Convention concerning Specially Protected Areas and measures to effect the survival of [endangered or threatened] sp ensure total protect b ean occurring sea turtles were included in Annex II in 1991. This CEP Technical Report is the 14 th in a series of Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plans prepared by the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST 1 ), a coalition of Caribbean sea tu rtle specialists, natural resource managers, and community based organi s ations. The objectives of the Re covery A ction P lan series are to assist Caribbean governments in the discharge of their obligations under the SPAW Protocol, to promote a regional cap ability to implement scientifically sound sea turtle manage ment and conservation programs, and to encourage a unified approach among range States. Each Recovery Action P lan summarises the known distribution of sea turtles, discusses major causes of mor tality, evaluates the effectiveness of existing conservation laws, and prioriti s es implementing mea sures for stock recovery. This document was developed and thoroughly peer reviewed by national stake holder led processes with WIDECAST serving as scienti fic advisor, and upon completion was submitted to the UNEP CEP Regional Coordinating Unit (Kingston, Jamaica) and the CEP Focal Point in Jamaica for approval and permission to publish. 1 WIDECAST i s a nonprofit organization f ounded in 1981 by Monitor International in response to a recommendation by the IUCN/CCA Meeting of Non Governmental Caribbean Organizations on Living Resources Conservation for Sustainable Development in the Wider Caribbean (San to Domingo, 26 Turtle Recovery Action Plan should be prepared ... consistent with the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment d territories, and has serv ed the CEP for more than a quarter to ated and comprehen Preamble Cartagena Convention). WIDECAST embraces an extensive network of interested citizens i ncluding scientists, conservationists, resource managers, educators and policy makers work ing together t o reverse the declining trend in Wider Caribbean sea turtle popula tions by promoting a region wide capability to design and implement scien ce based conservation and management measures. Financial support comes from both private and public ( Government) sources, and includes the UNEP Caribbean Environment Program me.
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of all those persons who have contri buted to the prep aration of th is Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan for Jamaica. We are indebted to the Ministry of Agricul ture and Fisheries for consistent support and staff involvement in the national consultative proces ses that were integral to the development of this landmark document, the first for sea turtles in Jamaica. Our very special thanks, as well, to the Environmental Fund of Jamaica (EFJ) for funding the nesting beach surveys, the consultative processes tha t supported the development of this action plan, and tech nical assistance in writing the document. The U S National Marine Fisheries Service and the UNEP Car ibbean Environment Programme (UNEP CEP) also provided support and encouragement for research and for develop ment of this landmark national document. The Center for Marine Conservation at Duke University generously provid ed a grant for printing. We wo uld like to thank the many members of the Jamaican Sea Turtle Recovery Network (STRN) including NGO s, Fisheries Division, Jamaica Defense Force, Coast Guard, Marine Police, University of the West Indies, and many, many fishers, divers, landowners and other interested individuals who have patrolled nesting beaches, given freely of their time and expert ise, and critically reviewed the document in its various incarnations. We are particularly grateful for the support given to the project by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) now integrated within the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and especially the staff of the National Parks, Protected Areas and Wildlife Branch and the Technical Support and Electronic Information System. These colleagues have been invaluable in providing facilities and technical support in the prod uction of this document. We would also like to acknowledge Ms. Christine O'Sullivan (UNEP CEP) for her thorough review and helpful comments on the final draft. Finally, to our editors Dr. Ronald Bjorkland and Dr. Karen Eckert, the authors extend our deep apprecia tion for your thorough and thoughtful editing. O ur special thanks to Karen Eckert for her unwavering sup port and commitment to the project, and to our valued colleagues and mentors throughout the region who, through our collective involvement in the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST), nurture our efforts in Jamaica, share educational and technical resources with us, and in so many ways assist us in reaching our shared objective of a sustainable future.
Page iii TABLE OF CONTEN TS Preface i Acknowledgments ii Table of Contents iii List of Figures and Tables vi List of Acronyms viii Abstract (English, Spanish, French) ix I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION O F SEA TURTLES IN JAMAICA 4 2.1 Caretta caretta Loggerhead Sea Turtle 6 2.2 Chelonia mydas Green Sea Turtle 7 2.3 Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback Sea Turtle 8 2.4 Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Sea Turtle 9 2.5 Lepidoc helys kempii 1 1 2.6 Lepidochelys olivacea Olive Ridley Sea Turtle 1 2 III. STRESSES ON SEA TURTLES IN JAMAICA 1 2 3.1 Destruction or Modification of Habitat 1 2 3.11 Foraging habitat 1 2 3.12 Nest ing habitat 14 3.2 Disease or Predation 15 3.3 Over utilisation 16 3.4 Inadequate Regulatory Mechanisms 2 0 3.41 National legislation 2 0 3.42 Institutional arrangements 21 3.5 Other Natural or Man made Factors 2 3 IV. SOLUTIONS TO STRESSES ON SEA TURTLES IN JAMAICA 24 4.1 Manage and Protect Habitat 24 4.11 Identify essential habitat 25 4.111 Survey foraging areas 25 4.112 Survey nesting habitat 2 7 4.12 De velop and implement area specific management plans 28 4.121 Involve local coastal zone authorities 29 4.12 2 Develop regulatory guidelines for protected areas 29 4.124 Provide for enforcement of guidelines 32 4.12 5 Develop educatio nal programmes 32 4.13 Prevent degradation of nesting beaches 32 4.131 Sand mining 33 4.132 Lights 3 4 4.133 Beach stabilisation structures 35 4.134 Beach cleaning equipment and vehicular use of beaches 36 4.135 Beach rebuilding (renourishment) projects 37 4.136 Other factors 37 4.14 Prevent d egradation of marine habitat 3 8 4.141 Dynamiting reefs 3 8 4.142 Chemical fishing 39 4.143 Industrial discharges 40 4.144 A t sea dumping of garbage 40 4.145 Oil exploration, production, refining, transport 41
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page iv 4.146 Agricultural runoff and sewage 42 4.147 Anchoring and dredging 43 4.148 Other factors 43 4.2 Manage and Protect All Li fe Stages 43 4.21 Assess regulatory mechanisms 4 4 4.211 Review existing national laws and regulations 4 4 4.212 Evaluate the effectiveness of law enforcement 44 4.21 3 Augment existing law enforcement efforts 4 6 4.21 4 Mak e fines commensurate with product value 46 4.22 Propose new regulations where needed 4 7 4.221 Eggs 47 4.222 Immature turtles 47 4.223 Nesting females 4 7 4.2 3 Investigate alternative livelihoods for turtle fishermen 4 8 4.2 4 Determine incidental catch and promote the use of TEDs 48 4.2 5 Supplement reduced populations using management techniques 49 4.2 5 1 Management techniques for turtles 4 9 4.2 5 2 Management techniques for eggs and hatchlings 5 0 4.2 5 3 Sea turtle mariculture 52 4.2 6 Monitor ing sea turtle stocks 53 4.2 6 1 Monitoring nesting populations 54 4.2 6 2 Monitoring hatchlings 55 4.2 6 3 Monitoring turtles at sea 56 4.2 7 Promote co management 56 4.2 8 Investigate non consumptive uses to generate revenue 57 4.3 Encourage and Support International Cooperation 57 4.31 Global treaties 57 4.311 CITES 57 4.312 Convention on Biological Diversity 5 8 4.313 M ARPOL Co nvention 59 4.314 U. N. Convention on the Law of the Sea 59 4.315 Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species 59 4.31 6 Others 60 4.32 Regional treaties 60 4.321 Cartagena Convention and SPAW Protocol 60 4.322 Inter American Convention 6 1 4.323 Western Hemisphere Convention 61 4.33 Subregional sea turtle management 61 4.4 Develop Public Education 6 3 4.41 Residents 63 4.42 Fishermen 6 4 4.43 Tourism sector 64 4.44 Public sector 64 4.5 Increase Information Exchange 64 4.51 Marine Turtle Newsletter 64 4.52 W estern Atlantic Turtle Symposium (W ATS ) 6 5 4.53 WIDECAST 65 4.54 IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group 66 4.5 5 Workshops on research and management 66 4.56 Exchange of information among local groups 66 4.53 Inte grated community development 67
Page v 4.6 Implement a National Sea Turtle Conservation Programme 67 4.61 Rationale 67 4.62 Goals objectives and a ctivities 68 4.64 Products and o utputs 7 1 V. LITERATURE CITED 7 2 APPENDICES I. Directory of r elevant o rgani s ations 89 II. Laws affecting sea turtles and conservation of their habitats 9 1
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page vi LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES TABLE 1 Summary of sea turtle nesting records in Jamaica, 1982. ................................1 00 TABLE 2 Summary of sea turtle nesting records in Jamaica, 1991 1995. ................................1 0 4 TABLE 3 Summary of at sea sightings, based on interviews with fishermen during September to November 1982. ................................1 08 TABLE 4 Laws and regulations relevant to sea turtle conservation. ......................... .......1 11 TABLE 5 Stakeholder list ( a dapted from Tambiah, 1995) ................................1 13 FIGURE 1 Jamaica, located approximately 145 km south of Cuba and 161 km west of Haiti, is the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea. ...... ..........................1 14 FIGURE 2 Jamaica's varied coastline is 885 km in length, including at least 321 km of sandy beaches potentially suitable for sea turtle nesting. ................................1 14 FIGURE 3 Jamaica's offshore banks and c ays, showing shoreline configuration, coral reefs and seagrass. ................................1 1 5 FIGURE 4 Four species of sea turtle are found in Jamaica: the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ), hawksbill ( Eretmochelys imbricata ), loggerhead ( Caretta car etta ), and Dermochelys coriacea ). ................................1 16 FIGURE 5 Distribution of documented and reported loggerhead nesting beaches and occurrences at sea. ................................1 17 FIGURE 6 Di stribution of documented and reported green turtle nesting beaches and occurrences at sea. ................................1 18 FIGURE 7 Distribution of documented and reported leatherback nesting beaches and occurrences at sea. .................... ............1 19 FIGURE 8 Distribution of documented and reported hawksbill nesting beaches. ................................ 120
Page vii FIGURE 9 Reported hawksbill at sea sightings from WATS 1982 survey of fishers, and post WATS data collection from 1991 u ntil the present. ................................ 1 21 FIGURE 10 Sea turtle locations based on aerial surveys, 1982 1983. ................................ 1 22 FIGURE 11 Decline in the sea turtle fishery, 1962 1982. ................................ 1 23 FIGURE 12 The distribution of existing and proposed national parks and how they relate to areas of known importance for sea turtles. ................................ 1 23 FIGURE 13 Shell exports from Jamaica to Japan, 1970 1986. ................................ 1 24
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page viii LIST OF ACRONYMS CCAM Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation CCC Caribbean Conservation Corporation CDC J C onservation Data Centre Jamaica CMS Centre for Marine Sciences CEP UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme CITES C onvention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora CZM Coastal Zone Management ECD Environmental Control Division EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone FAO U N. Food and Agriculture Organisation G OJ G overnment of Jamaica IUCN/SSC Wo rld Conservation Union/Species Survival Commission JCDT Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust JCRMN Jamaica Coral Reef Monitoring Network JDFCG J amaica Defence Force Coast Guard JET Jamaica Environmen t Trust JPS Jamaica Public Service Company MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships MTN Marine Turtle Newsletter NCRPS Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society NEPA National Environment and Planning Agency NEPT Ne gril Area Environment Protection Trust NGO Non Government Organisation NRCA [now NEPA] Natural Resources Conservation Authority NRCD N atural Resources Conservation Department OECS Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States PCJ Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica PEPA Portland Environment Protection Association SCCF [now CCAM] So uth Coast Conservation Foundation SEEA St. Elizabeth Environment Association SPAW Protocol Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (UNEP) STEPA St. Thom as Environment Protection Association STRAP S ea Turtle Recovery Action Plan STRN Se a Turtle Recovery Network TCPD Town and Country Planning Department TED Turtle Excluder Device TPDCo Tourism Product Development Company UDC Urban Development Corporation UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNEP U nited Nations Environment Programme UWI University of the West Indies WATS Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium WIDECAST W ider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network WLPA Wild Life Pro tection Act
Page ix ABSTRACT Once abundant in Jamaican waters, sea turtles have declined catastrophically. Four species the green turtle, hawksbill, leatherback, and loggerhead once occurred regularly in Jamaica, and sightings of the istent but unconfirmed. A century ago, the green turtle was the most abundant species; today, hawksbills are more frequently encountered. The other species are very rare. Declines are attributed to over exploitation of females and eggs on nesting beac hes, combined with de struction and disturbance of nesting and foraging (seagrass, coral) habitat. Population declines are evident in landing data showing, for example, decreasing catches between 1963 and 1982 despite an increase in fishing effort, and de creasing numbers of nests laid since records were first collated for WATS I in 1983. Survey results indicate that nesting by three (of an original four) species has all but vanished from the country and that of the remaining hawksbill nesting effort, few beaches boast more than 10 nests (perhaps 2 3 females) per year. Egg collection remains widespread, with some residents reporting that it has been more than a decade since a nest in their area successfully produced hatchlings. Ironically, efforts to con serve turtle stocks began early in Jamaica The first statute pro tecting sea turtle eggs on the mainland was enacted in 1711. Various regulations and laws followed, none with any marked success. Complete protection of all life stages was achieved by the Wild Life Protection Act (1945) in 1982, but the protection of habitat is poorly developed. Although trade in turtle products has been reduced since 1982, it has not been eliminated; similarly, an active fishery, mostly spear fishermen taking hawksbills, continues unabated in nearshore waters as well as on the more distant Pedro Bank. The illegal activity has been attri buted to a large number of inter connected factors, which can be summarised as lack of resources to enforce regulations and to educate the various stakeholders in the importance of protecting turtles and their habitats. In an attempt to redress this imbalance, the Sea Turtle Recovery Network (STRN) was founded in 1991 with the assistance and support of WIDECAS T. STRN is a pioneering orga ni sation dedicated to develop ing a cooperative national structure to promote sea turtle conserva tion. The organisation has successful ly mobilised support for sea turtle conservation among government and NGOs, carried out pilot surveys, and produce d the present document. Priori ties include research and monitoring at Index sites represent ing the most important areas for nesting and foraging by the various species; eliminating the illegal take and marketing of sea turtles and their products; quantifying a nd mitigating bycatch mortality; strengthen ing law enforcement and management capacity; improving compliance; promoting a deeper public com mitment to conservation; and protecting sea turtle habitats, specifically in protected areas and generally through better control of pollution and development. This Sea Turtle Rec overy Action Plan provides the framework and direction for a much needed campaign Specifically, the document describes a five year national Sea Turtle Conservation Programme to achieve, inter alia, national consultations on STRAP im plementation, an inventory of active sea turtle nesting beaches, a national network of long term monitor ring at Index sites (nesting, foraging), genetic professional training in sea turtle research and monitoring techniques for visors within the STRN, an assessment and report of sea turtle products in Jamaica (i ncluding measures in place to eliminate the sale of worked shell products), a n inventory of threats to sea turtle survival (nesting, foraging) in Jamaica an assessment and report on sea turtle bycatch in Jamaica, development of best practices and handbook s and inclusion within the n ational s ystem p lan for p rotected a reas a minimum of 75% of habitat important to sea turtle nesting and foraging, a minimum of three workshops o n the development of area specific sea turtle management plans (with intent to fund and implement at least three projects arising from the se plans ) and certain b enchmarks related to public educat ion and awareness (e.g., posters printed, brochures distributed, airport displays e stablished website developed, lesson plans produced). The target result of the Pro gramme is a 50% (or more) reduction in illegal take and sales of sea turtles a clearer u nderstanding of the distribution and success of the annual reproductive effort, and greater public awareness of conserva tion issues F or further information, please contact the STRN through the National Environment and free number (888) 991 5005, or contact the Fisheries Division at 923 8811/13.
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page x RESUMEN Las poblaciones de tortugas marinas en aguas jamaiquinas, antiguamente abundantes, se han desplo mado catastrficamente. Las cuatro especies la tortuga verde ( Chelonia ), carey ( Eretmochelys ), lad ( Dermochelys ) y cabezona ( Caretta ) eran observadas regularmente en Jamaica, incluso los avista mientos de la tortuga lora ( Lepidochelys kempii ) son constantes aunque no confirmados. Hace cien aos, la tortuga verde era la especie ms abundante, actualmente la tortuga carey se observa con mayor frecuencia y las otras especies son muy raras. Las disminuciones se atribuyen a la sobre explotacin de hembras y huevos en playas de anidacin, sumado a la destruccin y modificaci n de sus h bitats de anidacin y alimentacin (pastos marinos y corales). La disminucin de las poblaciones se evidenca en las estadsticas de pesca en las que, por ejemplo, es notable una disminucin de capturas de tortugas entre 1963 y 1982, a pesar del incremento en el esfuerzo de pesca, y la disminucin del registro de nmero de nidos desde el inicio de los censos con WATS I en 1983. Los resultados de censos indican que la anidacin de tres especies (de las cuatro que existan aqu) han prcticamente desaparecido y de las que quedan de la tortuga carey, apenas se registran pocas playas que reciben no mas de 10 nidos (equivalente a 2 3 hembras) al ao. La extrac cin de huevos en playa es an comn, con algunos lugareos reportando que ha pasado ms de una dcada desde que se vi algn nido exitosamente producir neonatos. Irnicamente, los esfuerzos para conservar las colonias comenzaron tempranamente en Jamaica. La primera normativa para la proteccin de huevos de tortuga marina en tierra se realizo en 1711. Vari as regulaciones y leyes fueron emitidas posteriormente pero ninguna fue exitosa. La proteccin completa de todos los estadios de vida fue lograda con el Acta para la Proteccin de la Vida Silvestre (1945) en 1982, pero la proteccin de los hbitats fue pob remente desarrollada. Aunque el comercio de productos de tortuga se ha reducido desde 1982, este no ha sido eliminado. De igual forma, una pesquera activa, principalmente constituida por pescadores con arpones que capturan tortugas carey, contina sin dis minuir en aguas costeras e incluso en el distante banco Pedro. La actividad ilegal ha sido atribuida a una serie de factores interconectados, los cuales pueden resumirse en la falta de recursos para hacer cumplir las regulaciones y educar los diversos acto res clave sobre la importancia de proteger las tortugas y sus hbitats. En un intento por corregir este desequilibrio, la Red para la Recuperacin de Tortugas Marinas ( Sea Turtle Recovery Network STRN) fue fundada en 1991 con el apoyo de WIDECAST. La STR N es una organizacin pionera dedicada a desarrollar una estructura de cooperacin nacional para promover la conservacin de tortugas marinas. Esta organizacin ha movilizado exitosamente apoyo para la conservacin de las tortugas marinas en el gobierno y en organizaciones no gubernamentales, ha llevado a cabo estudios piloto de monitoreo, y producido el presente documento. Las prioridades incluyen la investigacin y el monitoreo de sitios ndices que reflejan las reas de mayor importancia para anidacin y alimentacin de varias especies; la eliminacin de la extraccin y comercializacin de tortugas y sus productos; cuantificacin y mitigacin de la mortalidad asociada a la pesca incidental; reforzamiento del cumplimiento de las leyes y de la capacidad de manejo, promocin de un mayor compromiso para la conservacin en la sociedad civil; y la proteccin de los hbitats de las tortugas marinas, particularmente por medio de reas protegidas y, en general, a travs de un control de la contaminacin y el desarr ollo. Este Plan para la Recuperacin de Tortugas Marinas provee una marco de referencia y orientacin para la realizacin de una muy necesari a campaa para evitar la extincin de las poblaciones de tortugas marinas en Jamaic a. Espec ficamente, el document o describe un Programa Nacional de Conservaci n de Tortugas Marinas a cinco a os que persigue alcanzar, inter alia consultas nacionales sobre la puesta en marcha del STRAP, un inventario sobre las playas de anidamiento activas, una red nacional a largo pl azo de sitios ticas de poblaciones dom sticas (anidamiento, forrageo), capacitaci n profesional en t cnicas de investigaci n y monitoreo de n e informe sobre los productos de tortugas marinas en Jamaica (inclusive medidas en marcha para eliminar la venta de todos los productos elaborados de los caparazones), un inventario de las amenazas a l a supervivencia de las tortugas marinas (anidamiento, forrageo) en Jamaica, una evaluaci n e infome
Page xi de la pesca accidental en Jamaica, desarrollo de mejores pr cticas y gu conservaci n dentro del plan de sistema nacional para las areas protegidas un m nimo de 75% del h bitat importante para el anidamiento y forrageo de las t ortugas marinas, un m nimo de tres talleres para el desarrollo de planes de manejo de tortugas marinas en reas espec ficas (con el prop sito de financiar y ejecutar por lo menos tres proyectos que resulten de estos planes), y metas relativas a la educaci n y concientizaci n p blicas (ej. impresi n de afiches, distribuci n de panfletos, exhibiciones en aeropuertos, desarrollo de sitio Web, producci n de planes de lecciones). El resultado esperado del programa es una reducci n del 50% (o m s) de la captura y venta ilegales de tortugas marinas, tener un mayor conocimiento sobre la distribuci n y el xito del esfuerzo anual de reproducci n, y una mayor conciencia p blica sobre los temas de conservaci n. Para mayores informes, por favor contacte el STRN a travs de la Agencia Nacional de Planeacin y Ambiente, al telfono gratuito: (888) 991 5005, o contacte la Divisin de Pesca a los telfonos: 923 8811 / 13.
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page xii RESUME Autrefois abondantes dans les eaux de la Jamaque, les tortues marines ont connu un dcl in catastro phique. Quatre espces de tortues verte, imbrique, luth, caouanne taient auparavant rgulirement prsentes en Jamaque, et des observations de tortues de Kemp sont rapportes, sans tre confirmes. Il y a un sicle, la tortue verte tait l'espce la plus abondante; aujourd'hui, les tortues imbriques sont plus frquemment rencontres. Les autres espces sont trs rares. Leur dclin est attribu la sur avec la dest ruction et la perturbation des zones de nidification et de nourrissage (herbiers marins, coraux). Les donnes de dbarquement (pche) rvlent clairement un dclin des populations; elles montrent par exemple une diminution des captures entre 1963 et 1982 m algr une augmentation de l'effort de pche, et une diminution du nombre de nids depuis les premiers rcoltes de donnes raliss pour WATS I en 1983. Les rsultats des suivis indiquent que la nidification de trois espces (pour un total de quatre espces l'origine) a presque cess et que, en ce qui concerne l'effort de ponte des tortues imbriques restantes, peu de plages peuvent se glorifier d'avoir plus de dix nids (peut tre deux ou trois ement rpandue, certaines rsidents rapportant qu'il s'est coul plus de dix ans depuis la dernire fois o un nid dans la zone qu'ils frquentent a produit des closions avec succs. Ironiquement, les efforts pour conserver les populations de tortues on t commenc tt en Jamaque. Le rglementations et lois ont suivis, sans qu'aucune ait rencontre un succs sensible. Une protection complte de tous les st ades de dveloppement des tortues a t mise en place dans le cadre de la loi de protection de la vie sauvage (Wildlife Protection Act 1945) en 1982, mais la protection des habitats est peu dveloppe. Bien que le commerce des produits issus des tortues ait t rduit depuis 1982, il n'a pas t limin; de mme, une pche active, constitue principalement de pcheurs au harpon capturant des tortues, continue avec la mme intensit dans les eaux ctires ainsi que sur la Pedro Bank plus distante. Cette ac tivit illgale a t attribue un grand nombre de facteurs interconnects, qui peuvent tre rsums par le manque de ressources pour faire appliquer la rglementation et pour sensibiliser les diffrents acteurs l'importance de la protection des tortue s de leurs habitats. Dans une tentative pour palier ce dsquilibre, le Rseau de restauration des tortues marines ( Sea Turtle Recovery Network STRN) a t fond en 1991 avec l'appui et le soutien de WIDECAST. STRN est une organisation pionnire, ddie au dveloppement d'une structure de coopration nationale afin de promouvoir la conservation des tortues marines. L'organisation a mobilis, avec succs, des soutiens pour la conservation des tortues marines auprs du gouvernement et des ONG, a men bie n des suivis pilotes, et a labor le prsent document. Les priorits comprennent la recherche et le suivi de sites index qui reprsentent les zones les plus importantes pour la nidification et l'alimentation des diffrentes espces; l'limination de la r colte illgale et du commerce des tortues marines et de leurs produits; la quantification et la rduction de la mortalit due aux captures accidentelles; la promotion d'un engagement plus fort du grand public pour la conservation; et la protection des habi tats des tortues marines, en particulier dans les aires protges, ainsi que plus gnralement travers un meilleur contrle des pollutions et du dveloppement. Ce plan d'action pour la restauration des tortues marines (Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan, S TRAP) offre le cadre et les orientations pour une campagne trs ncessaire pour sauver les populations de tortues marines de la Jamaque de l'extinction. Plus prcisment, le document dcrit un Programme national quinquennal de conservation des tortues mar ines pour faciliter, entre autres, des consultations nationales pour la mise en oeuvre des plans nationaux, un inventaire des plages de nidification des tortues marines, un rseau national de surveillance sur le long terme avec les sites indexs (de nidifi cation, pour formation pour la recherche sur les tortues marines et les techniques de surveillance pour au moins 20 formateurs et superviseurs au s ein de la STRN, une valuation et le rapport des prises de tortues marines en Jamaque (y compris les mesures en place pour liminer la vente de produits partir des carapaces travailles), un inventaire des menaces la survie des tortues marines (nidifi cation, alimen tation) en Jamaque, une valuation et un rapport sur les prises accidentelles de tortues de mer dans la
Page xiii pement de plages pour accueillir les tion des tortues marines, au moins trois ateliers pour l'laboration de plans de gestion d'aires spcifiques pour les tortues marines ( avec la volont de financer au moins trois projets dcoulant de ces plans ), et certains critres lis l'ducation et la sensibilisation du public (affiches brochures distribues, panneaux dans les aroport s mise en place d'un site internet ddi, plans de cours produits ). L'objectif rsultant du Pro gramme : 50% (ou plus ) de rduction des prises illga les et de vente des tortues marines, une comprhension plus claire de la distribution et des succs des efforts pendant la saison de reproduction et une plus grande sensibilisation du public aux questions de conservation Pour plus d'informations, merci de contacter le STRN par l'intermdiaire du numro gratuit de l'Agence nationale pour l'environnement et la planification (National Enviro nment and Planning Agency) : (888) 991 5005, ou contacter la Division des pches au 923 8811/13.
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page xiv
Page 1 I. INTRODUCTION The island nation of Jamaica (18 N, 177 W) lies in the Greater Antilles 145 km south of Cuba and 161 km west of Haiti (Figure 1). It is t he third largest island in the Caribbean, with a total land area of 10, 981 km The mainland coastl ine of Jamaica is about 891 km in length (NEPA, 2003) and its varied features include white and black sand be aches, sand spits and bars, cliffs, salinas, swamps, lagoons, shallow reef flats, and bays (Figure 2). At least 164 km of sandy beach are potentially suitable for sea turtle nesting ( GOJ, 2001) The Exclusive Economic Zone Act of 1991 established a 200 mile exclusive economic z one offshore (Aiken, 1998) T he Maritime Areas Bill of 1995 recognized Jamaica as an archipelagic S tat e and established a larger area of territorial sea encompassing 275,000 km includ ing the Morant Bank to the east and most of the Pedro Bank to the south The t otal area of the island shelf and its nine proximal banks is 4,170 km On the north, east an d west coasts, the shelf is less than 2.5 km wide in most places and then drops off into the east west oriented Cayman Trench which extend s to depths exceeding 1 700 m The shelf is char acterised by fringing reefs, clear waters and white sand beaches. On the south facing shore, the shelf is wide and shallow g enerally less than 37 m deep and extends offshore t o a max i mum width of 24 km (Figure 3). There are several large harbours and estuaries with extensive wetlands on the south coast. Sixteen bays around Jamaica are used as commercial harbours. Kingston Harbour is located on the south coast and is enclosed by the 13 km long Palisadoes sand spit w ith 20 km of navigable water it is one of the largest and best sheltered ports in the Caribbean (Good body, 2003). There are two groups of inshore cays on the south shore: the Port Royal Cays which lie to the south of the Palisadoes, and the Portland Bight Cays in Portland Bight. Many south coast beaches are composed mainly of black sand derived primaril y from river sediments These sediments make waters off the south coast less clear than waters off the north coast and tend to discourage the formation of reefs, especially near major estuaries. Nevertheless, there are extensive reefs in some south coast areas, particularly around Morant Point and Morant Bay in the southeast areas east of Yallahs, around Port Royal and Portland Bight Cays, at Alligator Reef, and near Black River and Savanna la Mar (Figure 3 ) Seagrass beds occur in most shallow bays aro und the island with t he largest beds located along the south coast in and near Portland Bight, and between Negril and the Black River. Offshore there are two major banks Morant and Pedro with their associated cays and num erous smaller banks (Figure 3) Like the island of Jamaica itself, the se banks rise abruptly from depths greater than 500 m. Pedro Bank the larger of the two encompasses an area of 8,040 km (Nicholson and Hartsuijker, 1982), equal to about two thirds of the land area of Jamaica ; a portion of i t extends beyond Jamaica s territorial seas. Pedro Bank is a submerged plateau about 20 30 m below the surface There are reefs all along the edges, but the y are most extensive on the southeastern, southern and southwestern margins. The less productive centre of the Pedro B ank is dominated by silt and sand and has scattered coral heads. The four cays of the Pedro group lie about 100 km offshore ; t wo of them are inhabited by fishermen Further offshore to the south, Jamaica and Col o mbia ha Baja Nuevo and Seranilla B anks and Alice Shoal. Both parties have the right to exploit marine resources and to conduct marine scientific research and conservation activities on living resources in this area. The much smaller Morant Bank l ies to the southeast of Jamaica, includes an area of about 100 km and contains four small cays, one of which is inhabited by fishermen on a seasonal basis. Historically, Jamaica s largely coastal population has relied he avily on marine resources and t his depen dence continues to the present day despite declining catches of all types of fishable resources surveyed in recent decades ( e.g., Chuck, 1963; Nembhard, 1970; Sahney, 1983). Sea turtles were regarded as an importan t component of the marine fishery for many years.
CEP Technical Report No. 50 Page 2 The relationship between humans and sea turtles in Jamaica dates back more than 1 000 years. The first documented inhabitants of Jamaica, the Tainos (locally known as Arawaks) were animists and may have co nsidered turtles to be sacred (R. Ebanks, NHT, pers. comm.). Sea t urtles were commonly modeled as ornaments on the handles of some Tainos implements, especially near Great Bay, St. Elizabeth, where turtles were commonly caught at least until the 1960s (Ty ndale Biscoe, 1962). Four species of sea turtle occu r r ed regularly and were hunted in Jamaican waters : the green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) was, history ically, the most common ; the hawksbill or carey ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) is the most common s pecies today ; and the logger head ( Caretta caretta ) Dermochelys coriacea ) are the least common species There are a few unverified reports of the highly endangered Kemp's ridley ( Lepidochelys kempii ), and one confirmed occurrence of an olive ridley ( L. olivacea ) in Jamaican waters (see sections 2.5 and 2.6). There is very little information about the use of sea turtles in Jamaica during the Spanish occupation (1494 1655) ; however, t he early Spanish invaders took a heavy toll on sea tu rtles in Barbados (Watts, 1987) and there is no reason to assume the ir actions were different in Jamaica. Nevertheless sea turtles were still plentiful in Jamaica shortly after the British invasion in 1655. They were exported to other parts of the Carib they take plentifully on the coast; and about 20 or 30 leagues to the leeward of port Negril, by the isles of Camavos in the months of May, June and July, do res ort great store of ships from the Caribbee Isles to T he history of sea turtle exploitation in Jamaica is difficult to separate from the history of sea turtles in the Cayman Islands after the British conquest Th e Cayman Islands, historically the most important regional centre for sea turtle nesting, harvesting, and product trade (Lewis, 1940; Williams, 1995; Bell et al., 2007) were administered by the British as part of Jamaica. This political and historical relationship continued until Jamaica's independence in 1962 C onsequently, t rade and fisheries statistics for the two territories were not always maintained separate ly Caymanians fished and sold their turtles in Jamaica and other parts of the adjacent Caribbean (Sloane, 1725) as far a way as Nicaragua ; Jamaicans also fished in the Cayman territory. Sea t urtle meat was an important component of the Jamaican diet well into the twentieth centur y. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centur ies it was as common in the markets of Jamaica as beef was in Britain (Catesby, 1731 43 in Rebel, 1974). Some people ate so much green turtle that ". their Shirts are yellow, their skin and face of the same colour, and their shirts under the Armpits stained prodigiously" (Sloane, 1725). Turtle was so routinely served at banquets at the end of the eighteenth century that Lady Nugent noted in her diary when it did not appear (Wright, 1966). Turtle was a domes tic staple and in 1883 one of the first Jamaican cookery books to be printed featured six sea turtle recipes (Sullivan, 1893 ). Even into the late twentieth century many local cookery books included a variety of recipes for sea turtle (e.g., Slater, 1965 ; Grey, 1965; Benghiat, 1985). By the mid 1970s, sea turtle harvests had declined to the point that there were no longer any specialist turtle fishermen in the country (Kerr, 1984). By this time s ea turtle meat was rare in Jamaican markets, although it w as occasionally sold at the roadside and a number of restaurants throughout the island routinely offered it to a primarily local clientele (A. Haynes Sutton, pers. observ.). Sea t urtle products were sold on the streets of Old Harbour with vendors us ing a bell to announce their availability for sale at a prescribed time and place By the 1990s, sea turtle was a subsistence food and not publicly offered but still available (Tambiah, 1995 ) the situation remains much the same today. W orked and raw turt le shells historically had economic importance and the commercial fashioning of shell into jewelry, household items, comb cases, powder boxes and trinkets has span ned two centuries. Raw shell was imported to and exported from Jamaica (Hart, 1983). Edwar ds ( 1793 ) noted that 655 lb of tortoiseshell was imported in 1787 By the 1980s, there was only one commercial enterprise producing turtle shell jewelry A few self employed artisans used the shell when it was available. Although illegal, turtle shell j ewelry was still sold in many parts of Negril (P. Harrison, pers. comm.; Buchanan, 1996) and
Page 3 other tourist markets along the south coast (Buchanan, 1996) as recently as 1995 According to baseline surveys conducted for this review in the mid 1990s, tortoi seshell products were rarely seen in other tourist areas (H. Smit, JCDT, pers. comm.; R. van Barneveld, TPDC O pers. comm.; M. Gauron, PEPA, pers. comm.). Today these items are still available at selected locations ( e.g., Negril and Ocho Rios: s ee section 3.3). Over the centuries some fishers specialized in sea turtle fishing using special nets and decoys F or other fishers sea turtles were an incidental (unintentional) catch at sea. Not all turtles were captured offshore s ea turtles seasonally com e ashore to lay their eggs, and during the nesting season hunters built small lean to shelters on selected nesting beaches where they spent nights watching for the arrival of the gravid (egg bearing) females. Popular superstition claims that turtles are m ost likely to come ashore to nest Concern over the effects of an unregulated take was expressed at a very early stage in Jamaica s history and the first law controlling the collection of eggs was introduced in 1711. N o further legislation was enacted until 1907 when the Morant and Pedro Cays Law regulated harvest of both sea turtles and their eggs on the cays and with in territorial waters This action was followed by the Birds and Fish Protection Law in 1914 the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA) in 1945 and the Trade Law 4 in 1955 ( s ee Appendix II ). Unfortunatel y none of these laws provide d protection to all life stages and t his lack of ful l protec tion and enforcement made the laws ineffective in that sea turtle population s continued to decline Between 1962 and 1968 the reported annual harvest declined from 143,861 kg for the 12 month 1962 1963 period ( Chuck, 1963) to 63,377 kg in 1968 (N embhard, 1970). The 1981 estimated harvest was 57,114 kg (Sahney, 1983) and by 1982 an estimated 190 521 turtles ( equivalent to about 42,025 kg) were landed (Kerr, 1984) In the same period overall fishing effort for sea turtles increased, with more f ish ers using more modern boats and nets over greater distances thus we conclude that t he declin ing harvest reflected a decline in the turtle population In an attempt to bolster depleted stocks, the U S based Caribbean Conservation Corporation (CCC) or ganized "Operation Green Turtle". More than 4,000 green sea turtle hatchlings and several hundred eggs were sent to Jamaica's offshore cays between 1959 and 1967 from Tortug u ero, Costa Rica (Carr, 1967). The programme was discontinued in 1968 because the project could not demonstrate any re establish ment of nesting colonies on the cays. While the 1 982 legislation protected all sea turtle life stages (and species ) it left an important gap in the regulatory framework ; namely, wh ile the killing and poss ession of sea turtles was illegal, the offering and act of sale, per se was not (see section 4.2 1 1). Despite the efforts of the ( then ) Natural Resources Con servation Department (NRCD) to develop a new cadre of enforcement officers (Conservation Wardens) the 1982 strengthening of the WLPA was not accompanied by any meaningful improvement in enforce ment effort P osters and leaflets were distributed to inform the public about the changes to the WLPA rearing) prog r amme was c onsidered but never implemented (see section 4.253) G overnment responsibility for sea turtle management and conservation currently lies with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), an Executive Agency of the Government of Jamaica ( GOJ ) whic h currently r esid es with in the Office of the Prime Minister NEPA, like its predecessor agencies, has steadily developed the technical and institutional capacity to implement its mandate concerning sea turtle protection which ha s been a priority conservat ion effort since the early 1980s. To assist in information gathering, priority setting and recovery action, Ms. Rhema Kerr (then WIDECAST Country Coordinator) formed the Jamaican Sea Turtle Recovery Network (STRN) in 1991 Through collaboration with gove rnment agencies non government organi s ations (NGOs), individuals and the private sector, the activities of the STRN led to greatly increase d awareness of the importance of sea turtle conservation generated public support and volunte e rism and collected information that now forms
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 4 the basis for many of the recommen dations of this Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) Many vol unteers have assisted by participating in turtle watches and local businesses have provided in kind support and services. The p rimary objective of this STRAP is to present a strategy for a national effort to ensure sustained recovery of depleted sea turtle stocks. To reach this objective, the authors of this document, with the assistance of the STRN and WIDECAST experts, have com piled data on the status and distribution of sea turtles in Jamaica, assessed the role played by sea turtles in Jamaica's culture and economy, and identified factors threatening turtles and their habitats. Much of this information was collected directly t hrough field work and interviews because no baseline data were available, and it now forms the basis for specific management recommendations for population monitoring, habitat protection, community involve ment, public awareness, legislation, and law enfor cement. While s ea turtles have been fully protected in Jamaica for a quarter century the ir numbers in T erritorial W aters and on most Jamaican beaches and offshore cays are believed to be very low compared to his tor ical values. They still are subject to intense illegal fishing pressure in the sea and opportunistic take at nesting beaches Three of the four species that historically nested in Jamaica have almost been extirpat ed T he remaining species the hawksbill is heavily poached and prospects f or its recovery are compli cated by widespread loss of feeding habitat (coral reefs) and coastal nesting grounds (sandy beaches). A more robust and effective protection of sea turtles at the inception of the 1982 moratorium may have resulted in healthier stocks today but this has not been the case Indeed, d espite the presence of a strong regulatory framework, the question for our generation is whether sea turtles will survive in Jamaica for the foreseeable future. Among the widely recognised challenge s are law enforcement and com pliance The inefficacy of laws, which is partially rooted in historical patterns of lack of respect for the law, renders legislation almost meaningless. T o address th ese challenge s it is essential to integrate resource users into the management process. If sea turtle conservation is to be effect ive in Jamaica, resource users should be given an opportunity to participate meaningfully in d ecision making, conservation, and compliance process es The S TRN has attempted to take a lead in this process by encourag ing fishers, community development groups and youth organi s ations to be actively involved in conservation actions such as the Sea Turtle Summer Nights Programme which involves volunteers in nest ing beach surveys ( s ee section 4.4 1 ). Since 1991 the STRN has also been involved in community development efforts in key coastal towns. It has organised public meetings, arranged beach cleanups, distributed educational materials, promoted outreach activit ies, and encouraged media coverage. It has championed recognition of the important role which can be played by fishing communities in sea turtle recovery. However, much remains to be done. Rebuilding the momentum that the STRN has brought to conservatio n is vital to sea turtle survival in Jamaic a and the STRN anticipates taking the lead in full implementation of this Sea T urtle Recovery Action Plan If successful, it will lead to increas ed sea turtle populations in Jamaican waters and through out the ir international ranges work and the model s it provides, other programmes may arise to address equally urgent needs of other endangered species in Jamaica. II. STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF SEA TURTLES IN JAMAICA On a global sc ale, including the Wider Caribbean Region, three species of sea turtle ha wksbill, leather back in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Spe cies ( see http://www.iucnredlist.org/ ). Causal factors include cen turies of intense harvesting for meat, shell, oil, and skins ; serious degradation of nesting and foraging habitats ; accidental capture and drown ing in active or abandoned fishing gear ; and pollution of habitats by o il spills, dumping of chemical waste and persistent plastic debris at sea (Caribbean reviews are available in Groombridge and Luxmoore, 1989; NRC, 1990;
Page 5 F leming, 2001; Reichart, 2003; Reichart et al 2003; Seminoff, 2004; Godley et al 2004; UNEP/GPA, 2006; Brutigam and Eckert, 2006; Mortimer and Donnelly, 2007). Historically, f our species of sea turtle have nested i n Jamaica : the green turtle ( Che lonia mydas ), the Eretmochelys imbricata ), the loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ), and the leatherback or Dermochelys coriacea ) ( Figure 4) Available data suggest that Jamaica may already have lost three of its four breeding species o nl y the hawksbill continue s to nest in any appreciable numbers H awksbills and green turtles of varying sizes forage while loggerheads and leather backs are encountered occasionally at sea T here are unconfirmed accounts of Kemp's ridleys ( Lepido chelys kempii ) in Jamaican waters. This STRAP relies on multiple sources of information to construct the status and distribution of sea turtles in Jamaican and regional waters Before work began on this Action Plan, very little information had been collated or analysed with the exception of the 1982 fisher interview survey results (Kerr, 1984) which indicated that nesting occurred on 104 mainland beaches and more than two dozen offshore cays (Table 1). In addition to these early surveys, the authors have researched and summarized information recorded in the following sources: 1981 19 82 : Aerial survey of manatees and other wildlife conducted by the NRCD (locations of turtles seen at sea during monthly manatee surveys). 1982 : Int erview survey of fishermen conducted in preparation for the 1983 Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium ( WATS I ) on locations of nesting beaches and the estimated numbers of nests per year ( Kerr, 1984). 1987 : Interview, habitat and market surveys conducted in p reparation for the 1987 Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium (WATS II) on distribution of nesting beaches, reports of slaughter and sale of turtles and turtle products 1993 : Aerial survey of manatees including locations of turtles at sea and nests seen in aerial surveys ( Carr, 1993). 1992 19 95 : "Sea Turtle Summer Nights": annual beach surveys by volunteers during June October (numbers of nests and false crawls, records of damaged/ poached nests). 1992 19 95 : Reports of turtle sightings from commercial dive o perators (locations of turtles at sea, reports of nests and the killing of turtles). 1995 : STRN survey (by foot and boat) of potential nesting habitat between Portland Bight and Negril (numbers of nests and false crawls, species identifi cation, nest fate). 1982 19 95 : Compilation of public reports of turtle sightings, mostly killing s or nesting s (e.g., from NRCA files, newspaper reports); 1991 1995 survey results are summarised in Table 2. 1996 : Survey of Middle Cay, Morant Cays ( Uni versity of Newcastle ) 2001 20 02 : Mainland and cay beaches of Portland Bight (by NEPA, conducted by fisher Charles Moodie) 2001 : Mapping of the Portland Bight Cays (by NEPA) 2003 : Nesting survey in Negril (by NEPA /STRN in partnership with local NGOs) 2003 : Nesting survey in Portland (by NEPA, conducted by Ivor Pennycooke of the Portland Environment and Protection Association ) 2005 present : Survey and assessment of the Pedro Cays ( by T he Nature Conservancy) 2005 : R econfirmation of historical nesting beaches across the islan d ( by NEPA ) 2005 present : Nesting beach survey on Gibraltar Beach in Oracabessa, St. Mary ( by Melvyn Tennant ) 2006 present : University of West Indies, Department of Life Sciences (Mona). 2007 : Nesting beach survey of Malcolm Bay ( by NEPA ) ; Hope Bay, P ortland and Reggae Beach, St. Mary (by N EPA ); Gibraltar Beach, St. Mary (by Melvyn Tennant); Beach, White Sand Beach and Black Springs in St. Elizabeth (by local residents ) 2007 present: Nesting beach survey in the Palisadoes Port Roya l Protected Area ( by NEPA )
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 6 2.1 Caretta caretta Loggerhead Turtle The common English name, "loggerhead", is used in Jamaica. Adults are recogni s ed by a large head, thick, somewhat tapered carapace, and characteristically heavy encrustation of invertebrate epifau na (especially barnacles). There are five pair s of lateral carapace plates (scutes) (Figure 4). The large head and strong jaws, for which the species was named, are essential adaptations to a diet of mollusks and hard shelled crabs. Tunicates, fishes, an d plants are also eaten (summarized by Dodd, 1988). Nesting females in Florida (USA) average 92 cm in straight shell length (range 81 110 cm; n = 194) and 116 kg (71.7 180.7 kg; n = 261) (Ehrhart and Yoder, 1978) but adults can weigh up to 200 kg (Pritch ard et al., 1983). Juveniles and adults are red brown to brown in colour, and hatchlings are sometimes gray. Loggerheads have a wide oceanic distribution. In the Atlantic they are seen as far north as Newfound land (Squires, 1954) and northern Europe (Br ongersma, 1972) and as far south as Argentina (Frazier, 1984). Nesting grounds are often in temperate latitudes, with the greatest numbers of nesting females recorded in Florida (USA) and Masirah Island (Oman). As recently as the last quarter of the twen tieth century an estimated 14,150 females nested annually on the Atlantic coast of Florida (Murphy and Hopkins, 1984; Ehrhart, 1989 ; NMFS and US FWS, 2007 a ), but today this colony, the largest in the Western H emisphere, is declining (NMFS and FWS, 2008) M oderate nesting populations are also found in Mexico, the Bahamas and Cuba with occasional nesting on Eastern Caribbean islands (Ehrhart, 1984 1989, 2003 ; Dodd, 1988; Dow et al. 2007 ). In Jamaica, loggerhead nesting has been reported at different ti mes on about one third of the known turtle nesting beaches, mainly on the northeast and southwest coasts (Kerr, 1984; STRN 1995 survey unpubl. data ). In the past, it appears that this species nested regularly on the Morant and Pedro Cays between April an d July (Lewis, 1940, 1947), but no nesting attempts were observed at the Morant Cays during the months of April to June, 1982 1987 (A. Haynes Sutton, pers. observ.) and there has been only one un confirmed report of egg laying since that time (STRN, unpubl data). The species' juvenile years are characterized by trans Atlantic movement. According to the current theory, hatchlings from beaches in the southeastern USA leave their natal beaches and are carried passively on the North Atlantic subtropical gy re in Sargassum seaweed rafts to areas of the eastern North Atlantic, including the Azores. After several years of pelagic (=open ocean) existence, juveniles, typically 50 65 cm (20 25 inches) shell length, return or are returned by currents to the wester n North Atlantic to become resident benthic (=bottom) feeders on the continental shelf (Bolten, 2003). Early s tudies of Florida loggerheads suggest ed that individuals reach ed sexual maturity at 12 30 years old, but as our understanding of this species has advanced, the estimate has been closer to 30 years (Frazer and Ehrhart, 1985 ) and then 32 35 years (NMFS and USFWS 2008) D ata from the Atlantic coast of the USA suggest that loggerheads lay up to 7 clutches of eggs per year (Addison 1996a ,b) averaging 48 159 eggs each (Frazer and Richardson, 1985 ; Ferris, 1986). The main nesting season in the USA is May to July, and nests in Jamaica have been reported from April through August. Females arrive at their nesting beaches asynchronously and nest independently of one another, returning to nest along the same shore at intervals of (typically) 14 days (Dodd, 1988) Well studied populations in the USA indicate that loggerheads nest every 2 .5 3.5 years (summarized by Schroeder et al., 2003) ; the same perio d icity would be expected to characterize individuals nesting in Jamaica. Quantitative data are scarce, but it appears that the decline in nesting populations of logger heads in Jamaica since the 1940 s has been so serious that it is uncertain whet her loggerheads can still be counted among the breeding herpetofauna of Jamaica. Historically, loggerheads were killed for meat and their eggs were taken (Lewis, 1947). However, d espite the many beaches where loggerheads nested in the past ( see Kerr, 198 4), there is no evidence beyond a n unconfirmed report to STRN from Guts River, Manchester, on the south coast in 1993 that th e species nests in Jamaica today
Page 7 Corresponding declines in observations and catches of loggerheads have occurred in Jamaica 's territorial waters. In 1982, fishermen reported seeing and catching loggerheads throughout Jamaica's coastal shelf (Kerr, 1984; Figure 5), yet there were only four confirmed observations in the 1990s. Two of these were in April 1992 at the Port Royal Cays, a third at Spanish Anchor reef, Runaway Bay in August 1994 (STRN, unpubl. data), and a fourth i s an undated report of a loggerhead reportedly maliciously blinded by fishermen in Portland Bight and then killed two weeks later (C. Blount, pers. comm. t o T. Williams, 1992). According to local residents, there were predictable seasonal observations of loggerheads in Old Harbour Bay until recent times; today such sightings are extremely rare. 2.2 Chelonia mydas Green Turtle Th e green sea turtle is recognized by its round, blunt beak with slightly serrated cutting edges, a single pair of large prefrontal scales between the eyes, and four pairs of lateral carapace scutes that do not overlap one another (Figure 4). The shell is light to dark brown in c olour, sometimes shaded with olive, and has radiating wavy or mottled markings of darker colour or with large blotches of dark brown. The plastron or belly plate is whitish or light yellow (Carr, 1952). The carapace is generally devoid of barnacles. Adu lts can attain weights of 230 kg (Pritchard et al., 1983) and generally measure 95 120 cm in straight carapace length. A mean carapace size of 100.2 cm (n = 2107) is reported from the Caribbean nesting beach at Tortuguero, Costa Rica (Bjorndal and Carr, 1 989). Of the two species (hawksbill and green) most frequently reported in Jamaica, the green turtle is much less abundant at the present time. There are far fewer green turtles in the water and using the nesting beaches than in years past (see section 3.3). Based on studies elsewhere in the Caribbean and other regions of the world, it is unlikely that individual green turtles remain in local waters throughout their lives. Hatchlings emerge from their nests, scurry to the sea, orient offshore in a swi mming frenzy that persists f or several days ( Wyneken and Salmon, 1992; Okuyama et al., 2009) and ultimately enter an offshore convergence or weed line. The Sargassum seaweed rafts shelter hatchling green turtles and harbour a diverse, specialized fauna, including many kinds of small fishes, crustaceans, worms, mollusks, tunicates, and coelenterates which may provide food for the young turtles (Carr, 1987). The turtles remain epipelagic (surface dwelling in the open sea) for an unknown period of time (per haps 1 to 7 y ea rs) before taking up residence in continental shelf habitats. Green sea turtles return to coastal waters as young juveniles and become herbivorous (Bjorndal, 1985). In the Caribbean they feed primarily on the seagrass Thalassia testudinum (Bjorndal, 1980, 1982), com returning to the same area of seagrass bed to forage each day. These scars, or grazing plots, are main tained by regular cropping for several months and the more digestible newer growth (rich in nutrients and lower in lignin) is preferred. When the cropped grasses show signs of stress (blade thinning, increased inter nodal distance), the turtle s apparently abandons the scar and moves on to form another. E vidence suggests that turtle grazing increases the productivity of seagrass (which in turn provide s critical habitat for commercially important fishes and mollusks) thus green turtles play an important eco logica l role in this community (Thayer et al., 1984). Within Jamaica waters green turtles have been reported throughout the year in seagrass beds all around the coast, but there are few confirmed obser vations of feeding. Preliminary examination of data from dive operators suggest s that turtle sightings are most frequently reported in January ; however, these sightings may be correlated with the frequency of divers during the winter tourist season (STRN, unpubl. d ata ). Juvenile green turtles travel extensivel y and in the years and decades preceding reproductive maturity take up temporary residence in many locations (Carr et al., 1978). Upon reaching maturity, the y migrate to mating and nesting grounds, the latter presumed to be their natal (birth) beach. Car ibbean green turtles reach sexual maturity at an estimated 18 36 years of age (reviewed by Frazer and Ladner, 1986 ; Bjorndal et al., 2000 ). There is evidence that adults return to resident foraging grounds after nesting
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 8 (e.g., Trong et al., 2005) There fore, the movements of adults are likely to be less extensive than those of juveniles, since adults move seasonally between relatively fixed feeding and breeding areas. Neverthe less the distances traveled by adults between feeding and breeding areas can b e several hundreds of kilometers (Ogren, 1984 ; Hays et al., 2002 ). Historical accounts describe annual migrations from breeding grounds on the Cayman Islands to feeding grounds around the southern cays of Cuba and then to the gulfs of Honduras and Mexico and adjacent coasts in the western Caribbean (Sloane, 1725; Leslie, 1740 ). Recoveries of tagged green turtles tend to support these accounts. A green turtle tagged in Nicaragua in the 1960's was recovered on the Morant Cays, Jamaica (Carr, 1967). Duerde n (1901 in Rebel 1974) cited evidence of marked turtles (species not recorded) traveling from Jamaica to the Miskito Coast, Nicaragua. A green turtle tagged while nesting at Aves Island, Venezuela, was later killed by a fisherman in Jamaican waters (G. Sol, FUDENA, pers. comm., 1995). A series of banks which span the Caribbean between Jamaica and Nicaragua could pro vide a chain of suitable feeding habitats to support this migration. In the 1850s green turtles were the most common sea turtle species in Jamaica (Hill, 1855) but by the 194 0 s nests were rare (Lewis, 1940). In a 1982 interview survey of fishermen, nesting was reported to occur on only seven beaches (Kerr, 1984) mostly on the northeast and south west coasts (Table 1 Figure 6) and s inc e then there have been only three reports of nesting on the mainland. A green turtle with partially developed eggs washed ashore dead at Southsea Park, Westmoreland, on 24 April 1996 (P. Marra, Dartmouth College, pers. comm.), but comprehen sive surveys of selected cays in Portland Bight in 1995, 2002 and 2003 failed to confirm any green turtle nesting (STRN, unpubl. data). Since then, rare but St. Elizabeth; Pedro Cays on the Pedro Banks and R eggae Beach and Oracabessa St. Mary (A. Donaldson, NEPA, pers. obs erv .) The nesting season as reported by Jamaican fishermen varies, but typically it is cited as "May Sep tember" or "May December" and some reports suggest a peak in June August (Ke rr, 1984). Data from other parts of the Caribbean Sea indicate that a female typically lays 2 6 clutches of eggs every 2 4 years (for a global summary, see Hirth, 1997) Clutches (typically consisting of 125 1 3 0 eggs but with v ariation among sites: Hirt h, 1980 ) are laid at 9 15 day intervals during the nesting season ( H irth, 1997) By the end of the twentieth century, breeding populations of the green turtle in Jamaica ha ve been virtually extirpated, and the biology and ecology of this historically prom inent species in our waters may never be known. Systematic beach surveys are needed to determine if any green turtles still nest on the shores of Jamaica or the offshore cays (section 4.112). 2.3 Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback Turtle This species i largest leatherback on record was a 916 kg (2015 lb) male that washed ashore dead on the coast of Wales, U.K. (Morgan, 1989). Females nesting in the Caribbean t ypically weigh 250 500 kg. Leather backs lack a bony shell as adults ( hence their common name ) and t he smooth black skin is mottled with pale sp ot s The carapace is strongly tapered, measures 130 165 cm in straight length, and is raised into seven promin ent ridges. Powerful f ore flippers extend to nearly the length of the body (Figure 4). Leath erbacks are found in the tropics, as well as in cold Canadian and European waters; they have the most extensive range of any reptile. Females depart seasonally f rom northern latitudes and arrive asynchro n ously at their Caribbean nesting beaches (Eckert and Eckert, 1988). Virtually nothing is known of the distribution or habits of adult males (but see James et al., 2005) or juveniles of either sex (Eckert, 2002) Although nesting by leatherbacks is apparently very rare in Jamaica, the species is known to fishermen and Portland fishermen interviewed in 1995 consistently identified the species correctly (Fisheries Division, 1995). Data collected at the well studi ed nesting beach at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands) indicate that each female deposits an average of 6 7 clutches of eggs at 10 day intervals (range 7 13 days) during the nesting season. Females generally return to n est every 2 3 years, but on rare occasions individuals may nest in consecutive years and sometimes females return
Page 9 after intervals longer than three years. Clutch size is typically 60 100 yolked eggs, averaging 85; a variable number of small er yolkless eg gs is also deposited ( Maros et al., 2003 ). The eggs incubate in the sand at a depth of 60 70 cm. Hatchlings emerge from the nest, generally at dusk, 60 65 days after egg laying (e.g., McDonald et al., 1991 ; Hilterman and Goverse, 2005 ). There have bee n only 12 reports of leatherback nesting in Jamaica since 1851 (Figure 7). Even account ing for the absence of consistent monitoring or reporting, the fact that only six published records exist emphasises the historical rarity of this species in Jamaica No beaches with leatherback nesting activity were identified by fishers in a 1982 national survey (Kerr, 1984) In 1983, a leatherback was reportedly killed offshore at Goat Island. A decade later, a possible nest ing attempt was reported from Parottee B each, St. Elizabeth, on 20 April 1993 ; fishermen reported (to R. Kerr) killing and taking the eggs from a nesting leatherback on Northeast Cay (Morant Group) in September 1995; and a nest which was probably a leatherback's was seen on Southeast Cay (M orant Group ) on 20 October 1995 (R. Kerr, pers. observ., 1995) A single nest was laid at Rose Hall, St. James, during each of the years 2003 and 2004, based on hatchlings observed by park security staff. Finally, o ver the course of 15 20 years, fishers have b rought three or four leatherbacks ashore that were entangled in buoy lines (from fish traps) in Old Harbour (C. Moodie, fisherman, pers. comm., 2005). Studies deploying time depth recorders on gravid females nesting in St. Croix have shown that individual s routinely spend the inter nesting interval diving to an average depth of about 60 m, and have attained maximum depths exceeding 1000 m (Eckert et al., 1986, 1989). Leatherbacks feed predominantly on jellyfish and other soft bodied prey (Den Hartog and V an Nierop, 1984; Davenport and Balazs, 1991). Based on studies of diving by adult females nesting in St. Croix, Eckert et al. (1989) proposed that dive behaviour may reflect nocturnal feeding on vertically migrating zooplankton, chiefly siphonophore and s alp colonies. No one has ever reported seeing leatherbacks foraging in Jamaica (STRN, unpublished data) and little is known of their inter nesting range or behavior. No subsistence or commercial markets are recorded. Despite historically well developed markets for leatherback oil in some Eastern Caribbean islands (e.g., Grenada, Tortola, St. Kitts), no such commerce emerged in Jamaica. 2.4 Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill Turtle particularly in areas with coral reefs where it can be observed swimming, feeding, and resting The species is identified by a narrow, pointed beak and two pairs of prefrontal scales between the eyes. The carapace is often posteriorly ser rated and the s cutes overlap like shingles on a roof (Figure 4). Adults rarely exceed 80 kg (175 lb) with a straight line carapace length of about 90 cm (Pritchard et al., 1983). Bright, mottled, colouration (brown, orange, gold) is common. Recent studies suggest t hat while hawksbills in the Caribbean consume a wide variety of food, they feed mainly on sponges especially two orders of Demospongea sp (see Witzell, 1983). Meylan (1988) found that sponges contributed 95.3% of the total dry mass of food in samples fro m the digestive tracts of 61 hawksbills from seven Caribbean countries. In the same study, 10 sponge species accounted for 79.1% of the dry mass of all sponges identified in the stomachs of these animals, suggesting some dietary selectivity. Healthy cora l reef habitats have decreased by more than 90% since 1980 and this dramatic loss of live coral in Jamaica n waters is likely to emerge as a serious impediment to the recovery of this species of sea turtle ( s ee section 3.11). High density nesting is relat ively rare in the Caribbean Sea (Dow et al., 2007), making this species diffi cult to study Population assessment is confounded by the nesting location; gravid females often nest on isolated beaches, including those flanked by exposed coral and rock and some that are very small making them difficult to monitor on a consistent basis. Nests are typically (though not always) made
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 10 under thickets of beach vegetation Often there is little evidence of the nest but for a faint asymmetrical crawl (about 0.7 m wide) leading to and from the sea. Available data indicate that newly emerged hatchlings enter the sea and are carried by offshore currents into major gyre systems where they remain until reaching a carapace length of some 20 to 30 cm. At that point t hey recruit into a neritic developmental foraging habitat that may comprise coral reefs or other hard bottom habitats, seagrass, algal beds, or mangrove bays and creeks (Musick and Limpus, 1997). As they increase in size, immature hawksbills typically inha bit a series of developmental habitats, with some tendency for larger turtles to inhabit deeper sites (van Dam and Diez, 1997; Bowen et al., 2007). Once sexually mature, they undertake breeding migrations between foraging grounds and breeding areas at int ervals of several years ( e.g., Witzell, 1983; Mortimer and Bresson, 1999). Global population genetic studies have demonstrated the tendency of female sea turtles to return to breed at their natal rookery (Bowen and Karl, 1997), though as juveniles they ma y have foraged at developmental habitats located hundreds or thousands of kilometers from the natal beach (summarized by Mortimer and Donnelly, 2007). One of the best known West Indian nesting beaches is Pasture Bay Beach (Jumby Bay Resort) on Long Islan d, Antigua. Data collected there indicate that over the course of the main nesting season (mid June to mid November) hawksbills nest at intervals of 13 18 days and make an average of five nests per season. After 2 3 years they return to the same beach to nest again (Corliss et al., 1989; Hoyle and Richardson, 1993). Lewis (1940) reported that, in Jamaica, hawksbills nested 3 or 4 times per year at 15 day intervals. In the Western Atlantic the average clutch size for hawksbills ranges from 120 160 eggs, with a typical incubation period of 60 75 days (Witzell, 1983). For hatchling hawksbills, like other species of sea turtle, sand temperature plays an important role in determining sex. Warmer incubation tempera tures favour females, whereas cooler temper atures favour males (summarized by Carthy et al., 2003) Hawksbills are the most common local nesting species, with nesting reported from many beaches around the island (Figure 8). According to residents, hawksbill nesting on Jamaican beaches was much mo re frequent in the past than it is currently (see section 3.3). All beaches surveyed by Kerr (1984) were described as hawksbill nesting beaches, but only about 12% have supported more than 10 females (ca. 50 nests) per year in recent memory. Hawksbills a re less strongly seasonal in their nesting habits than the other species in Jamaica (Lewis, 1940). Nesting occurs throughout most of the year, but the main season seems to be mid June to October (interpreted from Below, 1995). Twenty five years ago t he m aximum number of nests per night was estimated to range from 1 5 per beach and the estimated number of nests per season ranged from fewer than 20 to as many as 150 on selected cays in the Portland Bight area (Kerr, 1984). In 1995, the maximum number of to tal crawls reported from a single cay in Portland Bight was 61 (interpreted from Below, 1995). A report of 500 nests per season at Malcolm Bay, St. Elizabeth (Kerr, 1984) seems likely to have been a n exaggeration. It is difficult to estimate the total number of hawksbills nesting on Jamaican beaches, but the best avail able information suggests that the tally is not likely to exceed 100 turtles per year. Based on the STRN's "Sea Turtle Summer Nights" surveys (1992 1995), the main nesting beaches are fo und on the Portland Bight cays, where 75 nests were made between July and October 1993, representing an estimated 15 females. Between May and November 1995, 163 possible nests and 59 known false crawls were counted on the cays which were intensively surve yed. Fifteen more possible nests and eight false crawls were counted on other cays. Based on these data, the nesting population of hawksbills in Portland Bight in 1995 was estimated a t 25 30 nesting females (Below, 1995). Other important areas identifie d through the "Sea Turtle Summer Nights" and subsequent surveys include : the Palisadoes (Kingston) (where most nests are destroyed by dogs; Kerr, 1987) ; Portland Bight (selected beaches between Hellshire and Miller Bay) ; Rocky Cay/Sand Bank (the least acce ssible of the Portland Bight cays) ; Gut s River to Old Womans Point (Manchester) ; Great Bay and Font Hill (St. Elizabeth) to Negril (Hanover) ; Boscobel (St. Mary) ; Holland Bay (St. Thomas) ; and the Morant and Pedro Cays (Figure 8). The programme end ed in 1996
Page 11 Early data on hawksbill distribution at sea in Jamaica were reported to WATS (see Figure 9), and are also available from aerial survey sightings, reports from the public, and information solicited from dive operators (STRN, unpubl. data), but most of these data are geographically and chronologically biased and difficult to interpret. For example, the 1982 aerial survey ( see Figure 10) did not distinguish hawksbill turtles from other turtles observed at sea and reports from dive operators come only from selected dive sites. Nevertheless, the data do illustrate a broad distribution, with hawksbills observed at sea all around the island. The largest numbers of observations from aerial surveys were made along the south coast, especially Portland Bight, south St. Elizabeth and St. Mary. Most reports by dive operators were from Runaway Bay, Discovery Bay and Negril (STRN, unpubl. data), which correspond roughly with the distribution of dive shops participating in the programme. The majority of sightings were made between July and December and most of the turtles observed were small estimated at 10 50 cm in carapace length (STRN, unpubl. data). Nests are vulnerable to de predation by dogs, wild pigs, feral cats, rats, mongoose s ( Herpestes auropunc tatus ), and ghost crabs ( Ocypode sp.) (STRN, unpubl. data). There are reports of nest destruction by mongooses (Below, 1995) and depredation by feral pigs (B. Wilson, pers. comm.) at Manatee Bay St. Catherine. 2.5 Lepidochelys kem pii Kemp's Ridley Turtle It is possible that the Kemp's ridley occasionally ventures into Jamaican waters, but all reports (Dunn, 1918; Underwood, 1951 ; A. Haynes Sutton, pers. observ., 1982; P. Bacon, UWI, pers. comm., 1993; C. Moodie, pers. comm., 1995 ) are ambiguous and thus the occurrence of this species remains to be con firmed. Some local fishermen can identify from photographs (Tambiah, 1995), referring to it as ded in Port Antonio in 1894 (Dunn, 1918 cited in Greenfield, 1984) and Underwood ( 1951 ) included this species in his list of Jamaican reptiles. I n April 1982, there were two sightings of a group of about 200 small, round pale gray green turtles resembling this species in Galleon Harbour in Portland Bight on the south coast during an aerial survey for manatees. However, from a height of about 300 m it was not possible to determine the species, only to observe that they were noticeably lighter in color and less than one half the size of the other turtles observed during the survey (P. W. Fairbairn and A. Haynes Sutton, pers. observ., 1982). The Kemp's ridley is gray in colour when immature and primarily olive green as an adult (Pritchard et al., 1983). According to Ross et al. (1989), adults weigh 27 41 kg and have a shell length of 58 76 cm. The carapace is round, often as wide as it is long, and t here are typically five pairs of lateral scutes (those on either side of the median of the shell) (Figure 4). The species is carnivorous and eats mostly crabs, but also preys upon other crustaceans, shellfish, jellyfish, sea urchins, starfish, and fish (Burke et al., 1993). This species nests exclusively in the northern latitudes of the Wider Caribbean Regi on, primarily in Mexico and secondarily in the USA (Texas Florida). Only three sites (all located in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico) receive more than 1,000 nesting crawls per year (Dow et al., 2007) and the largest of these Rancho Nuevo received ap proximately 7,866 nests in 2006 (NOAA and US FWS 2007b). This depleted population boasted more than 42,000 adult females nesting during one day in 1947 (Ross et al., 1989), but excessive commercial exploitation on the nesting beach and incidental catch (an d drowning) in shrimp trawls plying the Gulf of Mexico eventually reduced the species to fewer than 500 nesting females per year. T oday t he population is increasing primarily due to intensive bilateral conservation efforts between the U S and Mexico, and is estimated at some 6,000 adults (Donna Shaver, U S National Park Service, pers. comm. 2005).
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 12 2.6 Lepidochelys olivacea Olive Ridley Turtle Olive ridleys are similar in appearance to Kemp's ridleys (section 2.5), having a nearly round carapace (width about 90% of the length) and an adult colour of olive green or brown dorsally and yellowish white ventrally. The turtle rarely exceeds 45 kg (Pritchard et al., 1983). Shell length of females nesting in Suriname, South America, ranges between 63 c m and 75 cm (Schulz, 1975). Each front flipper bears a single claw, the horny beak may be finely serrated, and carapace scutes do not overlap one another (cf. hawksbill turtle, section 2.4) The species can be distinguished from the other sea turtles by a relatively high and often asymmetrical number of lateral carapace scutes, mostly six or seven on each side and sometimes eight or nine (Schulz, 1975) (Figure 4). O ther sea turtle s pecies typically have 4 5 pair s of lateral scutes Olive ridley sea tur tles nest primarily in the Guianas, with comparatively minor nesting reported from Trinidad and Tobago, Curaao, and other southern Caribbean locations (Dow et al., 2007). A decline of more than 90% in the number of breeding age adults in Suriname, until r ridley nesting colony, is attributed primarily to fisheries interactions (summarized by Reichart and Fretey 1993, Reichart et al. 2003). The number of nests laid in French Guiana was recently reported to be rising (Kelle et al., 2009). In 2007, an injured olive ridley was brought ashore in St. James; the animal was entangled in fishing gear. III. STRESSES ON SEA TURTLES IN JAMAICA Information based on historical literature suggests that local populations of sea turtles have declined severely since the fifteenth century ( s ee sections I II) together with i nterviews with Jamaicans who can recall the conditions of the sea life prior to World War II indicate that populations have deteriorated further since the 1940s. The absence of baseline data makes it impossible to assess the relative importance of many possible contributions to the decline but both direct exploitation and loss of habitat are implicated in the extirpation sea turtle and the depleted status of the fourth ( hawksbill ) Despite a moratorium on sea turtle capture established under the Wild Life Protection Act in 1982, exploi tation continues, periodically making national news (e.g., Anon ymous 1989). An overvi ew of stresses to sea turtles in Jamaica is presented below and expanded in sections 4.13 and 4.14. 3.1 Destruction or Modification of Habitat contrib A ll qualitative and quantitative evidence suggest that nesting and foraging areas are under increasing stress from development, disturbance and pollution. Many beaches that once supported sea turtle nesting have been so heavily developed that successful nesting is no longer possible. Other threats are equally pervasive e.g., more than 60% of 26 Jamaican beaches included in a recent survey showed signs of oil pollution (Jo nes and Bacon, 1990; Siung Chang, 1997 ). Similarly, increasing levels of pollution in the Caribbean region generally ( e.g., UNEP, 1989a ; IOC/UNESCO 1992 ) are likely to have an e ffect on sea turtles during the pelagic phases of their life cycle. 3.11 F oraging habitat Destructive activities in coastal mangroves, forests, and other woodlands contribute to the deterioration of coastal water quality. Sea turtles depend largely on seagrass beds and liv ing coral reefs for food and shelter. There has been no nationwide assessment of the health and status of seagrass beds but studies within and near Kingston Harbour illustrate that they are negatively affected by pollution (Greenway, 1977; Green and Webber, 2003). Moreover, seagrass is often uprooted during dredging, hotel develop ment or beach improvement projects (see section 4.135). There was some interest in replanting sea
Page 13 grass beds in the 1980s (Thorhaug et al., 1983), but large scale projects were never undertaken, probab ly because they had little c hance of achieving their objectives until the underlying environmental p roblems were addressed satisfac torily have b een attempt s to mandate seagrass replanting to replace areas lost t o development ; e.g., develop ment licences granted to R iu Jamaicotel Ltd and Sandals Whitehouse. In the case of Riu Jamaicotel replanting was undertaken but the success of the effort has not yet been documented. Coral reefs and other habitats used by sea turtles for food and refuge are generally declining in quality and extent in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean (UNEP 1989a ; Burke and Maidens, 2004 ) Despite evidence of recovery in some areas, s prior to 2005 showed that hard coral cover had decline d from 50% in the 1970s to less than 5% by the 1990s due to hurricanes, urchin d ie off s coral diseases and over fishing (Wilkinson, 2008). One estimate suggests that the r oughly 400 k m of reef in Jamaica provide a net value of billions of US dollars per year in derived goods and services suggest ing that coral reefs are the most valuable of Jamaica's marine ecosystems, perhaps even be more valuable per unit area than any terrestrial eco system in Jamaica (Goreau, 1992) highli ghting the fact that t he nation has much at stake in maintaining the ecological health and economic value of coral reefs Coral reef loss es are a significant problem n egatively affect ing many important aspects of the national economy, including tourism, f isheries, and the built infrastructure that is protected by the reefs. Wilkinson (2008) concluded that the impact of coral reef d egradation ill ripple throughout the fab r ic of the socio eco no and that such degradation is likely to have contributed already to the ongoing resources. Physical damage (e.g., indiscriminant anchoring, dropping fish pots, dynamit ing ), disease, coral reef severe storm events ( e.g., Hurricanes Alan in 1980, Gilbert in 1988, Ivan in 2004), pollution, and the input of sediment, nutrients and agrochemicals from the high rate of deforestation (World Resources Institute, 1994) are implicated in the deterioration of Jamaica's reefs. In a ddition, both chronic over f ishing and a disease which destroyed the majority of black sea urchins ( Diadema antillarum ) ha ve led to a serious species diversity imbalance within the reefs and the smothering of corals by uncontrolled algal growth (Hughes, 1994). Finally, a decline in the health of reefs around Hellshire (1970 1984) i s attributed in part to pollution from the metropolitan Kingston area (Goodbody, 1989). Pollution and dredging of Jamaica's coastal waters have negatively impacted sea turtle foraging habitats F ish kills are indicative of serious problems in the coastal marine environment. Major sources of pollution are industrial and agricultural effluent garbage dumps and solid wast e and household sewage. Solid waste disposal is a persistent problem throughout the island, and many people dispose of their wastes by dumping it in gullies, riverbanks and along roadside s Plastic bags and packaging are ubiquitous components of the was te stream; they are particularly troublesome to marine fauna because they may be lethal when in gested by sea turtles that mistake them for jellyfish (e.g. Mrosovsky, 1981 ; Bjorndal, et al., 1994 ). S ome of th e waste is carried into coastal waters by rain water and by rivers and creeks. Partly as a result of this practice, Kingston Harbour is heavily littered by solid waste migrating from the landscape; the mangroves of adjacent Port Royal have nearly 50 cm of garbage around their roots ( G reen and Webber, 1996). Additional sources of pollution are garbage sites and inadequately treated sewage. Garbage dumps of many large coastal towns are situated in mangrove swamps and the refuse is transported into coastal water system s by surface ru n off While eff orts are made to ensure that environmental standards and regulations governing household sewage are observed for new resort areas, most coastal communities and towns still lack central sewage treatment facilities (Nangle, 2007). Since the mid 1990s, th ere have been some efforts to address the issues contributing to degrad ed sea turtle foraging areas. A long term plan to clean up Kingston Harbour began in 1996 with a Global Envi ronment Facility of the United Nations Development Program me (GEF/UNDP) pro ject to control land
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 14 ject sought to develop an integrated investment proposal for rehabilitation work in the Kingston Harbour the result was t he Soapbe rry Wastewater Treatment Plan which resulted in a treatment facility constructed in the St. Catherine parish ( adjacent to the Kingston Harbour ) to serv ice the communities of Kingston and St. Catherine (GOJ, 2007). There is an ongoing program me to develop a database of the conditions of reefs in Jamaican waters. Initial efforts (2001 2005) of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) focused on pilot sites, including Portland Bight, Port Royal Cays, and Negril, and they concluded that reefs were ge nerally recovering. However, Portland Bight suffered major damage during Hurricane Ivan in 2004, in part because much of the re growth had occurred on dynamite blasted coral rubble. The NRCA Coastal Zone Management Project has mapped coastal resources and assessed the scale and nature of historical and contemporary threats to improve the framework for managing marine systems. In a related effort, NEPA collaborated with WIDECAST and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to characteri s e and map beaches nation wide ( D ow et al. 2007) While i t is important to consider the stresses faced by sea turtles in non Jamaican forag ing habitats when developing conservation plans (see section 4.33) t he extent to which Jamaican born sea turtles depend on feeding grounds in othe r countries is not wel l known All sea turtle species are h ighly migratory, but migration and foraging patterns are not well understood for any population in Jamaica. There is e vidence that green turtles from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands historically m igrate d to Cuba and Central America (see section 2.2) and hawksbills observed in Jamaica migrated from Nicaragua (Nietschmann, 1981). A collaborative project between NRCA STRN, and the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service d e ployed satellite transmitte rs on two hawksbills nesting at Half Moon Cay, Portland Bight, in 1999 and two hawksbills nesting at Tower Isle, St. Mary, in 2000. Dat a was transmitted for up to six months and indicated that two animals took up residence in foraging grounds in Jamaica ( one off the coast of St. Elizabeth, and one on the Pedro Bank), and two migrated to Central America (R. K. Bjorkland, Duke University, unpubl. data ). 3.12 Nesting habitat Suitable nesting areas are critical to the reproductive cycle of sea turtles. Nev ertheless, lack of public awareness of the ecological importance of sandy beaches to sea turtle s urvival and the low economic importance of sea turtles in terms of a direct connection to the Jamaican economy appear to have conspired to create a lack of saf eguards to protect important sea turtle habitat during the planning and implemen tation of coastal projects. Research ( summarized for the Caribbean region by C hoi and Eckert, 2009) show s that some of the most important factors contributing to the destructi on and degradation of nesting beaches are : coastal developments : siting of hotel s, villa s, and industrial complexes and the associated removal of coastal vegetation (e.g., mangroves seagrasses) ; expansion of garbage dumps ; increase d artificial beach front lighting ; and assorted types of pollution associated with human population s physical barriers to sea turtle nesting and hatching : beachfront fencing of private property ; sunbeds, cabanas, umbrellas, sail boats and other recreational equipment parked o r l eft on sandy beaches anthropogenic changes in beach topography : construction of groynes and other structures to "stabilise" the shoreline ; coastal roads ; sand mining ; commercial and residential beachfront development ; and the disturbance of coastal wetlan ds natural changes in beach topography : hurricanes, storms and other natural processes The effects of these events have been exacerbated where natural beach processes have been disrupted and natural protective barriers ( e.g., coral reefs, mangroves) rem oved T hese effects are expected to increase with global climate change (McGregor, 1995 ; Fish et al., 2005, 2008, 2009 )
Page 15 human presence on the beaches and cays : more potentially disruptive activity from tourists and residents ; extracti on of resources from mangrove s and coastal wetlands ; and illegal fishing camps especially on the cays exotic predators : mongoose s rats, and feral dogs, cats and pigs which generally are asso ciated with increased human presence pollution : oil, solid waste, agro chemicals, se wage seeps, and pesticides compaction of beach sand : by pedestrians, horses, cattle, donkeys and vehicles on the beach (e.g., motorcycles, sand mining trucks and recreational vehicles ) N ew interest in developing the relatively unexploited south coast fo r tourism is a potential threat to the beaches and coastal wetlands that have been relatively safe havens for sea turtle s Despite recommend dations in the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development (GOJ, 2001) and the South Coast Development Plan (S ir William Halcrow and Partners Ltd. 1999 ; Wilson, 2002) to conserve nesting habitat on sensitive beaches for sea turtles and crocodiles, the GOJ has permitted some construction activity (e.g., Sandals Whitehouse) resulting in the destruction of significan t segments of pristine beach and coastal wetland. With major hotels proposed for most remaining sandy beaches it is crucial that lessons learn ed from poorly conceived beachfront development along the west and north coasts be applied to the planning proce ss for the south coast. See section 4.13 for relevant recommendations. 3.2 Disease or Predation There are no data on the extent to which disease affects sea turtles in Jamaica. However, diseases are unlikely to be detected b ecause t here have been fe w reports of turtle strandings and there is no systema tic monitoring of local populations G reen turtle fibropapilloma tosis disease has been reported throughout the Western Atlantic (e.g., Jacobson, 1990; Guada et al., 1991; Ehrhart, 1991 ; Williams, et a l. 1994; Aguirre, et. al., 2000; Greenblatt, et a l., 2005 ) but it has n ot been confirmed in Jamaica n waters. How ever, this lack of confirmation does not exclude the possibility that it is present. Th is debilitating and potentially fatal disease is cause d by a herpesvirus like infection that burdens the turtle with internal and/or external tumours which may cause inter alia, blindness and s tarvation S cientists do not yet know the mechanism of transmission WIDECAST has provided p hotographs of afflicted turtles and other rele vant information to the Fisheries Division. Suspicious cases should be reported to the Fisheries Division (tel: 923 8811 ) or the NEPA (tel: 888 991 5005). Under no circumstances should diseased turtles be offered for human consump tion. Natural predators of Caribbean sea turtles differ among life stages. Eggs and hatchlings are mostly taken by birds (e.g., frigate birds Fregata magnificens ; vultures Cathartes aura ; gulls Larus atricilla ), crabs especially the ghost crab ( Ocypo de sp.), and, once the hatchlings enter the sea, a variety of predatory fishes. Populations of some large predatory fish are declin ing in Jamaica as a result of over fishing (Aiken and Haughton, 1985) so fewer hatchlings and young juveniles may be lost t o this source of predation at present than in the past. On the other hand, the number of hatchlings coming off Jamaica's beaches is so vastly reduced from previous for the small, vulnerable turtl es. Larger juveniles and adults occasionally fall prey to sharks. Tiger sharks ( Galeocerdo cuvieri ) for example, are known to consume hawksbills in the Caribbean (e.g., Boulon, 1984; Young, 1992; Fuller et al., 1992). Exotic mammals, such as mongoose dogs and rats are important nest predators in some parts of the Caribbean including Jamaica Boulon (1984) estimated that 50 60% of hawksbill nests laid on Buck Island (St. Croix) in 1980 1981 were lost to mongoose. In Jamaica, a nest at Gut River was destroyed by a mongoose (J. Voordouw, UNEP, pers. comm., 1993) and t here are in the Portland Bight area (e.g., A. Donaldson, NRCA [now NEPA] pers. observ. 1993). F ive nests found along 1 km of the Palisadoes peninsula were dug up by dogs in 1983 (R. Kerr, pers. observ. ), and a nest was reportedly attacked by a cat at Half Moon Hotel, St. James, in 1993 (M. Miller, Montego Bay Marine Park, pers. comm., 1993). Below (1995) noted that m ongooses, rats, birds host crabs ( Ocypode sp.) and a feral cat preyed on hawksbill nests in
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 16 Portland Bight in 1995 and w ild pigs were suspected of destroying nests at Manatee Bay on the Hellshire coast (Byron Wilson, UWI, pers. com m. ). The proportion of nests lost to these predators is unknown, but the number s of d og s cat s rat s, and mongoose s grow with human populations and may pose increasing problem s even on relatively remote beaches and cays. 3.3 Over utilisation Histori cal overview : S ea turtles probably have been hunted by humans since the first people arrived in Jamaica and Central America. The middens in Jamaica reveal that sea turtles were an important part of the diet of early inhabitants such as the Tainos in par t because of the paucity of large land mammals (e.g., Johnston, 1976; Wing, 1977). Many Taino settlements were located in coast al areas known to have been important to sea turtles, and turtles featured prominently in their art (Tyndale Biscoe, 1962). Lewi s (1940) noted respite for hundreds of years. The most serious phase of the destruction is the taking of eggs from nests and the killing of females when they are at the top of the beach for egg S ea turtles from Cayman were harvested to feed the occupying British forces following their occupation of Jamaica in 1655 The supply of sea turtles from the Cayman Islands seemed infinite and the inhab itants bene fited from "this never failing resource of turtle, or their eggs, conducted annually as it were into their very hands" (Sloane, 1725). Once landed, turtles were impounded in turtle crawls or palisadoes until they were sold. R emnants of these palisadoes h ave been found in excavations of the sunken city of Port Royal ( Sloane, 1725; Radcliffe, 1972) and s everal places in Jamaica have names which suggest they were used for this purpose. The early colonists considered only the green sea turtle to be edible (Sloane, 1725), but the eggs of all species were readily consumed. Later occupants ate all sea turtle species In the early 18 th century turtles were a major part of the local diet ( Sloane, 1725) and a nnu ally ships came to the Cayman Islands (administered as part of Jamaica until 1962) from all over the Caribbean to obtain supplies of turtle meat from May to July (Blome, 1672). Turtle meat was still commonly eaten in the early twentieth century ; Mandevil le resident, Mr. Arthur W. Sutton remember ed turtle meat vendors routinely walk ed the 32 km from Alligator Pond (where the turtles had been landed) to Mandeville. Shells were generally considered waste (A.W. Sutton, pers. comm., 1995) ; h owever, very smal l pieces used to make s alt spoons were prized because they would not corrode In addition to supplying the market for local consumption, green turtles were shipped live from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to England for use in turtle soup. The soup was considered a delicacy and a traditional feature at the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet in the London. L ive green turtles were shipped from Jamaica to England in casks or turned and lashed to the decks (Beckford, 1790) and t his practice continued until the tw entieth century. Mr. Sutton of Mandeville (see preceding paragraph) remembers seeing green turtles lying on their backs on the deck during his 1927 voyage to England from Jamaica He recalls that there were about ten very large turtles on board and that they were sprinkled with water W. Sutton, pers. comm., 1995) Historical data for Jamaican turtle exports are difficult to interpret because they include all products shipped through Jamaica and collected in waters ad ministered by Jamaica such as the Cayman Islands. Records show a decline in exports since the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1900, Jamaica exported g reen t urtles worth £7,248 and hawksbills worth £1,693 ; the 1929 export of 1,834 green turtles wer e worth £3,668 and 1,850 hawksbill turtles worth £5,982 Only 348 green turtles were exported in 1934 and i n 1945 an estimated 300 600 turtles (mostly hawksbills ) were exported (summarized by Rebel, 1974). By WWII, green turtles (once the most abundan t nesting species on the Morant and Pedro Cays), had been exti r pated by commercial hunters and only hawksbills and loggerheads remained (Lewis, 1940). T urtle s of the Cayman Islands apparently had been so exhausted by 1940 that part of the Cayman Brac turt le fishing fleet was stationed at the Morant and Pedro Cays annually during July and August. Fishers took every hawksbill weighing more than 4.5 kg, thereby eliminating a large portion of
Page 17 the pre breeding population. Considering this level of exploitatio n exist s Fishing industry surveys in 1962 1963 (Chuck, 1963) and 1968 1969 (Nembhard, 1970) show a decline in the annual numbers of turtles caught (reflected in landed weight ) (Fi gure 11). Kerr (1984) reported that in 1982, out of approximately 9,000 Jamaican fishermen, most had probably participated in the sea turtle fishery at some time : 2,187 were actively involved in the turtle fishing effort 50 were involved in its processi ng, and 926 in selling turtle meat Additionally, the 100 150 people reported to be involved in taking eggs disturbed at least 100 150 nests and collected about 30,000 eggs annually (Kerr, 1984). M igratory species are affected by hunting pressures throug hout the ir range and the decline of the green turtles is a good example. Green turtles on the coasts of Nicaragua (one of the largest feeding grounds in the Western Hemisphere) have been subjected to intense hunting pressure since the 1960s when subsiste nce hunting was replaced by commercial enterprises (Nietschmann, 1971). Between 1969 197 6 u p to 10,000 green turtles were exported annually significantly reducing the population (Nietschmannn, 1979). Although data suggest that the last large decline in Jamaican populations of green turtles occur red at least 20 years earlier, intense hunting of turtles in their foraging grounds portend the difficulty of re establishing viable populations in Jamaica. Historically, t he egg harvest has been relentless and impossible to accurately quantify. Following an in cause World War II ( WWII ) created shortages of fuel and other supplies needed by the fishermen for their long journey s Lewis added, ( on the Pedro Cays ) during the ( bird ) egg collecting season. Probably most of these were Loggerhead nests. I believe that the lessee made a sincere effort to protect the turtle. I also believe that many of the nests were left untouched but certainly not all of them. It must be pointed out, however that without very careful and conscientious supervis ion, it is very difficult to control the illegal capture of turtle which is always in great demand in Kingston. It is even more difficult Contemporary situation : There are indications turtle harvesting in Jamaica is stil l w ides pread. I t is impos sible to quantify the full extent of th is activity because of the illegal nature of the fishery and the dispersed coastal population. Charles Moodie, a f ormer turtle fisherman from Old Harbour of sea turtles in Shoals. In the early 1990s a trip to the area would include sightings of 50 60 turtles; five years later sightings would fall to half that number ( ca. 25) and by the end of the twentieth century, to about five Today, sightings of 1 2 turtles Moodie grounds and at the present time one is likely to encounter only newly recruited ( 3 4 kg ) turtles or adults. The reason for this unique demographic composition appears to be the routine target ing of juveniles which provide only what a single family can consume b ecause possession of the meat is illegal Mr. Moodie remembers loggerhead populations in the 1960s that fishermen caught them by hook and line (using various species of fish as bait) in Galleon Harbour and Portland Bight (the largest of Subsequent use of long gillnets ext irpated them and c oastal gillnets were so effective at capturing green turtles journeying between seagrass beds and mangrove coasts that they are rarely seen today. Fishermen have increasingly turned to spear fishing techniques in part because of the damage to nets resulting from increas ed motorboat traffic and because of the wider availability of compressed air tanks With increased spearfishing some boats contribute 3 4 sea turtles per day to the informal market (C. Moodie, pers. comm., 2005). The more effective noose and hook and stick methods of spear fishing was learned from immigrant Honduran and Nicaraguan fishers who we re hired to crew lobster and conch
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 18 boats in Jamaica. Hawksbills are the most common species landed by spear fishermen and they are more at risk because of the increased use of this technique to illegally harvest them. Sea turtles are taken illegally at sea, as well as on nesti ng beaches. Despite periodic reports from con cerned residents of turtle killings, the majority of incidents go unreported. Few nests found by human or other predators are left undisturbed unless they occur on hotel, private, remote or inaccessible beach es. A survey indicated that at least 30 turtles were killed illegally between Alligator Pond and Negril (STRN, unpubl. data) and at least five adults and five juveniles were poached in Portland Bight in 1995 ( the se are the most recent data available to th e authors) While there are no longer any specialized turtle fishermen and the use of traditional gear, such as turtle nets and decoys, is seldom practiced, interviews conducted during the development of this action plan confirm that fishermen travel to the Portland Bight Cays regularly to collect eggs and to kill adult turtles on the nesting beaches. In areas where nesting is most frequent, including Portland and St. Thomas, men spend nights on the beaches waiting for nesting turtles to come ashore. A lthough statistics on incidents of sea turtle killing s and egg poaching s are lacking anecdotal evidence suggests that this practice continues in Portland Bight and on the Pedro Cays although most fishers are aware that it is illegal. It is hoped that the newly declared Fish Sanctuaries will once they are operationalised, help to protect some nesting beaches Even though the presence of beach patrollers, nest monitors, and other interested par ties on the beach at night may discourage poaching, conservat ion volunteers still report incidents of defending nesting turtles from hunters. These volunteers suspect that the poachers persist in their efforts to take turtle s and eggs, and that they monitor the beach in order to know when the turtle returns to nest again. It is impor tant for enforcement personnel to recognise the need to employ strategies to target groups using different turtle harvesting methods. For example, between Savanna la Mar and Negril, most turtles are taken by spear fishermen whereas fr om east of Savanna la Mar to Alligator Pond, many sea turtles are poached from nesting beaches, including from the Pedro Cays (C. Moodie, pers. comm., 1995 and reaffirmed 2005). Faced with declines in fish catches, turtles have been reported as an importa nt supple mental source of meat and income for some fishermen (Tambiah, 1995). Turtles are caught as bycatch by many fishermen ; Portland Bight fishermen claimed to Tambiah (1995) that 99% of turtles caught were incidental catches. Sport divers, too, occa si onally take turtles using spear guns with little intervention on the part of the operators. Additionally, there is very little known about the extent of the harvest in the open waters of the EEZ and beyond, but larger fishing vessels traveling between th e Miskito Cays and the mainland are known to have sea turtles among their catch (C. Moodie, pers. comm., 2005). Currently the Pedro and Morant Cays are vulnerable to continuous hunting pressure for sea turtles and other protected resources; however, some reports suggest that fishers do not intentionally bother turtles on the main nesting cay (A. Donaldson, NEPA, per. observ., 2007). While the extent of the illegal sale is not known, there is documented evidence of sea turtle products available in selec ted markets. As a result of the illegal nature of the trade, sea turtle products are available only through informal networks of fishermen and consumers. All parts of the turtle are used, and the majority of turtle meat is consumed by the fishermen and t heir families as observed in the Portland Bight area (Tambiah, 1995). Often a turtle is brought ashore and kept alive, sometimes secured in a net along an inland river bank to avoid detection until a buyer can be found. The meat is used for stew or soup and the shell may be sold to tourists or residents as souvenirs or ornaments. Turtle soup and meat were openly advertised in 1995 in restaurants in Rocky Point (Clarendon parish) (A. Haynes Sutton, pers. observ., 1995), Negril and in a market in Black Riv er Reports of turtle consump tion in restaurants in Old Harbour have been reported to NEPA as recently as 2009 (A. Donaldson, pers. comm 2010 )
Page 19 a Esp eut, SCCF, pers. comm., 1995). This concoction, which included raw turtle eggs, stout, wine and con densed milk, remains on the menu at a restaurant in Savanna la Mar (C. Moodie, pers. comm., 1995 and reconfirmed 2005). The stretched skin of the turtle pe as a sexual inducer for J$70 (about US$10) per 2.5 cm in 1992 (T. Williams, SCCF, pers. comm., 1992; STRN, unpubl. data) or added to drinks (D. Hudson, pers. comm., 1992). More current information w as not available to the authors. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that a comprehen sive market survey be designed and implemented to determine the extent to which sea turtle parts and products continue to be available through formal and informal markets in Jamaica. Tortoiseshell: Hawksbill turtle shell (tortoiseshell) was important in Jamaica's early trading history (Long, 1774). Raw shell was imported (Edwards, 1793) and both raw shell and tortoiseshell products were exported (prima rily to England) (Long, 1774; Hart, 1983). In writing about early tortoiseshell products Hart (1983) noted that o f the many and varied collections owned by the Institute of Jamaica, one of the most immediately appealing and interesting must surely be th e 17th century tortoiseshell [including] wig intricately engraved with Coat of Arms designs, locking mechanisms, and sterling silver adornments (Cundall, 1929, 1936) and probably represented some of the earliest art objects made in the British West Indies displaying European influence. International trade in un worked (raw shell) turtle products was banned in 1955 under Trade Law 4, but no regulations existed that covered the export of finished products until the year 2000 when Jamaica passed the Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade) Act to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES, see section 4.311). In 1987, five years after turtles were protected under national law (see section 4.211), TRAFFIC ( an international wildlife trade monitoring authority) has reported the export of turtle shell from Jamaica; however, it is not clear the reported sh ell originated in Jamaica (see section 4.31 for details). The amount of sale of tortoiseshell products in the open retail markets varies geographically, but it ap pears to be concentrated in tourist destinations, especially Negril. Kerr (1994) reported tortoiseshell jew elry on sale in public markets in Oracabessa, St. Mary (bracelets for J$300), Savanna la Mar, Trelawny, and the craft market in Negril. A 1995 market survey undertaken in support of this Recovery Action Plan revealed nearly every shop o n the beach in Negril had a small amount of tortoiseshell jewelry for sale at prices ranging from US$ 5 50. While tortoiseshell products were not openly sold in Montego Bay (H. Smidt, JCDT, pers. comm., 1995) or Port Antonio (M. Gauron, PEPA, pers. comm., 1995), an itinerant vendor in Ocho Rios had items for sale (R. van Barnevelt, TPDCo., pers. comm., 1995). finishing business, processed 455 kg of shell (P. Fairbairn, Norman Deau Assoc., unpubl. data). When the sea turtle protection law was adopted in 1982, the Larman business had a large stock of raw shell and expressed an interest in modifying their operations to use cow horn and other suitable substit utes. The NRCA explored mechanisms to allow the Larman business to use existing stocks (e.g., licensing the weighed and placed into sealed bags, and Larman was allowed to draw on this stockpile for use or export. Products made using these stocks were verified by NRCA. NRCA made an assessment of the Larman stockpile of raw shell in 1990, and a 2002 reassessment by NEPA concluded t hat no material had been removed and that the stockpile remained intact during that period T he lack of change in the stockpile is an apparent contradiction however, because the Larman business continued to make and sell tortoiseshell jewelry for the loca l market at least until 1996 These sales may represent processed shell and finished jewelry which were never included in stockpile inventory ; t herefore Larman products reportedly in trade between 1990 and 1996 may be from pre moratorium (1982) stock L arman and sons are no longer in business, but nother
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 20 merchant, Mr. Ivan Depass, initially refused to have his tortoiseshell stocks assessed (in 1982), but later ag reed to participate. However, this assessment w as never undertaken a nd the amount of shell in his possession remains unknown. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that Jamaican authorities t ake a decision to confis cate (with negotiated compensation) the remaining inventories and/or certify the inventory and resulting products in a way that ensures the products can be legally manufactured and sold for a limited period with no restocking of raw material. If the latter option is followed, a mechanism for certification must be identified and successfully implemented. Manufactu r ers will be held to detailed reporting protocols, and all remaining stocks of all parties must be regularly assessed by NEPA. Until these actions are taken, there can be no effective control of the (albeit now nearly non existent) tortoiseshell market in Jamaica which is an otherwise illegal enterprise under national and international law. In the meanwhile, the domestic sale of tortoiseshel l from unknown sources does con tinue at low levels in Jamaica as evidenced by the recent sale of items in Negril, Ocho Rios and Tre a sure B each (A. Haynes Sutton, pers. observ. 2003; W. Lee, pers. comm 2005 ; A. Haynes Sutton pers. observ. 2010 ) and it is therefore, a recommendatio n of this Recovery Action Plan that there be an organi s ed programme for public awareness and education and for the prosecution of offenders Craft vendors in the main tourist areas should be monitored and no sales of tortoiseshell products to departing to urists can be allowed, as mandated by CITES (see section 4.311) Efforts to make tourists aware of CITES regulations should be increased. It is noteworthy that there was no attempt to inform tourists and other visitors that trade in tortoiseshell was pro hibited until the CITES 1990s featured the illegal trade in wildlife products. This informational material was distributed widely to private businesses and public sector organisations involved with or affected by sea turtle conservation at that time. NEPA also developed two CITES related posters to inform residents and visitors about the importance of sea turtles and penalties associated with illegal wi ldlife trade. Finally, the Canada/Jamaica Green Fund Project and NRCA sponsored a conservation oriented wildlife display in the Norman Manley International airport (Kingston), and there were plans to include a billboard display in Montego Bay featuring se a turtles. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that signs or other information be placed prominently at all points of entry (airport, cruise ship), informing visitors not to purchase sea turtle products. 3.4 Inadequate R egulatory M ec hanisms Jamaica has not been fully successful in provid ing effective conservation and management of its natural resources and wildlife despite the many laws and institutions intended for this purpose (see Table 4) The r easons for this include the compl ex ity of institutional interactions; inconsistencies between past and present legislation ; a generally low level of respect for the law ; and insufficient resources for environment al activities including enforcement ( GOJ, 1995a ) 3.41 National legisl ation Jamaica has a long history of ineffective legislation governing management and protection of sea turtles The 1711 law which specified did not apply to the Cayman Islands (then administered as part of Jamaica), where most of the turtles were harvested (Sloane, 1725). The regulatory framework with regard to sea turtle protection did not change until 1907 when the Morant and Pedro Cays Law was introduced to re gulate the harvest of turtle and turtle eggs on the offshore cays. Its provisions were not easy to enforce primarily because of the remoteness of the area (Lewis, 1940).
Page 21 In 1919, a five month closed season for turtles (1 April to 31 August) was impose d under the Birds and Fish Protection Law 33 of 1914. The 1973 amendment of the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA), which replaced the Birds and Fish Protection Law in 1945, effectively repealed the closed season O nly the year round protection of eggs rema ined in force; it prohibit ed the taking, attempt to take, sale, or having in one's possession for the purpose of sale turtle eggs. It was not until 1982 that all species of sea turtles were included under Schedule III of the WLPA and all life stages were fully protected throughout the year Under t he WLPA it became up to J$ 1 0 0,000 or 12 months in prison and, potentially, forfeiture of vehicles, boats and equipment The forfeiture provision has never been exercise d. C ontrary to the conclusions of some published interpretations of the law (including Fleming, 2001: p.88), t he act of offering for sale a turtle or parts of a turtle is not illegal. An individual or individuals cannot be prosecuted for advertising turtle products for sale and the burden of proof that products sold contain sea turtle parts is placed on enforceme nt agencies Additionally, there has been little willingness on the part of authorities to more fully investigate suspected violations. Recent cases of citizen reports on local restaurants advertising sea turtle menu items have not produced any arrests o r prosecutions because of lack of direct evidence of possession (W. Lee, pers. comm. 2005). It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that action be taken as a matter of urgency t o close this loophole in the WLPA R evised text should explicit ly prohibit the taking, attempt to take, sale, attempt to purchase or sell, or possession of any sea turtle, egg, part or product. Moreover, it is a recommend dation of this Recovery Action Plan that law enforcement agents be trained in the identification of sea turtle parts and products, including DNA testing, so that cases of poaching can be confirmed and prosecuted (see also sections 4.212 and 4.213) The judicial system has a history of inconsistent support of environmental protec tion issues (see sect ion 4.212), a stance which likely reflects prevalent social values. However, there have been notable excep tions. For example a man arrested in Negril for catching and killing a hawksbill turtle in 1993 was fined J$10,000 and spent seven days in jail. A decade later, i n January 2002, a Resident Magistrate awarded the highest ever fines for environmental offenses in Jamaica. Fines exceeding J$1 Million ( charged un der the Aquaculture, Inland and Marine Products and By products (Inspection, Licensing and Export) Act 1999) and J$80,000 for charges under the Wild L ife Protection Act (WLPA) involving protected species, includ ing a hawksbill turtle, were levied against the captain and chief mate of the Honduran vessel year, a similar offense by another Honduran vessel received the maximum penalty under the WLPA. It is the expectation that this Recovery Action Plan will provide an important tool in helping the judiciary to understand the ecological and social benefits o f full enforce ment and prosecution of environmental protection laws. 3.42 Institutional arrangements R eaching consensus and implementing conservation initiatives is an essential but difficult process because of the many stakeholders who may be affect ed by sea turtle management actions (see Table 4) C urrent weaknes s es in the enforcement of wildlife, fisheries and coastal zone legislation in Jamaica are common among Caribbean nations and are primarily resource related (human, financial). They also re flect a general lack of involvement by resource users in resource management decision making. Contri buting factors include : (i) the relatively low priority g ive n (by Government) to biodiversity issues including coastal and marine issues ; (ii) serious lim itations in operating capabilities of environmental agencies; (iii) a generally low level of public awareness; and (iv) insufficient public and private support for enforcement of environmental laws in general and addressing related and often complex socio economic issues Vanzella Khouri (1998) summari s ed the main factors contributing to the degradation of the marine envi ronment as follows:
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 22 L ack of integrated coastal area management plans, L ack of integrated and concerted approach towards land use and maritime planning, Inappropriate management of solid waste and sewage, Destruction or alteration of habitats, Over exploitation of natural resources (mainly fisheries, mangroves and forests), Weak and conflicting policies, legislation and regulatory framew orks, often developed with a sectarian approach, and Insufficient human and financial resources to address institutional weaknesses and lack of law enforcement Despite institutional limitations, Jamaica is fortunate that there are no regulatory and admi nistrative over laps that result from sea turtles being considered both protected wil dlife and a fishable resource. The Fisheries Division potentially still controls activities involving exploitation of turtles under the Morant and Pedro Cays Act of 1907 and the Fishing Industry Act of 1975. The latter Act allows the Minister to issue a licence and, inside the outer limits of the territorial sea thereof. However, given th e over exploited nature of Jamai determine a sustainable level of take, and difficulties inherent in monitoring and enforcing a fishery focused on a threatened species, especially on the distant ca ys, it is highly unlikely that such a licen s e would be granted. As administ rator of the Wild Life Protection Act (WLPA) of 1945 ( and amended in 1973 and 1982 to pro tect sea turtles ) NEPA has primary responsibility for wildlife species conservation and traditionally has t aken the lead in sea turtle management issues, including research, conservation and law enforcement. NEPA continues the work of the NRCA which was established to: ( i ) take such steps as are necessary for the effective management of th e physical environment of Jamaica to ensure the conservation, protection and proper use of its natural resources; ( ii ) promote public awareness of the ecological systems of Jamaica and their importance to the social and economic life of the island; ( iii ) m anage such national parks, marine parks, protected areas and public recreational facilities as prescribed; ( iv ) advise the Minister on matters of general policy relating to the management, development or conservation and care of the environment; and ( v ) pe rform such other functions pertaining to the natural resources of Jam aica assigned to it by the Minister under this Act or any other enactment (NRCA Act, 1991, section 4). NEPA also administers the NRCA Act under which marine protected areas can be d eclared, including the Beach Control Act and The Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade) Act 2000 In addition, the Fisheries Division has authority to declare and manage Fish Sanctuaries (under the Fishing Industry Act). Th e NRCA Act is potentially of paramount importance because it binds the Crown an d other government agencies to obey it P ollution is regulated under a number of laws and by a variety of agencies. However lack of coordination among government agencies a t the planni ng level has been identified as a major problem in environ mental law enforcement (McCalla, 1993). For example, even though b oth NEPA and the Environmental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health develop and regulate environmental standards and monitor pollution there is no mechanism for them to work together to address the same or overlapping problems. Although some of these agencies are represented on each others' Boards, there is no forum at which agencies with similar responsibilities meet regularly. However, NEPA meets with its partner a gencies about those projects and activities for which NEPA has regulatory responsibility. Since the 1980s, r esource management in Jamaica has taken a more inclusive ap proach in which users and special interest groups, often represented by NGOs, form partnerships with Government. NGOs s uch as The Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C CAM, formerly the South Coast Con servation Foundation, SCCF), Negril Area Environment Protection Trust (NEPT) and the Portland Envi ronment Protection Association (PEPA) a re active partners with the g overnment in promoting conserva
Page 23 tion in Portland Bight, Negril and Portland parish, respectively. The advantages of a co management approach include inter alia, greater flexibility in operations and the opportunity to access resources not available to government entities alone Continued d evelopment of trust and good working relationships between the stakeholders are central to successful sea turtle and other con servation initiatives (Tambiah, 1995 ; Granek and Brown, 2005 ). 3.5 Other Natural or Man made Factors Jamaica's sea turtles are vulnerable to other natural and h uman induced disturbances, and in some cases they pose serious threats to new recruitment. T hese disturbances include: S and compaction and disturbance can kill developing embryos and make beaches less suitable for nesting (Choi and Eckert, 2009) The disturbances result from persistent pedes trian, vehicular, or animal traffic ; landscaping and beach maintenance using heavy equip ment ; and illegal sand mining. In Barbados these activities cause up to 100% mortality in some nests (Horrocks and Scott, 1991) but the effects on Jamaican turtles have n ot been evaluated The f looding of turtle nes ts by fresh and salt water can drown eggs and hatchlings ( e.g., Horrocks and Willoughby, 1987). Flooding has been documented at the Morant Cays, where high seas are frequent during the nesting season and at Gut River. If this problem is identified as a p ersistent threat, nests may occasionally need to be relocated to lower risk incubation zones (see section 4.2 52 ) S evere storm events, such as hurricanes can cause damage to coastal ecosystems, in clud ing coral reefs, increas e soil erosion, expos e roots, uproot trees and scour beaches. Severe hurricanes occur in Jamaica about once every ten year s and have severely affect ed sea turtle habitat Some of these damaging storms include Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 (Jones, 1989) and the spate of hurricanes between 2004 and 2007. These latter hurricanes nega tively affected sea turtle habitat in Portland Bight, Negril, Treasure Beach, and the Palisadoes spit and cays among other areas (STRN, unpubl. data) D ynamiting reefs is a damaging (and illegal ) fishing pr actice (section 4.141) ; t he number of sea turtles killed annually by this practice is not known Sea turtle mortality can result from e ntrapment in fishing nets discarded at sea and near nesting beaches (see section 4.24) Sea turtle mortality can result from collision s with high speed watercraft (e.g., JetSki s TM ). Wh ile there have been no reports of such incidents to date use of these craft is increas ing even in the less developed parts of the coast. Turtles can be struck and injured or killed by thes e craft when basking, resting, or surfacing to breath e I f interactions with w atercraft emerge as a serious threat to sea turtle survival, ef forts should be made to control or to prevent the use of these craft in areas where sea turtles commonly occur (se e Choi and Eckert, 2009, for recommendations) G lobal climate change is likely to affect many features of the marine environment, includ ing salinity, temperature, currents, habitat availability, and food resources for sea turtles and other marine creature s ( e.g., see Weishampel et al., 2004; Fish et al., 2005, 2008; Pike et al., 2006; Hawkes et al., 2007; IPCC, 2007 )
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 24 IV. SOLUTIONS TO STRESSES ON SEA TURTLES IN JAMAICA 4.1 Manage and Protect Habitat Effective protection of foraging and nesting ha bitat is crucial to the survival of sea turtles in Jamaica. A s in many Caribbean territories, the decline of sea turtle stocks in Jamaica has coincided with increased number of fishers and the decline in fisheries stocks in general, includ ing lobster, con ch, and many types of fin fish Between 1963 1981, there was a 93% increase in the number of fishing canoes in Portland Bight while the fish harvest remained constant suggesting the probable effects of over fishing (Haughton and Aiken, 1987 ). Between 19 96 and 2001 the estimated number of fishers declined from 20,000 to 14,014, while total marine capture fisheries production declined from 14,497 to 5,745 tonnes ( Venema, 2004 ) Th is decline in t he fisheries and the corresponding deterioration in the qu ality of coastal ecosystems (e.g., beach erosion, pollution, degraded mangroves, reefs and seagrass beds : Goodbody, 1989; Hughes, 1994; Goodbody, 2003 ; Mumby, et al. 2004 ) have negatively affected fishing and tourism based local economies. Although these socio economic impacts have been recogni s ed for many years, noteworthy progress towards habitat protection has been made only since 1992 with the passage in 1991 of the NRCA Act and the establishment in 1992 of a National Parks Trust Fund financed under a debt for nature agreement with the U S G overnment (Smith, 1995) One significant contribution to habitat protection wa s the launching of a national system of protected areas in 1995 (GOJ, 1995b ). Figure 12 shows the distribution of existing prote cted areas. P ortland Bight and its cays are some of the most important sea turtle habitat s and these have been i ncluded in the pro tec ted areas system ; h owever, d espite its protect ed status, the area remains extremely vulnerable be cause the Hellshire co ast (an important nesting and foraging area located within the Portland Bight Protected Area) is vulnerable to exploitation, and the distant ca y s are exposed to poaching pressure from boats passing through the area and from fishers and others who camp on t he cays. Fortunately, t he management authority ( C CAM ) is commit ted to sea turtle research and conservation, and has a laudable history of involv ing local communities in resource management issues in the Portland Bight region ( e.g., Espe u t, 1995; Tambiah, 1995 ; Espeut 2002 ). With this in mind, i t is a recommendation of this Recovery Ac tion Plan that : Portland Bight and other areas of importance for turtles, including the offshore cays, be in cor porated into the national system of protected areas. Under t he Convention on Biological Diversity, Jamaica was obligated to develop a Protected Area Systems Master Plan by Dec ember 2006 and finalisation of such a plan w ill be an important milestone in rationalising the designation and management of protected area s in the country. Under the current system, protected areas can be designated under a number of statutes managed by several agen cies including NEPA, the Forestry Department, the Fisheries Division and the National Heri tage Trust. Existing national par ks are designated under the NRCA Act and administered by NEPA or the agency s nominee. The draft P rotected Area Systems Master Plan is currently being revised and updated (Carla Gordon, NEPA, in litt 14 December 2010). Government make s an explicit commit ment to include 75% of the remaining critical habitat for sea turtles into protected area status before 201 5 T he Pedro and Morant Cays Act of 1907 (as amended in 1971) be rigorously enforced to ensure protection f or sea turtles (see section 4.211) and eg gs. Efforts should be made to provide incentives and assistance for private landowners willing to protect beaches important for sea turtle nesting. B ecause Government cannot provide comprehensive protec tion t o all nesting beaches the involvement of private landowners is important to the success of conser vation initiatives To this end, a
Page 25 communities should be considered. Educational material in colorful and easy to distribut e leaflet s sh ould be an important part of the effort to provid e guidelines for vegetation management, lighting, beach use and cleaning, and instructions on safeguard ing nests. WIDECAST, in partnership with the Caribbean Alli ance for Sustainable Tourism ( CAST) (Choi and Eckert, 200 9 ) that discusses man y of these aspects and offers recommendations C oastal and offshore waters similarly need protection from industrial and agricultural polluti on, solid waste disposal, and destructive practices such as anchoring and dredging. Main taining the integrity of the se marine environment s especially the coral reefs and seagrass beds, benefits turtle conservation, the com mercial fishing industry and t ourism The latter two are important for both the national and local econo mies. For example, tourism account ed for over 13% of the hard currency receipts and employed 23% of the labour force in 1992 (GOJ, 1995c ). In 2004, tourism related businesses acco unted directly and indirect for an estimated 32% of employment force (WTTC, 2004). T he following sections identify and discuss recommendations and mechanisms for the long term presser vation of turtle habitats. 4.11 Identify essential habitat Sandy beaches all around Jamaica were historically used by sea turtles for nesting, and coral reefs, seagrass, and offshore banks are still potential foraging areas. Information about habitat use by sea turtles in Jamaica is available from a var iety of sources (see section 2); however, much of it is anecdotal, incomplete, outdated, and/or not easily accessible. The first systematic surveys of sea turtle nesting beaches were carried out by the STRN and ( the then) SCCF in collaboration with WIDECA ST be t ween 1992 and 1995. Subsequent surveys sought to fill gaps or revisit important areas (e.g. Portland Bight in 200 1 200 2, Portland in 2002 and Negril in 2003) (STRN unpubl. data). In order to facilitate effective conservation and management decis ions, it is a re commen dation of this Recovery Action Plan that priority be given to regular national surveys, with an emphasis on filling gaps and updating information about locally important foraging and nesting habitats ( s ections 4.111, 4.112) and to int ensively monitor populations at Index Beaches and Index Foraging Grounds ( s ection 4.26). A s used in this manual an index beach is a site where a standardi s ed data collection protocol is imple mented to estimate a variety of demographic parameters and t he result s are interpreted to reflect larger national trends Training and technical material to conduct monitoring programs are available from WIDECAST in partnership with the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme. 4.111 Survey foraging areas Avail able data suggest that remnant stocks of sea turtles occur in J amaica s coastal areas especially the south and west coasts where the shelf is broader and there is more seagrass (Figure 3). Reports of relatively large aggregations of turtles in Portland B ight and the observations of fishermen that there are many more turtles at sea than are seen nesting ( e.g., see Tambiah, 1995) suggest that this area is important foraging habitat. This observation is not unexpected because the area consist ing of coral reefs, seagrass and mature wetland s is ideal feeding habitat for the herbivorous g reen turtles ( see sec tion 2.2) as well as for hawksbills that specialize on reef invertebrates, especially sponges (see section 2.4) There have been some efforts to a ssess the distribution and health of these habitats especially coral reefs (summarized by Wells in 1988 ; see Lapointe, 1997 ; Kramer, 2003 ) and the identification of sea turtle foraging areas in Jamaican waters. Fishermen in Portland, especially spear fis hermen and sport fishermen, were canvassed for information about sea turtles (Fisheries Division, 1995) as a follow up to a survey carried out for WATS I (Kerr, 1984) which documented suspected foraging areas in 1982 based on at sea sightings (Table 3). Data have also come from 1982 and 1992 aerial surveys for manatees as well as from other sources including STRN data from dive operators fisher s, f isheries o fficers f isheries
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 26 c o operative members the Marine Police Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard (J DFCG) and a number of NGOs O ther potential sources of information are scientific research activities undertaken by the Uni versity of West Indies' Centre for Marine Sciences (Discovery Bay Marine Lab), NEPA, community vol unteers, and yacht er s For mor e than a decade (since 1995), t he STRN has provided sighting record form s to dive clubs and dive shop operators and logbooks are regularly checked for notations o n sea tur t le sightings It is a strong recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that such efforts continue, and that involve a suitably broad coalition of stakeholders (e.g., fishers, divers, government officials). The Ecosystems Management Branch o f NEPA is currently attempting to map coastal ecosystems using remote sensing techniques and to compile assessments of specific areas that will be geo referenced and Because a comprehensive survey is a major undertaking and funding is a severely limiting factor, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action P lan that NEPA estab lish and enhance strong collaborative relations with other entities that have research capabilities and relevant data (e.g., University of the West Indies ). The large area of sea administered by Jamaica includ ing the EEZ appears to be important to both foraging and migrating sea turtles. A 1999 project (repeated in 2000) used satellite tracking methods to determine migratory corridors, including post nesting movements by adult females away from breeding eeding grounds outside the national jurisdiction of Jamaica. While this type of data collection is expensive and requires collaboration with experts, it provides unique and valuable information about both the behavio u r of sea turtles and, indirectly, cond itions of the marine environment through which they pass. It is therefore, a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that NEPA and partners build on the se satellite tracking efforts in collaboration with experts. To date t he se information collect ion efforts have yielded a great deal of data which require a manage ment system A national turtle database has been established and is currently maintained by NEPA in partnership with the STRN. While the volunteer STRN lacks the time and resources to c ollate, analyse and publish the data t he Clearing H ouse Mechanism (CHM) has indicated a willing ness to accommodate the database The information needs to be transferred to them along with the database design. This ar rangement for data management will allow NEPA and STRN to have access to information critical for conservation planning and project implementation and to facilitate the development of a nnual reports These reports should be made readily accessible to other NGOs and regulatory officers (e.g. Fisheries Division). In order for the data management system to work efficiently, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that : L ogbook records be revisited on a regular basis ; relevant information be updated, collate d and anal y sed ; publi shed information be readily available to inform managemen t and policy F ield surveys be undertaken to document the distribution and abundance of critical remain ing foraging habitats, particularly those not well covered by dive operators and other volun te ers, and areas of special importance. Portland Bight is likely to be the most productive area for such surveys, but more work is required all around Jamaica. Areas requiring spe cial attention include the St. Mary and Hanover coastlines, Palisadoes and t he Port Royal Cays, the Morant and Pedro Cays and offshore and inshore banks. C ollection of information from all available sources be continued and collaboration and data sharing emphasized and encouraged The volunteer sightings network established b y STRN has increased public participation and support for sea turtle conservation and provid ed other useful information. With this in mind, i t is a recommen dation of this Recovery Action Plan that the sightings network be strengthened by ensuring the avail ability of: an adequate supply of forms to record sightings promotional posters to encourage people to participate in sea turtle conservation efforts
Page 27 colorful species identification leaflets ( available from WIDECAST ), community and citizen participation recognition, such as acknowledgement cards or awards for the most turtle conscious volunteers, beach patrollers, respondents and so on; also, should be considered a nationally toll free Sea Turtle Hotline (1 888 991 5 005) with an answering machine for sea turtle sightings i nfractions, and related reports and easy e reporting to N ( email@example.com ) Finally, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that a Project Officer for the STRN (based within NEPA, or elsewhere) be identified to assist the volunteer Coordinator and to take the lead in man aging the database of sightings foster ing more public participation in sighting report s, develop ing maps of reefs for selected areas and assisting in data collation (see also section 4.56 ). 4.112 Survey nesting habitat While Jamaica s coastline and offshore cays historically supported nesting by hawksbill, green, logger head and, les s frequently, leatherback sea turtles, nesting activity has been significant ly reduc ed. A 1982 survey recorded more than 100 active hawksbill nesting beaches (Kerr, 1984), 75% of which had fewer than 40 nests (i.e., fewer than 8 10 turtles) per year in re cent memory. D espite ongoing survey efforts, there has been only one reported loggerhead nesting ( in 1993) since 1982 Since 1996 nesting or nesting attempts by green turtles have been confirmed at only four sites : G ibralta Beach in Oracabessa (2008) a nd Reggae Beach (near White River) in 2005, St. Mary ; Malcolm Beach (2007, and possibly on Pedro Cays (2006). Similarly, t here have been only six encounters with gravid leatherbacks ( nesting events and/or killings ) in the post WATS period (i.e. since th e 1982 survey) The l ack of sightings suggest s that Jamaica may already have lost three of its four breeding species (see also sections 2.1, 2.2, 2.3). While i t is possible that low density and/or remote or inaccessible nesting sites have been overlook ed, it is unreasonable to think that major nesting areas remain. Notwithstanding, it is a strong recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that standardised survey efforts continue to assess the distribution and success of the annual breeding effort by s ea turtles in Jamaica More than 100 volunteers carried out the first field survey (as opposed to earlier interview surveys) during July to September 1992. Its primary objective was to involve a wide cross section of persons in a conser vation activity while promoting a nationwide commitment to survey ing nesting beaches. Beaches in 12 of 14 parishes were surveyed during the "Sea Turtle Summer Nights" programme (see also section 4.41) sponsored by the STRN. The programme which focused on Portland Bight and continued through 1995, had 70 100 volunteer s participating annually In 1995, the STRN commissioned a compre hen sive survey of the south coast beaches from Alligator Pond to Negril Point (Buchanan, 1996). SCCF, NRCA, and STRN jointl y conducted a nesting beach survey between May and November 1995. The survey counted 178 possible nests (SCCF unpubl. data) and estimated the nesting population at between 20 30 hawksbills. A survey on Southeast Cay (Morant group) counted 16 nests betwee n 15 July and 30 August 1995, and there was evidence the Clarendon/ Manchester area of the mainland supported regular nesting. Other areas identified as important nesting beaches include Luana/Font Hill, west of Savanna la Mar to Negril, and the Portland/ St. Mary coast (STRN, unpubl. data). The first STRN surveys of the north coast were conducted in 1996 when NRCA biologists and members of the STRN surveyed on foot 150 beaches along the north coast from St. John's Point (Negril) east to Oracabessa (St. Ma ry's); 70 of these were known to have been his toric sea turtle nesting beaches. Throughout the month of October (peak egg laying period ), the beach es and shoreline vegetation were examined for evidence of nesting once every day in the early morning and fi shermen and property
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 28 owners were canvassed for additional information. Survey personnel document ed nesting on only 44 beaches which represented a decrease of 38% since the previous survey reported by Kerr (1984). The survey revealed strong evidence of 70 nests and the likelihood of an additional 106 nests based on beach disturbance The survey also uncovered e vidence of egg poaching, depredation ( by dogs) and the killing of nesting females (NRCA/ STRN, unpubl. data). Based on the results of the 1992 1 996 surveys, as well as informal and more recent information from STRN members, the Portland Bight Cays on the south coast appear to have the most nesting activity on the mainland. Ongoing survey initiatives should include collection of morpho physiologic al data which at present are almost totally lacking for turtles in Jamaican coastal waters. Specifically, information should be collected on turtle size, nesting frequency, nest to false crawl ratio, behaviour, and nest fate. This addi tional data colle ction should be in cor porated into a comprehensive tagging programme ( e.g., see Tambiah, 1995 ). I f a long term programme can be developed for the Portland Bight region, these efforts can be extended to the Southeast Cay in the Morant group Tags and taggi ng equipment, training, a pro cedure s manual, and database management software are available from WIDECAST. D ata suggest nesting habitat surveys should focus on Portland Bight, the St. Mary and Portland coasts, Runaway Bay, Old Womans Point to Alligator R eef, Great Pedro Bay to Parottee, Malcolm Bay to Luana, Savanna la Mar to Green Island, the offshore banks ( particularly Morant and Pedro Cays ) and areas where parks or protected areas are planned. Additionally, special nest checks during the height of t he nesting season should be conducted at all sites where green, leatherback and /or loggerhead turtles have been reported in the past. At these sites, n octurnal surveillance is not essential because valuable infor mation can be obtained from early morning walks (see section 4.291 for information on how to identify beach crawls). To facilitate the ongoing monitoring of these important areas, and to properly inform management on a timely basis, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the ST RN, in partnership with NEPA and other relevant partners, designate one or more Index Nesting Beaches for comprehensive (annual, long term) monitoring of nesting and nest fate (see section 4.261). 4.12 Develop and implement area specific management plan s Sea t urtle protection policies should be adopted on a national basis because many coastal areas around the island offer potentially suitable sea turtle habitat However within this larger framework, individual area specific plans may be necessary to r eflect unique management challenges at the site level. It is important for example, that all potential nesting beaches and foraging grounds be surveyed to ensure that critical areas are identified and safeguarded. Marine parks are a good starting poin t to develop inclusive conservation oriented management plans. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that a national system of marine protected areas be designed and enacted as soon as possible, t hat areas known to be important to remaining sea turtle pop ulations be included in such a system and that area specific management plans be developed and formalised The NRCA Act of 1991 allows the designation of selected areas as Marine Parks, and Montego Bay and Negril were given that designat ion in 1992 and 1998, respectively. Even though only a few sea turtles still visit these areas, authorities should be assisted in the development and implementation of sea turtle management plan s for the se sites Canoe Valley (Clarendon/Manchester) and th e Morant and Pedro Cays are both important areas for sea turtle conservation and both are under consideration for designa tion as protected areas NEPA is lead ing the initiative for their designation. The Beach Control Act of 1955 also has provisions fo r marine protected areas (Appendix II) t hree areas (Montego Bay, Port Royal Ocho Rios) have been gazetted under this Act, but they appear to have limited importance for sea turtles.
Page 29 STRN predecessor ), and C CAM previously developed an o utline plan for the overall management of the Portland Bight area (Espeut, 1995) The first plan was reviewed by NEPA and accepted as the official plan of the Portland Bight Protect Area. The original plan has since expired and two updates have since been prepared (B. Hay, C CAM, pers. comm. 2010). C CAM is working with Fisheries Division on management plans for three new fish sanctuaries declared in the Portland Bight Protect ed Area and will manage those and other prospective designated areas. Additiona lly, t he se three management entities are continu ing to collec t baseline information o n the status and distribution of turtles in the area (see section 4.1) and anticipate development of a long term monitoring programme for nesting beaches. T he Portland Bi ght area should be considered a priority candidate area if a sea turtle tagging programme is established in Jamaica. The C CAM has use d public education to support management efforts, prepare outreach materials on sea turtles, and sensiti se fishers, you th groups and other community groups in the Portland Bight area (Espeut, 1995). A newsletter and regular meetings with stakeholders have also been recommended (T ambiah, 1995). Honorary Game Wardens, C CAM Ranger Corps and senior staff, NEPA Enforce men t Branch Fisheries Officers, and JDFCG are important assets in discharging law enforcement aspects of the management plan (Espeut, 1995) ; ho wever, enforcement of turtle protection laws must be carried out in concert with education and information on the l aws and the impact o f non compliance (Tambiah, 1995). 4.121 Involve l ocal c oastal z one a uthorities The Ecosystems Management Branch of N EPA is the lead agency for watershed and coastal zone planning Ot her agencies sharing the responsibility include the Fisheries Division Marine Police Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard parish councils and NGO s C CAM has expressed interest in taking a lead role in the Portland Bight area ; other major NGOs which potentially can be involved in their geographic are as of influence are PEPA in Portland, NEPT in Negril, SEEA in St. Elizabeth, the Bluefields Bay Fishermen's Friendly Society in Westmoreland, and STEPA in St. Thomas. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that these authorities and other ent ities be encouraged to work closely with STRN in develop ing sea turtle management plans and evaluating implemen tation actions 4.122 Develop regulatory guidelines for protected areas The NRCA Act provides a wide scope for the preparation of regula tory guidelines for the management of habitats important to sea turtles G uidelines should be developed in consultation with stakeholders and include provision s for assessment adaptation, and revisio n The focus and specific attributes of the guidelin es will vary among areas However, in general, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that in areas critical to remaining sea turtle stocks, regula tory guidelines should be used to establish a framework within which appropriate land use, dev elopment (commercial, recreational, residential), resource use (e.g., fishing), and recreation can occur without detriment to turtles. Special attention should be given to the following types of activities : (a) Sand mining: Commercial mining of beach san d should not be permitted under any circumstances (section 4.131). The persistent removal of beach sand disrupts stabilizing vegetation, exacerbates erosion, and can eliminate nesting habitat. Mining pits pose a threat of injury to humans and livestock a nd accumulate standing water that may become breeding areas for mosquitoes and other undesirable insects. Mining sediments offshore should be carefully evaluated for potential effects on coastal beaches because offshore material is essential for beach mai ntenance. Preferred extraction sites should be confined to ravines and interior sites. (b) Artificial lighting: Sea turtles, especially hatchlings, are profoundly influenced by artificial light sources Hatchling sea turtles freshly emerged from the nes t depend primarily on a visual response to natural seaward light to guide them to the ocean. In zones of coastal development, sources of artificial
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 30 light distract hatchlings and may caus e them to turn away from the sea and crawl landward. It is essential that artificial light sources be positioned so that the source of light is not directly visible from the beach and does not directly illuminate areas of the beach I f lighting must be seen from the beach, it should emit wavelengths (560 620 nm) which ar e least attractive to sea turtles (Witherington, 1990 ; Witherington and Martin, 2000; Perry et al., 2008 ). The l ow pressure sodium (LPS) lamps used in some parking lots are more turtle friendly than other lighting types because they emit a yellow ish ligh t ( 589 nm ) Low intensity, ground level lighting is encouraged ; n ighttime and security lighting should be mounted not more than 5 m above the ground and should not directly illuminate areas seaward of the primary dune or line of permanent vegetation ; and n o lighting, regardless of wavelength, should be placed between turtle nests and the sea. Natural or artificial structures should be used to the maximum extent possible to improve dune height in areas of low dune profile. They will help prevent light fro m directly illuminating the beach/dune system buffer noise and conceal human activity from the beach. N ative or ornamental vegetation, hedges o r other privacy fences should be encouraged. Barriers between 76 85 cm high are generally sufficient to bloc k visual cues from artificial lights (Ehrenfeld, 1968; Mrosovsky, 1970). Ferris (1986) showed that a simple "fence" of black polyester material stretched between three posts and positioned between the nest and a lighthouse resulted in the hatchlings orien ting correctly to the sea. Balcony lighting should be shielded from the beach and safety/security lights should be limited to the minimum number required to achieve their functional roles (section 4.132) Purely d ecorative lighting, especially spotlights or flood lights within line of sight of the beach, should be prohibited Useful recommendations specific to Carib bean coastal properties are available in Knowles et al. (2009) and Lake and Eckert (2009). (c) Beach stabilization structures: Hard engine ering options to beach protection, includ ing impermeable breakwaters, jetties, groynes and seawalls located on the beach or in the nearshore zone should be considered only as a last resort. The naturally dynamic characteristics of the coastline should be taken into account prior to coastal construction so that adequate setbacks, rather than expensive and often counter productive armouring, can be used to pro vide for the long term conservation of the beach resource. There are many examples in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean where beach areas have been degraded as a result of armouring (see s ection 4.133). (d) Design setbacks: Setbacks should be required for all planned development of land adjoining a sandy beach S etback design limits should take i nto consideration beach and backshore characteristics and incorporate features that reflect the damage likely to be caused to the beach and backshore environment during a major storm Setbacks should have vegetated areas ( including lawns ) and dunes betwee n hotels, homes and similar structures, and the beach proper. Setbacks not only help to protect coastal properties from storm damage but also reduce over crowding of the shore zone, lessen the likelihood that local residents will be excluded from the beac h, and increase the probability that artificial lighting will not shine directly on the beach (section 4.133). (e) Access: U se of motori s ed vehicles should be prohibited on beaches at all times and parking lots and roadways (including any paved or unpaved areas where vehicles will operate at night) should be positioned so that headlights do not cast light onto the beach at night. Driving on a sandy beach can exacerbate erosion, lower sea turtle hatch success by compacting nests (section 4.134), and create unsightly ruts that hinder hatchlings seeking to cross the beach. Where vehicles are needed to transport heavy fishing or recreational equipment, multiple access points should be provided and vehicles parked landward of the line of permanent vegetation. Pedestrian access to beaches should be confined to specific locations and strictly regulated in order to minimise disturbance to the beach, such as trampling and destruction of vegetation and sand compaction (f) Waste disposal: No dumping should be perm itted within the nearshore, beach, dune, or wetland (including mangrove) environment of the shore and all trash currently on the beach should be cleaned up immediately. Trash cans and regular collections should be provided as necessary. Dumping trash on the beach runs counter to the economic interests of both residents and commercial landowners.
Page 31 Litter can obstruct hatchlings on their journey to the sea, discarded glass and metal can injure turtles, and larger objects on the beach can prevent females fro m finding a suitable nest site. Visitors should be required to take with them any garbage or other waste brought to or generated at the beach. If a beach cleanup is necessary it should be conducted using hand tools (section 4.134). (g) Vegetation cov er and fires: Efforts should be made to preserve vegetation above the mean high tide mark. Creeping and standing vegetation stabili s es the beach offers protec tion against erosion caused by wind and wave action p rovides important nesting habitat for haw ksbill turtle s, and offers natural shielding f rom the artificial lighting of shoreline development (section 4.132). Fires, whether for recreation or charcoal production, should be prohibited on sandy beaches. Fires are a hazard to the sur rounding dry fo rest, create unsightly scars, may scorch sea turtle eggs and hatchlings beneath the surface, and can disorient hatchlings. Grill facilities should be provided in areas where there is already a tradition of 'cook outs'. (h) Marine pollution: The dumping o f solid and chemical wastes into the sea should be prohibited under all circumstances. In addition to degrading the environment for residents and visitors, sea turtles often ingest tar, plastic, rope, and other substances (e.g., Mrosovsky, 1981; Balazs, 1 985; Lutz and Alfaro Schulman, 1991 ; Derraik, 2002 ), presumably mistaking these for food In g estion of these items especially plastic bags which often are mis t aken as jellyfish, may cause the sea turtles to become weakened and / or die. Polluted effluent, including sewage from land based sources should be centrally treated before it i s discharge d into the sea. ( See sections 4.143 to 4.146 ) (i) Anchoring and dredging: Anchor damage is a major cause of destruction to seagrass beds and coral reefs (Erftem eijer and Lewis, 2006) It is essential that yachts and other boats be required to either anchor in designated sandy bottom areas or tie in at approved moorings in coral reef areas. Alternatively, vessels should be required to remain offshore beyond the zone of living coral and seagrass. Dredging activities should be planned to minimize damage (i.e., sedimentation) to down current coral and sea grass. Severe disruption of the seabed, especially seagrass and reef communities can damage foraging areas fo r sea turtles and negatively affect the natural dynamics of the marine environment including deposition of beach sand ( s ee also section 4.147 ) (j) Physical destruction of coral and seagrass: Destruction of coral r eefs diminishes the sheltering influence they provide the nearshore and shoreline environments, causing economic and environmental losses. Neither coral reefs nor algal ridges should be dynamited or dragged with chains in order to provide boat access. Anchoring should not occur in reef or seagr ass areas (see subsection above and section 4.147). Divers should be thoroughly coached on diving etiquette in order to avoid trampling, collecting, and touching living coral They should be advised that c ollecting corals is illegal. The practices of usi ng chemicals or dynamite (sections 4.141, 4.142) to stun fish for harvest are prohibited under all circumstances. Many years or decades may be required for these systems to repair themselves after destruction resulting from these types of practices ( k) Fishing practices: The use of beach seines destroys the marine habitat and catches marine fauna indiscriminately including sea turtles and fish, and their use should be prohibited. Additionally, d iscarded nets can be a serious hazard to turtles and ot her wildlife. The public at large and f ishermen need to be sensitised to the need to proper ly dispos e of nets STRN should encourage fishing cooperatives to place and maintain suitable litter bins on fishing beaches. (l) Code of ethics for divers /snorkel lers researchers and turtle watchers: Divers and snorkellers can damage reefs by trampling and collecting items underwater (e.g., souvenirs ) and r esearchers and turtle watchers can disrupt nesting. A code of ethics should be drawn up and circulated to d ive operators and a dherence to it should be one of the conditions for their licences to operate. Divers /snorkellers should be discouraged from standing on reefs and reminded that collection of coral is illegal. Researchers and turtle watchers should be p rovided with information about how to avoid disturbing sea turtles. S ome effort has already be en made by the professional dive community to educate divers,
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 32 including visitors to the island at dive shops. A useful series of leaflets about eco friendly diving when working with or near sea turtles or viewing them can be found at http:// www.coral.org M arine research and recreation al insti t utions and busi nesses ( m) Human habitation on cays: E xpansion of human habitation to unoccupied cays is a constant threat. While all the cays in Jamaica are owned by the Commiss ioner of Lands none of them can legally be occupied except selected cays within t he Morant and Pedro group which are under the control of the Fisheries Division ( Sutton, 1987). Some fishermen illegally occupy on a seasonal or permanent basis several cays important to turtles; these include all the larger cays in the Portland Bight. The Commissioner of Lands has not taken action against this illegal occupation. Additionally, some small islands close to shore are privately owned S ome fishermen consider the presence of occupants and their animals ( e.g., dogs) on these cays a t hreat to turtles and think they should be removed (C. Campbell, pers. comm., 1995). O thers however, argue that fishermen on the cays may actually help protect turtle nests and note th at some fishers had actually change d their behaviour to minimise possible impacts on turtles (e.g., not lighting fires at night in places where they would be visible from the beach) (J. Below, SCCF, pers. comm., 1995). Removal of fishermen from these area s is controversial and may need to be addressed on a case by case basis Notwithstanding, illegal activity on the cays is a serious threat to sea turtles and other wildlife and is a management challenge that must be addressed as a matter of priorit y 4.123 Provide for enforcement of guidelines Enforcement of laws and regulations concerning sea turtles has been and continues to be extremely difficul t in part because of the large number of persons involved in the fishing industry and/ or live in coas tal communities Moreover prosecution of illegal activity is unlikely. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that more emphasis be placed on public education and awareness of the status of sea turtles and the rationale behind protective le gisla tion Such a campaign should emphasi s e the important role Jamaica plays in the life cycle of sea turtles and the responsibility the community has in safeguarding the turtles a nd their habitat (s) A few appropriate and well publici s ed prosecutions of persistent or prominent offenders would be effective in increasing public awareness of the regulations designed to protect sea turtles T arget groups for this effort may include: NEPA, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), National Works Agency and other government and P arish C ouncils, National Water Commission workers, National Solid Waste Management Authority security forces, truck operators and septic tank cleaners protected area managers and wardens, architects, boat operators (recreational an d commercial), harbour and port managers, people who live on or near the beaches, villa and hotel owners, tour operators, developers, environmental NGOs, and fisheries co op erative s. 4.124 Develop educational programmes It is a recommendation of th is Recovery Action Plan that residents visitors developers and concession aires be made aware of regulations designed to safeguard habitat important to sea turtles. Educational materials should be readily available to the visiting public and include cl ear descriptions of what types of activities are permitted and what types of activities are not permitted in the management area s Permanent signboards at nesting beach entrances are one way to educate visitors. A signboard may explain that access permi ts and/or licensed guides are required, beach fires and littering are prohibited, pets must be leashed, and vehicles must be parked in designated areas. If the nesting beach area is closed to the public at night, this provision should be clearly indicated A telephone number to report violations should be provided. Other options include distribution of informational pamphlets to nearby hotels and feature stories and general information provided by the media ( s ee also section 4.4 )
Page 33 4.13 Prevent degradat ion of nesting beaches It is not possible to protect all sea turtle nesting beaches through a formal system of designated areas. However, a large proportion of nest s can be protected by making a concerted national effort to increase public awareness, pro mote sound management practices, and develop regulatory guidelines for the purpose of safeguarding nesting habitat (see section 4.132). It is therefore, a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the importance of conserving sea turtle habitats s hould be acknowledged in all relevant NEPA policy documents (e.g., documents pertaining to b eaches, mangroves coral reefs ). P ositive ( e.g., public recognition, economic incentives) and negative (e.g., arrests, fines) reinforcements should be articulat ed and a lternatives (e.g., use of crushed stone as a substitute for beach sand) emphasi s ed in policy documents and standard gu idelines Specific recommendations on a variety of related subjects are offered below. 4.131 Sand mining Several sources incl uding the Country Environmental Profile for Jamaica (GOJ, 1987) and Creary (2003) cite t he serious environmental costs associated with beach sand mining. Beach sand is mined as a source of construction material and for other purposes. This activity not o nly degrades sea turtle nesting habitat but has the potential to completely eliminate shoreline sand deposits and prevent residents and visitors from enjoying the recreational benefits of coastal beach environments. Sand removal can accelerate beach erosi on by degrad ing or destroying coastal vegetation (by uprooting it or flooding it with seawater). Additionally, pits formed by the mining are potential health and safety hazards for people and livestock and may serve as breeding habitats for mosquitoes and other disease vectors. In extreme cases, saline ponds have formed and large areas of the shoreline are altered resulting in loss of sand and vegetation. Additionally, sand mining operations leave aesthetically unpleasing scars on the land scape. These alterations to the beach community reduce the ability of the region to support recreation, tourism, commercial development, and wildlife such as sea turtles Beach sand mining is widespread in scope, especially where trucks have access to the beach. S o me beaches such as those in Orange Bay Portland, have been severely altered However, d espite heavy mining pressure in this area sea turtles continue to attempt to nest there ; at least two successful nests (and an unknown number of failed nests) were m ade there in 1995 B each conditions there need to be assessed and action taken to protect the beach and nesting turtles. Sand mining from sources removed from the sea also may affect the amount of sand reaching coastal areas. Robinson et al. (2005 ) noted that the significant sand mining operations along the entire course of the Rio Grande River affect ed the sand budget i n coastal area s which historically were sea turtle nesting beaches. Efforts have been made to curb beach sand mining. In Montego Bay, on site Marine Park Rangers routinely confiscate shovels and other mining equipment when violators are caught. The Quarries Control Act (1983) requires a permit to remove sea sand (sand on the sea be d, shoreline or foreshore area) A tallyman and a site mana ger must also be present, and conviction of a first offence under this Act now carries a maximum penalty of J$ 3 0,000 or up to 12 months in p rison or both. This increases to J$ 5 0,000 on conviction of a second offence. Daily fines of up to J$10,000 per day a nd up to two years imprison ment may be imposed if the offence continues after conviction (Jamaica Environment Trust, 2008). A single Minerals D evelopment Bill has been proposed to replace both the Mining and Quarries Control Acts (GOJ, 200 9 ). The law als o provides for the seizure of vehicles and equipment. Nevertheless, illegal mining is wide spread and the r e are reports of policemen escorting vehicles involved in illegal mining. Since the scope of this type of activity is so large, controlling it requi res the intervention of agencies beyond those avail able at the local level, such as NEPA. Offshore sand mining should also be discouraged unless it can be shown that it will not result in net erosion of nearby beaches. It is a recommendation of this R ecovery Action Plan that the G OJ impose a
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 34 ban on beach sand mining and that laws be amended to provide unconditional protection to beaches from sand mining in perpetuity. The public should be encouraged to report sand mining activities to enforce ment age ncies and include licence numbers of vehicles in the reports. D evelopment of NEPA s enforce ment capacity and an increase in public awareness of the importance of protecting beaches from illegal mining should accompany the revised legislation. The issue o f (illegal) beach sand mining can be given wider e xposure through public media such as talk shows and feature stories in newspapers. 4.132 Lights Jamaica has restrictions on beachfront lighting Since 2001, limits on beachfront lighting have been i m posed using the 1956 Beach Control Act The NRCA [now NEPA] has incorporated mandatory guidelines for the installation and use of lighting as a condition for the issuance of beach use permits. Under the NRCA Act, lighting conditions are added to environm ental permits issued for projects along beach areas. These regulations and guidelines pertain to all development projects or activities on beaches known to support sea turtle nesting. As noted earlier in this document (see Section 4.122), artificial bea ch lighting interferes with the behavior of nesting female and hatchling sea turtles. Newly emerged hatchlings depend largely on a visual response to natural seaward light to guide them to the ocean (Mrosovsky, 1972, 1978 ; Tuxbury and Salmon, 2005 ). A rti ficial light can disorient hatchlings and nesting females, causing them to crawl landward and making them vulnerable to predation by animals, poaching by humans, or desiccation during daylight hours. Even light sources several kilometers away can disorien t turtles, especially hatchlings. Studies in Florida and Tortuguero (Costa Rica) reveal ed that the bright, full spectrum white lights of mercury vapor lights almost completely eliminated nesting on affected beaches; green turtle and loggerhead nesting decr eased by 90% and 95%, respectively, on those beaches illuminated by this type of lighting when compared to darkened beaches (Witherington, 1992). R esearch also has shown that low pressure sodium vapor (LPS) luminaries which emit light in the 560 620 nm r ange (yellow), do not attract hatchlings to the extent that full spectrum white light does (Witherington, 1990 ; Witherington and Martin, 2000; Perry et al., 2008 ). The a bsence of lighting will help ensure hatchlings and nesting females safely orient tow ard the ocean. Where this is not an option, such as along coastlines already heavily developed, Witherington (1990) These includ e (1) Shield and lower light sources : l ow intensity and ground level can be both att ractive and adequate for most purposes and should be encouraged. Nighttime and security lighting should not be mounted more than 5 m above the ground and fixtures should be positioned or shielded so that they d o not directly illuminate areas seaward of t he line of permanent vegetation. The glow from lighting can be shielded from the beach by ornamental flowering hedges or other barriers. No lighting, regardless of wavelength, should be placed between turtle nests and the sea (2 ) U se alternative light sources : for example, LPS lighting (3) Impose time restrictions : for example, limit or extinguish lights from 1900 2300 hrs when hatching is most likely to occur ( 4) Utilise motion sensitive lighting that can be activated only when a moving object, such as a person, approaches th This has the advantage of surprising intruders ( Eckert and Horrocks, 2002 ) and can be very effective in low traffic areas Finally, (5) Impose area restrictions : for example, restrict beach front lighting to a reas where little or no nesting occurs A h andbook ( Witherington and Martin 2000 ; online at http://www.widecast.org/Resources/Docs/Withe rington_and_Martin_2003_Beachfront_Lighting_Manual_ ENG.pdf ) focuses on assessing and resolving light pollution problems on sea turtle nesting beaches W IDECAST has provided this and other relevant resources (e.g., Knowles et al., 2009; Lake and Eckert, 2 009) to NEPA and some community group s N and it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan fr ; further, s uch lighting should be a mandatory requirement for all beach licences involving construction near active nesting beaches. NEPA should seek to foster strong alliances with hotels and other p roperties adjacent to nesting beaches and work to
Page 35 ensure that lighting is routinely assessed and retrofitted as needed. Choi and Eckert (2009) offer useful guidance on beachfront lighting, as well as other issues important for the safeguarding of nestin g habitat. To increase awareness of this issue, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that NEPA send letters to all hotels and restaurants built near sandy beach es, and request that security or other personnel report incidents of sea turtle nesting /hatching and that lights visible from active sea turtle nesting beaches be redirected, shielded, or extinguished in accordance with established best practices (e.g., see Witherington and Martin, 2000; Knowles et al., 2009; Lake and Eckert, 2009) Rescued hatchlings should be kept quiet and shaded in a bucket with damp beach sand until nightfall when they can be released to the sea. In some cases it may be possible to station interested residents on the beach during the early evening hours to as sist hatchlings to the sea. Even the simple act of shielding the crawling turtles from landward lights with a beach towel may enable them to establish the proper orientation. H atchlings should not be placed directly in the sea but allowed to crawl unassi sted towards the water because the trek to the water is important for their development I t is also important to educate and sensiti s e environmental consultants and other pro fes sionals working in nesting beach environments about the lighting issue. Fur ther information on construction, materials, and sea turtle friendly can be obtained from WIDECAST (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ) 4.133 Beach stabilisation structures B eaches are naturally dynamic because of the nearshore transport of sand along the coastline and the constant wave action. I n order to protect commercial investments such as beachfront hotels, beach stabilisation structures (e.g., breakwaters, jetties, im permeable groyne s seawalls ) are often installed T hese structures are expensive and rarely effective in the long term. Furthermore, because they interfere with the natural transport of sediment s up and down the coastline the coastal protection structur es of one and eventual loss of beach segments down current. There are many examples of this phenomenon in Jamaica. Chronic erosion currently experienced in Negril may be the result of coastal protection stru ctures installed in the area. A seawall constructed in Montego Bay to protect several hotels ( including the Sunset Beach, Lodge, and Chatham Hotel ) was partially responsible for h igh wave energy conditions that eroded part of an adjoining road and landwar d wall Similarly, g royne construction has been implicated in the severe erosion of the beaches associated with Sunset Beach Resort and Wyndham Rose Hall in St. James within the last ten years. Improperly designed structures have also resulted in beach l oss in several other areas such as St. Ann and St. James and the resultant need for redesign and reconstruction at a high cost ( A. Henry, NEPA, pers. comm. 2006 ). In another example a breakwater installed at the Foote Prints Hotel resulted in erosion rather than accretion of beach sand there (A. Henry NEPA, pers. com m. 2006 ). The problems associated with beach stabilisation structures are most severe on the north coast, and they are likely to escalate in the south coast as development pressures incr ease there. In many cases, the long term scenario of employing beach stabili s ation structures has exacerbated erosion and beach loss. It is therefore, a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that hard engineering options to beach protection, so metimes referred to as "beach armouring", be regarded only as a last resort. In particular, a lternatives should be explored when armouring is likely to result in the deterioration of sandy beaches where sea turtle s nest. C onstruction of impermeable struc tures to alter the transport of nearshore sediments and/or to protect coastal development should be carefully evaluated and factor in the long term negative impacts armouring is the only viabl e option the structure should be constructed at a slope of 1:2 to 1:3 to facilitate the natural build up of sand (USACE, 1995; Sorensen, 1997 ; Basco, 2008. ). P rotective structures should be made permeable ( e.g. constructed on pilings ) where ver and whene ver possible.
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 36 The preferred solution to beach conservation and maintenance is a construction setback requirement The setback should be adequate to mimimise the risk to coastal buildings as a result of normal erosion or violent storms and to protect nest ing sites. I t is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that legally defined minimum setback limits be instituted in Jamaica and design ed to protect the beach and backshore environment during major storm s Setbacks may include vegetated areas (e.g ., naturally oc curring vegetation, ornamental plantings, lawns) and dunes and should be of 30 40 m from the line of permanent vegetation for upland coastal development and 80 100 m for lowland (beach) development Setbacks also help reduce over crowding o f the shore zone, lessen the likelihood that local residents will be excluded from the beach, and decrease the probability of artificial lighting on the beach. At the present time there are no formal setback regulations in Jamaica, although the Manual fo r Develop ment (TPD, 1982) provide s non mandatory guidelines. Recommended s etback limits for slopes less than 1:20 are 30.5 m from the high water mark and 15.2 m from the high water mark for slopes 1:4 to 1:20 The Development and Investment Manual (200 7) sets out requirements for development activities. I t is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the guidelines contained in the Manual for Development be amended to maximise the likelihood that sea turtle nesting beaches are s afeguarded fr om degradation and erosion The amended M anual should be circulated to government agencies (especially Pa rish C ouncils), developers, and the general public. NEPA should also be encourage d to make selected recommendations mandatory through specially develo ped regulations under the NRCA Act. Relevant background information and r ecommendations are provided in Choi and Eckert (200 9 ). 4.134 Beach cleaning equipment and vehicular use of beaches All Jamaican beaches are littered to some extent S ources of the litter are recreational users, waste that is washed to the coast from inland dumping sites, and seagrass and ocean borne debris (e.g., oil, abandoned fishing gear and nets, cruise ship waste) that washes a shore. Hand rakes are typically used to clean the litter from private beachfront property and some public beaches (e.g., Braco Beach between Rio Bueno to Montego Bay). Oil pollution, usually in the form of tar balls, is a persistent problem on many beaches, especially on the north coast (Jones and Bacon 1990 ) and affected areas are raked 2 3 times each day. Such f requent raking removes s ignificant amounts of sand thereby acceler at ing beach erosion and potentially threaten ing incubating sea turtle eggs. C ontaminated and littered sand is frequently disc arded in the beach vegetation and its accumulation can obstruct hawksbill nesting and contribute to a toxic nest environment. To reduce the sand fouling and littering problem it is a strong recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that regulations b anning the indiscriminate disposal of waste in ravines and in offshore waters be established and strictly enforced. Additionally, waste disposal facilities (e.g., garbage cans) should be located in areas designed to optimise their use by visitors to the a rea. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that h and rak es rather than mechanised cleaning equipment should be used when cleaning sandy beaches in order to minimise potential damage (caused by the heavier equipment) to incubating eggs During the cleanup, only the litter and not the substrate should be raked B each cleanups should not include the removal of vegetative cover as s upralittoral trees and shrubbery provide hawksbills with nesting habitat (e.g., Ryder et al., 1989). Raking and removal of leaves and grasses above the high tide line can increase the probability of wind erosion and degrade or eliminate important nesting habitat. U se of vehicles on Jamaican beaches can be problematic to beach stability and the safety of turtle s. Driving on the beach compacts the sand ; this may reduc e the viability of nests, damage beach vegeta tion, create unsightly tyre ruts exacerbate beach erosion and bother and endanger other beach users (e.g., recreationist s fishers). Hatchlings may b ecome trapped in the tyre ruts which run parallel to the sea (Hosier et al., 1981 ; Cox et al., 1994 ) making them vulnerable to heat exposure (and desiccation) and/or predation. Vehicles can also run over hatchlings on the beach. While vehicle u s e on beac hes cur
Page 37 rently is not considered a major problem it occurs in selected regions such as Negril. It is therefore, a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that regulations be developed under the NRCA Act to regu late the driving of private and comme rcial cars and trucks on beaches before the activity becomes a serious threat to remnant sea turtle populations. 4.135 Beach r ebuilding (renourishment) p rojects Beaches may be rebuilt or renourished when erosion endangers the integrity of structure s (e.g., hotels, resorts, shops) or threatens the economic viability of an area. Beach renourishment involves transporting sand to the beach from inland sites or adjoining beach segments or hydraulically pumping sand onshore from offshore site s While re nourishment may enhance some nesting areas these projects are expen sive and produce some negative impacts on the beach community. Some examples of beach renourish ment projects include: Golden Seas, Sandals Ocho Rios, Ciboney Hedonism resort areas in Negril, Bogue and Holiday Inn in St. James and FDR Pebble s in Trelaw ny Removal of beach sand from one area to another is illegal without a licence from the Mines and Geology Division of the Ministry of Mining and Energy but the practice continues. Th e Sans Souci Lido in St Mary was caught moving sand in April 1995 (Anon 1995) and in 1998 NRCA (now NEPA) stopped the illegal removal of sand from Mammee Bay to Ocho Rios To help ensure minimal effects on sea turtle nesting, it is a recommendation o f this Recovery Action Plan that beach rebuilding and renourishment activities be required to : use replacement sand similar to the original material in physical properties, such as organic content and grain size not use sand taken from active nesting b eaches ensure the renourishment activities do not affect offshore sand transport to active nesting beaches and ensure the rebuilding activities do not take place during the primary reproductive (nesting, hatching) season. If beaches are rebuilt duri ng sea turtle nesting ( pea k: J une November) and/ or hatching ( peak : August January) seasons heavy equipment and activity can deter nesting damage nests, and crush eggs. In addition, the new layer of sand ( over burden ) may suffocate incubating eggs and p revent hatchlings from successfully digging o ut of the nest. If leatherbacks are known to nest in the area personnel should note that nesting begins in March or April peaks in May or June and concludes in July. Continuous loss of sand in one region a ccompanied by lack of natural down current sand accretion is an indication of imbalance in the transport system. T he underlying cause s may be disturbances to the near shore geography, such as the presence of an up current solid jetty, pier, or beach sand mining operation that starves down current beaches by interrupting the constant longshore transport of sand and sedi ments. Alternatively the cause s may be more subtle such as the effects of the removal of beach vegetation or nearshore pollution that re tard s the productivity of calcareous (coralline) algae and other sand sources. The linkages between development and the integrity of sandy beaches are complex and should be considered before construction on or adjacent to sandy beaches is permitted. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that developers, hoteliers, govern ment agencies responsible for planning and permitting, and environmental and engineering consultants be well informed about the potential environmental and economic liabili ties and legal responsibilities involved in beach rebuilding projects that hold the potential to adversely affect other properties 4.136 Other factors Horses and L ivestock on the B each Some sandy beaches (e.g., near Alligator Hole River, Clarendon, a nd the beaches at Port Henderson, St. Catherine, and Runaway Bay, St. Ann) are used for
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 38 horse racing and training Horses can damage incubating nests by crushing eggs and/ or emerging hatch lin g s They may also leave deep hoof prints in the sand into whic h hatchlings may fall as they crawl to the sea and Horse and livestock traffic may also accelerate erosion by damag ing fragile coastal habitats especially vegetat ed area s. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that a concerted effort be made to ascertain if sea turtles nest on traditional horse racing beaches and, if they do, effort s should be made to restrict the activity to zones below the high tide line or during the non nesting season. Exotic A nimal I ntroduction It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that every precaution be taken to ensure that mongooses and other exotic species do not spread to areas they do not currently inhabit It is especially important to protect offshore cays such as the Morant Cays which are important nesting area s Immediate action should be taken to eliminate rats and cats from cays which are known to be important for turtle nesting, including some of t he Portland Bight Cays. This would benefit other depleted species, such as seabirds, that have already been reduced by introduced predators (Haynes Sutton, 1995 ; Schreiber and Lee, 2000; McGowan et al., 2007). Development I ncreasing interest in the south coast is leading to rapid change with many previously inaccessible areas coming under pressure f r om develop ers It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that sandy beaches important to sea turtle nesting be included in the national pro t ected area system and left undeveloped. Important turtle nesting areas currently within the national system of protected areas include the beach es east of Luana Point, St. Elizabeth, beaches between Old Woman's Point, Manchester and Milk River, Clarendon, Manatee Bay, St. Catherine Palisadoes, and the offshore cays (Pedro and Morant). Manatee Bay is part of the Portland Bight Protected Area and Hellshire Hills Protected Area but the development of a new town and large scale tourism at this site has also been proposed; s trict development control is essential to ensure continued sea turtle nesting in this area. Other important nesting areas not currently protected are beaches in the Oracabessa area. Beach A ccessories S unbeds, sailboats and other recrea tional equipment left on the beach at night can interfere with nesting turtles and emerging hatchlings. They can block access to nest sites and obstruct the emergence of hatching s crawling to the sea. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan th at hotels situated near nesting beaches not allow re c reational equipment to remain on the beach at night. 4.14 Prevent degradation of marine habitat 4.141 Dynamiting reefs The use of dynamite to kill fish is illegal under the WLPA of 1945 (Append ix II). Nevertheless, this practice is very common in Jamaica, particularly in Kingston Harbour Portland Bight, and Alligator Pond Even though illegal possession of dynamite is an offence under the Gunpowder and Explosives Act, a violation still carries a penalty of only J$40. Use of dynamite to harvest fish kills or injures marine fauna indis criminately and damages habitat, especially if used near coral reefs. It endanger s both built structures (e.g., pier pilings, bridge supports) and the fishers ha ndling it. The causeway bridge spanning Kingston Harbour may have been weakened by dynamite used to harvest fish which accelerated the need for major repairs to be carried out in the early 1990 s. Even occasional accidental deaths of fishermen using dynam ite have not discouraged its continued use While there has been some discussion on the national level on controlling dynamite fishing, no resolution ha s been identified. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that a multi pronged approac h be enacted, including controlling the supply of dynamite ; increasing public education target ed at suppliers and users) ; drafting of more comprehensive legislation to make prosecutions easier ; increasing the capacity for monitoring and enforcement efforts ; and more carefully inventorying and specifically labeling stockpiles so that dynamite use d in an offence can be traced to its owner D ynamite use will persist as long as dynamite is inexpensive and available, and fish yield a high profit margin.
Page 39 While there are no documented cases to date of sea turtles dying as a result of the use of explosives, such incidents are unlikely to be n oticed or reported. Meanwhile, i rreparable damage has been and is being done to coral reef habitat s that provide essential food and shelter to the last remaining hawksbill turtles (and many fishable resources) in Jamaica. For detailed recommendations on legal revision s t o address dynamit e and chemical fishing, see section 4.142. 4.142 Chemical fishing Some fishermen con tinue to use c hlorine and battery acid to poison fish on reefs and in rivers even though it is illegal under section 10 of the WLPA of 1945 (Appendix II). This practice may cause irrepar able damage to coral reef habitats which provide food and shelter to hawksbill turtles in Jamaica and sustain the fi shing industry. To facilitate more effective law enforcement against this practice it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the WLPA be amended to make it an offence to possess equipment int ended for use in chemical assisted fishing. This provision would be similar to the language used in the St. Lucia's Fish eries Act of 1984 and significantly strengthen the current Act In section 24 (1) of the St. Lucia's Fisher any person who (b) carries or has in his possession or control any explosive, poison or other noxious substance in circumstances indicating an intention of using such explosive, poison or other noxious substance for any of the purposes referred to in the preceding paragraph, is guilty of an offence investigation into the illicit sources to control its distribution, are urgently needed. This approach was supported in a review of fisheries legislation in Jamaica (Lodge, 1995). The reviewer recommended that control of fishing methods be granted to the Fisheries Division and the new Fisheries Act assume s the provisions which refer to illegal fishing currently listed under the WLPA The propo sed provisions include several innovations to help clos e loopholes that currently make it very difficult to obtain prosecutions for dynamiting (see section 4.141) and chemical assisted fishing. The draft Fisheries Bill (2007) includes the following text Section 35. (1) A person commits an offence if he (a) permits to be used, uses or attempts to use any explo sive, poison or other noxious substance for the purpose of killing, stunning, disabling or catching fish, or in any way rendering fish more easily caught; or ( b) carries or has in his possession or control any explosive, poison or other noxious substance in circumstances indicating an intention of using such substance for any such purpose. (2) A p erson who is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) shall be liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding one million dollars and, in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months. (3) Any explosive, poison or other noxious substance found on board any fishing vessel shall be pre sumed, unless the contrary is proved, to be intended for the purposes referred to in subsection (1). (4) Every person who lands, sells, receives or possesse s any fish taken by any means in contravention of this section, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe them to have been so taken, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not exceeding fi ve hundred thousand dollars and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 40 It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the STRN and its partner organizations support the inclusion of these subsections in the ne w Fisheries Act. 4.143 Industrial discharges Industrialisation in the absence of strict legislation has had predictable consequences in Jamaica. Im prop e r planning and waste disposal, an increased demand for land, unsustainable population growth arou nd industrial centres in the absence of adequate infrastructure ( e.g., sewage treatment plants), and increased shipping traffic have contributed to a deterioration of the coastal environment Jamaicans depend on a healthy marine environment as a source o f food and economic activity, especial ly tourism. Nevertheless, many coastal areas, especially those near major in dus trial centres, are polluted. For example, industries adjacent to Kingston Harbour and the gullies which drain into it empty large vol um es of untreated waste into the water (Goodbody, 1989, 2003 ) The major generators of these wastes include tanneries, oil refineries, power stations, detergent manufacturers, canning and bottling plants, and animal slaughterhouses and processing facilities. Additionally, w astes from the sugar food and bauxite processing and loading facilities leaks from underwater oil pipelines (e.g., JPSCo pipeline at Old Harbour Bay ) oil spills, and solid waste refuse dumped on the shoreline have contributed to coasta l pollution around the island (GOJ, 1987). began to demand that i ndustries clean up their wastes and reduce untreated efflu ent when the NRCA Act of 1991 was gazetted. The NRCA Act provides comprehensive legislation to control pollutio n (Appendix II). While the 1991 Amendment to the Act raised the penalty for pollution to J$ 5 0,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both compliance rather than prosecution was emphasi s ed. In a ddition, under the WLPA pollution violat ions carry a maximum penalty of a $100,000 fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both fine and imprisonment. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that action is taken to monitor and regulate pollution of the nearshore marine environment. Specifically: existing pollution laws should be reviewed for completeness and enforceability and recommendations made to the Government for needed changes industries should be monitored to confirm that discharges are recorded with the appro pr iate Government agency and the content of the discharge properly identified ; and fish and other marine life in suspected polluted areas should be tested on a regular basis for the presence of toxins. 4.144 At sea dumping of garbage The dischar ge of sewage, oil, garbage, plastic toxic materials, discarded fishing gear, Styrofoam and m any other materials into the ocean is a serious regional and global problem (O'Hara et al., 1986; CEE, 1987; Laist, 1987 ; Derraik, 2002 ). Beaches all around Jamai ca are affected by garbage dumped from vessels at sea (e.g., fishing boats, yachts, cruise l iners, and military craft) and from land based sources washed or dumped into coastal areas. G arbage that enters the sea is a serious problem for sea turtles because in gestion and entanglement can be fatal. Mrosovsky (1981) observed that leatherbacks ingest plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish frequently leading to death. Bugoni et al. (2001) recorded plastic bags to be the primary debris items ingested by lea therback sea turtles off the Brazilian coast. B alazs (1985) summaris ed records from around the world that cited incidents of ingestion of a wide range of oceanic debris Plotkin et al. (1993) summarized ingestion of man made garbage by loggerhead sea tu rtles in the Gulf of Mexico as follows, "Anthropogenic debris was present in the digestive tract contents of 51.2% of the loggerheads. Debris contributed very little to the total dry weight of the samples, since most ingested debris consisted of light weig ht plastics. Pieces of plastic bag constituted the debris most often found in
Page 41 the digestive tracts. Other debris ingested included hard pieces of plastic, fishing line, pieces of latex balloon, rubber, tar, styrofoam, fish hook, rope, plastic spherules (be ads), aluminum foil, cardboard, and cloth. The debris ingested undoubtedly caused the turtle's death in three instances. The hook of a 6" stainless steel heavy gauge fishing hook had perf o rated the esophagus of one loggerhead ; a large piece of glass had perforated the stomach lining of a second ; and l arge pieces of plastic trash bags had impact ed the digestive tract from mouth to cloaca of a third." nthro pogenic debris ( F = 25%) was primarily small pieces of hard plastic, but also included corks, white styrofoam pieces, and neon S everal NGOs, including the Ja maica Environment Trust (JET), Jamaica National Trust and the P ortland E nvironment Pro tection Association organise annual beach cleanups in Jamaica, but the amount of gar bage on beaches and its origins are not monitored island wide. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that more efforts be put forward to moni tor the volume and source of solid wastes on Jamai can beaches and to reduce it at the source through outreach education (e.g., targeting boat operators) and the development of guidelines and the enforcement of regulations. The STRN has also played an a ctive role in removing garbage from beaches by organising early clean ups of Old Harbour Bay ( 1993 1994 ), and the to collect rubbish from beaches. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the STRN in partnership with JET and participating community and civic groups continue and expand their efforts to integrate local clean up campaigns modeled after the International Coastal Clean Up Campaign a nd to contribute the results to applicable database s : http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site/PageServer?pagename=press_icc 4.145 Oil exploration, production, refining, and transport Marine traffic, especially oil tankers using loc al ports or in transit through coastal waters, pose a risk of marine oil pollution resulting from collisions, groundings, sinkings, oil cargo and bunker transfer, bilge cleaning, at sea spills, and other marine incidents. Such pollution threatens recreati onal areas, sea turtles, seabird s and other marine life, coastal installations, and fisheries. Sea turtles are vulnerable to oil spills and oil related pollution. Behavioural experiments indicate for example, that green and loggerhead turtles have li mited ability to avoid oil slicks, and physiological experiments show that the respiration, skin, some aspects of blood chemistry and salt gland function of 15 18 month old loggerheads are significantly affected by exposure to crude oil pre weathered for 4 8 hours (Vargo et al., 1986). Hawksbills (predominantly juveniles), represented only 2.2% (34 out of 1 551 individuals) of all sea turtle strandings in Florida (USA) between 1980 1984, yet they comprised 28.0% of petroleum related strandings. Oil and tar fouling of these turtles was both external and internal. Chemi cal analysis of internal organs showed that crude oil from tanker discharge had been ingested. Vargo et al. (1986) observed oil clinging to the nares (nostrils) and eyes, the upper portion of the esophagus, and in the feces in both experimental and stranded oil fouled turtles. Other investigators have commented on the effects of oil on turtles, such as sealing their mouths and nostrils (e.g., Fritts and McGehee, 1981; Hall et al., 1983; Frazi er and Salas, 1984; Gramentz, 1986, 1988; Hirth, 1987; Lutcavage et al., 1995) and potentially affecting even nesting habitat ( Shigenaka 2003). The majority of beaches on the north, east and west coasts of Jamaica show signs of tar fouling (Jones and Bacon, 1990) ; however, t he source was not identified. Jamaica lies on major shipping lanes and the east coast is a high risk area for oil spills. There have been oil spills involving tankers delivering oil to bauxite ports on the south coast and from cru ise ships. Other s pills occur during oil transfer s in under water pipelines in Old Harbour Bay or during sh ip to shore transfer s in Kingston Harbour. The amount of oil released in bilge water from passing tankers is not known but the Harbours Act of 187 4 includes reference to the release of oil in harbours. To date, e xploration for oil and natural gas in Jamaica's territorial waters by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica has failed to show any significant reserves but e xploration continues and vigilan ce to environmental protection is warranted.
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 42 Jamaica ratified the Cartagena Convention (section 4.32) and its Protocol Concerning Cooperation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region in 1987. Article 3 of the Protocol states: a. The contrac ting Parties shall, within their capabilities, cooperate in taking all necessary measures, both preventive and remedial, for the protection of the marine and coastal envi ronment of the Wider Caribbean, particularly the coastal areas of the islands of the region, from oil spill incidents. b. The contracting Parties shall, within their capabilities, establish and maintain, or ensure the establishment and maintenance of, the means of responding to oil spill incidents and shall endeavor to reduce the risk the reof. Such means shall include the enactment, as necessary, of relevant legislation, the preparation of contingency plans, the identification and develop ment of the capability to respond to an oil spill incident and the designation of an authority respons ible for the implementation of this protocol. A major oil spill in Jamaican waters would be disastrous not only for turtles but also for the fishing and tourism industries. The Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard has developed an Oil Spill Contingency Plan and has equipment to deal with oil spills. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that Jamaica s contingency plan should be review ed and the plan and capacity to deal will oil spills should be updated as necessary. 4.146 Agricultural run off and sewage Land disturbance activities, such as agriculture, and the disposition of sewage in Jamaica often result in high levels of suspended particulate matter (SPM), nitrates, phosphates and chemical residues in coastal marine waters (e.g., Goodbody, 1989) and increased incidence of diseases in coral reefs ( Lipp et al., 2002; Kaczmarsky et al., 2005) Soil conservation is not widely practiced in Jamaica, resulting in the loss of large amounts of soil from cultivated land annually. F ertilizers, pestici des herbicides and other chemicals are heavily used in most agricultural regions in Jamaica and they contribute to pollution in run off waters that enter the sea U ntreated or partially treated sewage also flows into coastal water adding to the pollutio n load. Septic tanks or pits are currently used in many coastal towns because of the lack of functional sewage systems. Unless properly installed and maintained, effluent from soak away septic systems can enter the sea by transport through rivers, stream s or shallow aquifers. Se ptic pit contents are transported by trucks and the loads frequently are emptied into gullies, mangrove swamps or the sea, rather than approved sites. In small quantities, nitrates and phosphates are needed for metabolic proc esses in living organisms. However, excess amounts of these nutrients foster phytoplankton blooms which, together with SPM block incoming light and resul t in decreased coral growth rates (e.g., D'elia et al., 1981). S PM further stresses marine organisms by physically smothering them and impair s fish respiration. Sediment covered surfaces restrict larval settlement, and large quantities of SPM settling and decomposing on reef s cause s increase d bacterial activity. Coral reefs prone to nutrient effects are usually exposed to other anthropogenic stressors that can make a reef more susceptible to nutrient effects or cause symptoms similar to those expected from nitrification (Szmant, 2002). It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that studies be undertaken to evaluate the effects of agricultural runoff (i.e., pesticides and herbicides) on nearshore marine communities in Jamaica A monitoring programme perhaps as part of a national water quality programme, should be established. The effluent o f chemically based sewage treatment deposited close to shore may be damaging to coastal communities. As an alternative, some wetlands are used to partially treat sewage If this less chemical intensive method is found to be effective in treating sewage, i t may be expanded beyond the current trial near Portmore It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that NEPA take the lead in devel oping inter agency capacity to monitor water and habitat quality in nearshore waters on a routine basis
Page 43 In add ition, an environmentally sound national strategy for sewage disposal should be identified and implemented as soon as possible. 4.147 Anchoring and dredging There are only four coastal areas in Jamaica where large ships routinely anchor: Kingston Harbo ur, out side the barrier reef off Kingston Harbour, east of Port Kaiser in St. Elizabeth parish, and Port Rhoades in St. Ann parish. However, there is no information about t he extent of small vessels anchor ing in inshore waters and the amount of damage ca used to the reefs by this activity and anchor chain dragging from fishing, diving, and other recreational boat operators. Nevertheless, there are specific areas where damage has been significant and mitigation measures have been taken. The damage to the reefs and seabed seem to be substantial in Negril, Portland Bight, Port Royal Cays and Montego Bay In order to address this problem, t he NCRPS and the MBMP were instrumental in getting mooring buoys installed at sites heavily used by divers. Many more mooring buoys are required a round the island on reefs which are used for diving or fishing. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that a national system of moorings be installed to minimize damage to coral reefs and seagrass beds. Inexpen sive mooring systems have long been a vailable ( e.g., Halas, 1985) and the experience of NCRPS and the MBMP can be modeled Designated mooring areas should be provided and yachts and mini cruise ships be required to use them. Ships longer than 200 ft sho uld be required to dock at port facilities or anchor in specially designated offshore areas (away from reefs or seagrass beds ). Dredging of harbours (including Kingston Harbour, Montego Bay, Portland Bight and Discovery Bay) occurs periodically Dredging projects require Beach Licences under the Beach Control Act for t wo types of dredging activities : maintenance dredging and capital dredg ing. A full EIA or specific direct EIA may be required for maintenance dredging depending on the location and extent o f the project, whereas a full EIA is required f or all capital dredging projects. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that independent environmental impact assessments be carried out for all dredging projects and that appro priate mitigati on measures be put in place before dredging is undertaken. 4.148 Other factors Land reclamation has transform ed once productive mangrove swamps (e.g., in the vicinity of Kingston Harbour) into industrial areas, housing estates, and hotels. Even tho ugh t he effects of these changes on marine ecosystems have not been documented, anecdotal evidence suggests dramatic declines in eco system productivity. Currently t here is considerable pressure remaining wet lands since they are often viewed as unproductive and potentially inexpensive to acquire. In many cases, m angrove swamps are ecologically linked to sandy beaches in Jamaica and therefore their integrity is importan t for sea turtle nesting. In an effort to address this pro blem, the National Ramsar Committee recom mend ed that the ( then ) Inte grated Watershed and Coastal Zone Branch integrate and modernize policies into a comprehensive wetland policy that would regulate activities in wetlands and provide protection to these ar eas Wetland modification, clearance or reclamation is a category under the NRCA Permit and Licence system and the Order (in accordance with Section 9 of the NRCA Act) requires a permit issued by NEPA Therefore, it is the recommendation of this Recove ry Action Plan that the Wetlands Policy and the new Order be implemented by the NEPA as soon as possible. 4.2 Manage and P rotect A ll L ife S tages In previous sections solutions to many threats facing sea turtle nesting and feeding habitats were presen t ed The following sections focus on managing and protecting the turtles themselves E xisting conserva
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 44 tion legislation is reviewed and improvements are proposed and r elated topics including bycatch l aw en forcement alternative livelihoods for turtle f ishermen and sea turtle population monitoring, trend analysis and management are also discussed 4.21 Assess regulatory mechanisms 4.211 Review existing national laws and regulations Comprehensive protection of sea turtles is provided to the five species included in the 1982 amendment to the Third Schedule of the Wild Life Protection Act of 1945. These species are: Green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ), Hawksbill ( Eretmochelys imbricata ), Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ), Atlantic [Kemp's] ridley ( Lepido chelys kempii ), and the Leatherback ( Dermochelys coriacea ). Under this regulation it is illegal to harvest or sell sea turtle eggs, or to kill or possess "the whole or any part" of any of these species dead or alive. T he Natural Resources Conservation Au thority Act, The Wild Life Protection Act (Amendment) Orders (1998) states that p ersons found guilty of hunting or possessing any protected sea turtle are liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of J $10 0 ,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceedi ng 2 years and that the e quipment used in the commission of the violation including vehicles and boats, may be seized. There have been several convictions under this Act (sec tion 3.41). The jurisdictional powers of the WLPA extend three miles from any par ish Additionally, t he WLPA appears to apply to the Morant and Pedro Cays because The Morant and Pedro Cays Act (see below) defines these offshore territories as part of Kingston and St. Andrew Under th is Act of 1907 and subsequent amendments the Fisher ies Division can issue licences for turtle fishing. However, since a more recent law generally supersedes an older law, the G OJ should seek to clarify, as a matter of priority, whether the WLPA takes precedence in protecting sea turtles and their eggs on the Morant and Pedro Cays, as it does elsewhere under national jurisdiction. fisheries administration. Provisions for the protection of endangered spec ies (e.g., turtles) may properly recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the jurisdictional powers of the WLPA or regulations to protect sea turtles under the NRCA Act should be extend ed to cover the entire EEZ in an unambiguous attempt to ensure national consistency and continuity with regard to sea turtle protection. Fisheries Inspectors (or other persons duly authorized in writing by the Minister) are charged with enforcing the Mo rant and Pedro Cays Act. Persons found guilty of an offence against this Act are liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of J$400, and in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months The Fisheries Division, which administers the Morant and Pedro Cays Act, falls within the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries whereas NEPA falls at present, within the Office of the Prime Minister ; consistency in sea turtle protection should be a Ministerial priority for both. The Endangered Species Act ( Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade ) of 2000 provide s another sea turtle protection tool. It implements CITES to which Jamaica became a Part y in 1997 (see section 4.311). Penalties for trafficking in listed specie s cited in the Endangered Species Act include fines of up to J$2 Million and imprisonment not to exceed two years (if brought before a Resident Magistrate) or ten years (if brought before a Circuit Court). In either case, species specimens are forfeited t o the Crown upon conviction. 4. 212 Evaluate the effectiveness of law enforcement In general, laws are not well respecte d and a mong enforcement officers and the judiciary, crimes involving wildlife are not taken seriously C harges are o ften discount ed in consid er ation of the economic needs of the defend a nts. Additional roadblocks to effective law enforcement include the inaccessibility of
Page 45 many small nesting beaches, the large size of the fishing community, the opportunistic nature of turtle fishing, and the wide expanse of Jamaica's coastal and territorial waters. Enforcement of the Wild Life Protection Act (1945) is the responsibility of NEPA and a uthorized persons under the Wild Life Protection Ac t. The Enforcement Branch under the Legal and Enfo rcement Division coordinates enforcement activities carried out by NEPA staff, rangers in protected areas and volunteer Game Wardens. The Island Special Constabulary Force coordinates activities carried out by the police with or without the assistance of 3 Enforcement Officers monitor infractions of all envi ronmental acts under the supervision of the Branch Manager, the Director of the Division and ultimate l y the Chief Executive Officer. In 2003 the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF ) assimilated the functions of the former Environmental Warden Service. The Game Warden system was instituted to extend the capacity to enforce the WLPA. It includes Government officers drawn from relevant agencies and concerned private citizens 85 p ersons were appointed for the period March 1, 2007 to December 31, 2008. However, the system does not seem to be very effective in reduc ing the illegal take of sea turtles or promot ing sea turtle conservation Most Game Wardens are not likely to observe i nfractions of sea turtle protection laws during their daily activities or have the opportunity to monitor nesting beaches. Game Wardens usually are advised to work in conjunc tion with the Police; generally they are reticent to use the considerable powers given to them. Law enforcement a t sea is the responsibility of the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard, Fisheries Division, and Marine Police. The Fisheries Division is an important agency for sea turtle conservation because it maintains an important li nk with the fishermen and fishing communities wh ich consume most of the turtle eggs and meat. Currently there are only nine Fisheries Officers to serv ice the entire nation. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that, to the extent possibl e, Fisheries Officers be come actively involved with sea turtle awareness programmes within fishing communities (see also section 4.42). Moreover, the monitoring and reporting of violations of the WLPA with reference to sea turtles should be one of the pr incipal responsibilit ies of Fisheries Officers. The STRN can assist Fisheries Officers by helping to define the programme, and providing incentives, training and materials. The JDFCG has an excellent record of supporting wildlife conservation, including sea turtles. Despite their limited resources, they provide transportation to near and offshore cays for research and monitoring and have been extremely useful in supporting enforcement activity. It is a recommendation of this Re covery Action Plan that J DFCG personnel be trained to assist with data collection and in vited to training opportunities offered by WIDECAST and/ or the STRN. The Coast Guard is planning to upgrade its facility on Pedro Cays, and while its focus there is interdiction of drug tran sshipments, its expanded presence will provide greater opportunity to enforce sea turtle protection laws. I t is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the Coast Guard be given the resources to expand its base JDFCG 2008 ) The Marine Police, a division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, is confined to inshore waters where they patrol harbours and areas most impacted by drug trafficking. In the future they should be encour aged to increase their role in wildlife law enforcement. Most turtles are harvested in or transported through inshore waters; therefore, the Marine Police can exercise considerable control over illicit activities involving sea turtle s. In order to better use thi s important law enforcement agency, t he STRN can facili tat e involvement of the Marine Police by ensuring their fullest participation in the STRN and by supplying information al material s
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 46 4.213 Augment existing law enforcement efforts There has bee n a steady progression of improved law enforcement efforts designed to protect natural resources, including sea turtles. Nevertheless, enforcement can be further enhanced by providing ade quate resources, outreach education, and improved management of enfo rcement procedures, and by the adoption of additional laws and regulations It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that steps be taken to provide more effective en forcement of conservation and environmental laws by increasing the number of Environmental Warden s at the earliest possible date T he Game Warden system should be reviewed and strengthened ; other mechanism s should also be considered, including increase d voluntary assistance with law enforcement ; increased public awareness and outr each campaigns; and initiatives designed to increase awareness and motivation on the part of Jamaica's law enforcement officers ( and the judiciary ) to fully enforce existing law s that apply to sea turtle protection Currently NEPA is training and sensitiz ing law enforcement and judiciary officials through outreach education on environmental laws administered by NEPA, the Forestry Department and the Fisheries Division. Since it was established in 1991, the STRN has consistently provided volunteers to ass ist in the pro tection and monitoring of sea turtle nesting beaches and foraging grounds. As an extension of its work and experience, it is logical that the STRN become more actively involved in reporting violations to NEPA. There is also a need to educ ate fishermen and the community in general of the importance and opportun ity to protect and conserve Jamaica's sea turtle populations. E mphasis should be placed on outreach educational program me s on the life history of sea turtle s reasons for declining populations, the impor tance of protect ing remaining stocks and opportunities for their participation in developing regulations governing protected areas. F ishermen should help design and implement this programme It is a recommendation of this Reco very Action Plan that immediate steps be taken to prohibit the offer for sale of turtle products under the WLPA All incidents of sale or advertising of sea turtle products should be reported promptly to NEPA or the Island Special Constabulary Force It is also important to educate potential vendors and purchasers (see also section 4.4). Local environmental NGOs and Game Wardens should be enlisted to help (see also section 4.24). I mmediate action should be taken by NEPA to regularise approved trade or to confiscate existing tortoiseshell stocks, as appropriate. Earmarking profits from the sale of shell items has been suggested, but at present all inventories are privately held (see section 3.3 Tortoiseshell ). Finally, it is a recommendation of this Re covery Action Plan that the assistance of the JDFCG be sought in monitoring and protecting sea turtle populations throughout Jamaica's territorial seas. Monitoring is a key component of any conservation programme, especially ongoing monitoring of Index Be aches and high priority foraging grounds. 4.214 Make fines commensurate with product value In a reference to fisheries legislation in general, Lodge (1995) concluded that penalties is largely due to the decline in the Jama ican dollar and is not unique to the fisheries legislation. It is suggested that the penalties should not only be increased generally but should also be harmonized across the various areas of maritime jurisdiction. ... An alternative approach may be to in troduce a sys tem of penalties according to a scale which may be adjusted from time to time by the Minister by order published in the Gazette. In this way, the level of fines could be maintained at a realistic level. This ap proach has not been used in Jam aica, although it has been used in several Commonwealth jurisdictions Current penalties for violating the WLPA are J $100,000 in addition to provisions which allow the confisca tion of boats, weapons and traps used in the commission of an offence.
Page 47 It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the GOJ adopt the approach identified by Lodge (1995) P enalties should be reviewed on a regular basis ( e.g., 4 years) and m odified to reflect the fluctu ating value of the Jamaican dollar relative to other currencies. For example, if the currency is devalued (a persistent problem in Jamaica) or the cost of black market turtle soup or shell jewelry increases, the fines should be increased. Fines under the Morant and Pedro Cays need to be increased from J$400 to J$20,000, or a n equivalent value at the time. 4.22 Propose new regulations where needed It is important that laws and regulations governing sea turtle conservation are unambiguous and clearly identify the roles and parties responsible for monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities. Histor ically, hindrances to effective law enforcement ha ve been overlapping jurisdiction and lack of will to exercise separation of powers between the four Ministries involved: Office of the Prime Minister; Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries ; Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce ; and Ministry of Tourism. It is a strong recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that r egulations concerning sea turtles be developed under the NRCA Act to consolidate legislation and legal jurisdiction and that p rimary respon sibility for sea turtles be place under NEPA. This recommendation models the suggested changes to fisheries legisl ation (Lodge, 1995), and was advanced by the NGO community and the GOJ, which under took a joint review of environmental legislation in 1995 (NRCA, 1995). 4.221 Eggs Existing laws are adequate to protect eggs from direct collection and sale, but habitat loss and degrad ation remain a serious threat to sea turtle survival in Jamaica. M any current development practices exacerbate erosion and promote beach loss (section 3.1). Legislation should be developed to require and enforce legal set backs for all co nstruction activities and relevant controls on coastal land in order t o protect eggs from beach erosion and to promote successful egg incubation R emoval of beach vegetation accelerates erosion and can precipitate the loss of turtle nests. P rotection of trees with a circumference exceeding 1 m (measured 1 m from the ground surface ) should be con sidered under Tree Preservation Orders ; the Orders can be promulgated under the Town and Country Planning Act of 1958. It is a recommendation of this Recovery A ction Plan that a d ditional legislation to protect beach vegetation (e.g., sea grape, Coccoloba sp.; crab grass, Stenotaphium secundatum ) is needed and could be developed under the NRCA Act or the Beach Control Act. Choi and Eckert (200 9 ) offer guidance on ing hotels to invest in this and other conservation measures. Incubating sea t urtle eggs must also be protected from nest compaction It is a recommendation of this Recovery Acti on Plan that p rotection be achieved by : fencing nest sites ; carefully collecting threatened eggs within 12 hours of being laid and reburying them in less heavily used beach zones ; prohibiting vehicles on sandy beaches ; and/or restricting horse racing to be low the high tide line. Further guidance on the protection of eggs can be found in section 4.13 and in section 4. 252 4.222 Immature turtles Immature turtles are adequately protected by law, but it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that effective enforcement is urgently needed (see section 4.24). 4.223 Nesting females Legislation protecting nesting sea turtles is adequate but regulations to im plement it are widely ignored. Adult sea turtles represent decades of selective survival and reach sexual maturity at about 20 to 40
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 48 years of age, depending on species. Frazer (1983) calculated that the reproductive value (or the relative worth) of a log gerhead turtle just reaching reproductive age was approximately 500 times that of an egg. Recognizing that this age group is the most difficult life stage of a population to replace, s ea turtle conservation science and demographic models suggest that larg e juveniles and breeding age adults are the most important age classes to protect in order to promote population recovery and maintenance and therefore should receive stringent protect ion efforts. Additionally, since less than 1% of hatchlings that reach the sea will survive to adulthood it is important that hatch success b e optimised by, for example, eliminating egg Based on the best available science, i t is a strong recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that pr iority be given to the protection of adult female sea turtles even when management and enforcement resources are scarce 4.23 Investigate alternative livelihoods for turtle fishermen Based on interviews and community workshops conducted during the preparation of this Recovery Action Plan, the exploration of alternative livelihoods does not appear to be a high priority for management. Although many fishermen take turtles opportunistically and fishermen regard them as an important supplemental catch and subsistence food, few if any fishermen depend on turtles and most agree that banning turtle harvests would not involve any significant hardship (Tambiah, 1995). It is a recommenda tion of this Recovery Action Plan that STRN work in collaboration with the appropriate g overnment agencies, community based groups and fisher organisations to further explore creative alternatives (e.g., assistance with supplementary fishing methods) With regard to artisans working with sea turtle shell, the only major pro ducer of turtle shell jewelry has long been using other materials (e.g., cow horn). There fore, provision of alternatives for artisans would not appear to be a management priority 4.24 Determine incidental catch and promote the use of TEDs In the 1 983 report to WATS I, fishers provided information on sea turtle bycatch. The report noted incidental capture occurred in beach seines and fishing gear (Kerr 1984). A 2006 preliminary survey of Jamaican fishers by the global bycatch assessment project (P roject GloBAL) noted that 27% of the 127 trawl, trap, and gillnet fishers interviewed responded positively to the question of whether sea turtles were captured incidentally in fishing gear (Bjorkland et al. 2008 d trammel nets) are the gear types primarily identified in sea turtle bycatch, but this probably reflects the preponderance of those types of fishing gear used in Jamaican waters. Shrimp fishers indicated they had no sea turtle bycatch. The survey also su ggests that juvenile hawksbills (3 20 kg) are caught in traps while bycatch of larger turtles are generally associated with the gillnet fisheries. One fisher also noted the incidental catch of a leatherback by entanglement in the buoy line of a fish pot of f Calabash Bay, animal per year) to one animal per month in trammel net fishing. There are approximately eight boats using trawl nets in Jamaica (A. Galbraith, Fisheries Division, pers. comm. ) Studies need to be conducted to establish if and how many turtles are accidentally caught and drowned in these trawls before the use of turtle excluder devices (TEDs) can be considered. A TED is a device fitte d to or a modification of a trawl net that allows turtles to escape immediat e ly after capture in the net. Trawl fisheries are implicated in the dramatic declines in olive ridleys in Suriname (Reichart and Fretey, 1993), Kemp's ridleys in Mexico (Ross et a l., 1989), and loggerheads in the USA (e.g., Hopkins Murphy and Murphy, 1988). Prior to the use of TEDs, tens of thousands of sea turtles drowned every year in the nets of shrimp fleets operating off continental coastlines of South and Central America, Gu lf of Mexico, and the eastern seaboard of the USA (National Research Council, 1990). It is a recom mend ation of this Recovery Action Plan that the Fisheries Division investigate the extent to which shrimp trawling is drowning sea turtles in Jamaican water s. In some parts of the Wider Caribbean, the incidental catch and subsequent drowning of sea turtles in longlines is a growing concern. There is no legal longline industry in Jamaica, although longlines are used by foreign fishermen fishing illegally f or swordfish in Jamaican waters and by local fishermen on the
Page 49 north coast where the resources of the narrow island shelf have been depleted (Lodge, 1995; A. Galbraith, pers. comm., 1996). In the latter situation, vertical longlines are used. C apture of l eatherbacks by longlines has been documented in the northeastern Caribbean Sea (Cambers and Lima, 1990; Tobias, 1991), Gulf of Mexico (Hildebrand, 1987), and southeast U. S. (Witzell, 1984). Leatherbacks and loggerheads are captured on longlines in Antigu a (Fuller et al., 1992). While there are no reports of sea turtle capture by longlines in J amaica it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the STRN seek to stimulate research into the scale and nature of incidental capture of sea turtles by all methods in Jamaica, including longlines. Additionally, this Recovery Action Plan recommend s that the STRN work with the Fisheries Division to ensure that the proposed new fisheries legislation provides adequate protection for turtles against inci dental capture and include control of fishing methods likely to affect turtles and turtle habitat, and imposition of mitigating measures where necessary (e.g., time and area closures, gear modification, requirements that nets not be left unattended). Fina lly, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that all cases of incidental sea turtle capture, as well as the fate of the animal, be reported to the Fisheries Division and/or to NEPA 4.25 Supplement reduced populations using management techn iques In addition to protecting the turtles and their habitats, the GOJ must employ appropriate and site specific management techniques that will enhance the reproductive success of depleted populations. T his section discuss es some of these techniques wit h the caveat that manipulative options, such as turtle tagging, predator control, and the relocation of eggs to hatcheries, should be undertaken with caution. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that any m anagement intervention be target ed at a specific threat and that p riority be placed on data collection that serves a specific management objective. Different threats need different responses As an example, o ne remedy will not address both the incidental capture of adults offshore (wh ich requires fundamental changes in gear use and perhaps a redistribution of fishing effort) and the loss of eggs onshore Similarly, different responses are needed depending on how eggs are lost, such as by predat ors or by beach erosion. The IUCN/SSC Mar ine Turtle Specialist Group (section 4.54) has published a manual of standard management techniques (Eckert et al. 1999 : http://www.iucn mtsg.org /publications/Tech_Manual/0000%20Table%20of%20Contents.htm ). 4.251 Management techniques for turtles It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that t o minimise the killing of egg bearing females on their nesting beaches Jamaica must estab lish effective habitat surveillance especially during the night when nesting occurs. Whenever possible surveillance should be carried out by community based or other groups or other alternatives rather than law enforcement personnel. Grassroots patrol programmes are cost effective, actively involve the local community, and help address the problem of turtle take. Th ey can also reduce the loss of nests (eggs) to poachers and predators It is a recommendation of this Re covery Action Plan that t he STRN ensure that a trained Coordinator is identified for each participating nesting beach and that each Coordinator be responsible for establishing beach patrol schedules main taining a database for the beach, and submitting an Annual Report to the permittin g agency P atrollers should be trained staff or trained volunteers who participate on a rotating basis In all cases, surveillance personnel should be adequately equipped and trained. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that beach patr ollers carry VHF radios, be trained in law enforcement proto col s and be visibly and consistently supported by formal law enforcement authorities. C ommunity based surveillance efforts should be inaugurated with a sense of community spirit be well publici zed in the media (also using posters, flyers ) and receive clear political support. If surveillance and protection efforts are coupled with tagging of nesting females, training and advice should be sought from WIDECAST and/ or other technical sources.
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 50 A long term tagging programme can provide valuable management information about reproductive output, nest site fidelity (including exchange between nesting grounds), and details of post nesting migra tion. However, it should be undertaken only where there is an underlying scientific justification. It is expensive, involves trained personnel, and requires a long term and continuous commitment to the effort; new information cannot be learned from intermittent tagging. Tagging databases are complex, time cons uming to maintain, and require computer literacy skills for data archiving and retrieval. Tagging is typically accomplished using a standard metal or plastic flipper tag and/or a small internal tag (Passive Integrated Transponder, or PIT tag) which requir WIDE CAST maintains a Caribbean Marine Turtle Tagging Centre (MTTC) at the University of the West Indies in Barbados to provide tags, standard record keeping forms, database management software, and traini ng. A procedures manual is available (Eckert and Beggs, 200 6 ). It is recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that tagging not be undertaken in Jamaica unless it is in collaboration with this regional resource centre and fully permitted and approved by the national regulatory authority Management techniques to improve the survival of egg bearing females should extend to the coastal and pelagic reaches of sea turtle habitat. B iotelemetry ( i.e., tracking sea turtles using VHF or satellite trans mitter s) has the capacity to yield valuable data on the movements and behavior of turtles at sea including fisheries interactions ( Polovina et al., 2004; Eckert, 2006) geography of critical habitat, and migratory corridors. Professional advice and guidance on biotelemetry techniques, data interpretation, and assis tance are available through the WIDECAST network 4.252 Management techniques for eggs and hatchlings It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that management efforts aim to achieve a minimum of 50% of all sea turtle nests successfully produc ing hatchlings each year Manipulative management techniques, such as collection and reburial of eggs, should be undertaken only if there is evidence of a serious threat. For example, relocation may be necessary when a nest is laid below the high tide line, or constructed in Sesuvium (sea purslane) or similar dune vegetation (usually on the cays ). In the latter case t he plants die after being trampled by the nesting turtle and the trail of dead vegetation identifies the nest location, making the eggs susceptible to poaching ; e ven when turtle tracks in the sand have been concealed the chance of egg survival is low Prior to any manipulation, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan th at the a dvice of the STRN, NEPA biologists, and/or another technical authority be sought during the planning stages that proposals be submitted to the appropriate g overnment agency and that proposals be peer reviewed by experts both inside and outside of Jamaica to ensure the applica tion of best practices Th e following section s provides guidance to managers in deciding whether the collection and reburial of eggs threatened by predators or erosion is advisable and, if so, how to proceed. Ideally, sea turtle e ggs should be collected for reburial as they are laid. Excavating nests after 12 hours or more have passed since egg laying heightens the risk of dislodging the embryo from the inner lining of the eggshell and its resulting death. In emergenc y s ituations, such as when eggs are exposed by a storm surge or human activity, an attempt to salvage the mid term clutch is prudent Eggs should always be handled with great care and axial rotation minimi s ed The e ggs should be reburied on a natural beac h, preferably the one where the female made the original nest. The new nest should be dug to the same depth as the original nest so that the temperature of incubation is not altered. Hatchlings should always be allowed to emerge from the nest naturally a nd traverse the beach unaided as soon as they emerge. Hatcheries should be constructed only as a last resort. Eggs should not be incubated in Styrofoam boxes or other artificial media which may bias the natural sex ratio of hatchlings. Hatchlings should never be kept as pets. In situ relocation The collection and rebu rial of eggs should never be undertaken lightly. Even when eggs are carefully collected at deposition, a decline in average hatch success for moved nests is expected (Mortimer et. al. 1994 but see Ralph et al., 2005, who reported no decrease in hatch success
Page 51 when eggs were moved within 3 h ours of deposition ). Despite expected declines in hatch success due to even the most careful handling and reburial techniques, this type of manipu lation can sometimes substantially improve overall reproductive output by reducing large a nnual losses to beach erosion. So night patrol is necessary for thi s technique because eggs laid in high risk zones should be gathered as they drop into the nest cavity. Eggs should be placed immediately in a clean bag, bucket or basket. Alternatively, a plastic bag can be positioned in the hole to receive the eggs. Th e bag or other container must be strong enough to carry 12 kg reliably If a bag is placed in the hole, the opening should be clasped shut (to exclude falling sand) and the bag swiftly dug out from behind as soon as egg laying is complete. Efforts should be made to minimise the amount of sand gathered with the eggs. Scoring of the egg shell during handling and transport can reduce hatch success. Be careful. Eggs are fragile. When all the eggs have been collected and the nest depth recorded, the eggs s hould be transported to the relocation site without delay. I f transport occurs by vehicle, the egg bag or bucket should be secured and cushioned. Reburial should occur within 1 3 hours to minimise movement induced injury to embryos and the negative effec ts of changes in the temperature and moisture content of the eggs. To simplify project logistics, minimise transport trauma, and promote the perpetuation of the population at its chosen nesting beach, every effort should be made to relocate the eggs elsew here on the same nesting beach. T he new nest site should be located well above the high tide line approximate the type of habitat chosen by the female and not located too near other nests. The eggs should be placed carefully, not dropped, into the new nest. The nest should be covered by replacing the damp subsurface sand removed from the hole and gently but firmly tamping it in place in layers of 8 12 cm. Do not place hot surface sand on the eggs. Finally, d ry sand should be sifted over the site to h ide evidence of the new nest's location. Hatchery relocation In contrast to in situ relocation, enclosed hatcheries can be less effective if the threat is erosion or poaching. Since hatcheries concentrate all the eggs in one place, the risk of loss to erosion or poaching may actually increase. N octurnal beach surveillance (see section 4.241) and public awareness efforts are more effective in protecting eggs against poaching than hatcheries. To discourage poaching, patrollers should disguise nesting cr awls by smoothing them over with a broom, palm frond or rake. Enclosed hatcheries are relatively ineffective against feral or stray animals, such as pigs or dogs, which can dramatically reduce the reproductive success of a sea turtle population. Under th ese circumstances, the first priority should be to restrain or impound the se animals. Enclosed hatcheries should be considered only as a last resort, and only if a suitable hatchery site is found. Keep in mind that h atcheries are expensive to construct and maintain, they are likely to alter natural hatchling sex ratios, and average hatch success will decline. A f ter all other alternatives have been considered and discarded in favour of an enclosed hatchery an appropriate site must be identified. The sit e should be flat located on the upper beach platform and mimic the natural nest habitat (e.g., open beach for leatherbacks and green turtles, largely shaded for hawksbills). The site should be well drained ; a high water table ( e.g., located near an estu ary) or a low lying site susceptible to storm flooding will drown developing embryos. The enclosure should be solid and cap able of withstand ing strong winds and storms. Nests should be buried in a grid formation, 1 m from one another in an enclosed ha tchery A 7 m x 12 m enclosure can accommodate 50 nests and will have adequate room for hatchery personnel to move around. Animal fencing consis t ing of 5 cm x 10 cm mesh and at least 1.5 m wide should be secured at regular intervals by 10 cm x 1 0 cm pos ts. It should be dug 0.5 m into the sand to prevent dogs from digging under the fence and a perimeter wire (electrified with a battery powered charger) constructed around the site to discourage dogs from lunging against the enclosure F encing to this hei ght makes it convenient for beach patrollers to step over the fence to bury eggs inside the enclosure. If theft by poachers is a threat, fencing must be adequate to exclude trespassers and a guard posted day and night.
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 52 An enclosed hatchery must be mainta ined so that wind blown sand does not accumulate over incubating nests. Deepening the overburden alters incubation temperature and can make it impossible for the hatchlings to emerge. The site of the hatchery should be changed every year. If this is not done, hatch success will diminish due to destabilisation of the beach from repeated hole digging and accumulation of bacteria and pathogens from decomposing nest contents (live hatchlings enter the sea, but egg shells, rotten eggs and dead hatchlings rema in in the nest). Hatchlings must be released immediately upon emergence (e.g., Okuyama et al., 2009) Their scurrying about will frenzy predators, and if they are left until morning they will die in the heat of the sun. About two weeks prior to expect ed emergence (i.e., at about 40 days of incubation), it may be desirable to place a small mesh wire corral on top of each nest to contain emerging hatchlings so they are not crawling all about. Alternatively, the hatchery might be constructed of large mes h (12 15 cm) wire so that hatchlings can crawl through the enclosure and on to the beach. 4.253 Sea turtle mariculture P opulation recovery objectives are rarely served by keeping hatchlings from undertaking their natural journey into the open sea to b egin the long process of maturation H ead starting and m ariculture have been attempted in selected sites around the world as a conservation strategy but there is limited evi dence that these practices have met long term conservation goals T ypically t he s e management strate gies are expensive to operate and require sophisticated f acilities with trained husbandry and veterinary staff. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that h ead starting and mariculture not be con sidered priority manageme nt approaches in Jamaica at the present time due inter alia t o a lack of demonstrated benefits and other outstanding environmental issues and economic considerations. Head starting of sea turtles involves the collection of turtle eggs and rearing of hatc hlings in a controlled environment for 6 12 or more months before their release. The objective is to provide a protective en vironment for hatchlings during the period of greatest vulnerability to mortality from predation ; however, q uestions remain about the ir fate post release. The young turtles may not properly imprint on their natal beaches (and th erefore not return to nest as adults on Jamaican beaches) ; their physiological and muscular development can be compromised by rearing in a tank or other small enclosure ; they may introduce disease into the environment into which they are released; and /or they may not participate fully in the complex life cycle that involves an epipelagic stage (i.e., surface dwelling in the open sea) for most species, lasting f rom one to several years after leaving the nesting beach. Lack of success attributed t o head starting programme s attempted i n other areas supports the contention n enhanced reproductive output. For example, a head starting programme in Palau Micronesia is indicative of the effectiveness of this conservation effort and the kind of issues faced. During the decade long pro gramme 2 364 young turtles (6 12 months old) were released ; o f these, more than 35% were tagged and only seven were ever seen again (<1% of th os e tagged and <0.3% of those released). Meanwhile, the population continued to declin e precipitously and there was no indication that the time and money had paid off. Officials of Palau's Division of Marine Resources in October 1991 concluded that a new approach was needed to conserve the hawksbill population in Palau because h ead starting had not been demonstrated to be a proven management technique to r e stock sea turtle populations In 1991 the Palau project initiated a new approach to accumulate life history data as a first step toward designing other conservation measures for Palau's hawksbills (Sato and Madriasau 1991 ; Risien and Tilt, 2008 ). Us caught animals or eggs taken from natural beaches and rears them to an appropriate slaughter size (Dodd, 1982) A on the other hand, is a closed cycle system such as the Cayman Turtle Farm and is generally managed to supply local demand for meat and/or other sea turtle products As with any harvest based scheme, a g overnment agency i s responsible for accurately determining a sustainable yield so that the i nitiati ve does not result in declines in or other threats to wild populations. In set ting a harvest quota ( recognizing that
Page 53 wild eggs or turtles are collected or captured to populate the ranch), evidence of de pleted or de clining trend s within the target populati on should be taken into account. With locally occurring sea turtle species c lassified as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and known to have decl ined precipitously in Jamaica, it is not clear what benefit could be gained by such a commercial harvest and the related emergence of a legal domestic market. tion concluded that the precautionary principle should be fol lowed until questions about commercial turtle culture (farming and ranching) are adequately addressed. These questions examine the impact of this activity on turtle product price ; creation of new markets ; capture of turtles from wild populations ; and the t rade in products derived from wild caught sea turtles Until these issues are addressed, the following guidelines should be adopted: commercial mariculture must conform with all applicable conservation regulations and laws, including local, national, re gional or internationa l ; care should be exercised to ensure that special legal provisions and exemptions for farmed [or ranched] products are not misused by importers and exporters ; proponents should refrain from develop ing or expanding markets for ( new ) sea turtle pro ducts ; and t he establishment of new commercial mariculture operations should be discouraged until it can be demonstrated that such operations will not cause, directly or indirectly, further de cline s in turtle populations. Schulz (1975) n ote d how difficult it would be to assign sustainable harvest quotas (necessary to provide stock for sea turtle ranch ing ) to highly migratory s ea turtle s tocks In the absence of data on the long is impossible t o know if harvest s in Jamaican waters are com prom is i ng conservation initiatives in neighbouring countries S are problematic be cause many basic demographic features of Jamaican sea turtle populations (e.g., age distribution, total rep roductive output, life span, survivability ) are not well documented (see Heppell and Crowder, 1996) It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that GOJ (or private interests ) clearly explain how sea turtle mariculture can contribute to conservati on or economic strateg ies in Jamaica Additionally, GOJ should be cautious of domestic or foreign commercial interests that may seek to make this practice ap pear more appropriate or relevant for conservation or an economic need in Jamaica than it is like ly to be. 4.26 Monitoring sea turtle stocks The long me is to increase turtle p opulation s It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that ongoing population monitor i ng be sufficient to evaluate the success or failure of conservation efforts remembering that i nconsisten t data collection can seriously compromise the quality and utility of the data Monitoring nesting activity at major beaches provides important infor mation about recruitment levels and the number of nesting females and, despite shortcomings, is the most common index of overall stock a bundance and trend A more accurate assessment of population status requires determination of eco log ical management u nits and sustainable yield models require information on their life stages (juveniles) and at sea stocks. The following subsections describe effective methods for monitoring nests, hatchlings, and various life stages It is a recommendation of this Rec overy Action Plan that Index Beaches be identified and that long term monitoring program me s be instituted. Additionally, the following action should be given priority and undertaken at an early date:
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 54 e stablish a sampling regime that facilitates statis tically valid inferences within and between Index Beach sites (d ata from Jumby Bay, Antigua, and Mona Island, Puerto Rico, can be used for comparative purposes ) ; e ncourage research that will provide statistical estimates of stocks and develop a long term s tock assessment programme to identify trends; e stablish and maintain a database of sightings and reports of turtles; s elect a national C oordinator that will manage this database; contact e West Indies, Barbados) for information, tags, and training ; a nalyse data regularly and make the results available to the public; elaborate a Data Use Agreement among all parties to ensure transparency in data access, information sharing, publication, a nd so on; and submit an annual report to NEPA (the permitting agency) 4.261 Monitoring nesting populations Monitoring of nesting populations provides data on: distribution patterns; timing of breeding effort; spe cies; location of the most important nesting beaches; nest fate (e.g., successful hatch or eggs lost to predators, poaching or erosion ) (Eckert, 1999; Kerr in Eckert and Abreu Grobois 2001 ; Sims et al., 2008 ); and estimates of the number of reproductively active females, annual productivity (the number of nests laid), and eggs laid. As a function of the long time period to reproductive maturity, increases in the number of nesting females solely as a result of nest protection efforts probably will not be noticeable for two or more decades. Ho wever, a reversal in the rate of decline of egg bearing females is likely to be immediately apparent if (and when) the killing is effectively stopped. Because it is neither practical nor necessary to monitor all sandy beaches, it is a recommendation of t his Recovery Action Plan that at least six sites (including inshore and offshore cays and at least two mainland beaches) should be selected as Index Beaches. Beach selection criteria should include: beaches with the greatest amount of nesting activity; ac cessibility; and protection from activity that may compromise the suitability of the habitat to support nesting. Ideally, Index Beaches should be monitored annually for periods that encompass the peak nesting and hatching season: for the hawksbills, Jamai prevalent nesting species, this period is 1 June to 31 December. Based on current data, the following areas may be considered for Index Beach designation: Morant and Pedro Cays, Portland Bight Protected Areas Alligator Pond to Great Bay, Palisa does Port Royal Protected Area, Luana/Font Hill, and Oraca bessa. Standard data recording forms should be provided to observers and the results centrally compiled. Database management software is available from WIDECAST. STRN has provided the impetus and technical oversight for surveys of nesting crawls since 1991, and the results are summarized in Table 2. Conducting aerial surveys of some of the more isolated beaches would provide valuable information and may be implemented if resources become avail able for this type of activity. Additionally, hotel staff, dive clubs, fishermen and pleasure boat operators will be invited to participate in the monitoring effort. Monitoring usually begins with counting turtle crawls on the beach. It is important to remember that the number of crawls is not equal to the number of nests, nor is the number of nests equal to the number of early morning hours (as opposed to during the night when the turtles can be observed directly), it can be problematic to ascertain if eggs were laid because not all crawls result in a successful egg laying episode. During the craw l females may encounter obstacles (e.g., erosion bluff, fallen tree, beach lagoon) or become disturbed or frightened away by human activity, dogs, excessive noise or lighting. A gravid female may try to dig a nest cavity but if she encounters impenetrable roots, buried debris and waste, water, or sand which is too dry to properly excavate, she may return to the sea. Additionally, injured sea turtles may not be able to complete the excavation and abandon the attempt. Therefore, while a crawl
Page 55 and signs of nesting may be evident on the beach, an observe r cannot be certain that eggs were laid unless the nesting was witnessed the beach patroller was authorized to dig into the site to confirm the presence of eggs, or the eggs were exhumed by poachers or predators. All night patrol may not be practical a t some sites, and in these cases an estimate of nest density can be determined from crawl tallies conducted during daytime surveys. I f Index Beaches are monitored by morning patrols tallying crawls only, it is necessary to determine the ratio between succe ssful and unsuccessful nesting (i.e., the proportion of crawls which result in egg laying) since this metric can be used to convert a total crawl count to an estimated nest count and also for comparisons of nesting activity between beaches and among years. Databases that use information gathered from morning nest counts, ot result in egg laying An accurate determination of the nest : false crawl ratio at a particular site requires a sampling of all night patrols each year. T he nest : false crawl ratio depends on the (often changing) physic al characteristics of the beach and differs over time, among beaches and between species. The number of breeding females at a site can be estimated from the nest : false crawl ratio and the average number of clutches laid per female. This latter number, wh ich varies among species, can be gleaned from other populations studied in the region. Green and hawksbill turtles average 4 5 nests per year; leatherbacks 6 7. Using the hypothetical 4:1 nest to false crawl ratio, one can estimate that 50 sets of hawks bill tracks on a beach may represent only 40 actual nests, which in turn represent only eight egg laying adults. It is important to remember that th e estimate is based on indirect observations and that a p recise count of the number of nesting females o n a particular beach, as well as their return intervals within and between seasons, require s all night patrol s and the tagging of nesting females undertaken by trained personnel (see section 4.241). Sea t urtle species can be identified by their crawl pat tern in the sand. A symmetrical track is made by the moving her front and rear flippers in an alternating rhythm, looks like a zipper. Leatherbacks leave a deep and symmetrical crawl about 2 m in width G reen turtles leave a similar pattern but only about 1 m in width and the nest site i s often characterised by a deep, solitary pit 1 m or more in depth and breadth. In contrast, hawksbills and log ger heads leave asymmetrical crawl patterns, about 0.7 m and about 1.2 m in width, respec tively. The crawl pattern of the hawksbill is often faint compared to that of a loggerhead because of her smaller size; moreover, hawksbills typically, though not exc lusively, deposit their eggs within the shelter of a beach forest while loggerheads prefer to nest on the open beach platform. In addition to the general monitoring recommendations listed in section 4.26 (above) it is a recommenda tion of th is Reco very A ction Plan recommends that the ratio of nests to false crawls be calculated for all Index Beaches (see section 4.26), the size and trend of local nesting populations estimated, and deter mination if the sea turtles are using multiple beach sites for nestin g. 4.262 Monitoring hatchlings Sea t urtle management programmes need reliable estimates of mortality during the hatc h ling stage. Although the suite of the threats has been identified, there has been little docu men tation of the numbers of hatchlin gs lost to specific threats at given sites. Threats include: beach erosion or high seas; domestic or feral animals (e.g., dogs, pigs); natural predators (e.g., crabs, birds); introduced predators (e.g., mongooses, rats, pigs) and poachers; entrapment in d ebris or tyre ruts; entanglement in beach vines; disorientation by artificial lighting; and harassment by onlookers. Dogs are a particular threat to eggs and hatchlings at the Palisadoes.
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 56 In order to develop an assessment of hatchling mortality, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that a sample of nests be marked for detailed study. In order to protect the nest from potential poachers and vandals, the exact location of the nest site should not be marked. The nest location can be identi fied indirectly by noting the distance from the nest site to two proximal objects, such as trees other landmarks. In areas of high nest concentration, sequentially numbered stakes marked with reflective tape should be placed at 20 m intervals along the tre e line where they will be out of reach of the tides and pedestrian traffic. Coordinates of the stakes obtained by triangulation or a GPS reading should be recorded on the nesting record sheet. This system enables patrollers to readily locate the nests and to measure and identify changes. Incubation time varies from about 5 0 to 75 days, and hatchling emergence at the beach surface usually occurs at dusk and early nighttime hours The presence of predators, disorientation, or entanglement at the time of eme rgence should be noted. If monitors are not present at the time of emergence, hatching may be confirmed by the presence of many sets of little tracks leading from the nest site to the sea. After 2 3 days f ollowing the primary emergence, the nest can be e xcavated (by staff trained and permitted to do so) and the number of hatchlings estimated from the remains of broken egg shells and other nest contents U nhatched (whole) eggs can be counted to determine the proportion of eggs which did not pro duce hatch lings and th ese eggs can be opened for an analysis of embryo stage death. If a particular problem recurs, such as nest flooding, then a conservation programme to move eggs at the time of egg laying to higher ground may be considered ( see section 4.242) remembering that the dimens ions (depth, width) of the new nest must be replicated to ensure that incubation temperature and hatchling sex ratios are not distorted. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that an evaluation of hatch success b e undertaken by trained personnel at Index Beaches. Hatchlings should not be retained in captivity. 4.263 Monitoring turtles at sea Juvenile turtles are not likely to be resident for more than a few months or years. Since non Lepidochelys species d o not reach sexual maturity before 2 5 the jurisdictional waters of many nations. Monitoring juvenile and adult turtles at sea requires speci al preparation and is considerably more difficult and expensive than counting nests or evaluating hatchling mortality. T o monitor foraging juveniles, systematic surveys of known foraging grounds must be undertaken. If this type of survey is undertaken i n conjunction with a tagging programme it is possible to evaluate both the foraging periodicities of individuals and their movements. However, it is not necessary to tag individual turtles to monitor turtles at sea; density estimates and other valuable i nformation can be gained through repeated observation and reporting. There are a variety of capture recapture, transect, and other statis tical methods available for at sea monitoring (cf. Ec kert et al. 1999 ; Bjorndal and Bolten, 2000; Eckert and Abreu Gr obois 2001); the se are also available from the STRN Coordinator ( first entry, Appendix I). Additionally, tracking sea turtle movements by satellite telemetry can provide useful information on migratory patterns and foraging grounds ( e.g., Godley et al., 2003; Hart and Hyrenbach, 2009). It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan th at efforts be made to identify and characterise key foraging grounds and to determine patterns of sea turtle use. In addition to changing patterns of abun dance, regu lar surveys can provide information about shifts in average turtle size, spatial distribution, and habitat condition. Peer training in at sea population monitorin g is available from WIDECAST 4.27 Promote co management Co management brings together st akeholders on equal terms whose agendas may be significantly different from one another. This management technique, which requires time and patience to learn to work together, is not yet commonplace. However, successful co management partnerships yield b enefits to all parties involved: the government (which may have the will, but neither the staff nor the resources to
Page 57 fulfill its legislative mandate to safeguard the nation s ecological integrity); the communities (which want quality local employment optio ns and more control over issues that directly affect them); and the natural models. With this in mind, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that the relevant govern ment agencies and community based organizations investigate and s to address sea turtle conservation objectives. 4.28 Investigate non consumptive uses to generate revenue The value of non consu mptive use of sea turtles has long been recognised. Referring to Trinidad and scientific and educational resource. The value of the experience ga ined by both Trinidadians and by visitors when they have the opportunity of observing the nesting of a 1000 pound turtle is greater than any The realit y in Jamaica is that mainland beaches which might be accessible for 'turtle watching' no longer support sea turtle nesting to any predictable degree. Sea turtles have been so decimated over the course of this century (see section 3.3) that the option of d eveloping an ecotourism industry around them is not viable for this generation of fishermen or other stakeholders Effective conservation activities may boost hawksbill populations sufficiently in the future to sustain a small industry based on regulated 'turtle watch ing' program me s and /or community based sea turtle museums ; however, t ransporting tourists to the offshore islands to observe hawksbills in their foraging grounds is not recommended by this Recovery Action Plan. Undisturbed periods of foragin g or resting are a necessary compo nent to population recov should not be interrupted at this s tage of the management process. 4.3 Encourage and Support International Cooperation Sea turtles are highly migratory throughout the Caribbean and n o single nation can adequately protect sea turtles without the cooperation of other States in the region. To date, Jamaica has demonstrated its willingness to participate in sea turtle conservation efforts within the international comm unity. For example, Jamaica ratified the Cartagena Convention in April 1987 and was instrumental in the drafting and adoption of the Convention's Protocol concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) both of which mandate full protection for sea turtles (see section 4.321). It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan t hat Jamaica ratify the two most important regional treaties protecting sea turtles : SPAW and the 2001 Inter American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles ( see section 4.322). Broad framework conventions, such as the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) (section 4.312), and important habitat treaties, such as MARPOL (section 4.313), should also be supported at the highest government levels. A full list of relevant treaties to which Jamaica is a party can be found at the NEPA website: http://www.nepa.gov.jm/conventions/index.asp 4.31 Global treaties 4.311 CITES The 1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is one of the most powerful wildlife treaties in the world. With more than 140 members worldwide, CITES has been effective at reducing international commerce in endangered and th reatened species, including their parts and products. Appendix I of CITES lists endangered species (including all species of sea tur tle) and their trade is tightly controlled Appendix II identifies species that may become endangered un less trade is r egulated Appendix III lists species that any Party wishes to regulate and requires inter national cooperation to control trade while Appendix IV contains model permits. Permits are required for species listed in Appendices I and II stating that export/i mport will not be detrimental to species survival
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 58 Jamaica had a robust trade in the hawksbill shell industry until the country agreed to the provisions under CITES in the latter part of the last century. In a review of the international aspects of this trade, Canin kg. In 1986, Honduran exports of bekko dropped from approximately 2,000 kg to zero while those from Jamaica increased by a similar amount. In 1987, exports from Belize (which are believed to originate mostly in Honduras) dropped a further 2,000 kg, and Jamaican exports increased by this amount again. Nevertheless, Cruz and Espinal (1987) estimated that 5,000 hawksbills were being killed an nually for their shell in Honduran and Nicaraguan waters by Honduran lobster fishermen. As Japan has not recorded any imports of bekko from Honduras since 1985, this shell is likely to be trans shipped through non CITES Caribbean countries, such as Jamai reported by Japanese Customs statistics: 45 kg in 1971, 100 kg in 1972, 453 kg in 1977, 997 kg in 1980, and 140 kg in 1984 for a total of 1,735 kg (Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987). According to Jap anese Customs Statistics, 14,285 kg of 'bekko' (hawksbill shell scutes) were exported to Japan between 1970 and 1986 from Jamaica (Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987) with exports fluctuating considerably during this period (Figure 13). Using a calculated averag e yield of 1.34 kg of bekko per turtle imported into Japan from the Caribbean region (Milliken and Tokunaga, 1987), this trade represents more than 10,000 hawksbill turtles. However, not all bekko had its origin in Jamaica. Based on historical data, it i s improbable that the volumes recorded by Japan represent turtles actually exported from point of origin for sea turtle products illegally exported f rom CITES countries to Japan in recent years. This observation is supported by import data for 1984 and 1986 which showed a significant discrepancy between the amount reported by Japanese dealers and Japanese customs statistics. The 1984 data from the dea lers showed 836 kg more bekko than the customs data; in 1986, data from the dealers showed 1,666 kg less bekko than that reported in the customs statistics. Since 1983, only two exports of bekko were licensed by the NRCD, the agency authorized to issue ex emptions to the WLPA. These exemptions were granted because the supply came from pre 1976 stock. The amount was just over 450 kg and the destination was the Federal Republic of Germany, not Japan. A 2000 TRAFIC survey (Fleming, 2001) of 160 outdoor vendo rs noted that tortoiseshell was openly sold in many shops although the quantities on display were generally small. An exception to this scenario was one shopkeeper who had 90 items on display this m erchant told the TRAFFIC researcher that he regularly s upplied up to US$2,000 of tortoiseshell products to one client for import to the US disguised as plastic goods. The report concluded that a resolution of the status of the tortoiseshell stockpiled was vital to monitoring and enforcement of C ITES. Jamaica was one of the last of the Caribbean nations to implement CITES acced ing to the treaty in 1997 I n 2000 GOJ enacted the Endangered Species Act (ESA) ( for the Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade) to implement the provisions of CITES The ESA simplif ies and strengthen s import and export restrictions on endangered sea turtle products. While i t has been illegal to export turtle shells in rough or unprocessed form for many years (cf. Trade Law 4, 1955), there has never been any s pecific legal control of the import or export of worked shell (e.g., tortoiseshell jewelry). However, a ccession to CITES close d that loophole and cl arifie d that trafficking of any sea turtle part or product is illegal. It is a recommendation of this Rec overy Action Plan that GOJ review national legislation an d commit to making any upgrades deemed necessary to ensure that legislation fully supports Jamaica's obligations under this treaty and to eliminate any loopholes under which sea turtle trade may be attempted. 4.312 Convention on Biological Diversity The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) came into force in 1993, and Jamaica deposited its instru ment of accession in January 1995.
Page 59 The objective of this treaty is the conservation and the equitable and sustainable use of biological diver sity for present and future generations. It obligates participating nations to develop national strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity; identify an d monitor the status of components of biological diversity; develop and manage protected areas and other areas of importance for biodiversity; integrate in situ and ex situ methods of conservation. It also addresses issues pertaining to sustainable use an d incentives for biodiversity conservation; research and training; public education and awareness ; impact assessment and mitigation ; access to genetic resources ; tech nology transfer ; information exchange and technical and scientific cooperation ; and biote chnology. A critical component, the Global Environment Fund, established a funding mechanism to encourage the more developed nations to assist developing nations with their biodiversity conservation programmes and projects. This Recovery Action Plan is assisting the GOJ in fulfilling its obligations under th is treaty. Rehabilitation of the national sea turtle resource meets the criteria set forth by the National Strategy and Action Plan on Bio logical D iversity in Jamaica, developed through the assist ance of the Global Environment Facility and the United Nation s Development Programme (UNDP) for priority implementation (NEPA, 2003: p.47). 4.313 M ARPOL Convention The 1973 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, known as th e MARPOL Convention, is an important treaty for the protection marine environment by achieving the complete elimination of international pollution by oil and other The Convention has five Annexes which provide technical specifica tions regarding ship construction and equip ment installation to prevent major pollution of the marine environment in the event of accidents These Annexes cover: oil; chemicals in bulk; pac kaged chemicals; liquid sewage; and garbage. The Convention also establishes norms and technical requirements to minimize operational discharges. Jamaica became party to this convention on 1 June 1991. The nations of the Caribbean proposed to the Inter national Maritime Organization (IMO Annex V (garbage) This proposal has been accepted and will come into force on 1 May 2011 (UNEP 2010). 4.314 U N. Convention on the Law of the Sea The objective o f this convention is to set up a legal regime for the seas and oceans. Its environmental provisions establish rules concerning environmental standards and enforcement of provisions dealing with pollution of the marine environment. It also includes a prov ision for highly migratory species, and therefore sea turtles could receive some protection under this convention. Jamaica acceded to this convention in 1983 and it entered into force in 1994 Additionally, the headquarters of the International Seabed Aut hority, established under the Law of the Sea is located in Kingston Jamaica 4.315 Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, commonly referred to as the Convention on Migratory Species (or the Bonn Convention), came into force in 1983. The Convention incorporates two appendices which list migratory species that would benefit from concerted conservation measures. Endangered species, listed in Appendix I, are accorde d full protection ; all sea turtles, with the exception of the endemic Australian flatback are included on this appendix Range States of Appendix I species are required to conserve their habitat, counteract factors impeding their migration and control ot her factors which might endanger them. Additionally, they are obliged to prohibit the taking of these species, with few exceptions. The definition of "taking" includes hunting, fishing, capturing, harassing and deliberate killing. Appendix II lists migr atory species which have a conservation status that requires, or may benefit from, international cooperative agreements which provide for species and habitat conserva
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 60 tion measures, research and monitoring, training and information exchange. Where appropr iate, a spe cies may be listed in both appendices, as is the case with Caribbean sea turtles (Hykle, 1992 ; Caddell, 2005 ). It is not clear if Jamaica has plans to accede to this convention at present; nevertheless, it is a recom men dation of this Recovery Action Plan that the Government considers the benefits of accession and move s to support this important treaty. 4.316 Others Jamaica is party to several other conventions which are potentially relevant to the conservation of sea turtles and the ir hab itats. These include the: Convention on the High Seas (control of marine pollution) ; Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas ; Convention on the Continental Shelf (exploration and exploitation of the continental shel f) ; Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (protection of sites of global importance for their cultural or scientific heritage) ; and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands where designation of an area as a Ramsar site p rovides protection from habitat degradation and opportunities for research and wise use of natural resources within designated areas and subsequently allows for species protection. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan th at Jamaica take s ever y advantage of these conventions to obtain tec hnical and financial support for their implementation at the national level and to us e the com mitment implied in joining these conventions to strengthen conservation priorities and actions throughout the coun try that may have impacts on sea turtle survival. 4.32 Regional treaties 4.321 Cartagena Convention and SPAW Protocol One of the most important international agreements for the protection of sea turtles and their habitats is the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean the Action Plan for the Caribbean Environment Programme which, among other things, established in 1981 the Car ibbean Trust Fund to support common costs and activities associated with implementation of Action Plan activities The Cartagena Convention adopted a Protocol Concerning Co operation in Combating Oil Spills in the Wider Caribbean Region which describes th e responsibilities of C ontracting P e.g., pollution from ships at sea dumping of waste land based sources seabed activities, and airborne sources). Article 10 of the Conventio n addresses the responsi serve rare or fragile ecosystems, as well as the habitat of depleted, threatened or endangered species, in the Convention The Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) to the Cartagena Convention was adopted in 1991. This agreement provides a mechanism which protects spe cies of wild fauna and flora on a regional scale. The Protocol grants explicit protection to species listed in three categories, or annexes. Annex I includes species of flora exempt from all forms of destruction or disturbance. Annex II ensures total pr otection and recovery to listed species of fauna, with minor exceptions. Specifically, Annex II listing prohibits (a) the taking, possession or killing (including, to the extent possible, the incidental taking, possession or killing) or commercial trade i n such species, their eggs, parts or products, and (b) to the extent possible, the disturbance of such species, particularly during periods of breeding, incubation, aestivation or migration, as well as other periods of biological stress. Annex III denotes species in need of protection and recovery, but subject to a regulated harvest. The protocol include s all six species of sea turtle inhabiting the Wider Caribbean (i.e., Caretta caretta Chelonia mydas Eretmochelys imbricata Dermochelys coriacea Lep idochelys kempii and L. olivacea ) in Annex II (Eckert 1991; UNEP, 1991). The unanimous vote on this issue is a clear statement on the part
Page 61 of Caribbean governments that the protection of regionally depleted species, including sea turtles, is a priority. Jamaica played an important role in the adoption of the new SPAW Protocol and its Annexes, but the government has not yet ratified the Protocol. It is a strong recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan t hat Jamaica ratify the SPAW Protocol with its A nnexes at the earliest possible opportunity. This Recovery Action Plan provides the basis for compli ance ( with respect to sea turtles ) 4.322 Inter American Convention American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles the Inter American Convention (IAC) is the only convention explicitly r s overall to promote the protection, conservation and recovery of sea turtle populations and the habitats on which the y depend, based on the best available scientific evidence, taking into account the environmental, socio economic and cultural characteristics of the Parties. The Convention mandates shall take appropriate and necessary mea sures, in accordance with inter national law and on the basis of the best available scientific evidence, for the protection and conservation and recovery of sea turtle populations and their habitats. The IAC incorporates state of the art features, incl uding the promotion of citizen participation in development and implementation of the Treaty. I t is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that Jamaica ratify this treaty and that GOJ bring its considerable biodiversity conservation experience to facilitate implemen tation of this unique hemispheric instrument. 4.323 Western Hemisphere Convention The Convention on Nature Protection and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere, often referred to as the Western Hemisphere Convention, ente red into force in 1942. Currently there are 22 Parties, including 13 Wider Caribb s stated objective is to preserve all species and genera of native American fauna and flora from extinction and to preserve areas of wild and h uman value. Provisions include : the establishment of national parks and reserves (article 2) and strict wilderness areas to remain inviolate (article 4) ; protection of species listed in the annexes which are ; and controls on trade in protected fauna and flora and any part thereof (article 9). The language of this Convention is broad and far reaching encompass ing the basic elements necessary to undertake the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The overlap in legislative requirements between the Western Hemisphere Convention and the SPAW Protocol ( Section 4.321, above) exemplifies how a piece of national legislation can assist in the implementation of multiple treaties. I t is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that Jamaica consider accession to this treaty 4.33 Sub regional sea turtle management Sea turtles are among the most migratory of Caribbean fauna, and hundreds of turtles tagged in one area have be en captured in another. Additionally, satellite telemetry has brought tremendous advances to our understanding of sea turtle migration, elucidating high use areas and travel corridors. Juvenile sea turtles in particular travel widely during the decades prior to sexual maturity. A few examples include: a hawksbill tagged in eastern Nicaragua was recovered on the Pedro Cays after traveling 628 km (Nietschmann, 1981) ; j uvenile hawksbills tagged in the USVI have been recovered in Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St Martin, Ginger Island (BVI) (Boulon, 1989) and the Dominican Republic (Boulon, USVI Div. Fish and Wildlife, pers. comm., 1991) ; a young hawksbill tagged in Brazil was harvested 3 700 km away by a fisherman in Dakar, Senegal, six months later (Marcovaldi and Filippini, 1991) ; a n adult hawksbill tagged on Long Island (Antigua) while nesting was later captured by a fisherman in Dominica (Fuller et al., 1992) ;
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 62 and m igration distances ranged between 84 2 051 km for female hawksbills caught off Mona Island (Pue rto Rico) and tracked by satellite telemetry (van Dam et al., 2008) Leatherback turtles are known to have traveled thousands of kilometers in order to lay their eggs in Jamaica. Some leatherbacks tagged in Chesapeake Bay (USA) and Tortuguero (Costa Rica) have been harvested after swimming into Cuban waters (Carr and Meylan, 1984; Barnard et al., 1989). One leather back tagged while nesting on St. Croix (USVI) was later stranded in New Jersey, USA (Boulon et al., 1988) and another was captured in Campeche Mexico (Boulon, 1989). A leatherback tagged while nesting in French Guiana was caught 6 000 km away one year later in Ghana, West Africa (Pritchard, 1973). More recent discoveries from satellite tracking of leatherbacks in the western Atlantic have been reported on by Ferraroli et al. (2004), Hays et al. (2004), James et al. (2005), and Eckert (2006). Adult green turtles tagged while nesting in Costa Rica have been recovered from the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico), the USA, Mexico, t hroughout Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela (Carr et al., 1978; Meylan, 1982). A green turtle tagged in Venezuela was recovered in the waters offshore Jamaica (G. Sol, FUDENA, pers. comm., 1995), and juveniles tagged in the USVI have been recaptur ed in the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas (Boulon, 1989). Green turtles nesting in Suriname are routinely recaptured in Brazil (Pritchard, 1976), and Meylan (1983) Nevis ( e astern Caribbean) have borne tags originally put on at the nesting beach on Isla Aves, 200 km to the southwest. Duerden (1901 in Rebel, 1974) reported that marked turtles from Jamaica traveled to the Misquito coast. Hays et al. (2002) utilized s atellite telemetry to document the long distance movement (greater than 2 000 km) of green turtles from Ascension Island to Brazil. Currently, Jamaica's turtle resources are harvested illegally by Honduran vessels; Nicaraguan and Col ombian vessels may al so be involved with this activity. Furthermore, there is little information about turtle stocks in the area jointly managed by Jamaica and Colombia: Seranilla Banks; Alice Shoal; and Baja Nuevo. legal seasonal harvests Jamaica s efforts to protect its turtle stocks may ultimately be ineffective if these same turtles are later captured by fishermen from adjacent territories. Therefore, it is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that clo se and sustained cooperation among regional range S tates be maintained There are several ways in which Jamaica can participate in regional and sub regional sea turtle conserva tion activities. R atification of international wildlife treaties and agreemen ts that protect marine and coastal environments are particularly useful; some of the more important treaties have already been discussed (see section 4.32). In addition, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) (of which Jamaica is not a member ) has considered subregional conservation measures including an OECS wide mora the region [are] on the decline. The OECS countries should be en couraged to implement the harmoni s ed regulations giving effect to the moratorium on sea turtle fishing. Steps should be taken to encourage this It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that Government petiti on CARICOM to promote such a moratorium among non OECS countries Jamaica is well placed to assume a leadership role in emphasi s ing the importance of regional commitment to recovery of depleted sea turtle stocks. Sea turtles should be specifically exclude d from licenses issued to foreign vessels fishing in Jamaican waters and educational/explanatory materials in their lingua franca should be provided to them. Fisheries staff should alert fishermen to the importance of turtle tags and request that they ret urn tags to NEPA so that the scientist who tagged the turtle can be notified. A tag should never be removed from a live turtle ; if one is caught, the number and address appearing on the tag should be recorded, the information passed on to NEPA, and the tu rtle released. Colorful posters depicting this information are available from www.widecast.org ); some posters are already on display at selected locati ons in Jamaica.
Page 63 It is a recommendation of t his Recovery Action Plan that the STRN promote an assessment of turtle (referenced above) and that the GOJ empha sise, during appropriate inter governmental forums, the importa nce of securing an enforced international conservation regime firmly based on the precautionary principle 4.4 Develop P ublic E ducation Public education is fundamental to the success of sea turtle conservation initiatives ; it facilitates change s in beh aviour and the acceptance of new I t is important to ensure that educa tional programmes are designed to maximi s e impact by including priority stakeholders such as fishers and coastal communities and organisations involved in law enforcement and development activities Additionally, material used in these programmes must be carefully designed, updated to remain current, and delivered in appropriate formats (e.g., posters, brochures, videos) The information can be delivered in any number of ways : in school curricula and other activities; slide shows ; guided tours of turtle habitats ; nesting beach surveys ; re broadcasts of international television programmes ; dramatic presentations ; workshops; and participatory programmes such as th and sitings reports targeting dive operators and the general public. 2 00 volunteers, including dive operators, hoteliers and youth, who have assisted with reporting offshor e sightings and collecting nesting data through the Additionally, in 2007 NEPA trained students at the College of Agriculture Science and Education (Portland) and interested members of the public in sea turtle nesting beach monitoring techniques (A. Donaldson, NEPA, pers. observ. 2010 ) Some educational material currently is available, including posters and leaflets developed by NEPA and an assortment of teaching aids and reports generated by WIDECAST Additionally, the Jamaica Environment Trust, a national environmental NGO has developed a sea turtle conservation programme for classroom teachers including information and general interest items to stimulate greater support for turtle conservation and more aids appro priate for use in schools. The material should address both the 'need to know' 'and nice to know' information. The former will focus on increas ing awareness of and compliance with laws and regulations and may include pamphlets, posters, and newspaper arti cles about laws and regulations protecting sea turtles ; informational and caution signs on nesting beaches and at airports; guidelines and advice to people who have turtle nests on or near their properties; and news items on television and radio about pros ecution for sea turtle conservation violations. The n ice to know material will provide general information to help the public better understand the ecology of sea turtle s and the importance of conservation activities. Since Jamaica is primarily an oral society, emphasis should be placed on spoken and visual approaches, which will likely be more effective than the written word approach. N arrated slide show s and other helpful educational materials are available on line at http://www.widecast.org/Educators/Resources.html It is a recommendation of t his Recovery Action Plan that sea turtle education outreach programme s initiated by local NGO s which can be adapted for use throughout Jamaica a nd across multiple stake holder groups be extended and increased 4.41 Residents The status and fate of sea turtle populations are proxies for our ability to sustainably harvest ocean resources ; co nse quently t here is a compelling need to maintain com munity level involvement if conser vation efforts are to be successful. This interest can be facilitated by participatory program me s, such as research and monitoring activities and beach clean ups, and by outreach educational efforts. Since c oastal commu nities are the largest market for sea turtle products educational p rogrammes targeting the m should include a variety of general interest media including brochures, books, DVDs and television documentaries about turtle conservation activities It is a re commendation of this Recovery Action Plan
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 64 that s pecifically designed material s should be inc o r por a ted in to the public school curriculum ; visit http://www.jamentrust.org/en/index.php for rationale and r esources. 4.42 Fishermen The continued exploitation through targeted catch or incidental take (bycatch) represents the most serious threat to sea turtles in Jamaica. Therefore, the fishery sector should be a priority for outreach and awareness program mes. More than a decade of various consultations and interviews indicate that the majority of fishers are aware that turtles are protected, so education programmes should focus on increasing compliance. Involvement of fishermen in management decisions e nforcement protocols and sea turtle surveys, may help improve compliance. Additionally, selectively publicising prosecutions for violation of the law protecting sea turtles may demonstrate the capacity and will of authorities to enforce them. It is a rec ommendation of the Recovery Action Plan that community organi s ations consider nomi nating fisher men to be Honorary Game Wardens 4.43 Tourism sector Owners of private lands adjacent to sea turtle nesting beaches can take a variety of actions to safegua rd sea turtles on their properties especially egg bearing females and their young (e.g. Witherington and Martin, 2000; Eckert and Horrocks, 2002; Choi and Eckert, 200 9 ). It is a recommendation of this Recov ery Action Plan that NEPA, in partnership with the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist A ssociation C hamber s of C ommerce and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica encourage their members, hotels and vendors to prominently display Certificate of Pride indicating to patrons that the estab lis hment does not inventory or sell sea turtle products. These signs, designed by WIDECAST, the [CITES] Treaty Support Fund, and UNEP are currently available from the WIDECAST Country Co ordinator Ms. Andrea Donaldson ( first entry, Appendix I) It is impor tant that visitors to Jamaica receive accurate information about the status of sea turtles, conser vation efforts, and the laws protecting them. The information should stress that both export and import of turtle products is forbidden by international law ( see section 4.311) and should be promulgated in tourist brochures airline magazines and leaflets placed at hotels. Additionally, NEPA the Jamaica Airports Authority and the Canada/Jamaica Green Fund Project currently sponsor a display on endangered wild life at Norman Manley International Airpor t in Kingston and a similar presentation with a marine theme will be placed on a billboard on the Howard Cooke Boulevard, Montego Bay. The Montego Bay fisherm a n cooperative has granted permission for the bill board to be placed on the land which they have leased 4.44 Public sector Government agencies, including various sections of NEPA, Parish Councils and quasi government organisations such as UDC and PCJ make many decisions which potentially affect s ea turtles and their habitats. A core of education al programme s on sea turtle conservation efforts that target relevant public officials should be developed and existing materials utilised to the fullest The target audience would logically i nclud e poli cy makers, enforcement officers, c ustoms officers, wildlife officials, etc. It is a recom mendation of this Recovery Action Plan that informative posters, presentations by local experts, and/or technical seminars be incorporated into training workshops th at are routinely offered for professional development. 4.5 Increase Information Exchange 4.51 Marine Turtle Newsletter The Marine Turtle Newsletter (MTN) is a scholarly publication that provides timely information regarding the conservation status o f sea turtles around the world, new research techniques and a listing of current
Page 65 scientific publications about sea turtles. English and Spanish editions of the MTN are available on line at http://www.seaturtle. org/mtn/ 4.52 Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium (WATS) Jamaica has supported this important regional database in the past and is encouraged to continue to support and participate in efforts to convene any symposia of this nature in the future. A Na tional Report of this symposia was drafted by Kerr (1984) under the aegis of the (then) NRCD for the first Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium (WATS I) convened in 1983 in Costa Rica. A follow up report (Kerr, 1987) was submitted at WATS II which convened in 1987 in Puerto Rico. An important resource book, the Manual of Sea Turtle Research and Conservation Techniques (Pritchard et al., 1983), was a product of WATS I and was later updated and expanded by the IUCN/SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group (Eckert e t al., 1999). All WATS reports are archived online at http://www.widecast.org/What/Regional/WATS.html 4.53 WIDECAST The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network ( WIDECAST ) consis ts of local experts (C ountry Coordinators ) in more than 40 nations who in turn enlist the support and participation of citizens with in and out side the government interest ed in sea turtle conservation. WIDECAST is supported by the Carib bean Trust Fund o f the UNEP Caribbean Environment Programme, as well as by various government and non government agencies and groups. L ong term objective s are to foster development of re gional capacity to implement scientifically sound sea turtle conservation programmes by: i mplementing WIDECAST initiatives and supported program me s through resident Country Coordinators and other local experts and stakeholders u tilising local network participants to collect information and draft, with the assistance of re gional sea tur tle experts, locally appropriate sea turtle management recommendations p roviding or assisting in the development of educational materials (slides, brochures, posters, pamphlets internet based resources ) s ponsoring or supporting local and subregional works hops on sea turtle biology manage ment and population recovery a ssisting governments and non government groups upon request, with the implementation of best practices associated with sea turtle management and conserva tion Similarly, s hort term objectiv es are to provide governments of the Wider Caribbean region with: information on the status of sea turtles specific recommendations for the management and recovery of endangered, threatened, and vulnerable sea turtle stocks assistance in the discharge of their obligations specified under the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW). National Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plans (STRAP) are tailored to local circumstances and provide infor mation on: local status and distribution of n esting and feeding sea turtles major causes of mortality to sea turtles effectiveness of existing national and international laws protecting sea turtles historical and contemporary role of sea turtles in local culture and economy and recommendations for s ea turtle conservation and recovery measures
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 66 Beyond supporting local and national efforts of governments and NGOs WIDECAST works to integrate these efforts into a collective regional response to address the problem of decrease s in sea turtle populations Government and NGO personnel, biologists, fishermen, educators, developers, and other interested persons are encouraged to join in WIDECAST's efforts in Jamaica. The current Country Co ordinator in Jamaica is Andrea Donaldson ( email@example.com ) ; for her f ull contact address see WIDECAST in Appendix I. WIDECAST representative recommends a local network system patterned on the parent WIDECAST to facilitate participation by the diverse env ironmental NGO community and multiple agencies with responsibilities for sea turtle conservation. To date, efforts to build this network have been very suc cessful but they have also been time consuming and expensive S uccess of the network has increased pressure on the present organizational structure and it is now time to re examine it Questions that need to be addressed include: membership structure; strategies to optimize participation ; role of the network co ordinator ; how and a t what level decis ions are made; and the elationship with Government. A new and active STRN co ordinator is needed and p ossibilities for developing and filling this position include seconding a p rofessional from a government agency requesting assistance from f oreign or local volunteers and seeking support from local or international agencies to fund the position The STRN has been instrumental in the development of the present Recovery Action Plan and it is an example of diverse NGOs and government agencies work ing together toward a common goal. However p utting the Recovery Action Plan into action will be an even greater challenge. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that support is sought for the further development of the STRN and its rol e in advocating for actuating and evaluating STRAP recommendations. 4.54 IUCN /SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group The Marine Turtle Specialist Group is responsible for tracking the status of sea turtle populations around the world for the World Conser vation Union (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC). The Group has sponsored the development of many useful reference handbooks and other documents (available at http://www.iucn mtsg.org/ ) and is an excellent s ource of information about IUCN the RedList pro gramme, CITES and related in ter governmental issues. Dr. Alberto Abreu Grobois ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, Unidad Ac ademica Mazatlan in Mexico is the Regional Vice Chair for Latin America and the Caribbean. 4.55 Workshops on research and management Prior to implementation of field surveys or other sea turtle conservation projects, it is a recommendation of this Reco very Action Plan that participants be trained in basic sea turtle ecology applicable protocols ( e.g., field technique s reporting, and animal handling ) and species identification All training should emphasise internationally recognized best practices (e .g., Eckert et al., 1999; Eckert and Beggs, 2006; Phelan and Eckert, 2006; Eckert and Choi, 2009). Trained personnel should be capable of identifying species based on live or dead specimens of hatchling s juvenile s or adults, eggs, and crawl and nesting pa tterns on the beach. Additional training, where required, may include proper methods for tagging sea turtles, conducting beach patrols and aerial surveys relocating eggs satellite telemetry, tissue sampling, etc. All projects involving sea turtles in J amaica including initiative s invol v ing the handling of sea turtles, their eggs or young, must be permitted through NEPA NEPA, in partnership with the STRN, will take the lead in providing training and oversight. 4.56 Exchange of information among local groups The STRN has been very active in promoting the exchange of information among local groups and seeks the broadest possible involvement in its programmes. C ommunication among network participants however, remains a significant challenge as a r esult of the size and geography of Jamaica transportation logistics and administrative challenges inherent in operating a coordinated national effort. It is a recom
Page 67 mend ation of this Recovery Action Plan th at funds be earmarked to hire a paid Project Of ficer to work for the (volunteer) STRN Coordinator ; the Project O would include communications, field projects, training, reporting, outreach and recruitment and so on T he general public is increasingly turning to the Internet to access and exchange information and print able materials and this potential for local and regional news groups should be explored. It is a recom mendation of this Recovery Action Plan that efforts be made to improve communications among partici pants in the na tional network. A sea turtle home page could be added to the Clearing H ouse Mechanism (CHM) hosted by the Institute of Jamaica ( http://www.jamaicachm.org.jm/ ). T he efforts of the STRN sh ould also be featured at http://www.widecast.org/What/Country/Jamaica/jamaica.html and the STRN should consider develop ing and manag ing a listserve as a means of national communication, strategic planni ng, emergency response, training, and so on 4.57 Integrated community development Effective sea turtle conservation in Jamaica requires i nnovative approaches to community development and a broad engagement of all stakeholders (Table 5) This develo pment must involve local leaders and residents, and the outputs of these efforts must be apparent and accessible to them. Utili s ing local and expert based knowledge and resources, d emonstration project s which build local support for sea turtle conservatio n should be pursued One option is development of community tourism based on sea turtles. Currently there are few oppor tunities to view sea turtles directly ; an alternative may include an interpretative centre in or near a com munity which has a histo ry of the turtle industry The centre may include displays of sea turtle biology, marine ecology, conservation efforts, and the role of sea turtles in Jamaican culture Community mem bers can stage cultural events with sea turtle themes (story telling, p lays, puppet shows, etc.) and fisher men can earn money by leading controlled visits to selected beaches during the nesting season. H ome owners can offer bed and breakfast accommodation s and the market for fish and craft s items may develop concurrently. Examples of craft items f eaturing sea turtles and other aspects of the marine envi ronment include photographs, paintings and wood carving s WIDECAST has training available in several community based eco crafts, as well as community based turtle watching, should populations recover in Jamaica to the point where turtles can be predictably seen on guided beach walks. Development of an interpretive centre requires planning that is sensitive to the environmental, social, cul tural and economic conditions and needs of the community. Important areas for consideration include: upgrading waste management; transportation systems and utilities services and infrastructure; training of commun i ty leaders; and development of accom m odations The community could also pa rticipate in the identification and select ion of game wardens responsibl e for the enforcement of laws and regulations. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan th at a demonstration project for community based sea turtle conservation and touri sm including an appropriately sited inter pre tive centre be developed. 4.6 Implement a Sea Turtle Conservation Programme 4.61 Rationale Efforts to recover Jamaica s sea turtle stocks will require a multi faceted approach. Key areas of need inclu de filling data gaps to identify population trends and assess mortality levels, and to develop effective broad based conservation strategies. It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that STRN take the lead in implementing a five year (2010 201 5 ) conservation programme aimed at expansion of survey and monitoring programmes, identification of the demographic units occurring in Jamaican waters, assessment of the relative importance of various threats to sea turtle survival and implementation of a comprehensive public education and outreach campaign.
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 68 It is a recommendation of this Recovery Action Plan that all species of sea turtle remain listed and fully protected under the Wild Life Protection Act (1945) until recovery can be established, based on the national survey and monitoring programme, and primary sources of mortality to sea turtle populations are year (the equivalent of 2 3 nesting fema les), we urge a precautionary approach in maintaining the WLPA listing. It is not saying much that, over a period of 15 years (which is less than one half of one generation for a green sea turtle), a population might triple and still be fewer than 10 bree ding females. How would a recovering or recovered population be recognized? We visualize that a recovered popula tion, be it foraging or nesting, will comprise a standing stock sufficient to safeguard it from a catastrophic event and exhibit a statist ically significant and sustained increase in the number of foraging (or nesting ) individuals for a minimum period of 15 years Moreover, at least 50% of its most important nesting and foraging habitat will be under protected status and long term populati on monitoring programmes will be in place to collect data on abundance and trend We also consider it important, with regard to de listing, that the demographic units will have been determined so as to permit an assessment of the regional implications of lifting protections to the stock while abiding under Jamaican jurisdiction. The following Programme seeks to ensure that this fundamental information is available for management and conservation purposes 4.62 Goals, o bjectives and a ctivities The mi ssion of the Sea Turtle Conservation Programme is: To ensure the long term viability of sea turtle populations and their essential habitats u n der Jamaican jurisdiction, as part of a larger plan that protects the economically and ecologically important spec for the use and benefit of future generations. Goal 1. To determine status and trend s among nesting and foraging populations Objective 1 : To identify critical nesting and foraging habitats ass activity, including species present, distribution and abundance of the reproductive effort, and nest fate (hatching success, sources of mortality) assemble and maintain a utilisation, patterns of residency, and sources of mortality Objective 2 : To estimate demographic parameters of nesting and foraging populations establish a national survey and monitoring programme, based on Index Nesting (and Forag ing) Grounds collect data suitable for estimating population trend s and reproductive output, and for mea sur ing recovery initiate tagging to estimate survival and recruitment at Index Beaches B ased on informat ion provided in this Action Plan, we recommend: Morant and Pedro Cays, Portland Bight Protected Areas, Alligator Pond to Great Bay, Palisadoes Port Royal Protected Area, Luana/ Font Hill, and Oracabessa initiate tag recapture studies to estimate populatio n structure, size specific growth and mor tality rates at Index Foraging Grounds B ased on information provided in this Action Plan, we recommend: Negril, Portland Bight, Discovery Bay, Morant Cays, and Port Antonio maintain Index Site monitoring (Beach, Foraging Ground) for at least a decade, and ideally indefinitely as the data will only become more useful to management over time train members of the STRN (on an annual basis) to conduct regular surveys at Index Sites ramme by identifying STRN community level leaders to participate in regional training workshops, such as those offered from WIDECAST or as exchange opportunities with WIDECAST affiliated projects
Page 69 hire an STRN Project Officer to coordinate training, schedul ing, record keeping and report ing, communications, and recruitment establish a central depository for sea turtle sightings data with the Clearing House Mech anism at the Institute of Jamaica utilise the WIDECAST database management software, including re gionally standardised data forms to maintain Index Site data; this will ensure that any information collected will be compatible with that collected by range S tates Objective 3 : To identify distinct demographic units in Jamaica collect a statistically viable sample of genetic material from reproductive females and/or nest contents from each of four areas: north coast, south coast, Portland Bight cays, Pedro and Morant Cays collect a statistically viable sample of genetic material from f oraging juveniles in representa tive habitats conduct telemetry studies on inter nesting habitat use, post nesting movements and migra tory corridors collaborate with WIDECAST experts and other regional expertise in the design and imple mentation of studie s involving genetic analysis and biotelemetry Objective 4 : To determine sources of mortality to sea turtle populations assess threats, including natural predators, at nesting beaches assess threats, including diseases and natural factors, at foraging gro unds Investigate the origin(s) of pollution at key nesting and foraging sites determine the extent of the illegal sea turtle harvest survey fishermen and coastal communities to estimate the numbers and sizes of discarded carapaces as a measure of the illeg al harvest estimate the extent of incidental capture through interviews, sea turtle stranding record s, research ( e.g., duplicating longline or trawl effort under controlled circumstances), logboo k records, and/or onboard O bservers determine the fisheries most responsible for incidental capture ; develop and advertise miti gat ing options ( e.g., gear alternatives, time and area closures) organize a national stranding network to record sea turtle strandings, and assess sources of mortality (see www.widecast.or g/trauma) determine the extent to which sea turtle products, raw and worked, are available utilise STRN members to survey vendors for sea turtle products, origin, price, and target consumer arrange to have all sea turtle items removed from any commercial sale (all such sales are illegal under Jamaican law, and tourists departing the country with such items are in viola tion of CITES both in Jamaica and with regard to their country of origin and return) Goal 2 : To enhance the legal protection for s ea turtles and their habitats Objective 1 : To s trengthen the regulatory framework for management identify and seek to address any deficiencies or loopholes in the regulatory framework that hinder effective management and protection of habitat, including nesting beaches submit to NEPA a clarify any residual jurisdictional conflicts between N EPA and the Fisheries Division regard ing sea turtle management and control, especially in the Pedro and Morant Cays submit to NEPA recommendations regarding important sea turtle habitats for inclusion in Objective 2 : To s trengthen capacity to enforce sea turtle management laws identify ways in which to improve the mechanisms and capacity for enforcing laws relating to sea turtles
CEP Tec hnical Report No. 50 Page 70 i dentify means of outreach to inform citizens of l aws protecting sea turtles identify means of outreach to inform citizens of regulations pertaining to protected areas, and especially those that embr ace habitat s critical to the survival of sea turtles design training courses for public agencies involved in sea turtle protection, s uch as NEPA, p lanning a uthorities, representatives of the Tourism Sector, fishers, and NGOs design a training course and engagement programme for fishermen, restaurant owners, craftsmen, the Tourist Board (and its affiliates), Police/Game Wardens/Park Rang es, and others involved in sea turtle monitoring negotiate formal agreements with private owners of hawksbill shell stockpiles in order to dispose of any such stockpiles lobby for increased international cooperation and involvement by Jamaica in areas rela ting to sea turtle conservation Goal 3 : To increase public awareness of the endangered status of sea turtles Objective 1 : To i mplement a cross sectoral education and outreach programme create sector specific outreach materials ( posters, brochures, information packets public signage ) for national display and distribut ion seek sponsorship for the development and distribution of outreach materials involve educators and other partners in the development of a P rimary S chool campaign establish an STRN I nternet site to feature educational materials, teacher opportunities, and data suitable for classroom study (such as telemetry results) create an educational programme on Jamaican sea turtles and their journeys; e.g., feature satellite tracking, informati on technology, supporting written material Objective 2 : To p romote compliance with national legislation NEPA should prepare area specific management plans for a minimum of six ( 6 ) sites critical to the survival of sea turtles T his should be done in con junction with parish based NGOs and other official agencies Implement a campaign against the illegal market ing of sea turtle products, with an initial focus on Old Harbour, Savannah La Mar, and Negril in addition to promoting reports to local authorities ( e.g., NEPA), maintain a national Sea Turtle Hotline to encourage and facilitate reporting of sightings, as well as offences create outreach mechanisms, including media events and public signage (e.g., at protected areas and nesting beaches ) that inform th e public concerning laws protecting sea turtles promote citizenry involvement through an improved sea turtle sighting network and volunteer opportunities involve fishers and Fisheries extension officers in the development of an information cam paign for fi shers, with an aim to solving the illegal take of turtles while preserving the lively hoods of fishers create displays for both international airports to highlight the endangered status of sea tur tles and the ban on trafficking in sea turtle products Ob jective 3 : To p romote participation in implementing this Recovery Action Plan host a National Consultation on implementing the priority recommendations of the Plan develop a condensed major recommendations establish an STRN Internet site to highlight STRAP recommendations that encourage public participation ternational agreements and treaties pertinent to sea turtle conservation.
Page 71 encourage, support and guide six environmental NGOs to each begin a community based sea turtle project with a particular focus on non consumptive uses of sea turtles and eco nomic al ternatives to sea turtle fishing 4.63 Products and outputs T he activities described above will result, at a minimum, in the following products and outputs after a per iod of five years: Successful National Consultation on STRAP implementation, with ag ency focal points iden tified for each implementation activity Complete inventory of active sea turtle nesting beaches National network of long term monitoring projects at selected Index sites Tag recapture studies initiated at Index foraging sites Genetic Genetic origin of foraging stocks (which would be expected to comprise the genetic signa tures of many different Caribbean nesting beaches, including those in Jamaica) tified within the STRN professionally trained in sea turtle research and monitoring techniques Measures in place that fully eliminate the sale of worked shell products in Jamaica Measur es in place to routinely assess the status of private turtle shell stockpiles Complete inventory of threats to sea turtle survival on land and at sea Turtle A minimum of 75% of important nesting and foraging habitat included within the National Syst em Plan for Protected Areas A minimum of 3 workshops convene d on the development of area specific sea turtle ma n agement plans A minimum of 3 specific projects, arising from the area specific management plans, will be identified for funding and implement ation 5 000 colorful p osters /brochures distributed to target audiences 2 airport displays established STRN Internet site established and maintained Educational packet will be produced and dis tributed to 10,00 0 school children Efforts at outreach and enforcement will result in a minimum of 50% reduction in illegal take and sales of sea turtles in target areas
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Page 89 APPENDIX I Directory of Relevant Organizations Sea Turtle Recovery Network c/o National Environ. & Planning Agency 10 Caledonia Road Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 754 7540 7 Fax: (876) 754 7595 e mail: email@example.com http://www.nepa.gov.jm Contact: Ms. Andrea Donaldson, Acting Manager, Ecosystems Management Branch National Environ. & Planning Agency 10 Caledonia Road Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 754 7540 7 Fax: (876) 754 7595 http://www.nepa.gov.jm Contact: Ms. Andrea Donaldson, Acting Manager, Ecosystems Management Branch Fisheries Division Marcus Garvey Drive Kingston 13 Tel: (876) 923 3811 Contact: Ms. Avery Galbraith Jamaica Conserva tion and Development Trust 2 9 Dumbarton Avenue Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 9 2 0 8 278 9, 960 2848 9 Fax: (876) 960 2850 e mail: Jamaicaconservation@gmail.com Contact: Mrs. Donna Fray, Administration Manager Jamaica Environment Trust 11 Waterloo Road Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 906 3693 Fax: (876) 926 0212 Contact: Diana McCaulay, Chief Executive Officer United Nations Environment Programme Regional Coordinating Unit, Caribbean Environment Program me 14 Port Royal Street Tel: (876) 922 9267 e m ail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.cep.unep.org/ Contact: Mrs. Alessandra Vanzella Khouri SPAW Programme Officer Environmental Foundation of Jamaica 18 Norwood Av enue Kingston 5 Tel: (876) 960 6744, 960 7125, 960 3224 Fax: (876) 92 0 8999 e mail: email@example.com website: http://www.efj.org.jm Contact: Mr s. Karen McDonald Gayle Portland Environ. Protection Association 6 Allan Avenue Port Antonio, Portland Tel: (876) 993 9632 e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Mr. Ma chel Donegan Executive Director St. Thomas Environ. Protection Association c/o Rural Agricultural Develop. Authority Belfast, Morant Bay, St. Thomas Tel: (876) 982 2234 Contact: Mr. Terrance Cover St. Elizabeth Environment Association Black River, St. Elizabeth Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation 7 Lloyd Cl ose, Kingston 8 Tel: (876) 986 3344 http://www.portlandbight.com.jm Contact: Mr. Peter Espeut, Executive Director Marine Police D ivision, Jamaica Constabulary Force New p ort East, Kingston Tel: (876) 923 9728 Contact: Inspector Errol Forbes Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard HMJS Cagway, Port Royal www.jdfmil.org/organisation/coast_guard Contact: Cdr. Kenneth Douglas Command ing Offic er JDFCG Wildlife and Environment Conservation Action Now c/o Hope Zoo, Hope Gardens Kingston 6 Contact: Mr. Shae Stewart, Coordinator Urban Development Corporation 12 Ocean Boulevard, Kingston Tel: (876) 922 8310; 922 5122 Fax: (876) 922 9326 e mai l: email@example.com www.udcia.com
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 90 Jamaic a Public Service Co. Limited 6 Knutsford Boulevard P. O. Box 54, Kingston 5 Tel: 926 3190, Telex: 2180 CABLE: JAMSERV Tel/Fax: (876) 926 6710 http://www.jpsco.com/ Ministry of Tourism 64 Knutsford Blvd, Kingston 5 Tel: (876) 920 4924; 920 4926 30 Fax: (876) 920 4944 www.mot.gov.jm Centre for Marine Sciences Department of Life Sciences University of the West Indies Mona, Kingston 7 Tel: (876) 9 35 8835 36 Fax: (876) 977 1033 e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.uwimona.edu.jm/centres/cms Contact: Professor Dale Webber Hope Zoo Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Hope Gardens, Kingston 6 Tele: (876) 927 1085 / Fax: (876) 97 0 3504 e mail: hopegardens.z email@example.com Attn: Mr. Orlando Robinson, Curator Negril Environment Protection Trust Negril Community Centre P. O. Box 2599 Negril, Westmoreland Tel: (876) 957 3736 Fax: (876) 957 4626 e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Maxine Hamilton Exec. Director Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society Norman Manley Boulevard P. O. Box 2710 Negril, Westmoreland Tel /Fax : (876) 957 4626 e mail: email@example.com Contact: Ca ndice Dia s, Exec. Director Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica 36 Trafalgar Rd, Box 579 Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 929 5380/9 Fax: (876) 929 2409 e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.pcj.com Town and Country Planning Department See National Environ ment & Planning Agency Friends of the Sea Tel: (876) 974 4428 e mail: email@example.com Contact: Ms. Kathy Byles National Environmental Societies Trust 95 Dumbarton Ave. Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 960 3316 Fax: (876) 960 3909 e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact : Mr. Peter Forde, Chairman Jamaica Sub aqua Club University of the West Indies Mona, Kingston 7 Contact: M s Tamia Harker UWI Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory Discovery Bay, St. Ann Tel: (876) 973 2241/973 2946 Fax: (876) 973 3091 Contact: Dr. Dayne Buddo Lecturer and Academic Coordinator email: email@example.com Contact: Mr. Camilo Trench Chief Scientific Officer e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade 2 Dominica Drive Kingston 5 Tel: (876) 926 4220 Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association 2 Ardenne Road Kingston 10 e mail: email@example.com www.jhta.org Canadian Int ernational Develop. Agency (CIDA) Canada Jamaica Green Fund 1st Floor, Building #3 17 Ruthven Road Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 929 3597 e mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Mrs. Effie McDonald UWI/EFJ Port Royal Marine Laboratory Biodiversity Centre Contact: Mr. Hugh Small Chief Scientific Officer Tel: (876) 967 8344 e mail: email@example.com WIDECAST c/o National Environ. & Planning Agency 10 Caledonia Road Kingston 10 Tel: (876) 754 7540 7 Fax: (876) 754 7595 e mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Ms. Andrea Donaldson, Acting Manager Ecosyst ems Management Branch and WIDECAST Country Coordinator
Page 91 APPENDIX II Laws affecting sea turtles and conservation of their habitats The main laws of relevance to sea turtle conservation are summarised and the most important sections are quoted; see also Table 4. A. SPECIES PROTECTION A1. Wild Life Protection Act (1945) Administered by: NRCA Protected animals Section 6: (1) No person shall hunt any protected animal or protected bird. s posses sion the whole or any part of a protected animal living or dead. List of protected animals (Schedule III) Five species of sea turtle were included in a 6 July 1982 amendment to the Third Schedule (1945) the Green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ), Hawksbill ( Eretmo chelys imbricata ), Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ), Atlantic [Kemp's] ridley ( Lepidochelys kempii ), and Leatherback ( Dermochelys coriacea ). Turtle eggs Section 8 states: Every person who (a) takes or attempts to take; or (b) sell or has in his possession f or the purpose of sale, any turtle eggs shall be guilty of an offence against this Act. Penalties By recent amendment (6 August 1991) to the Wild Life Protection Act (1945), persons found guilty of hunting or possessing any protected sea turtle are liab le on summary conviction to a maximum fine of $1 0 0 ,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months. Section 23 states: (1) Any animal, bird or fish or any part thereof in respect of which there is a conviction for an offence against this Act shall be forfeited to the Crown. (2) Any boat, gun, catapult or other weapon or any trap used in the commission of any offence against this Act in respect of which there is a conviction may, in the discretion of the court be forfeited to the Crown. Enforc ement Section 16 states: Any Game Warden, Fishery Inspector or Constable may in any public place or on any Crown lands or in any Game Sanctuary or Fish Sanctuary, search any person whom he may have reasonable cause to suspect of having contravened any of t he provisions of this Act or of any regulations made thereunder, and may stop and search any vehicle, boat or other conveyance in or upon which he has good cause to suspect that there is any animal, bird or fish or the nest or eggs of any bird in respect o f which any offence against this Act or any regulations made thereunder has been committed or in or upon which he has reasonable cause to suspect that there is any gun, catapult or other weapon or any trap used in the commission of any such offence. Exem ptions Section 22 states: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act, the Minister may, by writing under his hand for purposes of conservation or for scientific, historic or educational purposes, exempt either absolutely or for such t ime and subject to such conditions as he may think fit, any person or institution from all or any of the provisions of this Act.
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 92 Jurisdiction Section 21 states: Any offence against this Act committed at sea within three miles of any parish shall be deemed to have been committed in any place adjoining such sea and may be tried and punished accordingly. Other relevant provisions The act defines 'fish' as 'any creature which lives wholly or mainly in water' (i.e. a turtle is a 'fish') and pro vides for prote ction of immature fish (section 9) (immature fish to be defined by regulation under section 14); prohibits various means of catching fish (sections 10 and 11; sale of illegally caught fish section 12) and management of fisheries (section 14 and 15). A2. Natural Resources Conservation Act (1991) Prescribed fauna and flora Section 38 states: The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to this Act... (m) the protection of par ticular species of prescribed fauna and flora. [N.B. as of 1995, no such regulations had been made. A3. Jamaica National Heritage Trust Act (1985) Protected national heritage Section 2 states: 'protected national heritage' means ..(b) any species of animal or plant life ...designated by the Trust to be a pr otected national heritage'. Sections 12 17 provide for protection. Penalties Section 17 states: 'destroy(ing)...protected national heritage...a fine not exceeding $40,000 or 2 yrs imprisonment..' [N.B. no wildlife species have ever been protected under t his Act.] A4. The Endangered Species (Protection, Conservation and Regulation of Trade) Act, 2000 The Act provides for the protection, conservation and management of endangered species of wild fauna and flora and for the regulation of trade in such speci es. The Act enables Jamaica to implement its obliga tions under the CITES, as such sea turtles is listed in the First Schedule of the Act and corresponds to Appendix I of the Convention. Section 19, requires persons to apply for a permit/certificate to trade in any species listed under the Schedules of the Act. Section 40 states that if a person trades without a permit or certificate they are liable to: a) on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate, to a fine not exceeding two million dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment bi) on conviction on indictment in a Circuit Court to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceed ing ten years or to both such fine and imprisonment The are also fines if the postal service is used (Section 41) where (a) on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate (i) in the case of a first offence, to a fine not exceeding one million dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or both such fine and imprisonment; and (ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding two million dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both s uch fine and imprisonment. (b) on conviction on indictment in a Circuit Court to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceed ing ten years.
Page 93 B. EXPLOITATION OF TURTLES B1. Morant and Pedro Cays Act (1907) Catching turtles and collection of eggs B y a 1971 amendment to the Act, no person can, without written licence from the Minister, catch turtle on these cays or inside the outer limits of the territorial sea thereof, or take any eggs from the said cays, or either of them. Enforcement Fisheries Inspectors (or other persons duly authorised in writing by the Minister) are charged with enforc ing the Act. Penalties Offenders are liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of $400, and in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months. B2. Fishing Industry Act (1975) Fishing generally Definitions: The term "fish" includes "shell fish, crustaceans and marine or fresh water animal life" (thus theoretically including sea turtles). However the body of the act never actually mentions sea turtles and provides no explicit protection to them. Sections 3 and 5 state: provide for licencing of all fishermen and vessels operating in Jamaican waters, protection of the fishery by establishment of closed seasons, creation of fish sanctuaries, and penalties for the landing and sale of illegally caught fish. The Schedule lists specified methods of fishing, including (a) traps or pots; (b) nets; (c) spear guns; (d) lines from a boat. B3. Trade Law 4 (1955) Administered by the Trade Administrator Shell exports Requires licences for export of raw turtle shell. [N.B. the Trade Administrator has agreed to consult with NRCA before granting licences, but there is no legal requirement for him to do so, except insofar as possession of turtle shell is illegal under the Wild Life Protection Act (see above).] B4. Natur al Resources Conservation Act (1991) Methods of capture Section 38(1) The Minister may make regulations (l) the limitation or prohibition of (i) the production, importation, exportation, trade or use of any type of equipment, means or device de signed to kill, catch, or destroy, indiscriminately, prescribed animals or prescribed plants; (ii) any action or method which may bring about the extinction of or major adverse effects on, prescribed fauna or flora species. [N.B. no prescribed animals have been sp ecified and no regulations developed under this subsection.] B5. Fishing Industry Act (1975) Regulation of the fishing industry Section 25 states:
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 94 The Minister may from time to time make regulations generally for giving effect to the purposes and pro visions of this Act and in particularly (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) may make regulations (b) prescribing the form of any licence or certificate of registration to be issued under this Act; (f) prescribing or prohibiting the use of various types of fishing equipment; (g) prescribing or prohibiting methods of fishing within certain areas or at certain periods; (j) making provision in respect of the keeping of statistics in connection with the fishing industry; (j) prescribing measures for conservation of fish;... The Fishing Industry Regulations 1976 provide a regulatory framework for the industry but do not include any regulations, which control fishing activities or equipment relevant to turtles. C. HABITAT PROTECTION C1 Natural Resources Conservation Act (1991) Protected areas Section 4(1) states: The functions of the Authority shall be a) take such steps as are necessary for the effective management of the physical environment of Jamaica so as to ensure the conservation, protection and proper use of its natural resources b) to promote public awareness of the ecological systems of Jamaica and their importance to the social and economic life of the island c) to manage such national parks, marine parks, protected are as and public recreational facilities as may be prescribed d) advise the Minister on matters of general policy relating to the management, development, con servation and care of the environment; and e) to perform such other functions pertaining to the natural resources of Jamaica as may be as sign ed to it by the Minister or by or under this Act or any other enactment Section 5(1) states: The Minister may on the recommendation of the Authority after cons ultation with the National Heritage Trust, by order published in the Gazette designate a) any area of land as a national park to be maintained for the benefit of the public; b) any area of land or water as a protected area in which may be preserved any object ( whether animate or inanimate) or unusual combination of elements of the natural environment that is of aesthetic, educational, historical or scientific interest; or c) any area of land lying under the tidal water and adjacent to such land or any area of water as a marine park. Section 32 (1) states: Where the Authority reports to the Minister -a) the existence of any local condition in any part of the Island tending to endanger the environment, and there are no powers under any law other than this section where by such condition may be removed or guarded against; or b) that a natural resource in any part of the Island appears to be threatened with destruction or degradation and that measures apart from, or in addition to those specifically provided for in this Act s hould be taken promptly, The Minister may by order published in the Gazette direct the enforcement of any measures that he thinks expedient for removing or otherwise guarding against such condition and the probable conse quences thereof, or for preventin g or mitigating as far as possible such destruction or degradation.
Page 95 Penalties Section 32(4) states: Section 32(5) states: ...a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years or to both... or .... $3,000 for each day... Section 33(1) states: ....the Minister may, on the recommendation of the Authority, and if he is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so ....declare any area to be an environment al protection area and direct the Authority to submit to him for approval an environmental protection plan for that area;... (2) The undertaking of any activity in an environmental protection area shall be subject to such provisions as may be prescribed b y regulations, subject to negative resolution, in relation to the protection of the environment and the natural resources in that area. Section 38(1) states: The Minister may make regulations for (a) Standards and codes of practice with respect to the pro tection and rehabilitation of the environment and the conservation of natural resources; (b) the description or category of enterprise, construction or development in respect of which an environ mental impact assessment is required by the authority; (c) th e quality, condition or concentration of substances that may be released into the environment;.. (f) the discharge of waste generally, and the fees payable in relation thereto; (g) the design, construction, operation, maintenance and monitoring of faciliti es for the control of pollution and the disposal of waste; (h) the management of national parks, marine parks, protected areas and public recreational beaches or other public recreational facilities...;... (j) the preservation of good order and good conduc t among members of the public; using national parks, marine parks, protected areas..; General provisions Section 39 states: This Act binds the Crown. Penalties Section 38(3) states: Maximum penalty $50,000 or 2 years imprisonment. C2. The Beach Control Act (1956) Section 3(1): vests control of foreshore and seabed in the Crown except where fishers had rights before 1956 Sections 8 9: controls construction of docks, wharves, jetties and groynes Section 11: requires licences for the use of foreshore or floor of the sea Section 18: lists activities which may be regulated under the law. Section 7 (1): provides for declaration of (a) any part of the foreshore and the floor of the sea, together with the water lying on such p art of the floor of the sea to be a protected area for the purposes of this Act; and (b) speci fy prohibited activities including fishing, use of boats, rubbish disposal, water skiing, dredging or distur bance, destruction or removal of coral etc. and trea sure hunting
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 96 Three areas have been declared under section 7: Ocho Rios (1966) and Port Royal (1967), Montego Bay (1974). Penalties C3. Fishing Industry Act Fish Sanctuaries Section 1 8(1) states: The Minister may, from time to time, by order declare any area specified in such order to be a fish sanctuary. Under the Fishing Industry (Fish Sanctuaries) Order 1979 Bogue Island in Montego Bay was been gazetted. Penalties Section 18 (2) states: Any person who fishes or attempts to fish in any area declared by the Minister to be a fish sanctuary shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction before a Resident Magistrate to a fine not ex ceeding five hundred dollars and, in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months. D. POLLUTION D1. The Wild Life Protection Act (1945) Section 10 states: Every person who (a) uses, or causes to be used, dynamite or other explosive substance with i ntent thereby to take, kill or injure fish in any water; or (b) places or causes to be placed any poison, lime or noxious material in any water with intent thereby to take, kill or injure fish that may then or may thereafter be put therein; ... is guilty o f an offence against this Act. Section 11 states: ...every person who causes or knowingly permits to be out, whether directly or indirectly, into any harbour, river, stream canal, lagoon or estuary, containing fish, any trade effluent or industrial waste from any factory shall be found guilty of an offence against this section... Section 12 states: Every person who knowingly buys, sells or has in his possession fish taken, killed or injured in contra vention of the provisions of this Act or of any regul ations made thereunder shall be guilty of an offence against this Act. Penalties A 1991 Amendment to the Act raised the penalty to $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and imprisonment. D2. Natural Resources Conservation Act (1991) Section 1: (functions of the Authority) see above.
Page 97 Section 12 ( 1): Subject to the provisions of this section, no person shall (a) discharge on or cause or permit the entry into any waters, on the ground, of any sewage or trade effluent or any poisonous, noxious or polluting material; .. except under an in accordance with a licence for the purpose granted by the Authority under this Act. (2) provides for exceptions (3) penalty ....$50,000 or 2 years imprisonment Section 14: provides for exemption for the National Water Commission under stated circumstances Section 15: provides for enforcement with respect to farms Section 16: provides for other actions for enforcing regulations concerning pollution. Section 17: prov ides for control of sewage plants and other waste treatment facilities p enalties : $20,000 D3. Petroleum Act, 1979 Regulates exploration for petroleum and allows the Minister to make regulations to control pollution in areas where petroleum operations occur (e.g. to protect fishing). D4. Harbours Act, 1875 Controls dredging in harbours and prohibits discharges (e.g. of rubbish, earth, stones, ballast, mud, oil, etc.) into harbours D5. Pesticides Act, 1987 Regulates importation, manufacture, s ale, use and disposal of pesticides. D6. Port Authority Act, 1972 Regulates the operation of ports. D7. The Litter Act, 1985 Prohibits various types of littering (including in public places and private places without consent). E. DEVELOPMENT CONT ROL E1. Natural Resources Conservation Act Sections 10 and 11: require s environmental impact assessments for selected developments in proscribed areas E2. Town and Country Planning Act, 1958 Provides for approval of large developments generally and specifies that all developments within one mile of the coast must be approved by the Beach Control Authority (now incorporated into the NRCA). It also provides for gazetting of "Development Orders" which are over all land use plans for specified areas (usu ally a parish or resort).
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 98 E3. Local Improvements Act, 1914 Requires developers to get planning permission for sub divisions. E4. Roads Protection Act, 1937 Inter alia prohibits the removal of sand, gravel, etc. within two (2) chains of the foresho re. E5. Prescription Act, 1882 Safeguards the public's right to continued use of the beach, where such use has been uninterrupted for 20 years. E6. Parish Councils Act, 1901 Controls construction of sewers in towns. E7. Local Improvements (Community Amenities) Act, 1977 Allows the Minister to declare special improvement areas (e.g. to rectify problems with sewage disposal or water supply). Once such an area is declared the area is not subject to the provisions of the Local Im provements Act or the Town and Country Planning Act. E8. Urban Development Corporation Act, 1968 Enables the UDC to acquire and dispose of land within and sometimes outside areas designated as UDC lands, to manage completed projects. The UDC is not subject to th e local Planning Authority in UDC designated lands (e.g. Hellshire Hills). E9. Minerals (Vesting) Act, 1947 Vests all mineral in, on or under and land or water (including territorial waters, rivers or sea) in the Crown. E10. Quarries Control Act, 19 83 Established quarry zones and provides for licensing of all quarries (including beach sand). Licences can be revoked if environmental impacts are not controlled. E11. Crown Property (Vesting) Act, 1960 Gives the Commissioner of Lands sole power to acquire, hold and dispose of lands owned by the govern ment (e.g. inshore and offshore cays). F. OTHER F1. The Gun Powder and Explosives Act (1967) Dynamite is listed in First Schedule Part II of the Act and under Section 23 of the Act [Penalties], anyone guilty of an offence against the Act for which no penalties has been provided is liable to a penalty not exceeding forty dollars ($40) and in defaul t of payment imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding six months. Regulates use of dynamite (Penalty $40 per offence) for possession
Page 99 F2. Maritime Areas Act The Act declare s Jamaica as an archipelagic State and thus provide s for sovereignty of the territorial sea and air space as well as the bed and subsoil and the resources, living and non living contained therein. For the purpose of the exercise of the jurisdiction of the courts of Jamaica, the territory of Jamaica shall include the internal waters and the archipelagic waters. Under section 14 of the Act, an offence com mitted on or in the territorial waters whether a Jamaican citizen and similar to an offence on land, is punishable under this Act. the Act stat es that a Game Warden appointed under the Wild Life Protection Act is a Marine Officer with authority to enforce the Act
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 100 Table 1 Summary of sea turtle nesting records in Jamaica, as compiled from interviews with fishermen in September Novembe r 1982 Source: Jamaica National Report to the 1983 Western Atlantic Turtle Symposium (Kerr, 1984). L = Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ); G = Green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ); H = Hawksbill ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) No nesting records f or Dermochelys were reported during the survey, although a few historical records exist for this species (see Figure 7) No total annual population esti mates are available for any species. Beaches are listed in geographic order, beginning on the mainland with the Kingston Harbour area and moving counter clockwise around the island. Beach length is measured in meters (m) An asterisk (*) indicates a beach that could not be verified (perhaps due to a name change) and its location geo referenced for inclusion in Figures 5 8. Beach Length Species Comments 1. Louzy Bay -H max. 7 nests/night; 30 nests/yr 2. Manatee Bay 80.5 L -H max. 5 nests/night; 88 nests/yr 3. Coquar Bay -L -H max. 10 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 4. Three Sandy Bay 40 H max. 15 nests/night; 60 nests/yr 5. Long Pond B each -H max. 30 nests/night; 90 nests/yr 6. Peake Bay -H max. 3 nests/night; 70 nests/yr 7. Pigeon Island 30 H max. 6 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 8. Miller Bay -L -H max. 6 nests/night; 35 nests/yr 9. Beau Champ 70 H max. 7 nests/night; 80 nests/yr 10. Gut's Rive r 1207.5 H max. 7 nests/night; 75 nests/yr 11. Old Woman's Pt 40 H max. 4 nests/night; 70 nests/yr 12. Calabash Bay 402.5 H max. 10 nests/night; 80 nests/yr 13. Malcolm Pt 15 G -H max. 8 nests/night; 500 nests/yr 14. Luana Beach 402.5 H max. 5 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 15. Sand Hill 40 G -H max. 8 nests/night; 30 nests/yr 16. Auchindown 60 H max. 12 nests/night; 30 nests/yr 17. Parker's Bay -H max. 12 nests/night; 30 nests/yr 18. Long Bay 8055 H max. 4 nests/night; 50 nest s/yr 19. Jack's Hole -H max. 2 nests/night; 200 nests/yr 20. Brighton Beach -G -H max. 2 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 21. Crab Pond Pt -H max. 6 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 22. Tan Tan Bay -H max. 5 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 23. Sabbito B each -H max. 6 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 24. Hope ( Old ) Wharf 60 L -H max. 4 nests/night; 60 nests/yr 25. Robin's Pt -H max. 4 nests/night; 60 nests/yr 26. St. John's Pt 805 H max. 4 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 27. Little Bay 1207.5 L -H max. 2 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 28. Mary's B each 60 H max. 4 nests/night 29. White Sands -H max. 3 nests/night 30. Pampy's B each -H max. 4 nests/night
Page 101 Table 1, continued Beach Length Species Comments 31. Long Bay -H max. 4 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 32. Lances 20 H max. 2 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 33. G reen Island -H max. 5 nests/night; 24 nests/yr 34. Johnston's B each -L -H max. 1 nest/night; 30 nests/yr 35. Barbican 20 H max. 4 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 36. Meagre Bay -H max. 2 nests/night 37. Salthouse B each -H max. 6 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 38. Tryall B each -H max. 3 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 39. Black Bay -H max. 2 nests/night; 12 nests/yr -40. Hopewell B each -L -H max. 2 nest s/night; 12 nests/yr 41. Habbindon B each -H max. 2 nests/night 42. Old House Pt -L -H max. 5 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 43. Success B each -H max. 3 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 44. Red House B each -H max. 3 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 45. Rose Hall B each -H max. 4 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 46. Mini Hall B each -L -H max. 1 nest/night; 30 nests/yr 47. Billy Clarke -L -H max. 3 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 48. Shark Bay -L -H max. 3 nest/night; 16 nests/yr 49. Pat Chung B each 20 H max. 4 nests/night; 28 nests/yr 50. Devil's Kitchen -H max. 3 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 51. Half Moon Bay -H max. 10 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 52. Spring Bay -H max. 3 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 53. White Bay -H max. 3 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 54. Stewart Bay -H max. 3 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 55. Mangrove Pt -L -H max. 1 nest /night; 30 nests/yr 56. Thatch Tree -H max. 1 nest/night 57. Braco B each 1207.5 H max. 5 nests/night; 20 n ests/yr 58. Silver Sands 805 H max. 1 nest/night 59. Queen's Way -H max. 2 nests/night; 2 0 nests/yr 60. Pear Tree Bottom -H max. 1 nest/night 61. Rocky Wood Pt 402.5 H max. 1 nest/night; 9 nests/yr 62. Salem B each -H max. 1 nest/night 63. Llandovery -L -H max. 2 nest/night ; 12 nests/yr 64. Windsor B each 805 L -H max. 2 nest/night ; 12 nests/yr 65. Mamee B ay 60 H max. 2 nest/night; 12 nests/yr 66. Drax Hall Be ach 10 H max. 2 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 67. Shaw Park 60 H 27 nests/yr 68. Megartorbon 40 H 27 nests/yr 69. Rio Nuevo B each 50 H 27 nests/yr 70. Golden Head -H 27 nests/yr
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 102 Table 1, continued Beach Length Species Comments 71. Tower Isle -H 27 nests/yr 72. Ladder Bay H max. 3 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 73. Roaring River -H max. 2 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 74. Salt Bay Cove -H max. 4 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 75. Shearness Bay 30 H max. 3 nests/night; 12 nests/yr 76. Wagwater Veil -H max. 3 nests/night; 12 nests/yr 77. Annette Bay 64.4 H max. 3 nests/night; 12 nests/yr 78. Buff Bay 80 H max. 3 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 79. Orange Bay 805 G -H max. 3 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 80. Hope Bay B each -L -H max. 6 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 81. Barras Hole -H max. 4 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 82. Horsewood B each -H max. 4 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 83. Windsor (Castle?) 805 H max. 3 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 84. Doctor Wood -H max. 3 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 85. Spring Garden -L -G -H max. 6 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 86. Passley Gardens -H max. 5 nests/night; 45 nests/yr 87. Hermitage -L -G -H max. 6 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 88. Drapers B each 40 L -H max. 2 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 89. Fairy Hill 10 L -H max. 3 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 90. San San 64.4 L -H max. 3 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 91. Frenchman's Cove 40 L -H max. 2 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 92. Turtle Cove 20 L -H max. 2 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 93. Long Bay 8050 L -H max. 7 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 94. Turtle Bay L -H max. 2 nests/night; 7 nests/yr 95. Dalvey 805 H max. 2 nests/night; 10 nests/yr 96. Holland Bay 120 H max. 5 nests/night; 35 nests/yr 97. Rocky Pt 402 G -H max. 2 nests/night; 30 nests/yr 98. Morant Bay -L -H max. 5 nests/night; 35 nests/yr 99. Duhaney Pen -L -H max. 2 nests/night; 40 nests/yr 100. White Horses 805 H max. 3 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 101. Yallah s 32.25 H max. 2 nests/night; 20 nests/yr 102. Cow Bay -H max. 2 nests/night; 20 nests/yr
Page 103 Table 1, continued Beach Length Species Comments 103. Grant's Pen -H max. 2 nests/night; 50 nests/yr 104. Nine Mile B each -H max. 2 nests/night; 50 nests/yr OFFSHORE ISLETS AND CAYS 105. Gun Cay 5 L -H max. 3 nests/night; 18 nests/yr 106. Eastern Cay 5.5 L -H max. 3 nests/night; 18 nests/yr 107. Lime Cay 300 H max. 3 nests/night; 18 nests/yr 108. South Cay -L H max. 3 nests/night; 18 nests/yr 109. Salt Island Cay 4.5 H max. 5 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 110. Little Portland 13.7 L -H max. 10 nests/night; 125 nests/yr 111. Big Portland 30 L -H max. 10 nests/night; 125 nests/yr ? aerial survey 23 Se pt 1982 unidentified crawls 112. Cays off Portland -? aerial survey 5 Oct 1982, 3 unidentified crawls 113. Bare Bush Cay -L -H max. 10 nests/ night; 105 nests/yr 114. Pelican Cay -H max. 30 nests/night; 90 nests/yr 115. Needles Cay -H max. 5 nests/night; 25 nests/yr 116. Bush Cay -H max. 1 nest/night; 7 nests/yr 117. Rocky Cay -H max. 7 nests/night; 150 nests/yr 118. SW Pedro Cay -H aerial survey 30 Sept 1982, 4 crawls ? aerial survey 30 Sept 1982, 4 unidentified crawls 119. SE Morant Cay -? aerial survey 7 Sept 1982, 4 unidentified crawls ? aerial survey 30 Sept 1982, 4 unidentified crawls 120. SW Morant Cay -H aerial survey 7 Sept 1982, 4 crawls H aerial survey 30 Sept 1982, 3 crawls ? aerial survey 7 Sept 1982, 4 unidentified crawls ? aerial survey 30 Sept 1982, 3 unidentified crawls 121. 3 small cays -? aerial survey 23 Sept 1982, 1 unidentified crawl ( Hellshire ) 122. Pigeon Cay -? aerial survey 23 Sept 1982, 2 unidentified crawls 123. 7 small cays -? aerial survey 23 Sept 1982, 3 unidentified crawls on one cay
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 104 Table 2. Summary of sea turtle nesting records in Jamaica 1991 1995, based on field surveys conduct ed by the Sea Turtle Recovery Network in Jamaica. L = Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ); G = Green turtle ( Chelonia mydas ); H = Hawksbill ( Eretmochelys imbricata ); and D = Leatherback ( Dermochelys cor iacea ). No total annual population estimates are available for any species Beaches are listed in geographic order, beginning with the Kingston Harbour area and moving counter clockwise around the island. An asterisk (*) indicates a beach that could not be verified (perhaps due to a name change) and its location geo referenced for inclusion in Figures 5 8. The most significant change from the 1982 interview data reported in T able 1 is the virtual extinctio n of nesting by green and loggerhead turtles. Beach Species Comments 1. Louzy Bay ? current status unknown 2. Manatee Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 3. Coquar Bay ? max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 4. Three Sandy Bay ? current status unknown 5. L o ng Pond B each ? current status unknown 6. Peake Bay ? no evidence of nesting activity (1995) 7. Pigeon Island H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 8. Miller Bay ? unconfirmed reports (1994) 9. Beau Champ ? unconfirmed reports (1994) 10. Gut's River H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 11. Old Woman's Pt H max. 10 nest/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 12. Calabash Bay H max. 10 nes ts/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 13. Malcolm Pt ? unconfirmed reports (1994) 14. Luana Beach H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 15. Sand Hill ? no updated information 16. Auchindown H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity c urrent to 1995 17. Parker's Bay ? max. 10 nest s /yr; nesting activity current to 1995 18. Long Bay ? current status unknown 19. Jack's Hole ? current status unknown 20. Brighton Beach ? current status unknown 21. Crab Pond Pt H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 22. Tan Tan Bay ? no nesting observed; South Coast survey 1995 23. Sabbito B each ? no nesting observed; South Coast survey 1995 24. Old Wharf H max. 10 nests/ yr; nesting activity current to 1995 25. Robi n's Pt H max. 10 nests/ yr; nesting activity current to 1995 26. St. John's Pt H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 27. Little Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 28. Mary 's B each ? current status unknown 29. White Sands ? current status unknown 30. Pampy's B each ? current status unknown 31. Long Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 32. Lances Bay H max. 10 nest/yr; nesting activity current to 1993 33. Green Island ? current status unknown 34. Johnston 's B each ? current status unknown 35. Barbican (W of Tryall) ? current sta t us unknown 36. Meagre Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1993 37. Salthouse B each ? current status unknown 38. Tryall B each H max. 10 nest/yr; nesting activity current to 1993 39. Black Bay ? current status unknown 40. Hopewell B each ? current status unknown
Page 105 Table 2, continued Beach Species Comments 41. Habbindon B each ? current status unknown 42. Old House Pt ? current status unknown 43. Success B each H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1993 44. Red House Be ach ? current status unknown 45. Rose Hall B each ? current status unknown 46. Mini Hall B each ? current status unknown 47. Billy Clarke ? current status unknown 48. Shark Bay ? current status unknown 49. Pat Chung B each ? current status unknown 50. Devil's Kitchen ? current status unknown 51. Half Moon Bay ? current status unkno wn 52. Spring Bay ? current status unknown 53. White Bay ? current status unknown 54. Stewart Bay ? current status unknown 55. Mangrove Pt ? current status unknown 56. Thatch Tree ? current status unknown 57. Braco B each H max. 10 ne sts/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 58. Silver Sands H max. 10 nest/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 59. Queen's Way B each ? current status unknown 60. Pear Tree Bottom H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 61. Rocky Wood Pt ? current status unknown 62. Salem B each ? current status unknown 63. Llandovery ? current status unknown 64. Windsor B each ? current status unknown 65. Mammee Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 66. Drax Hall B each H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 67. Shaw Park H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 68. Megartorbon B each ? current status unknown 69. Rio Nuevo B each ? current status unknown 70. Golden Head B each H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 71. Tower Isle ? current status unknown 72. Ladder Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 73. Roaring River ? current status unknown 74. Salt Bay Cove ? current status unknown 75. Shearness Bay ? current status unknown 76. Wagwater Veil ? current status unknown 77. Annette Bay ? current status unknown 78. Buff Bay ? current status unknown 79. Orange Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current t o 1995 80. Hope Bay B each H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 81. Barras Hole ? current status unknown 82. Horsewood B each ? current status unknown 83. Windsor B each ? current status unknown 84. Doctor Wood H max. 10 nests/y r; nesting activity current to 1994 85. Spring Garden B each ? current status unknown 86. Passley Gardens ? current status unknown 87. Hermitage ? current status unknown 88. Drapers B each ? current status unknown 89. Fairy Hill H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 106 Table 2, continued Beach Species Comments 90. San San ? current status unknown 91. Frenchman's Cove H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 92. Turtle Cove ? current status unknown 93. Long Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 94. Turtle Bay ? current status unknown 95. Dalvey ? current status unknown 96. Holland Bay ? current status unknown 97. Rocky Pt ? current status unknown 98. Morant Bay ? current status unknown 99. Duhaney Pen ? current status unknown 100. White Horses ? current status unknown 101. Yallah s H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1993 102. Cow Bay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 103. Grant's Pen B each ? current status unknown 104. Nine Mile B each ? current status unknown OFFSHORE ISLETS AND CAYS 105. Gun Cay ? current status unknown 106. Eastern Cay ? current status unknown 107. Lime Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1994 108. South Cay ? current status unknown 109. Salt Island Cay ? current status unknown 110. Little Portland Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 111. Big Portland Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 112. cays off Portland ? current status unknown 113. Bare Bush Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 114. Pelican Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activi ty current to 1995 115. Needles Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 116. Bush Cay G hatchling reported 1993 117. Rocky Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 118. SW Pedro Cay ? current status unknown 119. S E Morant Cay H max. 10 nests/yr; nesting activity current to 1995 120. SW Morant Cay ? current status unknown 121. 3 small cays (Hellshire) ? current status unknown 122. Pigeon Cay ? current status unknown 123. 7 small cays ? current status unknown NEW AREAS NOT IDENTIFIED IN PRE 1991 SURVEYS 124. Billys Bay H >30 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (St. Elizabeth) D reported nesting in 1995 125. Great Bay H <20 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (St. Elizabeth) 126. Merrimans Point H >30 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (St. Elizabeth) 127. Thatchfield H >30 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (St. Elizabeth) 130. Galleon Harbour H 50 100 nests/yr; nest activity as current as 1995 (St. Elizabeth)
Page 107 Table 2, continued Beach Species Comments 131. Alligator Pond cay H >10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (Manchester) 132. Alligator Pond H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (east of Port Kaiser) 133. White Horses H >10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (west of Little Pedro Bay) 134. Bluefields H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1994 (Westmoreland) 135. Parottee H >20 nests/yr (St. Elizabeth) D 2 reported nesting attempts in 1993? 136. Black River H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 137. Paradise H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1994 (Westmoreland) 138. Bloody Bay (Negril) H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1993 139. Booby Cay (Negril) H <10 nests/yr (?); nest activity as current as 1992 140. Sandy Bay H <10 nests/yr (?); <10 nest from 1993 survey (cay off Green Island) 141. Prospect (St. Ann) H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 142. Runaway Bay H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 143. Prospect (St. Thomas) H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1 993 144. Palisadoes/Port Royal H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 145. Little Pelican Cay H <10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 146. Sand Bank Cay H >10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (between Portland & Half Moon Cays) 147. Sand Cay H >10 nests/yr; nesting activity as current as 1995 (between Portland & Half Moon Cays)
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 108 Table 3 Foraging/observation sites as reported by Kerr (1984), based on inter views with fishermen in September November 1982 (see also Figure 9) L = Loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ); G = Green turtle ( Cheloni a mydas); and H = Hawksbill ( Eretmochelys imbricata ). While the following information repre sents a beginning, comprehen sive efforts to identify important foraging areas are needed. Note: was not defined in the source document Location Species Source/Comments 1. Bushy Cay to Eastern Cay H, G Incidental catch, observation (16 km radius) 2. 1.6 km S of Kingston Harbour H, L, G Incidental catch, observation off the deep edge for ca. 8 km 3. 0.8 km S of Long Acre Pt H, G Incidental catch, observation 4. Offshore Pigeon Island H, L Fishery observation 5. King Fish Bank, 20 km off Rocky H, G Fishery observation Beach (Clarendon) 6. 40 km offshore Carlisle Bay H, G Fishery observation Jackson Bay 7. Ballas (1 km offshore from H, L, G Incidental catch, observation Farquhars beach) 8. From Old Woman's Pt out to H, L, G Incidental catch, observation Alligator Reef 9. Offshore Frenchman's Beach to H Incidental catch, observation about 6 km south 10. Offshore between Calabash Bay H, L, G Incidental catch, observation and Old Woman's Pt 11. Reef offshore Great Pedro Bluffs H, L, G Incidental catch, observation 12. Offshore Pedro Bank (St. H Fishery observation Elizab eth) 13. 1 km offshore Parottee fishing H, L Incidental catch, observation beach, Parottee (St. Elizabeth) 14. Offshore Luana Pt H, L, G Fishery observation 15. Offshore Malcolm's Pt (St. H, G Fishery observation Elizabeth) 16. 2 km south of Black River H, G Incidental catch, observation (St. Elizabeth) 17. 0.5 km from Crab Pond Bay H, L Incidental catch, observation (Auchindown) 18. Old Johnson's Rock ? Incidental catch, observation (Westmoreland) 19. 5 km offshore Auchindow n H, G Fishery observation (Westmoreland) 20. 0.4 km off Robin's Pt H Incidental catch, observation (Westmoreland) 21. 16 km offshore Cock's fishing H, G Fishery observation beach, Savanna la mar (Westmoreland) 22. 1.5 km off Hope Wharf, H, G Fishery observation Savanna la mar, (Westmoreland) 23. Turtle Stag Reef, H, L, G Observation Savanna la mar (Westmoreland)
Page 109 Table 3, continued Location Species Source/Comments 24. Middle Ground S/SE to St. H, L, G Observation John's Pt (Westmoreland) 25. 1.6 km off Homer's Cove H, G Incidental catch, observation 26. 1.6 km off Mary's Bay beach H, G Fishery observation 27. Off South Negril Pt H, G Fishery observation 28. 1 km offshore Booby Cay, along H, L, G Incidental catch, observation to Bloody Bay 29. 1 km ofshore Green Island beach H, L, G Observation 30. 1 km from Cotton Tree Bay H, L, G Incidental catch, observation 31. Offshore the Negro Bay area H, L, G Fishery observation 32. Near Bamboo Bay (St. James) H, G Obse rvation 33. 1 km off Hopewell Farm H, G Incidental catch, observation Beaches (St. James) 34. 1 km offshore from Ironshore H, G Incidental catch, observation to Rose Hall (St. James) 35. Along the coast from Bush Cay H, L Incidental catch, observation to Spring Bay (Trelawny) 36. Turtle Ground (near Bush Cay, H, L, G Observation Trelawny) 37. From 0.8 km offshore Success H, L, G Incidental catch Beach (St. James) 38. 3 km offshore Flankers Beach H, L, G Incidental catch (St. James) 39. 5 km offshore Scarlett Hall Beach H, L, G Incidental catch 40. 0.4 km offshore Lilliput H, L, G Incidental catch (Trelawny) 41. About 0.8 km offshore Coopers H, G Fishery observation Pen (Falmouth Trelawny) 42. About 0.2 km beyond Darby's H, L Fishery observation Reef (Trelawny) 43. Offshore from Long Sand's to H, L Fishery observation Turtle Pass (Trelawny) 44. Just offshore the Queen's Way H Fishery observation Beaches (Discovery Bay, St. Ann) 45. Unity Wharf and 0.4 km off H, L, G Fishery observ ation Runaway Bay Beach (St. Ann) 46. Just offshore Salem Beach to H, L Incidental catch, observation Llandovery 47. 1 km offshore Priory H, G Fishery observation 48. Boscobel Beach 0.4 km offshore H, L, G Incidental catch, observation by reef (St. Mary) 49. Offshore 0.4 km Pagee Fishing H, L, G Incidental catch, observation Beach 50. Sherness Channel 0.4 km H, L, G Fishery observation offshore Robin's Bay (St. Mary) 51. 1 km offshore Annotto Bay H, L, G Fishery observation Beach (St. Mary) 52. 5 km offshore Dr. Wood Pt H, L, G Incidental catch, observation (Portland) 53. 0.8 km offshore Orange Bay H, L, G Incidental catch, observation (Portland)
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 110 Table 3, continued Location Species Source/Comments 54. Black Bess Pt 0.8 km offshore H, L, G Incidental catch, observation Orange Bay (St. Mary) 55. 3 km east of Spring Garden Pt H, L Fishery observation Hope Bay (Portland) 56. 3 km beyond Ship Rock St. H, L, G Fishery observation Margaret's Bay (Portland) 57. Just offshore Boundbrook H, L, G Fishery observation Beach on the reefs 58. Jumby Stone (offshore Long H, L, G Fishery observation Bay, Portland) 59. 1.6 km offshore Draper's Beach H, L, G Fishery observation (Portland) 60. Potato Piece Bay 1.6 km H, L, G Fishery observation offshore (Boston, Portland) 61. Offshore from Lond Bay to H, L, G Fishery observation Kensington (Portland) 62. Within 0.3 km at Manchioneal H Incidental catch, observation Harbour (Portland) 63. Just offshore Innis Bay H, L, G Incidental catch, observation Hector's River (Portland) 64. 1.6 km offshore Holland Bay H, L, G Fishery observation (Turtle Set, Portland) 65. 0.5 km offshore Rocky Pt H, L, G Fishery observation (St. Thomas) 66. 4 km offshore Port Morant H, G Fishery observation St. George's Bank (St. Thomas) 67. Macca Pt offshore Duhaney Pen H Fishery observation (St. Thomas) 68. 0.1 km offshore Lyssons (on H, L Fishery observation reef) (St. Thomas) 69. 0.8 km offshore Lyssons (St. H Fis hery observation Thomas) 70. 0.5 km offshore Yallahs to H, G Fishery observation White Horses Bank (St. Thomas) 71. Offshore "Nine Miles" Bully H, L, G Fishery observation
Page 111 Table 4 Summary of Laws and Regulations Relevant to Sea Turtle Conservatio n Legislation Relevance to Sea Turtles Natural Resources Conservation Authority Act, 1991 Develop, implement and monitor plans and programmes relating to the management of the environment and the conservation and protection of natural resources Wild Life Protection Act, 1945 Designation of protected status. Removes protected species from possession, use and trade. Harbours Act, 1874 Regulates activities within harbours through the Marine Board by regulating the movement of boats and vessels in harbours, channels or approach thereto; the placement of buoys and removal of sunken structures from harbours; penalties provided for the depositing of refuse and waste matter fro m vessels and removal of sand, stone, ballast etc., from harbours, reefs or shoals. Jamaica National Heritage Trust Act, 1985 including any place, animal or plant species or object/buil ding. Morant & Pedro Cays Act, 1907 Affirms the status of the Morant and Pedro Cays and prohibits fishing inside certain limits, slaying or catching of birds on the Cays or the catching of turtles within the territorial limits of the cays. Petroleum Ac t, 1979 Vets all petroleum in the State and makes provisions for the creation of Regulations which prevent pollution or orders remedial action where this takes place, as well as the protection of fishing, navigation etc. Port Authority Act, 1972 Establis hes the Port Authority whose functions include regulation of ports and port facilities. Town and Country Planning Act, 1958 Allows for the preparation of tree preservation and development orders and approves developments. Urban Development Corporation Act, 1968 Establishes the UDC as a statutory body, which has amongst its functions the duty to carry out construction, maintain public parks, car parks etc. in any manner to ensure preservation of architectural or historical objects or sites. The Litter Act, 1985 Prohibits various types of littering (including in public and private places without consent). Beach Control Act, 1956 Establishes the control of the foreshore and floor of the sea in the Crown. Regulates the use of the foreshore and floor of t he sea. Controls the construction of jetties, groynes, wharves and docks. Fishing Industry Act, 1975 Provides for the licencing of all fishermen and vessels operating in Jamaican jurisdiction.
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 112 Table 4 c ontinued Legislation Relevance to Sea Turtles Trade Law 4, 1955 Requires licences for the export of raw turtle shell. Gun Powder and Explosives Act, 1967 Regulates the use of dynamite. Gun Court Act, 1974 Establishes a special court and procedures for offences involving fire arms. Pesticides Act, 1987 Regulates importation, manufacture, sale, use and disposal of pesti cides. Crown Property (Vesting) Act, 1960 Gives the Commissioner of Lands sole power to acquire, hold and dispose of lands owned by the government (e.g. inshore and offshore cays). Minerals (Vesting) Act, 1947 Vests all mineral, in, on or under and land or water (including territori al waters, rivers or sea) in the Crown. Roads Protection Act, 1937 Inter alia prohibits the removal of sand, gravel, etc. within two (2) chains of the foreshore. Prescription Act, 1882 Safeguards the public's right to continued use of the beach, where such use has been uninterrupted for 20 years. Local Improvements (Community A menities) Act, 1977 Allows the Minister to declare special improvement areas (e.g. to rectify problems with sewage disposal or water supply). Once such an area is declared the area is not subject to the provisions of the Local Improvements Act or the Town and Country Planning Act. Local Improvements Act, 1914 Requires developers to get planning permission for subdivisions.
Page 113 Table 5 Stakeholders with interests in turtle conservation (adapted from Tambiah, 1995). STAKE HOLDERS INTEREST Fish catchers Direct or opportunistic take of turtles. Vendors Buy turtle products from fish catchers and shell processors, and distribute them to consumers. Processors Use turtles to make products, such as turtle shell jewelry and turtle pride. Consumers Mostly subsistence in the families of fishers, also a few restaurants. Government Agencies Fisheries Division controls fishing in Jamaica. Has Fisheries Officers on Fishing Beaches, working directly with fishers as instructors and inspector s. Natural Resources Conservation Authority enforces wildlife laws through Conservation Wardens, Honorary Game Wardens, and W ildlife O fficers. Also control all types of beach developments and require environmental impact assessments. Jamaica Defence Force Coastguard protects Jamaican waters, including cays; enforces marine legislation; provides assistance to marine conservation projects. Jamaica Constabulary Force including the Marine Police responsible for law enforcement. Magistrates respo nsible for prosecutions. Non goverment organizations Sea Turtle Recovery Network of Jamaica coalition of government agen cies, NGOs, volunteers, working together to develop and implement the Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan. Other parish and national N GOs which have or expect to develop respon s bility for management of areas of importance for sea turtles ; e.g. SCCF, PEPA, NEPT, TEPA. Youth Clubs some of which are involved with sea turtle projects. Volunteers Citizens who assist the recovery network because of their interest in sea tur tles Indirect Interest Groups Developers and managers of beachfront properties Polluters Jet ski and speed boat operators Gun clubs Polluters Government agencies responsible for development control and pollu tion (e.g. ECD, Town and Country Planning Department, Parish Councils)
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 114 Figure 2 Jamaica's varied coastline is 885 km in length, including at least 321 km of sandy beaches potentially suitable for sea turtle nesting Source: adapted from GOJ ( 1987 ) Figure 1 Jamaica, located approximately 145 km south of Cuba and 161 km west of Haiti, is the third largest island in the Caribbean Sea. The Wider Caribbean Region includes the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the areas of the Atlanti c adjacent thereto, south of 30 N latitude and within 200 nautical miles of the Atlantic coasts referred to in Article 25 of the Cart agena Convention.
Page 115 Figure 3 Jamaica's offshore banks and cays, showing shoreline configuration, coral reefs and seagrass. Source: a dapted from GOJ ( 1997 )
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 116 Figure 4 Four species of sea turtle are reported as occurring historically in J amaica Clockwise from the upper left, these are the g reen turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) hawksbill ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) loggerhead ( Caretta caretta ), and leatherback ( Dermochelys coriacea ). With the exception of the hawksbill which still nests pr edictabl y on the mainland and offshore cays all species are extremely rare today. Green turtle nesting, for example, has been documented at only three sites in the last twenty years.
Page 117 Figure 5 Documented and reported nesting beaches and at sea sightings for loggerhead s ea turtles ( Caretta caretta) in Jamaica, based on Lewis (1940, 1947), Kerr (1984 ) and STRN and NEPA (unpublished data). Four at sea sightings exist for log gerheads in Jamaica after 1982 namely, Runaway Bay, the Port Royal Cays and the Portland Bight (STRN and NEPA, unpublished data) There is no confirmed nesting post 1982, suggesting that reproduc ing populations may be extinct in Jamaica.
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 118 Figure 6 Docume nted and reported green sea turtle ( Chelonia mydas ) nesting beaches and at sea sight ings based on Kerr (1984 ) and unpublished data held by STRN and NEPA. Since 1982, green beach and Oracabessa in St. Mary.
Page 119 Figure 7 Documented and reported nesting beaches for leatherback s ea turtles ( Dermochelys coriac e a ) Historical accounts are based on Gosse (1851), Lewis (1940 ) Mcbride ( 1946) and Caldwell (1955). Current reports are based on unpublished data from STRN and NEPA.
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 120 Figure 8 Hawksbill sea turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) nesting beaches identified from a 1982 survey of fishers reported to WATS (Kerr, 1984) and post WATS surveys from 1991 until the present. The hawksbill remains the only consistent nesting species in Jamaican waters (STRN and NEPA, unpublished data).
Page 121 Figure 9 H awksbill sea turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) at sea sightings identified from a 1982 survey of fishers reported to WATS (Kerr, 1984) and post WATS data collection from 1991 until the present (STRN and NEPA, unpublished data).
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 122 KEY Approximate position of turtle observed at sea (species not recorded, but probably hawksbill) 2 groups of more than 200 small turtles and one group of 25 turtles (probably not hawksbills) Figure 10 Sea turtle locations based on aerial surveys, 1982 1983. Source: Natural R esources Conservation Department (NRCD, unpublished data).
Page 123 Figure 11 Decline in the sea turtle fishery, 1962 1982, based on fisheries surveys. Modified from Kerr (1984). Figure 12 The distribution of existing protected areas, including fish sanctuaries, forest reserves and declared protected areas. Source: NEPA (2009).
CEP Technical Report N o. 50 Page 124 Figure 13 Shell exports from Jamaica to Japan, 1970 1986. Source : Milliken and Tokunaga (1987). Source: Milliken and Tokunaga, (1987) Estimated Total: 9 523 Hawksbills C alculated at 1.5 kg of shell per hawksbill turtle equivalent Year Number
United Nations E nvironment Programme Caribbean Environment Programme Regional Coordinating Unit UNEP CAR/RCU Phone: (876) 922 9267 14 20 Port Royal Street Fax: (876) 922 9292 Kingston, Jamaica __________________ _________________________________________ www.cep.unep.org www.car spaw rac.org ___________________________________________________________