900 turtles killed for meat in 2012, CTF reveals
(CNS): The Cayman Turtle Farm has said that over 900 turtles were killed in 2012 to satisfy the local demand for meat, which is only around 10%-15% of the animals held at the farm. However, stepping up the criticism of the WSPA campaign to change it into a conservation facility, the farm’s director said that if it did not supply this local demand, people would poach the animals from the wild. Criticising Cayman’s internationally renowned free diver, Tanya Streeter, for her support of the campaign, Tim Adam said the farm was “saddened” that Streeter, who grew up here, has chosen to align herself with the WSPA, “an organisation that appears to be fuelled by sensationalising, misleading information” about the CTF. (Photo by Patrick Weir)
“We are also disappointed that the WSPA appears to be continuing to expend its resources and funding on a promotional campaign to discredit the Farm, rather than working directly with us to support the improvements we are making in response to the inspection report, or even putting their resources into undertaking actual work in the conservation of sea turtles," Adam added. “We would like to see evidence of tangible conservation efforts the WSPA has contributed on behalf of the Green Sea Turtle in the Cayman Islands.”
Claiming conservation credentials for the CTF, Adam said that Streeter, who was photographed (see above) swimming with wild turtles as part of the WSPA campaign, was able to do that in part because of the work of the CTF. “There are now many more sea turtles seen in the wild around Cayman than there were decades ago,” Adam said. “The Cayman Turtle Farm has contributed significantly to that increase, making it possible for more visitors and residents to see turtles in the wild.”
He said data from the Department of the Environment shows an increase in the number of green sea turtles now nesting in Cayman, several of which, the director claimed, were released from the CTF.
The Turtle Farm provides legally farmed turtle meat, Adam said, reducing the incentive to take turtles from the wild than would be likely if local demand for turtle meat were not met from farmed stocks.
“A review of our turtle meat sales data shows local demand for turtle meat increasing significantly each year in 2011 and 2012. For example, for 2012 it took over 900 turtles to satisfy local demand. If the Cayman Turtle Farm does not supply the local demand for turtle meat ... where does Ms Streeter or the WSPA suggest that amount of turtles will come from to allow Caymanians to continue eating turtles?” he asked.
According to the results of a freedom of information request, the numbers killed for meat over the last few years has declined from a high in 2008, when almost 1,700 turtles were slaughtered. The increase in price could have dampened demand for the meat but the stocks at the farm currently remain high. The farm has faced some difficulties in the past regarding its stocks but it is currently home to somewhere in the region of 7000-9000 animals.
The row between the CTF and the international animal charity has gathered pace, and despite claims of a more cordial position after the WSPA's recent visit, hostilities appear to have increased. The WSPA makes the case that to keep so many thousands of turtles, which are not domesticated animals, in the poor conditions at the farm to supply such a low demand for meet is fundamentally wrong.
The CTF continues to refute much of the findings of the well-documented WSPA research, however, despite photographic evidence of the overcrowded conditions, cannibalism, disease and congenital disorders. Even in the face of its own independent review, which confirmed much, though not all, of the findings of the original report from the charity, the farm still says the issues it faces are minor and can easily be addressed.
Adam said that this intensive three-day review of the farm undertaken in December by four internationally recognised sea turtle experts and conservationists had found clear value in the Cayman Turtle Farm’s research and conservation programmes.
“While the report identified some areas for improvement, which the Cayman Turtle Farm is acting upon, the assessment team’s findings also disproved several of the WSPA’s allegations against the Farm,” Adam said. “The WSPA is using Ms Streeter to represent a view that is obviously biased toward WSPA’s objectives,” Adam said.
The WSPA is continuing with its global campaign and says it is not giving up, despite the war of words, on the hope that one day the CTF will stop breeding turtles in the questionable conditions that currently exist purely for meat and switch to conservation, using better animal welfare measures to protect the animals in its care.
- Scholarship Fundraiser
- Great Priced North Coast Sandy Beach Lot for Sale
- Original brand new apple iphone 5 64gb,32gb,16gb,Samsung Galaxy S3,S4
- Beautiful Cayaman Style Home
- for sale: samsung galaxy s4, apple iphone 5
- 2004 HONDA FIT
- 2004 HONDA FIT
- Walkers Rd condo for Rent - Poincianas
- Pups for sale
- SHORT TERM RENTAL
The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of CNS or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by CNS. Read more
- No more luck in Cayman Brac
9 hours 10 min ago
- Why would the PPM give Tara a
9 hours 12 min ago
- Any one in the viewing area
9 hours 12 min ago
- If Alden/PPM wanted to be
9 hours 16 min ago
- I guess you think that an
9 hours 16 min ago
- The PPM should let Miss
9 hours 19 min ago
- While I can understand the
9 hours 22 min ago
- Bring in Roy and Arden!
9 hours 23 min ago
- Theres no way she will stay
9 hours 26 min ago
- It pays to tell the truth
9 hours 34 min ago