Environmental NGOs call for action as images of turtle slaughter surface

Warning: This article contains graphic images.

Local environmental NGOs Ecocare and Bluepeace have condemned images circulating on social media showing a turtle being cut in half for its eggs and meat.

Both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and police are now investigating the pictures.

Ecocare has demanded “immediate action from relevant authorities to stop such atrocities against protected marine species in the country”, in a statement which also said the NGO was “outraged by the lack of adequate enforcement measures in place”.

The pictures which were shared on Facebook show a group of people cutting open an adult sea turtle and extracting its eggs and meat. Local media outlet Sun Online has reported that the pictures were taken on the island of Maalhos in Alif Alif Atoll.

Maalhos Island Council has expressed concern over the incident but has said it was not aware that the pictures originated from the island.

Sun reported council Vice President Ahmed Sameeh as saying that it was common for islanders to hunt turtles and that the council has repeatedly requested citizens to stop.

Bluepeace Executive Director Rilwan Ali told Minivan News that the main obstruction to preventing such instances was poor institutional coordination between the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture and the EPA.

“The biggest problem is that turtle conservation comes under the fisheries law which is implemented by the fisheries ministry. The ministry has to share its resources with the EPA so that these kinds of events can be prevented,” said Rilwan.

Speaking on behalf the EPA, Director General Ibrahim Naeem said that these kinds of events could have a negative impact on the tourism of the country as well as long term effects on the economy, while highlighting the need for stricter punishments for such environmental crimes.

According to the fisheries regulations, the “catching, fishing, collecting or killing” of sea turtles is illegal throughout the country. The collection of sea turtles and eggs is also illegal, but only in 14 of the country’s 1,192 islands.

The current moratorium is set to last until 2016 thoug reports of turtle slaughter persist. Earlier this year, one source estimated that up to 180 turtles were killed from a single island in Shaviyani Atoll in 2013.

“There is a well-known nesting island and every night a group is going and hunting the turtles. It is so obvious, every day since January one or two are killed,” said the informed source. “They wait for them to nest on the island, or go snorkeling to hunt them.”

While speaking to Minivan News in April this year, Sam Hope – Marine Discovery Centre Manager at Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – said that the biggest threat to turtles is egg collection and trade.

Meanwhile, turtle conservation expert Dr Agnese Mancini has reported a decline in the population of  the majority of turtle species found in the Maldives.

Related to this story

Against the current – Turtle conservation in the Maldives

Widespread ‘secret’ slaughter of endangered sea turtles despite ban; “very tasty” say killers


8 thoughts on “Environmental NGOs call for action as images of turtle slaughter surface”

  1. Inhuman, barbaric and no difference to the slaughter of our brothers and sisters in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria n so on.
    These kinds of stupid acts are playing a major role in the declining tourism. Why go to a country where ppl murder each other, ppl vanish without a trace, extremism on the rise, torture endangered animals including pets, pollute there own environment, and pretend to be genuine but yet not!
    Such thoughts cross the minds of many before booking a holiday to Maldives!

  2. Just goes to show the ignorance of some people. They think the turtles they are slaughtering are a limitless "rizq" from Allah.

    They are too dumb to realise that there will be none left for them to kill if they go on like this! It's not just tourism and the economy that suffers. It's our ecology, biodiversity and a whole lot of marine life that will disappear as a result of these barbarians.

  3. Looks like not much to report these days. As a consequence, some species are in danger of extinction...

    'Minivannews' is proving to be on top of 'soon to be extinct' list.


  4. @endangered species
    Stupidity and inbreeding sure aren't in danger of extinction in Maldives. So I'm sure Minivan will continue to have plenty of news material to report to people smart enough to realize that protecting the environment is kind of relevant to things like commercial fishing and tourism.

  5. @ha!

    I guess the turtle-eater's upset and is going to stab whoever wrote this article.


    Maybe what we need to do is enhance the turtle species - make their flesh extremely poisonous for consumption - then alter their mating habits to affect tuna migrations.

    Give or take 2-3 mass extinctions of Mordisians, they'll learn. And when they kill the turtle out of spite, they find themselves with nothing else but corals to eat.

    A fitting fate for savages like them.

  6. Dear Editor,
    Maldives is well known for its adherence to dolphin safe certification for tuna and sustainability for its fishing industry.
    However the slaughter of highly endangered species is unacceptable and is a blemish on the Maldives fishing industry.
    The dolphin safe policies signed by all Maldives tuna companies commit to no intentional catching and killing of Dolphins , sea turtles, Sharks .
    The govt owned tuna company along with the minister of fisheries must enforce the law and stop this needless slaughter of an endangered species.
    Mark Berman Earth Island Institute USA

  7. Turtle slaughter? haha.. But nobody seems to care about tuna slaughter? Tuna also a very beautiful fish so why don't somebody make a big fuss about tuna slaughter in "mas market"? As for endangered status, are we not all heading there? And these alarmist stories is never a new thing or true either. Turtle most likely will never die off and if it ever did it won't be because of Maldivians. We are just too small a country to make to be able to impact a big big world. Somebody look at google earth please!

  8. Dear Editor ,

    the last post as mis information.The Dolphin Safe Skipjack tuna are a staple in the diet of Maldives plus and important export. Skipjack tuna are healthy in the waters of the Maldives and and important source of protein. They are short lived and reproduce quickly by nature.
    Sea Turtles are ancient reptiles that are slow growth and at great risk of extinction. They are migratory and select certain islands to lay eggs. Out of a clutch of 200 eggs maybe 7 percent of the turtles will become adults. This endangered species is Cites protected and forbids trade.
    WE again call on Fisheries to implement the very strong penalty it has in place to protect sea turtles for future generations.
    Mark Berman
    Earth Island Institute USA


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