We haven’t been able to raise the large amount needed to send our undercover agent to Tobago to get footage of a clandestine slaughter. But the vital, though horrific, pictures of a turtle slaughter, and one that happened just days ago on a prominent Tobago beach, have dropped on my doorstep. So gruesome one can barely look, these pictures are testament to the fact that this terrible, brutal practise is happening and happening now. I am working with Andre Menache, a vet and scientist with 20 years experience, compiling details of all the atrocities taking place on this small paradise island in the Caribbean. They include the leatherback slaughters, the dangers to hatchlings from harsh lighting shining down on the beaches, the sand mining, and destruction of vegetation vital for the turtles’ nesting sites, and more. At the moment there is a Harvest Festival on the island which means increased killings to serve up wild meat at banquets, feasts of leatherbacks’ flippers, which is a truly horrific thing.
The blinding white lights shining down on Turtle Beach 24 hours a day mislead the tiny, vulnerable hatchlings to the roads and under cars, instead of following the light of the moon to the ocean. The loud music and festival celebrations on the beaches create vibrations which cause the baby turtles to hatch early, often during the day when they can so easily be picked off by birds.
We have been working with people in Tobago to get as much relevant information as possible, and when the full, detailed report is ready we will make our move.
Hatchlings being rescued, bad beach conditions causing them to hatch during the day
when they should come out by the light of the moon.