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Friday 21 September 2018
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Excavation at Las Cuevas turtle nesting site

Still image from a video taken by Fishermen and Friends of teh Sea of excavation near the shore on Las Cuevas Bay.

KALIFA CLYNE

Yesterday, environmental activist Gary Aboud shared a video of an excavator, employed by a private developer, digging up sand at one of the country’s turtle nesting sites, Las Cuevas Bay.

A release from Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) president Terrence Beddoe said excavators are modifying the course of the Las Cuevas River, where it meets the beach.

Beddoe said he believed the property developer had no approval from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to modify this recognised turtle-nesting beach.

When contacted, EMA chairman Nadra Nathai-Gyan said the EMA’s emergency unit had been dispatched, as it seemed unlikely the authority would approve such activity so close to a nesting site.

Yesterday, FFOS called for full government support and an emergency response from the EMA to apply the full weight of the law, including fines and imprisonment, to protect the leatherback and green-turtle nesting site from “reckless and illegal bulldozing being conducted in open defiance of the law by the developer.”

Beddoe said the nesting sites are fragile coastal ecosystems and must be fully protected by the law, especially from developers who continue to knowingly violate and degrade the environment.

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