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PRESS RELEASE
30th December 2014

Regarding recent disturbing images of cruelty against Marine Turtles in Maldives

ECOCARE Maldives strongly condemns the acts of cruelty against the Marine Turtle by individuals and communities in the Maldives. We call for immediate action from relevant authorities to stop such atrocities against protected marine species in the country. We are outraged by the lack of adequate enforcement measures in place by relevant authorities to protect these marine species in the country.

Marine Turtle species are classified as threatened with extinction by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Three species are considered Critically Endangered (Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Kemp’s Ridley), two are considered Endangered (Green, and Loggerhead), one is considered Vulnerable (Olive Ridley), and one (Flatback) is listed as Data Deficient. Five species of Marine Turtles are found in the Maldives (Hawksbill, Leatherback, Green, Loggerhead and Olive Ridley), from which four are known to nest in the Maldives.

As early as the 1980s ECOCARE Maldives and its founder members advocated and lobbied for the protection and conservation of the Marine Turtle in the country, after years of continued activism, with assistance from international organizations such as Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) – London, ECOCARE Maldives was able to play a vital role in the protection of the species in the country. Today the Marine Turtle continues to be under threat as it is protected in the Maldives, sadly only on paper!

At this time we would like to highlight and remind all authorities; the most recent legislative measure to conserve the Marine Turtle came to effect from January 2006, as an extension of a previous 10-year moratorium, which ended in June 2005. Therefore a second extension of this moratorium is in effect from 2006 to 2016. This decree came into effect under section 10 of Fisheries Law no. 5/87. Also note, according to institutional arrangements the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture is legally responsible for the conservation of Marine Turtles in the Maldives.

For more information contact

Maeed M. Zahir
+960 7873692
Programmes and Advocacy
ECOCARE Maldives

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