Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Turtle killers fined $50,000

Published:Saturday | September 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM

 

Michael Harris and Clive McNuff were each fined $50,000 for breaches under the Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) when they appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Wednesday.

The men, who were filmed killing a turtle at 9 Miles in Bull Bay, St Andrew, on June 6 this year, had pled guilty to hunting a protected animal (WLPA section 6) and possessing the whole or any part of a protected animal (WLPA section 6A).

In July, Harris and McNuff were arrested and charged following an investigation by the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch.

 

Difficult to investigate

 

Miguel Nelson, manager, enforcement branch at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), praised the work of the JCF in the matter.

"Wildlife crimes are difficult to investigate because there is usually no complainant, and witnesses are unwilling to come forward. The high-level investigation by the JCF in this particular case guaranteed success," he said.

NEPA is reminding the public that turtles are protected under the WLPA, and under Section 6, individuals found guilty of hunting or in possession (whole or part) of any protected animal are liable to pay a maximum fine of $100,000 or face a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.

The agency is encouraging the public to continue to report any potential breaches of Jamaica's environmental laws to NEPA by calling 876-754-7540 or toll-free at 888-991-5005.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com