Cuba Bans Turtle Hunt to Protect Species

Recently, we noted that the end of the United States' economic embargo against Cuba could be bad news for the Caribbean nation's impressive successes in environmental protection. In the meantime, however, Cuba continues to enact cutting edge environmental policies, distinguishing it from its Latin neighbors and island nations around the world.

Setting yet another high standard, Cuba this weekend outlawed the hunt of endangered marine turtles, Reuters's environmental news service reported. For several years, Cuba has had a legal fishery quota of 500 hawksbill turtles a year to maintain its export of turtle shells, but has responded to entreaties from conservationists to ban hunting. According to the Cuban Fisheries Ministry's director of regulations, the ban will remain in effect until there is sufficient scientific evidence that the species is recovering.

Two fishing communities that still hunted turtles, Nuevitas in Camaguey province and Cocodrilo on the Isle of Youth, will receive funding from the Canadian International Development Agency to find alternative sources of income and modernize their fishing fleets. The World Wildlife Fund is also working with Cuban fishermen to develop new sustainable economic opportunities.:: Via Planet Ark

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