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Petition calls for a turtle sanctuary

An online pettion has been started calling for the establishing of a turtle sanctuary in the Somerset Long Bay area.

Specifically, the petition is calling for newly appointed Minister of the Environment Jeanne Atherden to “institute a no wake and no anchor zone around the Turtle Grass in the Somerset Long Bay area”.

Started by Grace Markham, who claimed to have witnessed a jet ski kill a turtle over the weekend, the petition echoes the call from a Cambridge Beaches employee who said turtles are killed “all the time” in the area due to careless boaters.

“Bermuda's history of environmental protection has been long recognised,” reads the petition, referring to legislation adopted in 1620 by Bermuda preventing the taking of juvenile turtles.

“These ancient creatures are among the most important indicators of the health of the world's marine and coastal ecosystems.

“The irresponsible use of jet skis, boats and anchors by thoughtless individuals is killing turtles and destroying their habitat in this area.

“By instituting a no wake zone we stand to enrich the area for both locals and visitors alike.”

On Tuesday, Luke Fountain, beach manager at Cambridge Beaches Resort, said he was fed up with seeing boats speed along the waters, just metres outside the no-wake zone where turtles still thrive.

A Facebookgroup has also been started garnering more than 100 ‘likes' since it was launched yesterday.

Neither the Department of Conservation Services, the Ministry of the Environment, or the Bermuda Zoological Society have responded to this newspaper's requests for comment on the matter.

Ocean dweller: An online petition has been started calling for greater protection of green turtles in the waters off of the west end after a jet ski appeared to kill a turtle near 9 Beaches, in Sandys

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Published May 29, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm)

Petition calls for a turtle sanctuary

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