In 2002 the Government of Belize passed new regulations that protected all sea turtles. Some illegal take for consumption does still occur, and it is possible to find jewelry made of tortoiseshell in select markets throughout Belize. However, each year fewer and fewer instances are reported, and whenever possible fines issued by the Fisheries Department. Be sure to report any illegal harvest or confinement of sea turtles to the Belize Fisheries Department immediately at 224-4552.
Dec 2011 - Punta Gorda - Green & Loggerheads
Concerned citizens in Punta Gorda observed a pickup truck dumping the carcasses of three sea turtles at the dump in Punta Gorda on Dec 12, 2011 and called and reported this illegal activity to TIDE. The Fisheries Department and TIDE found the fishermen with turtle nets drying in his yard and turtle meat in his freezer. The man was brought to court and fined $500.
For the full report prepared by TIDE click the report image.
Confiscated Live Sea Turtles
Occasionally there are fishermen and others that think no harm is done when sea turtles are taken from their environment to be held as pets. Of course sea turtles are wild animals and as such need to be left in the sea to live their lives. The saying, "If you love something set if free" applies especially in these cases.
Green - Jan 2012
The Fisheries Department received reports from a concerned citizen of a sea turtle crossing a road in San Ignacio. When Fisheries Department personnel visited the site they found that a fishermen had brought the turtle home as a pet. Fisheries confiscated the turtle and observed it prior to release.
Report Illegal Take of Turtles