EMA Probes Excavation at Turtle Bay before Shark Attack

Spread the love

THE Environmental Management Authority (EMA) launches a probe into the excavation of turtle nesting grounds at Turtle Beach in Tobago. 

A video on social media showed that the area was excavated to create a watercourse. Turtle eggs were also spotted on shore.


The person on the video alleges that this took place last Thursday, the day before Englishman Peter Smith, 64, was attacked by a bull shark while swimming about ten metres from shore. He had his left hand severed. His was also wounded on the left thigh and stomach.

Responding to the footage, the EMA has mobilised its Environmental Police Unit in Tobago, along with officials from the Division of Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment, and Sustainable Development of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) to  conduct an on-site investigation to assess the extent of the damage inflicted on Tuesday. This was stated in a release.


The destruction of the Turtle Beach nesting site is particularly concerning as leatherback turtles, designated as Environmentally Sensitive Species (ESS), are legally protected, the release stated.

 The EMA stated that it was important to preserve the habitat, especially during the turtles’ nesting season spanning from March to September.

Under Section 62(d) of the Environmental Management Act, Chap. 35:05, any unauthorised activity that adversely affects an ESS is deemed unlawful. Offenders face severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to two years and a fine of $100,000.


The public is urged to assist in identifying those responsible for the act by providing any  evidence, including videos or photographs capturing the equipment involved in the clearing.

Reports can be submitted through the EMA’s Hotline at 367-8824 or via email at complaints@ema.co.tt. Additionally, individuals can contact 226-4EMA (4362) Ext #5.


Support independent journalism. AZP News is an independent news organisation that is not affiliated with any big business and depends solely on advertising to pay our bills. Therefore, we are asking for the generosity of our readers to help us with small donations of any amount, but we will be happy with $20, $50 or $100. Click Here to Donate


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *