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Planet Ark World Environment News Seychelles Court Sends Turtle Poachers to Jail

Date: 21-May-04
Country: SEYCHELLES

The Indian Ocean archipelago hosts globally important populations of marine turtles, with four of the world's eight species found in the region.

But despite a government ban protecting the sea turtles, their meat is still sold on a lucrative black market. It is considered a delicacy and served in soup, curry or stir-fry.

Police said the six men were found with a total of 3,126 pounds of turtle flesh and were sentenced Wednesday to two years in jail -- the maximum penalty for poaching offences.

"We are happy that our hard efforts to crack down on turtle poachers have provided results," said police spokesman Jean Touissant. "We hope it will serve as a lesson to others."

Two of the men were also charged with killing 40 protected boobies, a bird endemic to the Seychelles.

It was the second time turtle poachers in Seychelles have been convicted. In March, five men were fined $7,000 each for possessing turtle meat.

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Reuters
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