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UPY Marine Conservation - Third
'Tradition kills' - Scott Gutsy Tuason
I went to Kei to shoot leatherback turtles. On the first day out, our boat happened to witness the local villagers hunting this turtle with a harpoon. They speared it and battled with it for at least an hour. The weakened turtle was then brought near the boat, where it was bludgeoned over the head. Local law permits the killing of leatherback turtles only for subsistence and limits harvesting to one turtle a week, which is an unsustainable and unacceptable practice considering the leatherback’s endangered and protected status.
I asked permission to jump in and photograph the hunt, which used to be associated with traditional beliefs and rituals, but now mainly serves as a food source for the growing population of islanders.
Judge's comment: A very graphic image which although 'sad to see', the world needs to become moreaware of this.
- Martin Edge
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