PORT-OF-SPAIN: The Government of Trinidad & Tobago has placed a two-year ban on hunting in order to protect and conserve wildlife resources.
“A two-year moratorium will be placed on hunting in Trinidad & Tobago with effect from the 2013-2014 hunting season which is scheduled to commence on October 1, 2013,” said Ganga Singh, Minister of the Environment and Water Resources.
The government said that during the ban, a survey would be conducted to get a scientific appreciation of the country’s existing wildlife and natural resources.
Singh said that in addition to the ban, the Office of the Attorney General was reviewing the penalties and fines in the Conservation of Wildlife Act. He said current fines and penalty regime have done little to deter the illegal activities.
As a result, the government is proposing fines be increased from the present low of TT$400 (One TT dollar = US$0.16 cents) to as high as TT$100,000 plus jail sentences from six to 12 months. It is envisioned that these amendments will discourage individuals from contravening wildlife regulations including the two-year moratorium on hunting.
“Government is well aware of the potential socio-economic impact of these measures on communities which depend upon the hunting season to make a living,” said Singh. “However, with these new measures, those who previously made a living from killing will now be embraced by the Ministry and will be able to make a living from conserving.”