Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said she was saddened by the killing of hundreds of turtle hatchlings at Grand Riviere beach, along the north east coast last weekend.
Persad-Bissessar was responding to questions from the media on the issue following the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Wednesday, at Tower D, Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain.
The Express, in an exclusive report, revealed the killing of hundreds of turtles that were crushed by excavators from the Works Ministry used to divert a river.
The turtle massacre prompted a visit from a team of ministers including Minister of the Environment and Water Resources Ganga Singh and Tourism Minister Stephen Cadiz, who surveyed the site on Tuesday.
Persad-Bissessar said she endorses the statement issued by Singh.
Singh said on Monday while the loss of turtles at Grande Riviere was regrettable, human lives may have been lost to the erosion caused by the meandering Grande Riviere River.
In a media statement, the minister said remedial earthworks on the beach were done after extensive consultation with the relevant agencies, including the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) and the Wildlife and Forestry Division.
"This was deemed an emergency due to the drastic and sudden erosion that had taken place in an extremely short space of time," Singh said.
He added that the Ministry was concerned with the welfare of both the community and the marine life that lives on and utilises the beach and it was this concern upon which discussions with stakeholders were based.
"Unfortunately, in its efforts to halt the degradation of the area, some of the eggs and hatchlings there have been negatively affected," Singh stated.
Persad-Bissessar said, "I know the Minister of the Environment has issued statements on the matter and I endorse the statements he has made. Indeed we are saddened by what has happened but I endorse his comments on the matter," she said.
The killing of the turtles attracted global attention as it was reported by several international media houses.
Asked whether she believes there would be a negative fallout, the Prime Minister responded, "We would trust not but we will see how it develops, Minister Ganga Singh issued a statement dealing with the matter, I understand that he has indicated that the matter was blown out of proportion, but even if it one turtle lost, I know we feel it, everyone feels it, I endorse his statements."