Tewarie: Turtle deaths unfortunate
Whoever operated the equipment that caused the death of hundreds of leatherback turtles at Grand Riviere on Sunday should be held accountable.
This is the view of Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie.
Speaking yesterday at the Entrepreneurship in Education breakfast seminar at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port of Spain, Tewarie said: "The people who operated the equipment and the company that operated it, I don't know if it is the Ministry of Works, if is a private contractor. I think that they should be held to account."
Tewarie said there was no other response except it should not have happened.
On Sunday, a Ministry of Works excavator crushed hundreds of hatchlings while attempting to divert the river that was causing erosion of the beach front.
The Grande Riviere beach front is one of the country's largest leatherback turtle nesting sites and one of the few places on earth that the turtles come to lay their eggs.
Tewarie said now is not a time to cast blame and described the incident as "unfortunate".
Tewarie said that the country needed to learn from what happened and the Government needed to address the issue of the incompatibility of policies.
He added that the environmental challenges in the country were "very real" and pointed to the need to be very sensitive to the actions taken in addressing them.
Tewarie said that there needed to be balance between environment and development and though the country had made good progress in terms of sustainable development, there's still more to be done.
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