Cayman Turtle Centre
The people of the Cayman Islands have a history tied to the turtle. In the 1600 and 1700’s the Cayman Islands became a provisioning stop for vessels sailing the Caribbean because of an abundance of green sea turtles, which could be caught and kept alive on board as a source of fresh meat. Permanent settlements developed on the Cayman Islands in the seventeenth century and turtling became a means of income as well as providing a local source of food.
However, the turtles around the islands were depleted by the early 1800’s and the turtling industry focused around the Miskito Cays off the coast of Nicaragua. The Cayman turtling fleet continued operating at a sustained level until the early 1900’s. By this time turtle populations were dwindling and, in subsequent years, national and international regulations and alternative sources of income reduced the turtling industry to a negligible level. The appearance of the turtle on the Cayman Islands’ flag, seal and currency reflects the close association the people have to the turtle.
Cayman Turtle Centre was established in 1968 as Mariculture Ltd. by a group of investors from the United States and Great Britain as a facility to raise the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, for commercial purposes. The intention was to supply the market with a source of product that did not deplete the wild populations further. By releasing turtles and facilitating research, any harm created by removing turtles and eggs from the wild would be mitigated.
The Cayman Islands Government purchased this turtle facility in 1983 and has since operated it as a private company, Cayman Turtle Centre (1983) Ltd. The goal of this new company is to produce enough turtles to supply the needs of the local Caribbean market and continue releasing turtles. The centre has also become the largest land based attraction on the Cayman Islands.
Would you like to tour the Turtle Centre? Swim with the turtles? CaribbeanDays can not only book your villa stay; but can book your tour at the Cayman Turtle Centre. Contact us!
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