September 17, 2021

Cayman Island Turtle FARM is no more – it is a CENTRE: Island Wildlife Encounter

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screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-9-33-28-amBy Georgina Wilcox

In a press release sent out by the Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter it has changed its name from Cayman Turtle Farm because, “It has also undergone many name changes, along with steady development and is purported to be one of the world’s leading centres for turtle conservation, education and research.”

The release even gives us a brief history of the importance turtles “have played an important role in the history of the Cayman Islands. The turtling industry of yesteryear served a two-fold purpose; to provide food and generate income. However, by the second half of the twentieth century turtle numbers had diminished so much, sea turtles were becoming endangered species. Mariculture Ltd (the first official company name of the turtle farm) began operations in 1968 with a simple goal to meet the demand for turtle meat and other turtle products by breeding and raising turtles in captivity, without diminishing the wild population.”

The release stresses that turtle conservation continues to be its central purpose. “The farm has released over 31,000 farm-bred turtles into the wild – an unrivalled figure by any other turtle conservation organization,” it said.

“To reflect the company’s widening scope, “Cayman Turtle Farm: Island Wildlife Encounter” is changing its name to better represent the fundamental mission and impact that the park already has. The name will now be, “Cayman Turtle Centre: Island wildlife Encounter.” It will continue to serve schools, conserve turtles, and collaborate with other research establishments.

“However, there will be a separate brand called “Cayman Turtle Products” which will continue to serve the needs of the Cayman community by providing the only legal source of farmed turtle meat in the Cayman Islands, thereby reducing the risk to the wild sea turtle population by removing the attractiveness of illegal turtle poaching.”

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