January 27, 2022

The Editor Speaks: All is not peace and tranquility at Turtle Farm

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Colin Wilsonweb2The Cayman Islands Turtle Farm is a red hot potato

“The Cayman Turtle Farm is the last sea turtle farm on earth that breeds sea turtles for human consumption. But there is no humane way to farm sea turtles.
“The problem
“Sea turtles are solitary, migratory creatures, born to swim long distances in clear waters. They are wild animals. So imagine the cruelty of trapping one in a small filthy tank. Now imagine hundreds, thousands. Packed together, the 9,500 turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm spend their whole lives fighting for space in cramped tanks. They get sick and stressed. They turn on each other – biting and maiming one another.
“Tourists visiting the farm are encouraged to handle the turtles, not realizing that this causes the turtles mental torment. Tourists are targeted again when these same turtles are slaughtered and served as steaks and burgers in local restaurants.
These amazing and endangered creatures deserve a better, more natural life.”
From World Animal Protection (WAP)

The WAP has been a huge thorn in the side of successive governments clamouring for the closure of the Turtle Farm and organising petitions for its removal.

The Turtle Farm have been fighting back and brought in their own experts who said things were not right but not as bad as the WAP were making out. They made recommendations and Tim Adams, the Turtle Farm Managing Director, has been saying all the findings and recommendations would be adhered to.

We have not heard a word since if that has been implemented and if not why not and if yes when and how much.

What we didn’t hear was there was an infection at the Farm LAST YEAR and a staggering 1,268 green sea turtles over four months old died.

I doubt we would have heard until a “whisper” was heard that prompted silence from the Farm until a Freedom of Information Request was made followed by a request for subsequent appeal for Cayman Turtle Farm board meeting minutes.

The requests were made by the Cayman Compass in November 2014 and finally received them with heavily redacted minutes in late January and early February this year.

This necessitated an appeal over the redactions and finally a new set was handed over with not so many redactions.

Of course there were reasons given for the heavy redacted minutes – untrained staff, over caution by the Information Manager, person not being familiar with the law, little outside advice, lack of support, and concerns over revealing commercially sensitive information.

When you have over a thousand turtles dying of a disease I can understand you not wanting to reveal that! Commercially damaging if you are trying to sell the meat.

Tim Adam did apologise saying, “A lot of things were redacted that should have been released.”

Following on this and I have no idea if there is anything to link it to the above story, but CITN/Cayman 27, Cayman’s TV station, showed a video of Tim Adam berating a member of his staff during an internal disciplinary procedure meeting.

It was a cell phone video and appeared on various social networks including Facebook.

Adam did his cause no good at all when he sent the following statement to the TV station:

““I will be very disappointed if you or any other of Cayman’s news media actually run this as a story. It will set a new low point for the profession of journalism if respectable news media channels will allow itself to be used by disgruntled employees to surreptitiously and without knowledge or consent of the other parties, record and subsequently create a media circus out of a video or audio recording of what was expected and intended to be a confidential process between an employee, his line manager, the organization’s head of Human Resources and the organization’s chef executive. Two wrongs don’t make a right. [If you do end up running the story please be sure any other quotation of me is prefixed by the full text of this foregoing paragraph]

“In regard to the matter at hand, I consider it would be inappropriate for me to speak in any detail regarding the particular employee or any investigation of his wrongdoing that may have triggered the employee’s actions. In addition to the commonly accepted standards of practice and propriety in such instances, the timeless wisdom encapsulated in Proverbs 26:4 comes to mind.”

“Finally on a personal basis I am determined that any member of my staff at any level who persists in acting outside of our processes for attendance, attempting to intimidate, harass or insult any member of staff or management at whatever level, will be dealt with according to their level of insubordination or immaturity and if it turns out I need to speak loud, shout, or walk out of a room to signify what is entirely unacceptable in our organization, I will do so and I expect our management team to do no less either. If polite and calm intervention does not work, sometimes a louder voice can bring an unruly individual to attention and as annoying and unnatural as it is to me to have to invoke those measures, rest assured I will if that is what it takes to bring a matter to a prompt and effective conclusion. I regard that as an essential part of the responsibilities of leadership and good governance of our organization and its efforts. Our colleagues, our shareholder and our customers deserve no less.”

To read the whole statement, go to: http://www.cayman27.com.ky/2015/10/05/review-after-meeting-video-leaked

I let you judge if you think Adam’s “louder voice” illustrates the actual manner in which he spoke to the individual. I would think his colleagues, his shareholder and his customers deserve a LOT less. To me it sounded and looked like he had lost complete self control.

None of this paints a picture of peace and tranquility.

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