More awareness to stop turtle killing
Members of the public have expressed concern that turtles continue to be killed despite the enacting of local laws making it illegal.
A video, which was uploaded to the video sharing app TikTok on March 15, showed a woman holding a turtle while a man stuffed it with hot rocks and mango leaves as three unidentified men danced in the background.
The second video, also uploaded by a TikTok user with the identification number 7508587637976, showed the turtle lying on its back with more hot rocks laid on it.
A member of the public, Luna L Ape, shared the TikTok videos to her Facebook page and declared that such acts were illegal as local law prohibits the catching, killing, injuring or selling of sea turtles.
In an interview with the Samoa Observer, she said local laws were passed prohibiting such acts.
"It is illegal to kill such a rare creature! and it is written in the law and the Marine Wildlife Protection Regulations 2009 and Fisheries Regulations 1996 state that it is illegal to sell, catch, injure or kill turtles and people should report to the M.N.R.E. if they witness or know anyone violating this law,” she said.
She appealed to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and its Environment Conservation Division to raise awareness in the community, in order to stop such cruel acts against the animal.
"It is sad because other people are trying to save and preserve the turtles only to find out later that others are eating them."
Another member of the public, PJ Pulou, said he has reported the uploading of the two videos to the authorities.
"My sister was so upset when she saw the video, so was I! We will report this to the authorities and I hope that whoever sees these videos will share and report to help find the owner (of the TikTok account) as she is anonymous,” he said.
Questions have been sent to the M.N.R.E. and its Environment Conservation Division seeking their comment.