Environment TOBAGOFocus On Tobago´s Environment
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Biting the Hand That Feeds You
Tourists visiting Little Tobago must be accompanied by an official guide. One such guide ran after and caught an iguana in full view of his group of tourists. He carried it with him for the rest of the tour and took it back with him on the return journey on the boat. Many of the tourists became angry and objected only to be told that it was all right, he had many more at home. (The guide has since been given a formal reprimand by the Forestry Division.)

Buyer Beware!
A tourist was offered black coral jewellery on a popular Tobago beach. She questioned the vendor on the legality of purchasing and was told that the jewellery was
”officially approved by government”. A little too gullible, she bought. There is no such thing as ”officially approved” coral jewellery. It is illegal to take it out of T & T. If found at Customs, the items will be confiscated and the owner may be subject to a stiff fine.

There is a large shop on the way to Speyside that sells large coral pieces as objects of art, and small pieces as jewellery. When asked about it, they said the pieces washed ashore. They were in perfect condition, which indicates that they were in fact taken by divers.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go to the Beach
A local resident saw two trucks, a back-hoe and seven men working on the beach. They had filled both trucks with sand and were about to leave as he pulled a video-camera from his car and began to film from the public road. The men shouted obscenities and one truck pulled out on the road and headed straight for him. When he jumped into the bush at the side of the road, two men got out of the truck with a cutlass and a 2 X 4 in hand and chased him. He out ran them and escaped. His video was aired on TV-6.

Mistaken Identity
Drivers of several large dump trucks carrying construction debris seem to have a mistaken a cliff overlooking the sea near Buccoo for the Studley Park landfill. They dumped their loads over the edge. Out of sight on land, illegal dumping such as this ruins the beauty of our coasts as viewed from the sea by those on cruise ships, yachts, boat tours, and divers and pollutes our coastal waters.

Divers Shocked!
Two writers from two of the largest and most widely read travel agent publications in the United States were touring Tobago with a group of writers hosted by T & T's public relations company. They went diving as part of the tour. The dive master from a well known Tobago dive shop pulled up coral. The writers said the whole group was ”shocked”. One of the most basic rules of diving is to never break off live coral. This incident can only hurt the dive business in Tobago. One would think that the managers/owners of dive shops and their dive masters, whose economic survival depends on the health and preservation of the reefs, would understand this.

Triple Murder
A peaceful evening at one of Tobago’s most beautiful fishing villages. A visiting couple are out for a late night stroll on the beach. They can't believe their good fortune as they see a giant leatherback turtle laboriously making her way up out of the sea after a thousand mile journey to lay her eggs on the beach.

From out of nowhere come a group of men. Cutlasses flash in the moonlight and the horrified couple watch as the turtle is killed before their eyes, the carcass dragged off into the bush.

Turning away from this gruesome sight they are amazed to see another of the ancient creatures lumbering unto the beach. The men are unto the second turtle and waste no time converting it to meat.

The couple walk further down the beach only to see a third leatherback (three turtles emerging in one night on one beach is a rare occurrence these days). They already know what will happen. The men, who can't believe their good luck, converge on the helpless turtle and butcher her on the spot.

To Preserve and Protect
A boat comes onshore and a man known to be a policeman disembarks carrying a sackful of pelican and Man-o-War birds. All sea-birds are officially protected on Tobago and internationally. But the Village Harvest is soon. Must have some wild meat in the pot! Another policeman boasts of killing eighteen iguanas and sending some of the meat to friends in the United States. Preserving and protecting our environment does not seem to be a high priority for some of our policemen.

Where IS That Dump?
In the Belmont area of Speyside a THA Works Division dump truck loaded with garbage is seen heading down a dirt road towards the sea. Reaching a convenient cliff, over goes the garbage.

Destroy a river to get the aggregate to build a road so tourists can get to the river??? Click here.
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