Those of you who know me realize I am by no means a tree hugger, although when it comes to certain things I do find myself thinking more along Preservationist lines..
One such area is the harvesting of reptiles, namely turtles, in our part of the world. According to the MNR, those residents with valid Ontario license are actually allowed to harvest snapping turtles for consumption, although I have yet to meet anyone who does it.
The daily bag limit for Ontario is two snapping turtles per person with a possession limit of 5, however the commercial sale of any turtle species is illegal and the harvest of those species besides the snapping turtle is also illegal.
This past weekend I was sickened to hear a story that occurred on the very lake my trailer is on, and where I fish (& practice catch & release) every weekend.
Apparently a group of visitors to the lake were seen catching and removing a ‘cooler full’ of turtles and then dividing them up in garbage bags at the end of the day. And it wasn’t just snapping turtles either, there were apparently other species including the rare spotted turtle in there as well.
Hey, this sounds a lot like poaching to me!
Evidently they had harvested the turtles to use for turtle soup, or perhaps they were selling them, who really knows!
The whole story made me sick to my stomach and I wish I had been there at the time. My next step now is to report the incident to a law enforcement official with the Pembroke District.
I know for a fact that the selling of turtles is illegal, after hearing about a Cornwall man who was fined $4,000 for selling turtles on the internet. That man was convicted on eight charges related to illegally selling and offering to sell protected turtle species under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
Maybe its just me but I believe there is something really wrong with this..and I plan to find out what these people are doing with all the turtles.