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Endangered Turtles Given Helping Hand in Cuba
By Wendy Heller, January 23, 2008 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Iol.co.za
The decision was applauded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a lifeline to all turtle species hatching on beaches throughout the Caribbean, but above all the critically endangered hawksbill turtle.

The ban took effect this weekend, said the Cuban Fisheries Ministry's director of regulations, Elisa Garcia. She said it would remain in effect "until it is scientifically proven that the species is recovering".

"This far-sighted decision represents an outstanding outcome for Cuba, for the wider Caribbean and for conservation," said the WWF species programme director, Dr Susan Lieberman.

For many years, Cuba had a legal fishery quota of 500 hawksbills a year to keep up its export of turtle shells, but has finally acted on the pleas of conservationists.

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