A man who was keeping baby turtles has been fined MVR 149,000.
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday revealed that Mohamed Musthafa from Maakurathu in Raa atoll was fined after he confessed to the police that he was keeping the protected animals.
Reportedly, he was keeping 12 baby turtles – although the type of turtle that he was keeping was not specified.
Turtles have been declared a protected species under the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act, and keeping marine turtles is strictly prohibited in the Maldives.
Until last year, there was a Presidential Decree prohibiting catching or killing of any turtle species for a 10-year period. The decree came into effect under the Fisheries Law; however, after the Decree expired, the mandate for protecting turtles was moved to the Environment Ministry. The indefinite ban on turtle harvesting was enacted in 2016.