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Barbados: Soca on the Beach cancelled after complaints about endangering turtles

Hours after the Sea Turtle Project accused the organisers of the Soca on the Beach of endangering the sea turtle habitat at Drill Hall Beach, the event has been cancelled.

This afternoon representatives from Yello Barbados and 4D Entertainment met with acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw; Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey; Minister of the Environment and National Beautification Trevor Prescod; and Clara McNeil of the Barbados Sea Turtle Project to discuss the cancellation of the free event which was expected to attract 2, 000 patrons.

Speaking at the Drill Hall Beach site, Bradshaw said there needs to be open channels of communication between environmentalists, the National Conservation Commission and event promoters to ensure that the nesting areas remain protected in the midst of the partying season.

“We are all cognizant that this is a popular beach but at the same time we have a responsibility to the marine life to ensure that we protect the environment,” Bradshaw said.

“Going forward there will be collaboration between the Barbados Sea Turtle Project and the Ministry of Environment to ensure that a number of our beaches are designated not only as protected areas but also that we are able to highlight specifically where the sea turtles are located.”

Soca on the Beach organiser Rudy Maloney apologised for the cancellation of the event and assured the public that it was not the intent of the organisers to endanger the nesting grounds.

“At no time did 4D mean any harm to the turtles or the wild life in Barbados and we will work with all the entities to make sure we protect the wild life and the turtles in Barbados,” he said.

Meanwhile, McNeil of the Barbados Sea Turtle Project, who informed the public of the dangers being imposed by the event via a 24 minute video on the organisation’s Facebook page, said she was “particularly pleased” by the prompt response by ministerial official and organisers.

“Going forward, we will be able to chart a course that allows us to have events that allows Barbadians to wuk up and enjoy their soca music but turtles can also come up and nest in a safe environment,” she added.

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