The Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) is reminding the public that the 2018 Nassau Grouper Season closed on Friday, November 30, 2018.

The Fisheries Protection Ordinance (Amendment) Regulation 12(1A) states: “The close season in relation to Nassau grouper shall be from the first day of December to the twenty-eight day of February (inclusive) in each year or such other dates as may, from time to time, be appointed by the Governor in the Gazette”.

During the closed season, any person who fishes for, purchases or is in possession of a Nassau grouper will be committing an offence that is punishable by a fine of $5,000 or six months imprisonment or both.

The DECR is urging all fishers, restaurant owners, private residents and plant owners to ensure that no Nassau grouper remains in their possession after Friday, November 30, 2018.

Please report any contravention of the Fisheries Protection Ordinance Regulations to the DECR at 338.4170 or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The DECR is seeking the cooperation of the public in the above matter.






The Turks & Caicos National Trust exist to safeguard the cultural, historical and natural heritage of the Turks and Caicos Islands. This mission is accomplished through the design and implementation of projects and programmes, involvement of the public and support of partners.


Two critical 3-year projects, in which the National Trust partners with government agencies, private sector and international conservation agencies are the ‘Securing Pockets of Paradise in the Caribbean; embedding capacity for Invasive Alien Species Management in UKOT based organisations,’ funded by the EU-Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories (BEST) project, and ‘Saving the Iguana Islands of Turks and Caicos project,’- funded by the UK Government Darwin Plus Initiative.

The aims are similar in both projects, that is; working towards eradication and control of invasive alien species through public awareness, capacity strengthening in local organization partners and conservation management.


The most recent project activities took place during mid-October through to November 2018, focusing on biosecurity trials. Monitoring activities were conducted on Big Ambergris Cay and Little Water Cay, with oversight by team specialists. The team recognizes and appreciates the support of Waterloo Investments Holdings Ltd., the company that owns Big Ambergris Cay, which holds the biggest populations of both the endemic rock iguana Cyclura carinata (Critically Endangered) and the endemic rainbow boa Chilabothrus chrysogatser (not yet assessed).


Little Water Cay staff participated in the biosecurity trials which involved constructing wooden bait stations for rodents. These stations have been placed on location to determine whether rodents prefer wooden bait stations over plastic stations, and ground-based stations over raised stations. Species activities will be monitored very closely and information fed into the biosecurity plan.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is the lead agency in both projects and a long standing partner to the National Trust. The National Trust was also very pleased to assist in coordinating high-level meetings for the RSPB with key partners and with the Minister for Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime and Gaming during this reporting period.


It was indeed gratifying working alongside RSPB representatives on yet another exhilarating phase of the project, and in particular to welcome Mr. Charlie Butt, Caribbean Territories Programme Manager to Turks and Caicos on his first visit. It was more of a reconnaissance mission for Mr. Butt, as he had recently taken up the position at RSPB.


“The Turks and Caicos Islands are home to an extraordinary array of unique and iconic species and natural habitats. It is encouraging to see so many important sites - from wetlands to tropical dry forest - and the homes for wildlife they provide intact, thanks to the partnership work and efforts of so many individuals and organisations” Charlie said, adding that “the RSPB looks forward to deepening its engagement with partners in the Turks and Caicos to ensure these special places are conserved for the wildlife they support and for generations to come.”


The Trust looks forward to continued support from the Ministry for Tourism, Environment, Heritage, Maritime and Gaming throughout the duration of the projects and beyond in safeguarding national treasures, and will strive to forge lasting relationships with international, regional and local agencies to showcase the significance of the Trust’s work in global conservation.





Occasionally biological samples are forwarded from the Turks and Caicos Islands for specialty/additional testing by our overseas partners. It is absolutely necessary for this process to be done safely so that the handlers, the general public and the environment is protected from accidental exposure and any negative outcomes. Proper packaging and transportation of biological samples also minimizes delays in transportation and faster receipt of results; this translates into timely application of appropriate healthcare interventions which lends to better health outcomes.

To further improve the service, the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA, hosted a 3-day workshop in Providenciales on the proper packaging and safe transport of biological samples for laboratory testing. The workshop, which took place from the 27th – 29th November, was based on the International Air Transport Association, IATA, guidelines and facilitated by Ms. Jenna Indarsingh, Medical Technologist, CARPHA. IATA is one of several agencies which have created guidelines regarding safe shipping practices for biological samples by air.

A total of 8 modules were completed which covered shipment of various categories of samples ranging from high risk samples to exempt samples (samples unlikely to have any negative outcome if exposure occurs). The workshop was attended by 8 healthcare professionals from across Ministry of Health, all of whom were successful in the final evaluation and are now certified to ship infectious substances.

The Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, wishes to thank CARPHA for supporting the Ministry’s continued commitment to improving the healthcare services, and protecting the health of the population in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

For more information, contact the Public Health Laboratory Director Mr. Samuel Johnson on 338-5161.