A man who kept a group of baby turtles as pets in a home in R. Maakurath has been fined MVR 149,000 over the offense.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a statement regarding the case this Monday, in which the agency said the suspect, Mohamed Musthafa from Haki in R. Maakurath had confessed to catching 12 baby turtles and keeping them as pets.
The baby turtles were found and released into the ocean in a joint operation by EPA and the police in September.
EPA stated that Musthafa was fined as he had violated the law, despite it being clearly written in Environmental Protection and Conservation Act that capturing, keeping or harming a protected species of turtle or tortoise is prohibited.
All species of turtles and tortoise in Maldives were declared protected on April 4, 2016.
EPA has been taking strict legal action against any violations in accordance with the Regulation for Fines and Compensation for Environmental Damage.