Legal Protection of Turtles


Five species of turtles occur in the sea around Sri Lanka and they come to the shore for breeding.
All the species of Turtles are strictly protected under sub-section (2) of Section 30 of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance. (FFPO).
Hence it is an offence to:
*kill it,
* injure or harm,
*keep in possession an animal(dead or live), or any part of it,
*sell or expose to sell any animal(dead or live) or any part of it,
*use any implement,device or implement,or substance to commit any of the above offences.
** All offences against this species are cognizable and non-bailable too.
Hence,the digging for turtle eggs,keeping them or offering them for sale and the making,keeping,offering for sale of any ornament or article made from the scutes of the Hawksbill Turtle( known in trade as Tortoiseshell) are all prohibited at present.
The first species of turtle to be protected under FFPO was the Leatherback Turtle.It was included by the amendment to the FFPO done in 1970.The other four species were added by an order in 1972.They were made Strictly Protected Species by the amendment in 2009.

Jagath Gunawardana Attorney-at-law

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