Update from the NPS at 5:47 p.m. Sept. 18, 2015
From the National Park Service Sept. 18, 2015
Island visitors yesterday reported seeing a male with a spear gun attempting to take a live sea turtle in the ocean waters under the Frisco Pier at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
The sea turtle was struck in the back by the spear and was injured, but swam away. The Seashore and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are jointly investigating the incident.
NOAA, as the lead agency, has identified the suspect and is asking the general public for assistance in locating the injured sea turtle. If anyone finds an injured or deceased sea turtle on Hatteras Island or Ocracoke Island, please contact the National Park Service at 252-475-9010 or 9013.
Five species of sea turtles can be found on Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches: loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), Green (Cehlonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbriacata).
All are either threatened or endangered species that are afforded protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Violations involving an endangered species are punishable by fines of up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
Crimes involving threatened species have fines of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 6 months.
Seashore law enforcement rangers are working with federal, state and local authorities to solve this crime.
The Dare Community Crimeline is offering a reward for information leading to the conviction in this case. For more information, please contact:
http://darecommunitycrimeline.org, or call 252-473-3111 or 800-745-2746.