The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) says it "strongly condemns" the ill-treatment of a leatherback turtle, an environmentally sensitive species, as shared recently via video post on Facebook.
The post made by a concerned individual shows a few persons harassing a leatherback turtle attempting to return to sea.
The EMA is appealing to citizens to refrain from harming environmentally sensitive species such as the turtle featured on the video, and all wildlife in general.
It says it is especially disheartening that after concerted efforts by government and non-governmental entities to sensitise persons against sitting or riding on the carapace of leatherback turtles, this is still happening now.
Members of the public are reminded that under the Environmental Management Act, any person who knowingly harms environmentally sensitive species is liable to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for two years.
The EMA says it will conduct further investigations into this incident with a view to determining the relevant enforcement actions to be taken.
The statement by the EMA adds that it will also collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries on other possible actions to be taken as the leatherback turtle is protected under the Conservation of Wildlife Act.
It says citizens should make every effort to live in harmony with nature and take personal responsibility for all aspects of the environment.