Fishermen free a leatherback turtle from their nets off the North Coast in Grande Riviere.

Kalain Hosein

It’s a story we’ve heard before—every year, thousands of turtles die inside fishermen’s nets.

In fact, you would have read the plight of both the fishermen and turtles right here in the T&T Guardian last March in our three-part series titled The Unwanted Catch.

However, one local filmmaker was also out along the North Coast and chronicling the story in the ocean.

Kaaria Quash is an environmental journalist and documentary filmmaker focusing on climate change, wildlife, and indigenous issues.

Quash ventured to the remote coasts of northern Trinidad to chronicle stories about incidental bycatch and turtle poaching.

He said, “I was back in Trinidad at the time, this was in early 2021, and I remember seeing a lot of reports like the beaches being closed and these impacting turtles and a rise in poaching because beaches closed, so that was the initial idea.”

The documentary, Caught In The Net, takes the viewer on a journey with fishermen, conservationists, game wardens, local experts, and even poachers. Stunningly, Quash also said the viewers would also learn what turtle tastes like. “Poachers were telling me, and I was kind of intrigued to find out more about it, the turtle eating process, and these guys were enthusiastic about it, you know.”

Quash is currently working on his Master’s thesis, which includes another documentary about indigenous communities in northern Canada within the Canadian Arctic.

With his background growing up in France, Trinidad, and Tobago, and now based in Canada, Quash says he plans to do more work locally.

“Trinidad is home, so I’ll always come back, obviously, and I’d like to continue doing more documentaries in Trinidad because honestly, we have so much wildlife. It’s like untapped potential for nature documentaries.”