World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


TRAFFIC Urges Consumers Not To Buy Marine Turtle Products

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release

TRAFFIC Urges Consumers Not To Buy Marine Turtle Products After New Report Highlights Ongoing Illegal Trade

Beijing, China, 1st November 2012—TRAFFIC is urging holiday makers not to buy marine turtle products through broadcasts in Hainan Province on local radio FM886.

The FM886 radio campaign aims to raise awareness among local fishermen, souvenir shop owners and tourists about the ongoing poaching, illegal processing and trade in marine turtles. Three key messages are being broadcasted at least nine times per day until March 2013.

Hainan Province was chosen for the campaign after ongoing TRAFFIC market surveys found the illegal trade in marine turtle parts rising there and in Guangxi Province. In 2009, TRAFFIC surveys found 4,812 marine turtle products for sale in 57 shops in Hainan, while in July 2012 the number had risen to 11,255 products in 92 shops.

The survey results were revealed today in a new report, Market Forces – An Examination of Marine Turtle Trade in China and Japan. The report finds significant growth of the trade in China and persistent demand from the bekko industry in Japan as factors influencing source country turtle populations in the Coral Triangle region, particularly Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Asian countries, especially China and Japan, have a long history of using marine turtles and their products as luxury goods, souvenirs and traditional medicine.

“With Hainan a popular holiday destination and many thousands of visitors each year, there is a huge demand for souvenirs, but we would urge visitors not to buy goods made from marine turtles, which are being sold illegally,” said James Compton, TRAFFIC’s Senior Programme Director for Asia & the Pacific.

“Anyone buying or selling such goods faces prosecution and harsh sentences under Chinese law and is guilty of contributing to the decline in marine turtle populations throughout the region.”

Marine turtles are poached for their tortoiseshell scutes as well as for their meat and eggs. All species are banned from international commercial trade under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), and in China they are listed as national second-class protected animals under the Wild Animal Protection Law.

In Japan, a persistent demand exists for highly decorative bekko pieces manufactured from Hawksbill Turtle shells, while in China the main demand is for jewellery and whole ornamental specimens, as well as scutes for use in traditional medicine.

Significantly, the Chinese government has acknowledged the seriousness of this problem and in June this year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Public Security and General Customs launched a joint enforcement action against the illegal trade.

TRAFFIC has supported this initiative through working with local government authorities. In July 2012, more than 110 fisheries enforcement officers from 29 border checkpoints, along with 10 officers from the Industry & Commerce department and border police took part in an enforcement training workshop supported by TRAFFIC in Haikou, Hainan Province.

In Malaysia and the Philippines, where marine turtles are sourced, TRAFFIC provided similar training in 2011 for 30 enforcement officials working inside one of the Coral Triangle’s transboundary protected areas. Trainings in Indonesia and Viet Nam are also pending. These activities are being conducted under the auspices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN). They have been accompanied by a review of national laws pertaining to turtles in Southeast Asia.

“Strengthening law enforcement is critical to deterring the illegal trade in marine turtles and the poaching of these animals in source regions,” said Lida Pet Soede, leader of WWF’s Coral Triangle Programme, based in Indonesia.

“We are happy to see the Chinese government paying increased attention to this illegal trade as part of its focus on combating the wildlife crime whose consequences are felt well beyond China’s borders.”

TRAFFIC’s work on combating the illegal trade and reducing the demand for marine turtle products in China is generously supported by WWF’s Coral Triangle Programme.

--

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

About TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of IUCN and WWF.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news