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

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news