Turtle Shells and Derivatives | WWF

Turtle Shells and Derivatives

Posted on
25 November 2010
The declining marine turtle populations in Fiji has become a growing concern over recent years. Unlimited exploitation of marine turtles for both subsistence and traditional purposes have imposed a threat to these vulnerable turtle populations.

Vei tayaki (1995) explained that the use of marine turtles in traditional occasions is unlimited where the number of tur tles exploited represents the success per catch per effort in a village setting.

A few studies have illustrated the use of marine turtles in Fiji. According to Guinea (1993), a tortoise industry was thriving in Fiji in the early 1940s. In 1998, Fiji became a signatory country to the Convention on International Trading of Endangered Wild flora and fauna (CITES). Fiji later enforced the Endangered and Protected Species Act (1998) and a second Turtle Moratorium (2004 -2008) after the first from 1995 - 2000. In September 2009, a third Moratorium was endorsed and is in effect from 2009 - 2018. These policies and associated regulations contribute to the implementation of Fiji’s commitments to CITES at local level and further enhances the protection and conservation of marine turtles.

A lack of dedicated research aimed at quantifying the illegal use of marine turtles in Fiji has been one of the many factors hindering informed decision making in the conservation and management of marine turtles. In response to this a survey initiated by the Department of Environment and monitored by the Institute of Marine Resources aimed to identify the efficacy of the legally binding regulations in place. The survey was initially conducted in December 2006 with a follow up assessment in April 2007.
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