Raising Awareness on Marine Turtle Conservation in Hainan, China

Posted on 11 January 2013  | 
TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, and Hainan News Radio, in cooperation with the Haikou Branch of CITES Management Authority, the Department of Ocean & Fisheries of Hainan Province, Quinghai Radio, and Tanmen Town Government, hosted a marine turtle advocacy event called “Ocean, Home of Love” last December.

Held in a port in Tanmen—a small town in Hainan Province where fishing is a main source of livelihood—the event highlighted the problems caused by overfishing and harvesting of marine turtles and other endangered marine species.

The event involved airing public service announcements on local radio and encouraging people to pledge to help protect marine turtles by not patronizing products made out of these endangered species. Famous local celebrities also lent their support for the cause and helped educate people on the importance of conserving marine turtles.

The Coral Triangle is home to six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles, and yet thousands of them are being wiped out in the high seas due to the growing market demand from outside the region for their shells, meat, eggs, and other derivative parts.

The illegal trade of marine turtles is one of the most significant threats facing these species in the Coral Triangle region.

Hainan is one of the largest destination markets of marine turtle parts coming from Coral Triangle countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines (see report here).

This event is one of the several activities that has come out of a partnership between the WWF Coral Triangle Global Initiative and TRAFFIC, as part of a marine turtle trade campaign in Hainan, initiated to supplement marine turtle conservation efforts being done by other WWF offices within the Coral Triangle region.

See a slideshow presentation of the “Ocean, Home of Love” event here:

Before the event, advocacy recording was broadcasted around the town. Local citizens were encouraged to make a pledge to protect marine turtles, not to catch marine turtles, produce or trade marine turtle products. The youth took the lead in making this promise.
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More than 200 people made a pledge that night.
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The show lasted for two and half hours, ended with the song “Ocean, love of home” performed by a famous celebrity. Local citizens were thrilled to meet all the famous anchors and stars and got educated about marine turtle conservation by them.
© TRAFFIC Enlarge

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