Posted on 19 May 2009
When TRAFFIC completed a review of the exploitation, trade, and management of marine turtles in 11 countries and territories in the Northern Caribbean in 2001, the overall picture revealed was a patchwork of national management regimes. Some countries had allocated significant resources to manage and conserve marine turtles, while next to nothing has been done in others. Relevant regulations were rigidly enforced in some territories; in others, for a variety of reasons, enforcement was virtually absent.
This comprehensive review of exploitation, trade and management of marine turtles in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) highlights findings related to the legal framework for marine turtle management, patterns of domestic exploitation and use and international trade, and a variety of core management issues, including population monitoring, fishery controls and law enforcement.
While there have been many advancements over the past half-century in our understanding of marine turtle biology and of the management needs of these species, the review concludes that actual management of marine turtles, and of marine turtle exploitation in particular, has in many ways not kept pace with this understanding nor with the contemporary scope of threats to their survival.
The report documents the implications of management shortcomings in one country for the management and conservation efforts being made in others and, finally, calls attention to a range of activities that are being undertaken at the national level to address these problems and which could be expanded or adapted across the region.