SWOT Threat Series #2: Direct Take

This is the second issue of a new online series on the biggest threats to sea turtles by State of the World's Sea Turtles (SWOT). This issue has been written by Brad Nahill, SEE Turtles.

 

Direct take of sea turtles is nothing new. Sea turtles have been consumed for their eggs, meat, and shells for thousands of years, by indigenous people’s and political elites and everyone in between. It wasn’t until the 1800’s though that the global scale of the sea turtle trade became large enough to become an extinction threat for some species.

In the mid-1900’s, conservation efforts started in many places around the world, and those efforts are now bearing fruit in increasing populations. The past 15 years of SWOT Reports have contained many stories of communities coming together to figure out creative ways to protect turtles from non-sustainable or commercial take, while allowing for traditional use where possible. Among these are hopeful stories of the recovery of sea turtles in places like Ascension Island, Colola Beach (Mexico) and Hawaii; new community-based conservation programs and MPA’s in Indonesia, Nicaragua, Mozambique, the Andamans, and Micronesia; innovative outreach campaigns in Mexico, El Salvador, and São Tomé; and policy changes in Indonesia, the Bahamas, and elsewhere. It’s not all good news however. The persistent tortoiseshell trade still happens in many places around the world and large seizures of carapaces continue in Southeast Asia.

The COVID-19 pandemic so far appears to be a mixed bag for sea turtles around the world despite some flashy headlines. In places like Florida, the lack (until now) of people on the beach and in boats looks like a net benefit for sea turtles with reduced boat strikes, nest disturbances, and beachfront lighting. But in many places, the combination of locals desperate for food and income and no international volunteers to help fund the work and patrol the beaches, has resulted in some reports of increased egg collection and turtle hunting. Hopefully one of the results of this situation will be a new normal in places where people have crowded turtles out, while encouraging people to travel in a new way that supports the wildlife and communities they visit.

I hope you enjoy the engaging and beautiful SWOT Report articles below that touch on some of the many facets of the impacts and avoidance of sea turtle direct take.

Stay safe, and see you soon on the beach!

  1. Mortimer, J. A. 2006. Simple, Yet Effective: Protection at the Nesting Beach. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 1, 8.
  2. Rice, R. 2006. Understanding the Incentive - How one Community Conserves Turtle, Reef and Forest. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 1, 23.
  3. Putra, K., & Bailey, L. M. 2007. Curbing the Balinese Sea Turtle Trade. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 2, 30-31.
  4. Broderick, A. 2007. Recovery at Ascension. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 2, 14.
  5. Matsuzawa, Y. 2007. Japan: Looking Beyond the Nesting Beach. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 2, 16.
  6. Marsh, J., & Nichols, W. J. 2007. Making the Connection: Human Health and Sea Turtle Consumption. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 2, 39.
  7. Chandi, M. 2008. Traditional Sensibility in the Andamans. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 3, 21.
  8. 2008. Big Conservation Impact from a Small Island. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 3, 27.
  9. Pilcher, N. J., Chan E. H., & Trono, R. 2008. Mass Turtle Poaching: A case Study from Southeast Asia. 2008. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 3, 26.
  10. Donnelly, M. 2008. Trade Routes for Tortoiseshell. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 3, 24-25.
  11. Gaos, A., Yañez, I., & Nichols, W. J. 2008. ¡CAREY! Where Have the Eastern Pacific Hawksbills Gone? SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 3, 18-19.
  12. Ciccione, S. 2009. From Corail to Kélonia: A New Chapter in Indian Ocean Sea Turtles. 2009. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 4, 27.
  13. Bjorndal, K. A., & Bolten., A. B. 2010. Policy Changes Protect Sea Turtles in The Bahamas: Long-term Efforts Rewarded. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 5, 17.
  14. Shanker, K. 2010. Gahirmatha - The Beach Beyond the Forest. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 5, 31.
  15. Matarasso, M., & Yarnell, L. 2010. Changing Our Behaviour, Changing Our World. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 5, 38-39.
  16. Donnelly, M. 2011. Sea Turtles and CITES. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 6, 42-43.
  17. Pilcher, N. J. 2011. Haiwaii's Unique Turtles. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 6, 10-11.
  18. Muurmans, M. 2011. Community Conservation Programs Built to Last. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 6, 22-23.
  19. Urteaga, J., Torres, P., & Gaos, A. 2011. Egg Collection for Conservation. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 6, 37-39.
  20. Gjertsen, H. 2011. What's A Turtle Worth? SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 6, 40-41.
  21. Liles, M., Gadea, V., Henriquez, A., Altamirano, E., Melero, D., Urteaga, J., Torres, P., Yañez, I., & Gaos, A. 2014. The Hawksbill Cup - A Social Innovation Helps Save Turtles Through Sport. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 9, 30-31.
  22. Humber, F. 2014. The Importance of Setting Baseline for Assessing the Direct Take of Turtles. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 9, 10-11.
  23. Cruce, J., & Rulmal, J. 2014. Continuity in a Community Setting - The Ulithi Marine Turtle Program. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 9, 14-15.
  24. D'Cruze, N., Balaskas, M., Morrison, T., & Alcock, R. 2015. Sea Turtle Farming - Past, Present, and Future? SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 10, 26-27.
  25. Lagueux, C. J., & Campbell, C. L. 2016. Caught in a Net - Green Turtles and The Turtle People of Nicaragua. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 11, 34-35.
  26. Vieira, S., Jimenez, V., & Hancock, J. 2016. Viva Tartaruga - Getting the Word Out in Creative Ways. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 11, 32-33.
  27. Ferreira Airaud, B., Regalla, A., Barbosa, C., & Betunde, D. 2016. Conservation Progress in the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 11, 40-41.
  28. Silva, I. 2017. Magic & Mixed feelings in Turtle Paradise. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 12, 44-45.
  29. Nahill, B., & Nichols, W. J. 2017. Tortoiseshell Too Rare to Wear. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 12, 35.
  30. Delgado Trejo, C. 2018. Michoacán's Black Turtle: Back from the Brink. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 13, 44-45.

Stay tuned for more in this series based on “The 5 Biggest Threats to Sea Turtles” 2006. Their Greatest Challenge in 100 Million Years: Facing the Hazards of Humankind. SWOT Report—State of the World’s Turtles, 1, 5.

Last updated on 26 May 2020

Type: 
News item
Threats: 
Overharvesting