So-called ‘tortoiseshell’ is made from turtle shells, more specifically from critically endangered hawksbill turtles. International trade in tortoiseshell is illegal, according to CITES. However, hawksbill turtles continue to be hunted, particularly in the Caribbean, where their shells are used to make trinkets sold in souvenir shops. Buying turtle shell is as socially unacceptable as buying ivory or rhino horn.
Photo by Hal Brindley - travelforwildlife.com
Consumers need to stop buying these items. Let sellers know it is illegal (in most places) and immoral to contribute to the extinction of a species. When sellers learn that selling turtleshell will reduce their business, they will stop selling them and turtle hunters will no longer have a market for their products. Travellers can learn how to recognise and avoid these products by visiting TooRareToWear. Please also see Responsible Travel website for information and updates on this and other important issues.
Photo by Julie Suess
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist, travel writer and author of 11 books. My byline appears in national and regional newspapers and magazines. Website