New Economic Insights and Case Studies
Chapter 9: Tourism as a Force for Conserving Sea Turtles Under Natural Conditions
9.1 INTRODUCTION The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies most species of marine turtles as endangered. Finding effective and socially acceptable ways of conserving them has, therefore, become a major policy challenge. Furthermore, there is evidence that members of the general public strongly support the survival of turtles (chelonians) in contrast to their limited support for the survival of many other species of reptiles, particularly snakes and crocodilians (Tisdell, 2011; Tisdell et al., 2006b, 2006c). These attitudes have probably been shaped by the fact that humans regard most turtle species as benign and they have been depicted positively in folk tales and mythologies (Tisdell et al., 2006a). Metrick and Weitzman (1996, 1998) found that, among other things, the support of individuals for the conservations of wildlife species is influenced by whether or not they are dangerous to humans. Public support for the conservation of turtles is also evidenced by the fact that in the United States, they have received the lion’s share of federal funding for the conservation of reptiles. Several policies have been implemented in recent decades that reflect concerns for the survival of marine turtles. They include bans and restrictions on international trade in endangered species of marine turtles and their body parts under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the requirement that trawlers operating in certain areas have turtle-excluder devices to reduce incidental deaths of turtles caught in their nets. Furthermore, in some cases, fishing trawlers have been excluded from offshore...
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