The Global Tortoiseshell Report
The Global Tortoiseshell Trade, pulls together new and recent research on this trade from around the world and shows that, despite efforts to eradicate these products, at least 10 countries have significant illegal markets. Another 30 or more have a minor trade and additional research is needed in seven countries to confirm the current level of trade.
The first global survey of the illegal tortoiseshell trade in decades reveals that 40 countries around the world have active domestic markets, most of which are illegal. Based on research conducted by individual biologists and conservation organizations, the report conservatively estimates more than 45,000 individual products for sale worldwide since 2017. In-person research at shops found more than 17,000 products and online research showed nearly 30,000 products for sale, primarily in Indonesia.
Endangered Souvenirs - Turtleshell For Sale In Latin America
In our 2017 report "Endangered Souvenirs," Too Rare To Wear partners investigated 50 tourist spots in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Belize, Nicaragua, Cuba, Grenada, and Colombia. The products identified had a total value of more than US $50,000 though the numbers should be considered very conservative as only products in view were counted. Prices ranged from a low of less than US $1 for bracelets and rings in Nicaragua to as high as US $200 for an elaborate comb in Havana, Cuba.
Nicaragua had by far the largest numbers for sale with more than 7,000 items counted and roughly 70 percent of shops found selling them, particularly in markets in Masaya and Managua. Other hotspots for turtleshell sales included Cartagena (Colombia), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), San Salvador (El Salvador), and Havana (Cuba). 35 individuals with 12 conservation organizations collected the data from December 2016 to February 2017 as part of the Too Rare To Wear campaign.
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