Cruise

Royal Caribbean partners with WWF to protect Hawksbill turtles

Royal Caribbean has helping WWF Australia step up its efforts to combat the illegal trade of hawksbill turtles in Asia-Pacific – the number one threat to the critically endangered turtle.

For the first time in the region, WWF-Australia will work with partners to test ground-breaking technology to extract DNA from tortoiseshell products, such as earrings, bracelets and other trinkets.

The collaboration will develop a DNA database to help identify hawksbill populations most at risk from the illegal tortoiseshell trade by tracing hawksbills products from their point-of-sale to where they were poached.

“Despite international trade being banned over twenty years ago, poaching and the sale of hawksbill products still takes place in our region,” Christine Hof, Marine Species Project Manager, WWF-Australia said.

“It is unclear where poaching is most prevalent, but with the help of the turtle DNA test and database we’ll be able to map poaching hotspots and work with local governments in the Asia-Pacific region to combat these illegal activities.”

Hawksbill turtles are one of the most beautiful and important species in the ocean, playing a vital role in maintaining the health of our oceans; from promoting coral growth through their appetite for algae, to supporting vital feeding grounds for reef communities.

Christine Hof with hawksbill turtle, Milman Island, February 2017.
Christine Hof with hawksbill turtle, Milman Island, February 2017.

However, over the last 100 years the hawksbill population has declined by more than 75 per cent and it’s estimated there are only 4,800 breeding females remaining in the Pacific Ocean.

The hawksbill faces a unique threat as it is the only sea turtle species that is hunted for its shell, commonly known as “tortoiseshell”, which is made into souvenirs frequently sold to travellers while on holidays overseas.

“Hunted and traded for their shell, Hawksbill turtles are critically endangered. Ending this trade will take a coordinated effort,” Susan Bonner Royal Caribbean’s Australia & NZ head said.

“We are extremely passionate about this partnership with WWF-Australia, and need to act now to ensure these prehistoric sea creatures have a future.”

The partnership will also increase awareness of the issue amongst those travelling throughout Asia-Pacific.

RCL and WWF-Australia intend to educate millions of supporters and travellers about this illegal trade by providing them with the information they need to identify illegal tortoiseshell products and avoid buying them, with the launch of an extensive consumer campaign.

A hawksbill turtle adoption programme will be available to all Australians in 2019.

Adoption of a hawksbill turtle via Royal Caribbean will support WWF-Australia’s essential conservation work – protecting the habitat, preserving their food sources and ensuring the safety of threatened species locally and globally.

RCL has a long history of innovation and is committed to protecting the communities and environments in which it operates.

From wastewater and waste management to energy efficiency and sourcing practices, RCL is dedicated to continually improving operations, to minimise its’ environmental footprint and increase support for conservation.

“We have a responsibility to the guests who sail with us, the people who work for us, and the communities we visit, but most importantly we have a responsibility to the magnificent oceans, which are at the very essence of our business,” Bonner said.

In 2016, RCL and WWF embarked on a five-year global journey to help ensure the long-term health of the world’s oceans. The RCL and WWF-Australia local partnership to protect the hawksbill turtle will run in the Asia-Pacific region for the next three years.

As part of its environmental stewardship program, Save the Waves, and partnership with WWF, RCL continuously works towards ensuring that its ships, operations, suppliers, and vendors are not indirectly promoting illegal wildlife products.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

South Australia set to open its border to Victorians

It looks like ScoMo’s plan for domestic borders to be open by Chrissy is well on track, with the crow-eaters finally letting those from the Garden State back over their side of the fence.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Rob Thompson named Tourism Fiji’s acting CEO

While the search for Tourism Fiji’s next leader is well underway, the organisation has revealed who will be keeping the CEO’s seat warm.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

WORLD FIRST: Aeronology to launch independent full-service platform for mobile travel agents

Are you a mobile agent in the market for a new platform to help you rebound your business with ease? This travel tech company has got your back.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Global travel association brings another back from the dead (well, sort of)

Utterly confused by this story’s headline? Click ahead to minimise your bewilderment.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agents now required to collect passenger information for COVID-safe travel

The government has finally recognised the crucial role agents can play in COVID tracing with this new measure.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea to show off biggest-ever itinerary release with exclusive webinar

The ultra-luxury cruise line’s sales team have been sharpening their webinar presentation skills in anticipation of this exclusive event.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas wins appeal over workers’ sick pay

The airline will not be required to pay stood-down workers sick pay, including a man who has been battling cancer and another with heart disease.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline pilots turn flight path into penis and balls in support of disgraced football captain

Flight trackers around the world were left clutching at their pearls when they discovered this strange symbol in a low-cost airline’s flight path.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Rocky Mountaineer to introduce new route in Southwest US

The luxe rail company has just unveiled a new route for 2021! So, get your train fanatic clients ready to TOOT TOOT their way through the US!

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

TTC is hosting a bunch of free virtual events to get your clients booking domestic

Keep your client keen to book their next domestic trip with this handy video series from The Travel Corporation.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qatar charges airport police officers over invasive searches of women

Qatari authorities have filed criminal charges against police officers working at Hamad International Airport following allegations women were invasively searched there last month.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

New report reveals the countries Aussies are most reluctant to visit now

by Huntley Mitchell

Are you finding some international destinations harder to sell than others right now? This new research might help explain why.

Share

CommentComments