- Help end demand for turtle shell products. Souvenirs made from the shell of endangered hawksbill sea turtles are sold to travelers around Asia. Educate your travelers on how and why to avoid these products. Join our Too Rare to Wear campaign for free resources to share.
- Reduce plastic waste. Plastic in the ocean impacts sea turtles and other wildlife and travelers are a major source of plastic pollution. Encourage clients to use reusable water bottles, bags, and straws and to recycle plastic where possible. Learn more at Travelers Against Plastic.
- Respect sea turtles in the water. Avoid touching, feeding, or crowding a sea turtle in the water, these things can stress them. Get more tips for interacting with sea turtles in the ocean at Divers For Turtles.
- Choose sunscreen carefully. Chemicals in some types of sunscreen can damage coral reefs and pollute turtle habitat. Encourage your travelers to avoid any sunscreen with “oxybenzone” and look for brands labeled as “Reef Friendly” and avoid sprays that can pollute the sand where turtles nest. Check out this article in Vogue about the best ways to avoid sunburn.
- Choose responsibly caught seafood. Sea turtles are vulnerable to commercial fishing methods like trawling, longlines, and drift gillnets, becoming unwanted catch (also known as “bycatch”) that is discarded like trash. To help make turtle friendly seafood choices check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch which is also available as a handy app for your phone.
- Reduce your carbon footprint. Climate change affects the health of coral reefs which are vital to the hawksbill’s survival. A warming planet also skews sex ratios in baby turtles, changes the abundance and distribution of prey, increases erosion of nesting beaches, and more. Look for ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint by using renewable energy and public transportation.
- Donate to ocean conservation organizations. By supporting organizations working to protect sea turtles and other ocean wildlife, you can show your clients that you care about the destinations they visit. Contact us through SEEturtles.org if you want an introduction to an organization near your operations.
Written by: Brad Nahill, President of SEE Turtles