Hanoi, June 30, 2023 – Today, Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) released their 55th Public Service Announcement (PSA) to date, this time bringing attention to the illegal hunting, trade, and advertising that is threatening the survival of marine turtles.
The PSA features a sea turtle getting trapped in the net of unscrupulous fishermen and depicts the horrifying reality of dead turtles being stacked and stored, with the result of such atrocities being displayed in the form of jewelry in a souvenir shop. A young couple is drawn to the merchandise, but the store owner reveals that the objects are crafted from hawksbill sea turtle shells. The informed couple, clearly unhappy with the killing of marine turtles to make souvenirs, leaves the gift shop abruptly, passing the scene to a law enforcement officer who delivers the key message that buying and trading wildlife products is both illegal and morally wrong, and urges the public to report violations to authorities.
“Unfortunately, only one in 1,000 sea turtles born grows to adulthood. The pressures that sea turtles encounter are enormous. In addition to massive habitat loss, especially nesting beaches, marine turtles are often hunted to make jewelry, trophies, and other expensive products,” said Ms. Nguyen Phuong Dung, Director of Communications at ENV. “Awareness is critical, and the general public – like the couple in this PSA – should be aware that purchasing products made from sea turtles is neither stylish nor respectable.
Instead, it condemns the species to hunting, exploitation, and eventually, extinction.” Dung went on to urge the public not to buy products made from marine turtles or other wildlife: “The money that buyers pay at the shop goes directly to supporting the hunting, exploitation, and trade of more marine turtles. When we eliminate demand, we eliminate the incentive to kill marine turtles.”
ENV expresses our gratitude to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for their support in producing the PSA, allowing us to raise awareness of the importance of marine turtles and the need to protect them from exploitation.