Sea turtles are killed deliberately in many parts of the world for food, for their eggs and for other products that are derived from the turtles such as oil, leather and shell.
Eggs are removed from a turtle nest. Photo courtesy of Peter Richardson, MCS. Throughout the world, people kill sea turtles and consume their eggs for food and for products such as oil, leather, and shell. Most countries forbid the removal of eggs from nests, but enforcement can be lacking.
In some cases, local communities experiencing extreme poverty rely on the protein from turtles. This creates an extremely difficult conservation situation, where conservationists must work closely with local communities. Hawksbill turtles are so endangered principally because of their value in supplying the luxury market with tortoiseshell for combs and jewellery.
Harvested turtle shells. ©ZSL