Saving Endangered Turtles in Fiji: Implementation Challenges of Wildlife Conservation Exemplified.
Saving Endangered Turtles in Fiji: Implementation Challenges of Wildlife Conservation Exemplified. A New York Times article by Serena Solomon illustrates the challenges faced in attempting to implement bans on consumption of a threatened species, in this case, turtles such as the hawksbill, in Fiji. The Fiji government imposed a temporary ban in 1995 and now is nearing the end of another 1o-year “moratorium” on consumption of threatened turtles. Solomon notes that Fiji is composed of 300 islands and that the success of the moratorium depends on individual communities. Turtles have always been used in “major events” like “a chief’s funeral” but became part of the regular diet of Fijans. In addition to human consumption, climate change also threatens the turtles as well as the use of motorized boats which make it easier to capture the turtles. Solomon says some communities ignore the moratorium and the ban is enforced “only sporadically” with few jailed due to violations along with the fact that punishments are not very strong. The endorsement of the local chief is key to whether the ban is adhered to by local communities and Solomon notes that if locals don’t support the ban, it is not followed especially in remote areas. The Fiji ban also illustrates the importance of NGOs as the World Wildlife Fund has funded “monitors” such as paying for their expenses to tag turtles and other monitoring activities. However, WWF funding stopped in 2014 so monitoring now depends on true commitment since they have to pay their own costs. In short, Fiji turtle preservation efforts share the same implementation problems and constraints that we see in developed countries such as the challenges faced by USFWS and BLM in trying to protect tortoises and other species in U.S. western states where they have been challenged by people such as the Bundys as described in my Wildlife Politics book. Check out Serena Solomon’s article at http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/02/world/asia/on-a-fijian-island-hunters-become-conservators-of-endangered-turtles.html?emc=edit_tnt_20170102&nlid=10365419&tntemail0=y
Leave a Reply.
During my research for the book, I noticed that there was no blog available for sharing informaton on wildlife conservation and thus I set up this blog to accomplish this purpose. Please share any informaticoncerning issues related to wildife policy and politics. I welcome feedback from users concerning this blog and website.