Featured Image Source: PHYS Org
At Ninoy Aquino International Airport, a Filipino passenger boarded a Philippine Airlines flight from Hong Kong. After a search of his luggage, customs agents found 1,529 turtles! The turtles had been duct-taped up and presumably would be eaten.
The customs agents turned over the turtles to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit. Wildlife trafficking is a terrible problem around the world and unfortunately, turtles are not the only species to be targeted for their meats. Many cultures value eating turtles, sharks, and other endangered species. This creates a black market that consumes millions of animals each year.
The possible conviction for this particular illegal trade of wildlife is punishable by a two year prison sentence and approximately $3,800 fine.
Sharks are another common victim of illegal wildlife trading. Many value their fins for traditional meals and are willing to pay top dollar. One of the best ways to halt illegal wildlife trading is to make everyone aware of the issues. Be conscious of what animal products you are buying. If at all possible, trace your seafood consumption to a sustainable source. Without sustainable fisheries that protect endangered species, our entire global ocean ecosystem is at risk.
Read more on illegal wildlife trading here.