Turtle tourist traps

Some conservation projects are keeping hatchlings in poor conditions to attract tourists.

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Some sea turtle hatcheries around the world are cashing in on tourists but achieving nothing for turtle conservation, according to an ethical holiday company.

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Responsible Travel has accused some projects of unnecessarily keeping hatchling turtles in tanks purely so that tourists can pick them up and take ‘selfies’.

They are kept in overcrowded conditions in which diseases can be passed between the turtles.

“Sea turtle experts don’t recommend tanks,” says Responsible Travel’s Vicki Brown, who drew up a set of guidelines for people wanting to visit turtle conservation projects. “I’ve read through several reports, and there are no benefits listed [for them].”

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Responsible Travel says anyone wanting to visit a turtle conservation project should ask a number of questions before committing themselves.