Egypt's sea Turtle Ertmochelys Imbricata

Дата канвертавання17.04.2016
Памер33.69 Kb.
EGYPT'S Sea Turtle
Ertmochelys Imbricata
Critically Endangered

For consideration to Proposal at CITES Party Meeting 2013

To list from Egypt request on Appendix 1 protection from International Trade





Bibliography 9













American Samoa; Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Bahrain; Barbados; Belize; Brazil; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; China; Colombia; Comoros; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Equatorial Guinea (Bioko); Eritrea; Fiji; French Southern Territories (the) (Mozambique Channel Is.); Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guam; Honduras; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Jamaica; Japan; Kenya; Kuwait; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Martinique; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico (Campeche, Yucatán); Micronesia, Federated States of; Mozambique; Myanmar; Netherlands Antilles; Nicaragua; Oman; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Puerto Rico; Qatar; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Samoa; Sao Tomé and Principe; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Trinidad and Tobago; United Arab Emirates; Vanuatu; Venezuela; Viet Nam; Virgin Islands, British; Yemen
 The Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a critically endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae. It is the only species in its genus. The species has a worldwide distribution, with Atlantic and Pacific subspecies. E. imbricata imbricata is the Atlantic subspecies, while E. imbricata bissa is found in the Indo-Pacific region.[2]

The hawksbill's appearance is similar to that of other marine turtles. It has a generally flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and flipper-like arms, adapted for swimming in the open ocean. E. imbricata is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with prominent tomium, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. Hawksbill shells slightly change colors, depending on water temperature. While this turtle lives part of its life in the open ocean, it spends more time in shallow lagoons and coral reefs.

Human fishing practices threaten E. imbricata populations with extinction. The World Conservation Union. classifies the Hawksbill as critically endangered.[1] Hawksbill shells are the primary source of tortoise shell material, used for decorative purposes.


Criteria: Critically Endangered   A2bd   ver 3.1 Year Assessed: 2008 Assessor/s Mortimer, J.A & Donnelly, M. (IUCN SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group) Reviewer/s: Chaloupka, M., Bolten, A., Broderick, A.C., Dobbs, K., Dutton, P., Limpus, C., Miller, D.J., Musick, J., Pritchard, P.C.H., Shanker, K. & van Dijk, P.P. (IUCN SSC Marine Turtle Red List Authority) Justification:


Analysis of historic and recent published and unpublished accounts indicate extensive subpopulation declines in all major ocean basins over the last three Hawksbill generations as a result of over-exploitation of adult females and eggs at nesting beaches, degradation of nesting habitats, take of juveniles and adults in foraging areas, incidental mortality relating to marine fisheries, and degradation of marine habitats.  Analyses of subpopulation changes at 25 Index Sites distributed globally (see W-Figure 1 in attached PDF) show an 84 to 87% decline in number of mature females nesting annually over the last 3 Hawksbill generations (see W-Table 1 in attached PDF).  Numerous populations, especially some of the larger ones, have continued to decline since the last assessment of the species (Meylan and Donnelly 1999).  Today, some protected populations are stable or increasing, but the overall decline of the species, when considered within the context of three generations, has been in excess of 80%.

Assessment Procedure:

In accord with the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, the Hawksbill is listed as Critically Endangered (CR A2bd) because it meets the following criteria:

A.  Reduction in population size based on:

2.    An observed, estimated, inferred or suspected population size reduction of >80% over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, where the reduction or its causes may not have ceased OR may not be understood OR may not be reversible, based on (and specifying):

(b)    an index of abundance appropriate to the taxon; and

(d)   actual or potential levels of exploitation.


This assessment measures changes in populations based on the number of mature individuals (IUCN 2001a), specifically changes in the annual number of nesting females.

Treaties and Agreements.  Hawksbills benefit globally from inclusion in CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (listed on Appendix I) and CMS, the Convention on Migratory Species (listed on Appendices I and II).  Regional agreements also help to conserve Hawksbills and their habitats (see Regional Summaries, Appendix II).


For consideration backing of why CITES Egypt should propose to add to Appendix 1:

21st Century Global Trade

Significant domestic trade in Hawksbill products is a major problem in many countries and, despite prohibitions on international trade and a reduction in its volume in the last decade, international and domestic trade remains an ongoing and pervasive threat in the Americas, Asia, and parts of Africa (Fleming 2001, Chacon 2002, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia 2004, van Dijk and Shepherd 2004, Brautigam and Eckert 2006, Reuter and Allan 2006).


  • Some Japanese dealers have continued to import shell illegally as evidenced by numerous bekko shipments intercepted en route to or in Japan since the ban took effect (TRAFFIC East Asia-Japan 2000) and ongoing underground trade in southeast Asia to Japan and other destinations (van Dijk and Shepherd 2004, TRAFFIC Southeast Asia 2004).

  • More than a decade after the Japanese prohibition on bekko imports took effect, van Dijk and Shepherd (2004) reported the interest of the Japan Bekko Association in acquiring Indonesia’s remaining stockpiles of bekko.

  • Although the volume of trade in Indonesia diminished significantly between 1991 and 2001, it is still substantial. The collection of tortoiseshell still occurs in numerous places, with most of the trade appearing to be disorganized and underground. Western Sumatra, Nias, and Papua are areas where significant exploitation and trade are known or suspected (van Dijk and Shepherd 2004).

  • Those familiar with the trade warn that Indonesian stockpiles should be seized “as any indication of resumption of international trade of bekko could lead to requests from Indonesian traders to be allowed to sell their stockpiles” (van Dijk and Shepherd 2004).

  • Surveys in Viet Nam in 2002 revealed an active international trade in tortoiseshell that had increased since 1999.  Shell was purchased by tourists and foreigners buying in bulk for export to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan (Province of China), Thailand, China and Asian communities in North America and Europe. Viet Nam subsequently instituted full protection for the Hawksbill (van Dijk and Shepherd 2004, TRAFFIC East Asia 2004).

  • In  recent reviews of the Lesser Antilles, Dominican Republic, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, researchers provided evidence of extensive clandestine trade in sea turtles, including Hawksbills.  Management and law enforcement are inadequate throughout the region (Brautigam and Eckert 2006, Reuter and Allan 2006).

  • On 1 February 2007, the Kyodo News of Japan reported that Cuba would not seek to re-open the international tortoiseshell trade at the upcoming CITES meeting and noted Japanese disappointment given the long term support provided for the bekko industry. During 1991-2006, the Japanese government spent 735 million yen (US $6M) for research on Hawksbill resources and 140 million yen (US $1.1M) for projects to resume international trade, including trade with Cuba. The article also reported that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will support the bekko industry for another five years.

    Hawksbills and CITES   

In 1975, in recognition of its threatened status, the Hawksbill was included on Appendices I (Atlantic population) and II (Pacific population) of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, when the Convention came into force. By 1977 the entire species was moved to Appendix I to prohibit all international trade. Nevertheless, the global trade continued for a number of years, in large part driven by Japanese demand.  At the end of 1992, Japanese imports ceased, but the industry continues to operate with stockpiled material.

  • In the late 1970s more than 45 countries were involved in exporting and importing raw shell, with annual Japanese imports the equivalent of about 37,700 turtles (40,000 kg).

  • Export and import levels remained exceptionally high until the mid-1980s as major trading nations slowly joined CITES. When they acceded to CITES in 1978, France and Italy took reservations (exceptions) to the Appendix I Hawksbill listing; these reservations were withdrawn in 1984 when they joined the EU.

  • When Japan acceded to CITES in 1980, it also took a reservation on the Hawksbill and reduced its annual quota to the equivalent of 28,300 turtles (30,000 kg), based solely on the needs of its bekko industry.

  • In 1985 CITES proposals by Indonesia and the Seychelles to place their Hawksbill populations on Appendix II to allow trade failed at the 5th CITES Conference of the Parties (COP 5). A similar Indonesian proposal at COP 6 in 1987 was withdrawn before the vote.

  • A comprehensive report on the Japanese sea turtle trade by Milliken and Tokunaga in 1987 documented significant amounts of bekko trade with CITES countries. From 1980 to 1985, between 42% and 58% of all bekko imports originated in CITES countries, without proper export documents.

  • In 1989 a detailed report commissioned by the CITES Secretariat found that Hawksbill populations were depleted or declining in 56 of 65 geopolitical units for which data were available and estimated that the annual global nesting population was a minimum of 15,000-25,000 Hawksbills. The authors concluded that the listing of the species on Appendix I was “unquestionably appropriate and must be maintained” (Groombridge and Luxmoore 1989).

  • On 1 April 1990, Japan reduced its annual bekko quota to the equivalent of 18,870 turtles (20,000 kg,).  In 1991, in an effort to avoid a U.S. embargo of its fish and fishery products, Japan agreed to further reduce its annual quota to the equivalent of 7,075 turtles (7,500 kg) by August 1991, to establish a zero quota on 1 January 1993, and to drop its Hawksbill reservation in July 1994. Japan also agreed to support the re-training of hundreds of bekko artisans. In the early 1990s, in response to the end of the Japanese trade, Cuba reduced its annual Hawksbill fishery quota from 5,000 turtles to 500.

  • Since 1994, officials in Seychelles and Zanzibar have acquired tortoiseshell stocks from local artisans and subsequently burned them to demonstrate a commitment to ending the tortoiseshell trade (Khatib et al. 1996, Mortimer 1999). Cape Verde has shown similar commitment (Fretey et al. 2002).

  • In 1997 and 2000, at CITES COP 10 and COP 11, Cuba proposed to sell its stockpiled tortoiseshell to Japan, and also proposed a continuation of the international trade in tortoiseshell taken from the 500 Hawksbills still captured each year. All these proposals failed.

  • In response to regional disagreement generated by Cuban interest in moving Caribbean Hawksbills from Appendix I to II, the CITES Secretariat convened two regional Hawksbill dialogues in 2001 and 2002. The Dialogues encouraged regional cooperation by helping to establish Hawksbill priorities. As a result, resources for research, management and conservation have been generated.

  • Although the tortoiseshell trade continues to threaten Hawksbills in numerous places, overall volume is substantially reduced. Thirty years after CITES came into force, the ban on international trade demonstrates its value over time in protecting Hawksbills. Above all, nesting increases in the Caribbean coincide with the enormous reduction in Hhawksbill fishing in Cuban waters.

  • In June 2007, Cuba informed CITES COP 14 that it would voluntarily institute a moratorium on its sea turtle fisheries in 2008. Although Cuba has a CITES Hawksbill reservation (exception) and reserves its right to dispose of its tortoiseshell stockpile, most nations are members of CITES and therefore cannot legally trade in tortoiseshell.

The Japanese Tortoiseshell Trade

Twenty years ago, in their landmark report on Japan’s sea turtle trade, Milliken and Tokunaga (1987) focused on providing estimates of the numbers of Hawksbills (and other species of sea turtles) represented by trade data so that the effect of Japanese exploitation around the world could be assessed. In particular, they cautioned that past exploitation is relevant to understanding and predicting current sea turtle population trends.


Estimates of the numbers of Hawksbills involved in the tortoiseshell trade are based on conversion factors calculated for each region by Milliken and Tokunaga (1987). Globally, the average Hawksbill produces 1.06 kg of tortoiseshell; but regionally, conversions are 0.74 kg in the Indian Ocean; 0.75 kg in Asia; 0.88 kg in Oceania; and 1.34 kg in the Caribbean. A combination of factors likely accounts for these differences, including regional variation in average adult size, as well as the relative proportion of adult and immature turtles represented in the trade. Some reports indicate that in the past the average turtle produced more shell than in recent decades. Adult turtles that survive long enough will continue to grow, so it follows that the average size of nesting animals tends to decline in an over-exploited population. In other cases, once nesting populations have been destroyed, hunters may shift their focus to foraging turtles which usually include immature animals. In the absence of specific historical information documenting the size classes of animals killed, the conversions we use in the present assessment are based on estimates provided by Milliken and Tokunaga. Based on the trade through 1992 (when legal Japanese imports ceased), the following information reveals the extent of the Japanese exploitation of global Hawksbill populations and the percent contribution of different regions to overall imports during 1950-1992.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill sea turtles and products derived from them.[3]

In 1982 the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species first listed E. imbricata as endangered.[42] This endangered status continued through several reassessments in 1986,[43] 1988,[44] 1990,[45] and 1994[46] until it was upgraded in status to critically endangered in 1996.[1] Two petitions challenged its status as an endangered species prior to this, claiming that the turtle (along with three other species) had several significant stable populations worldwide. These petitions were rejected based on their analysis of data submitted by the Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG). The data given by the MTSG showed that the worldwide hawksbill sea turtle population had declined by 80% in the three most recent generations, and that there was no significant population increase as of 1996. CR A2 status was denied however, because the IUCN did not find sufficient data to show the population likely to decrease by a further 80% in the future.[47]



Citation: Mortimer, J.A & Donnelly, M. 2008. Eretmochelys imbricata. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <>. Downloaded on 09 January 2011.



База данных защищена авторским правом © 2016
звярнуцца да адміністрацыі

    Галоўная старонка