Trade of marine turtles along the Southwestern Coast of the Gulf of Venezuela

Barrios-Garrido, H., Espinoza-Rodriguez, N., Rojas-Cañizales, D., Palmar, J., Wildermann, N., Montiel-Villalobos, M.G., and Hamann, M. (2017) Trade of marine turtles along the Southwestern Coast of the Gulf of Venezuela. Marine Biodiversity Records, 10. 15.

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Background: Marine turtles play an important role in the culture and economy of numerous coastal communities around the world. However, the legal framework that regulates the consumptive use of these reptiles varies among countries.For example, the consumption of these reptiles has been regarded as common in several rural areas of Venezuela, especially in the eastern coast of the Guajira Peninsula.

Methods: To assess the scale and cultural component of this use, we interviewed 35 residents from the southwestern coast of the Gulf of Venezuela (Venezuelan part of the Guajira Peninsula), using a combination of in-depth and semi-structured interviews. We carried out a field and detailed market-based observations on the Guajira Peninsula to detect the sale and use of marine turtle products. We focused on three main categories of use; the type of product, routes of trade, and the price of products.

Results: All of the marine turtle species reported from the Gulf of Venezuela were used, and the prices of products varied among their type, species of origin, and the distance from the capture area to a marketplace. We obtained evidence connecting Wayuú Indigenous people's traditions and beliefs with marine turtle use, and also they are used as traditional products such as medicine, and as an economic resource to sustain their communities.

Conclusion: It is probable that trade of marine turtle products is placing pressure on populations in the Gulf of Venezuela. We recommend the implementation of an inter-institutional conservation-portfolio be developed for the Peninsula to evaluate actions related to this concern.

Item ID: 49879
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-2672
Keywords: illegal trade; marine turtles; Gulf of Venezuela; Colombia; Wayuú people; Venezuela; bushmeat; aquatic bushmeat
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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 02:06
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960707 Trade and Environment @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 25%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 25%
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