By: WildAid ,Agencies
(SAN FRANCISCO / WILDAID) – With an estimated value of $7 to 23 billion annually, the illegal
wildlife trade threatens endangered species around the globe.
Recently, Peruvian police seized 29 Galapagos giant tortoises from traffickers attempting to smuggle the highly-endangered species to the European Black market on a bus. Unfortunately, two of the 29 turtles were dead upon rescue, but the remaining turtles were sent back to the Galapagos, where they are now being checked by Galapagos National Park staff.
More commonly, the poaching of sea turtle eggs occurs at nesting sites around the world. Sea turtles can lay hundreds of eggs per nest, and with the price of an individual egg reaching the thousands of dollars on the black market, it’s no mystery why poachers plunder their nests. In Nicaragua, sea turtle eggs are a cultural delicacy, and a study by Fauna and Flora International revealed that eggs were consumed primarily for their taste and perceived nutritional value.
Another industry fueled by lucrative prices is the tropical reef fish trade which is prevalent in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Approximately 10 to 30 million fish are traded annually with a value of approximately $200 to 750 million. The industry is rife with destructive and illegal fishing practices. Fishermen, typically in poverty stricken areas, practice dynamite and cyanide fishing to retrieve the fish. The blasts and chemicals stun the fish, facilitating their capture, but they simultaneously kill many other fish, marine animals and destroy the coral reefs. [FULL STORY]