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Cruise Industry Gets Protective of Animals

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There’s nothing that makes us happier than being able to share stories about the cruise lines we love doing things to help make the world a better place. And this week, the CLIA — aka the Cruise Lines International Association — joined forces with 39 other transportation organizations in signing the Declaration of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce. In other words, they’re joining the fight to protect endangered species.

As Prince William explained, “By implementing these commitments, the signatories can secure a game changer in the race against extinction.” CLIA’s Andy Harmer added that they were “proud to commit to the Buckingham Palace Declaration and do our part to break the chain between suppliers and consumers, particularly by increasing awareness among our passengers and crew about the nature, scale and consequences of the illegal wildlife trade.”

How, you might wonder, do cruisers play into this? In 2008, a congressional hearing looked at the impact of U.S. consumer demand on the “illegal and unsustainable trade of wildlife products.” During the sessions, it was recommended that “tourists, and particularly cruise ship passengers, be provided with clear guidelines regarding what is illegal to purchase and/or transport out of any given port country. Outreach of this sort will help protected species while helping tourists avoid any unfortunate incidents involving their purchased products being seized by customs.”

For example, a study presented during the hearings showed that products such as jewelry made from hawksbill turtle shells were being sold throughout the Caribbean despite the species being both endangered and protected by law.

“CLIA is especially honored to share the cruise industry’s perspective on reaching and educating the public,” the organization said, “and looks forward to working with its esteemed colleagues on the reduction of the illegal wildlife trade.”

Endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle featured photo courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region via Flickr.

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