Time to turn in those Tortoiseshell Trinkets
By Editor Dallas Sherringham
Sailing to the South Pacific and returning home with a cabin full of trinkets was standard fare for many years.
But all too often those trinkets included illegal tortoiseshell which was a real problem if you happened to a rare hawksbill turtle.
Tortoiseshell has been a popular fashion accessory through the ages - from the early 1900s to the 1970s - which means a large number of the 60+ age group has many of these retro trinkets, made from the shells of the precious hawksbill turtle, hiding in their cupboards and drawers.
We’re hoping Mature Traveller readers can dig these items our and submit them to the “Surrender Your Shell” campaign, put together by WWF-Australian, Australia Museum and Royal Caribbean.
So far more than 100 tortoiseshell items have been surrendered, but we need more. Until 1 June 2021, the Australian Government has adopted a policy that will allow Australians to send historically purchased tortoiseshell products to WWF-Australia, without the risk of facing prosecution.
And your help will allow the turtles to survive.
The shell’s data will then be extracted to track vulnerable populations and help ensure their survival.
The age of the product doesn’t matter – older items still contain vital DNA. Look for items which are brown, orange, amber and yellow in colour and feature irregular patterns. And if you suspect a product is real, take the following action:
1. Visit www.wwf.org.au/surrenderyourshell to enter your details, including when and where the item was purchased, to retrieve a unique identification number.
2. Attach the unique identification number to your tortoiseshell product, package appropriately and either post through the Australia Post eParcel Returns portal or visit a Post Office with your surrendered tortoiseshell and post to WWF-Australia.
3. Ensure you post your item before1 June 2021.
Save our beautiful and rate turtles above.............
by handing in the Terrible Tourist trinkets in your collection (below)