Urge one of the world’s largest cruise lines to boycott cruel turtle tourist venue

25 April 2017

We’re campaigning for Carnival Cruise Lines to stop sending tourists to Cayman Turtle Centre. It is the only attraction in the world farming endangered sea turtles for tourist entertainment and human consumption

Sea turtles at Cayman Turtle Centre tourist attraction, formerly named Cayman Turtle Farm, are kept in small, shallow, and overcrowded tanks. They’re used to entertain tourists, then sold to local restaurants to be eaten.

The conditions they’re subjected to in the name of entertainment cause considerable suffering, as detailed in our report, Cayman Turtle Farm: A continued case for support.

Cayman Turtle Centre heavily relies on cruise ships. More than 200,000 people visit the attraction each year, and around three quarters are cruise passengers.

That’s why we’re targeting Carnival Cruise Lines, to reduce visitors to the attraction.

A Carnival Cruise Lines ship sits off the coast off the Cayman Islands

Sign our petition, and join us in urging this influential, global company to lead by example and take responsibility for sea turtle welfare.

Severe animal welfare issues

Concerns have been raised about the centre as far back as 2012.

Our investigations revealed more than 8,000 turtles held in cruel captivity at the venue. Reports found also found shocking evidence of genetic defects, disease, stress, unnatural diet, birth defects, and even cases of cannibalism among the turtles.

Neil D’Cruze, our senior wildlife advisor, said: “This major cruise company is currently turning a blind eye to animal suffering on an alarming scale.”

In their natural ocean habitats, green sea turtles can dive to depths of up to 140 metres, and can travel up to 5,000 kilometres in a year.

Stuck in shallow, crowded tanks, sea turtles farmed at Cayman Turtle Centre cannot enjoy the freedom they would in the ocean.

Sea turtles in an enclosure at Cayman Turtle Centre

Risks to visitors’ health

In as recently as 2014, 1,268 turtles died due to an outbreak of Clostridium, a bacterium responsible for botulism. Information uncovered by a Freedom of Information request highlighted that this disease posed a risk not only to turtles, but to tourists too.

Carnival Cruise Lines must help prevent animal cruelty

We’ve been working to end cruelty to turtles at Cayman Turtle Centre for a few years. However, the centre has failed to take our cruelty concerns seriously, which is why we’re now campaigning to reduce the amount of visitors to the attraction.

We know attendances and profits can plummet at unethical wildlife tourist attractions when tourists become aware of the cruelty involved. We’re convinced Carnival Cruise Lines passengers would refuse to visit the centre if only they knew the truth.

Ultimately, with pressure from tourists and Carnival Cruise Lines, we can urge Cayman Turtle Centre to transition into a rehabilitation and rescue centre.

We’ve repeatedly contacted Carnival Cruise Lines since January. But despite making our welfare concerns clear, the company won’t agree to stop taking boatloads of tourists to this cruel attraction.

Please sign our petition now, and urge Carnival Cruise Lines to do the right thing for turtles.

"This major cruise company is currently turning a blind eye to animal suffering on an alarming scale" - Neil D’Cruze, our senior wildlife advisor

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