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Which does Responsible Travel support?

Currently, we don’t support any hatcheries in Sri Lanka. We promote those in Costa Rica, a world leader in turtle conservation and ecotourism. Our other sea turtle conservation trips involve monitoring and beach patrols; if available, we would always support this option. Intervention – such as hatcheries – should be a last resort.

How do the guidelines advise agents and travel companies selling turtle hatcheries trips to ensure they’re ethical?

  • Please don’t sell any hatcheries that use tanks.
  • Ask questions – any ethical organisation will welcome your concerns, while a reluctance to answer questions should be a red flag.
  • Avoid any hatchery that encourages the handling of hatchlings or adult turtles, unless this is necessary for monitoring or safeguarding.
  • Ensure it is overseen by qualified individuals, and that they have evidence that their efforts are working.
  • The hatchery should be part of a wider conservation effort. Ask which other activities are in place – from education to beach clean-ups, campaigns with tourists and lobbying developers and local governments.

Any future plans or ambitions for the project?

We’d love to be able to offer turtle trips to Sri Lanka – either because we discover new hatcheries that are more responsible, or because the existing hatcheries change their practices to ditch the tanks and focus on genuine conservation initiatives.


We’d also like to see the establishment of these guidelines by local governments and environment ministries to ensure the successful conservation of turtles worldwide.

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