Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) © / Inaki Relanzon / WWF

Shell Shocked Japan's role in the illegal tortoiseshell trade

Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) © / Inaki Relanzon / WWF


Published 31 May 2021


New report raises concerns about ongoing illegal tortoiseshell trade in Japan

Tokyo, Japan 31 May 2021 - A report issued today by WWF, TRAFFIC and Japan Tiger and Elephant Fund (JTEF) reveals weak regulation and enforcement in Japan is likely to be facilitating illegal trade in Hawksbill Turtle.

Shell Shocked: Japan's Role In The Illegal Tortoiseshell Trade

Report author(s):
Tomomi Kitade, Masayuki Sakamoto, Chris Madden Hof.

Publication date:
May 2021


WWF is an independent conservation organization, with over 30 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit for the latest news and media resources and follow us on Twitter @WWF_media.


TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organisation working to ensure that trade in wild species is legal and sustainable, for the benefit of the planet and people.

About JTEF

JTEF, a non-profit and non-governmental organization, contributes to protecting the world of wildlife by representing their voice and interests so that global biodiversity and the natural environment of human beings will be conserved. JTEF has committed to combating wildlife crime related to Japan and eradicating unsustainable wildlife trade by researching wildlife markets, analyzing the legal systems, and keeping contact with the law enforcement communities.