Discusses generally why humans should bother to conserve sea turtles. In doing so, it considers both economic and non-economic reasons and outlines threats to the existence of sea turtles and ways in which tourism may either contribute to the conservation or decline of their populations. Turtle-based ecotourism at Mon Repos in southern Queensland is described. As a result of a survey conducted by the authors, it is shown that turtle-based ecotourism at Mon Repos has positive social (indirect) consequences for the conservation of sea turtles. Furthermore, it is argued that ecotourism operations at Mon Repos have positive direct impacts on the sustainability of populations of sea turtles. However, using a simple model, it is demonstrated that this impact is limited because turtles are migratory. A model is also developed to capture the possible relationship between turtle populations and the sustainability of ecotourism dependent on turtle populations. It is argued that significant interdependence exists between the sustainability of these two variables.


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