The operation policies of the turtle firm produced one externality. The externality that was experienced was a positive externality (Campbell and Elizabeth 41). By releasing 1 percent of the total number of turtles reared back into the wild, the firm ensured continuity of the endangered turtles. Besides, the firm increased the survival percentage of the hatchlings in the wild from one tenth of one percent to up to fifty percent.
The new regulation imposed on turtle sales forced the company to reduce operations. Since the regulations made it illegal to sell the turtle in the United States or even use their ports to export, the production capacity of the company decreased. This decrease affected the number of turtles reared and therefore diminished the number of turtles that were released to the wild. This further caused the dwindling of sea turtles.
The Cayman turtle case proved that it is not a must that we forego the use of a resource to preserve the environment. The case inferred that in using the resources carefully and ensuring that they are replenished after use is the best way to conserve the environment. In this instance, the Cayman firm did not stop selling the meat and eggs of the endangered turtles. Rather they innovated a new way to ensure that even though they sell the meat, the turtles’ number did not diminish. They did this by breeding their turtles and even releasing these turtles back into the wild. Conversely, it is important for regulatory bodies to consider all the factors of their regulation before enforcing them. In this case, regulations set by CITES forced the company to reduce production hence reducing the number of turtles released into the wild (Schmidtz 8). They should have consider the negative externality of this regulation and not enforce it.
Campbell, Heather E., and Elizabeth A. Corley. Urban environmental policy analysis. ME Sharpe, 2012.
Schmidtz, David. “The institution of property.” Social Philosophy and Policy 11.2 (1994): 42-62.