The French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean has found a new domestic industry.
GV & CU Two men take turtle out container and carry it along walkway. (4 SHOTS)
SV Turtle swimming.
UNDERWATER CU Turtles swimming. (2 SHOTS)
CU Women making jewellery boxes out of turtle shell. (5 SHOTS)
CU PULL BACK TO SV Ornamental boxes.
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Background: The French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean has found a new domestic industry. Instead of throwing away the shells of marine turtles that are farmed on the island for their meat, they are now saved and converted into decorative art. The programme to develop the industry is sponsored by the French Government in co-operation with the municipal government in Reunion. Fourteen women from the Island have been selected to undergo intensive training that enables them to intricate in-lay work on the shells. The delicate craft used old techniques that were popular 300 years ago in France. The skill was almost lost through the years but a French master craftsman is now reviving the art by teaching the students in Reunion the old techniques. the decorative shells are applied to boxes, jewellery and crucifixes. A recent exhibitions of the objects resulted in many sales and lucrative export contracts. The sea turtle is a rare, endangered species that is easily caught because it is slow moving. Its shell is used to make combs, buttons and cuff links, and its leathery neck can be made into belts and handbags. Its meat, eggs and bones are considered delicacies in the Philippines and in other parts of the world. The farming of the sea turtle in Reunion is a way of respecting new preservation orders established to save the pre-historic beast from extinction.