Water sports, cruise-ship travel, and ocean-based recreation are a large part of the world's fastest-growing industry --tourism. §

With so many tourists heading to beaches, other industries benefit: transportation, lodging, restaurants, retail stores, and construction and repair trades.

Illustration courtesy of Sally Jo Vitsky

What to take §

What not to bring back...

It's illegal and harmful to buy goods that threaten already endangered species, as well as whole environments such as coral reefs. Each year the U.S. Customs Service confiscates illegal items like these, from tourists returning from abroad. § Virtually indistinguishable fabulous fakes are available for many items.

From the collections confiscated by U.S. Customs:

Green-turtle-shell guitar Turtle-skin shoes

Sea-turtle-shell manicure set and Black-coral necklace (photos not available)

courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory

More Information

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)