JetBlue and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announce new partnership to help reduce demand for illegal wildlife trade

Economic Trade

New York - JetBlue and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced they are joining forces to encourage and empower travelers to play a role in protecting the beauty and wildlife of one of the world’s most popular destination regions, the Caribbean. An increase in illegal wildlife trade in the area is contributing to the decline and potential extinction of animal species such as sea turtles, parrots, iguanas and coral.

“Tourism brings 22 million visitors a year to the Caribbean. Degradation of wildlife and biodiversity is a risk to demand for air travel to the region, thus impacting JetBlue,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue. “We’ve joined with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a large-scale dialogue and action highlighting the numerous ways to travel, eat and shop in the Caribbean, leaving the region stable for future tourism.”

On World Wildlife Day (March 3), JetBlue and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed a five-year agreement, which will launch with a customer education and awareness campaign. The Service and JetBlue will work together beyond the initial inflight video to develop online content, social media campaigns and strategies that will seek to reduce demand for illegal wildlife.

JetBlue will use one of its core differentiators – seatback TVs available at every seat on all flights – to inform customers about responsible travel and shopping practices in the Caribbean. Through an online casting call, JetBlue will recruit Caribbean locals including those in the travel industry to tell their stories in a short inflight video. Participants will discuss their commitment and efforts to protect the future of tourism and the natural resources of their local communities and countries. The video will highlight stories that showcase tangible solutions are underway. Champions of Caribbean conservation can share their stories through March 27. (Please note – JetBlue is solely responsible for this casting call and will have complete control over any information collected using this link.)

“The Caribbean is considered to be a wildlife trafficking hotspot,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “We are thrilled to work with JetBlue to empower travelers and Caribbean residents to reduce demand for illegal wildlife. We are committed to protecting these special places and species, and with the public as our partners, we can support conservation worldwide by asking questions and learning the facts before buying any wildlife or plant product.”