Maui Ocean Center

Task: Custom digital illustration of a Hawaiian Sea Turtle
Software: Adobe Illustrator by Lisa Tusberg

What the client needed

An Endangered Species

The purpose of these illustrations were for a marketing campaign to create brochures and collateral to promote awareness of the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle as an endangered species.

In old Hawaii, green sea turtles were thought to be the property of the ali‘i, or chiefs, and were sometimes raised in loko i‘a, or fishponds. The meat was eaten, bones used for ornaments or fishhooks, and shells used for containers.

Some individuals or families did not take or consume honu, rather they were thought as family deities (aumākua) and were worshipped and cared for.

All sea turtles are listed as endangered species in the United States, meaning it is a federal offense to harm, harass, or even touch a sea turtle. Whether the turtle is in the water or resting on a beach, any physical contact is prohibited. Current research in Hawaii shows the Hawaiian green turtle population is increasing since they have been protected by federal law.