Why You Shouldn’t Take Seashells From the Beach

Why You Shouldn’t Take Seashells From the Beach

It is against the law to take shells out of Aruba. The incidents of catching these at airport continues to increase and it causes problems at departure.  The visitors get fined and the shells are confiscated. But why the law in Aruba is so strict about it? 

You might be wondering: what’s wrong with taking just one shell? What difference does it really make? Well, it can make a world of difference. Depending on the shell you take, you could be robbing an animal of a home, building material, food or even disturbing an entire ocean ecosystem.

Walking along the seashore in search of shells and other curios is a favorite pastime for beachgoers of all ages. A lot of us will remember family holidays on the beach where we first collected seashells in a bucket! And for some, collecting shells becomes a life long hobby. But did you know removing seashells could damage the ecosystems of the beach and endanger sea life?

When those whimsical walkers pocket the nautical treasures they find on the beach, there can be unintended environmental repercussions. Shells provide a diverse swath of environmental functions: they help to stabilize beaches and anchor seagrass; they provide homes for creatures such as hermit crabs and hiding places for small fish; they are used by shorebirds to build nests; and when they break down, they provide nutrients for the organisms living in the sand or for thsoe that build their own shells. 

The ocean supports many delicate ecosystems. If one thing is out of balance, the results can be devastating. For example, some experts say the removal of shells can impact shoreline erosion patterns. This could have dire effects on coastal populations, especially in combination with global warming and rising sea levels. Not only that, but every shell performs some ecological role

Yes, We Can Make a Difference and Help Protect Marine Life! Though maybe it’s best we still enjoy the beauty of seashells in their natural enviroment at the beach. Yet leave them there, where sea life can exist and the next beach goer can learn about these natural wonders!


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