Caring for nature and its species is in the hand of all. As we have seen collecting can be tremendously harmful to the natural environment, but can only. Whether it is or not is our responsibility. The shell collectors have the vast fortune that mollusks no longer need their shells when they die. It is therefore a matter of utilization of such material remaining in the environment and that anyway ultimately decompose.
Then I propose a series of simple tips in order to get your activity as shell collector is consistent with the preservation of biodiversity, as it is so fashionable now to say, is as sustainable as possible:
Leave everything in the place where it was found; repositioning large or small rocks, and the vegetation which has been moved; cover the holes you make and the burrows you have looked into.
Avoid collecting live specimens at all costs, focusing on empty shells. Otherwise, take only one shell of each species, or two at most for a possible trade. Of course, never take protected species alive (included in catalogues and red national or regional books of endangered species)
Do not ever withdraw completely a species from a given area
Do not collect inmature specimens who have not yet been reproduced
Respecting the areas of reforestation
Do not buy or exchange species protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), especially when the exporting country signed the Convention. In you contact with a collector that offers the possibility of supply protected species (or included in CITES) because customs control measures are scarce or through any other trick, try to be responsible and not leave blinded by the burning desire to get these species. You should think we are many collectors around the world so if we all behave irresponsibly ......
Carry out a responsible tourism, and not contribute to pollution and destruction of coastal habitats and seabeds
Collect your own shells, reducing to the extent possible the purchase, especially if the sources of supply of such purchases are unknown or suspicious. If you want to make shell exchanges, have sufficient guarantees that the sources providing your shells are governed by our ethic code
Collecting for educational purposes. Your collection must have a priority pedagogical objective, bringing the natural world to the other people, obviously within the context of ethical standards of conduct for good collector that I have just related