Sea Turtle Extinction – Harvesting or Thieves


We have just discovered why the Costa Rica sea turtle is going extinct, it is not being trapped in fishing nets, pollution,  global warming or tourism development, but local Costa Rican’s  over harvesting eggs where many are starting to claim, it has becomes an illegal attack against nature.

The above photographs [that have been plastered all over the internet],  show the destruction and/or legal harvesting of  turtle nesting sites in  Ostional, which is on the Guanacaste Peninisula.  As you can see, bags and bags  are literally filled with thousands of eggs. These bags are being carried away are supposed to be sold into the local economy, but unfortunately  most end up  on the Asia or other overseas black markets where the price is 10 times higher and this is where the debate starts.

Costa Rica Turtle map

Costa Rica has always claimed they were one of the forefathers of turtle conservation.

And Earthwatch recently praised several conversation programs in Guanacaste, Costa Rica with their “Help Save Leatherback Sea Turtles from Extinction” program.

The coast of Guanacaste is one of the most important remaining nesting beaches in the world.

They went on claiming about these conservation programs, where each night people will sit on the beaches and monitor nesting leatherbacks, measure and tag them, record nest locations, and count eggs to help the researchers determine which factors—from El Niño and La Niña to coastal development—influence nesting success for this critically endangered species. But is it working?

Which ever way you put it,  “How can the people of Costa Rica allow this many eggs to be taken?”

Read this article from the Sea Shepherd – Where Have all the Sea Turtles Gone that came out a few weeks after this article.

…  so what we have done is made a poll to get some feedback on …  Sea Turtle Poll on Whether or Not this is over Harvesting and/or Legalized  Poaching,

… so please let us know how you feel! Thanks

ADDITIONAL POSTS
previous post: Traffic Cameras To Be Installed in San Jose
next post: Costa Rica Alternative Medical – Herbal Medicine, Holistic and Fraud

Comments

  1. Rich boehlke says:

    The so called “scientific” explanation here is that this is a legal practice done in the name of conservation. Then there is another “scientific” explaination here:
    \http://www.conserveturtles.org/seaturtleinformation.php?page=whycareaboutseaturtles

    The two are 180 degrees apart. So, who is telling the truth and who is full of baloney????

  2. Alonso says:

    I found here another interesting point of view:
    http://www.aboutguanacaste.com/Email-of-shame-or-maybe-not.aspx
    Anyway, I totally agree that ilegal poaching as well as shark finning are a terrible practices that must be forbidden and punished, but when you see people that use to be ‘the problem’ becoming part of ‘the solution’, looks to be the most sustainable recipe in cases like this, where important social issues are involved.

  3. ostional surfer says:

    Sounds like something a typical foreigner would write: exploiting the country for its resources, writing an article in english that is published in Costa Rica, all the while staying completely distant from the people they are writing about in their illegally constructed homes in the hills. You should write an article about all the money Americans pay to legislators and law enforcers so that they can build their properties on protected lands.For a more scientific investigation, check out Plotkin’s book, biology and conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles, or check out the documentary film:www.betweentheharvest.comp.s. also note the completely unscientific illogical approach to offering alternatives to such a harvest, since there may be better methods to harvesting…which will clearly not come from the ignorant people running this magazine.”

    • admin says:

      To Ostional Surfer – wish you would LEARN to read first before making comments. First the people that helped contributed to the article are Costa Ricas. Second, this is not a magazine, but a Blog. Third, it is not about the harvesting, but whether or not it contributes to poaching or not. And forth, MAKE SURE YOU read the comments on this and this article – http://ticotimes.com/costa-rica/poaching-sea-turtle-eggs-poll
      and Fifth, I find it strange that you send the comment from, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS!

  4. Scott says:

    I’ve been a sea turtle researcher and volunteer specifically in Costa Rica for some time now. Here’s the Scoop. During the mass nesting which occurs yearly thousands and thousands of turtles lay their eggs in the same place at the same time. This is futile for the success of the nests because after only a few hours there have been so many nests made that the turtles begin digging up each others eggs in order to make a new hole for their own nest. By giving locals the opportunity to harvest eggs for the first day and a half many of the eggs that would have been destroyed by other turtles are being utilized. There are still more than a sufficient amount of eggs left because the mass nesting continues on for some time after its illegal to harvest. Also, there are still months and months of turtle season where only a few turtles come to shore per night and harvesting is prohibited. More nests are destroyed by crabs, birds, and coyate (racoon family) than by humans and in nature less than 1% of the eggs grow to maturity anyway.

    • Jewl says:

      i think it's still wrong that people are eating the eggs. It's nature, and it's the turtle's eggs. It's true that the eggs the people ate could've been eaten or destroyed anyways, but what if it wasn't? It's the cycle of life. And humans are not included in the cycle of life of turtles.

  5. Hi,
    It is good that people perform a year round service for the turtles.
    Thanks,

  6. Jack Plant says:

    What a bunch of morons people who believe this crap are. “Save the environment, save the environment”, is their cry, yet they haven’t a clue what they are talking about and are prepared to accept anything they hear with no proof. Sad!

  7. mandysmother says:

    No matter how much I zoomed in on the photos – I see no gun. I DO see what could be mistaken as a gun though. I see no dead sea turtles either. Afterall – if he killed them – where would he get more eggs?
    People – read the literature !!!! I too was appauled until I read what it said.
    Instinct tells these turtles to lay eggs – not to watch out for other nests in the process. Too many eggs and nests – will rot the newer eggs and nest.THAT will definately cause their extinction.
    Look how many sea turtles are on the small stretch of beach in the photo. This is also due to instinct or they would look for a different beach wouldn’t they ?
    The gov’t is saving the lives of the future sea turtles by this 2 -3 day harvest.
    Incubating thousands of eggs is ridiculous. First – the babies would be released only to be food for the first hungry predator. Secondly – the cost !!!
    These people perform a year round service for the turtles. So what if they make some money for their work !!!! They are helping to PREVENT the extinction of the Olive Ridley turtles.

  8. svedka says:

    I think the “legal harvest” has obviously outlived its usefullness, perhaps a little limiting would be advised. Development and outdoor lighting do also hamper the nesting patterns. But this kind of traditional harvest is meant to preserve lifestyles that use the nutrients for sustenance not economic gain and penis profits. It is time to get the truth on the table and change this practice.

  9. Diane says:

    Some of the adult turtles appear to be dead. I’m guessing the guy with the gun might have used it. I read all the explanations, legal vs illegal harvesting, and remain unconvinced that this is right even if “legal”.

  10. Robert Meechum says:

    Great Post!

  11. oneluvsurfer says:

    I look at the world and wonder who the real animals are sometimes..

  12. D. Johnson says:

    If this harvesting practice is so beneficial then why are the red flags up about the sea turtle becoming extinct? If this is a good thing why are we discussing the negative? That’s it, that’s all.

  13. hermann Jeannine says:

    un monde de fous, la pauvreté des individus ravage tout (l’ultra richesse aussi)

  14. Sheri says:

    This is very disturbing. What is our world coming to?!

  15. sandie says:

    i think its all bull shit we dont need to kill the turtles nor the whales .. maybe we should hassel the p,m,.its happening with all animals.. cats, dogs, and many other animals so why are we letting this happen and the bears come on people if we all did our bit we could help all of this from happening..maybe !!

  16. Lou says:

    If this is in fact a conservation, why in one of these pictures does one of the men hold a gun? Not just on his belt, or a holster, but in his hand? It is possible that there are times when the eggs are harvested in the “first round” of arribada that they are sold to Asian markets, and I wonder why we can’t as some have suggested incubate to allow more turtles to survive and not be extinct. But I am sure that there are also times when the eggs are not harvested legally, and I believe that these pictures are actually of one of those times.

    I just still can’t get past the gun. If it were being done legally, I don’t see the point of a gun.

  17. Malcolm Tattersall says:

    Hello, everyone,
    I was as disgusted by the story as you all obviously were but I didn’t completely trust it so I looked into it.

    Google helped me find a few sources which suggested the pictures actually show a controlled harvest, so I was curious enough to write to SeaTurtle Foundation. Their response is below and confirms what I found with Google, so relax – it’s all legitimate.

    Regards,

    Malcolm

    FROM SEATURTLE FOUNDATION:

    Hi Malcolm,

    The source you eventually found on Google is correct on all counts–the photos are real, but the information attached is inaccurate, and actually depicts a highly regulated, practical conservation program. Here is the information we usually send out regarding this email:

    It seems that there is no need to be depressed. The following comes from Australia’s leading sea turtle expert:

    The associated information is mis-representing the situation.

    The photos are from Ostional in Pacific Costa Rica. It is one of 2 olive ridley arribada sites for the country. Each arribada (massed nesting) occur over several nights and is repeated at monthly intervals a number of times through the year.

    Past studies have shown that a high proportion of eggs laid in the early nights of each arribada do not hatch.

    The population has been increasing across recent decades.

    There is a legal and approved management plan within Costa Rica that allows the local community to take eggs from the beach during arribadas under certain restrictions including:

    - no use of mechanised equipment – only take what individuals can carry.

    - Only take eggs during the first (3 I think) nights of each arribada.

    These eggs provide a cash crop used by the local community.

    As far as I am concerned there is no conservation conflict issue here. The problem is with folks objecting to sustainable use of wildlife resources.

    I have also attached a long release from the University of Costa Rica that points out that this is a managed use of a natural resource with very little (if any) impact on nesting success and major benefits coming back into the community that are also used to protect the beach and the turtles.

    So it seems we can safely welcome Costa Rica back into the world turtle conservation community!

    Thanks very much for forwarding the pictures and for your concern. Please register for our e-zine on our home page and feel free to contact me at any time.

    Cheers
    Julie

    Julie Traweek
    Project Officer
    Sea Turtle Foundation

    FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF COSTA RICA

    The ideas in that post, are produced by a total lack of knowledge of the research and extension activities conducted by the University of Costa Rica, especially the School of Biology in Ostional. In view of this we provide a summary of information gathered over the past 40 years on the topic.
    Of the 19 km of RNVS Ostional only 7 km from the beaches of Nosara and Ostional are sea turtle nesting sites for ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), black (Chelonia midas) and a lesser amount of Eretmochelys imbricata. Ridley turtle presents the mass nesting phenomenon of arribadas, where thousands of females gather in one week of the month for nesting, leaving millions of eggs at the beach. This phenomenon began in 1959 (Chaves et al 2007) and has only been recorded in less than 10 beaches in the world. The School of Biology, University of Costa Rica has been monitoring this phenomenon since 1970 in Ostional (Cornelius and Robinson 1985). From the data obtained from the biology of the arrivals it was decided in 1987 (Cornelius et al. 1991), that the best way to preserve this resource was the application of management rules that involve the regulated harvest of eggs by Ostional locals.
    From 1970 to 2008 there have been 314 arrivals in Ostional, however this data is incomplete since in the early seventies there were a few years no one was working there. The arrivals tend to occur exclusively in the central mile of the seven used by the turtles, which is called the principal nesting beach (PPA). The number of arrivals per year varies between 7 to 16 with an average of 10.87 ± 2.22 events. The duration of the arrivals ranges from one to fourteen days, with an average close to a week. The number of turtles per kilometer of arrivals varies between 4,000 and 400,000 turtles from 1981 to 2008. The trend is that they nest in all months of the year but peak nesting occurs during the months of the rainy season, where arrivals are much more populous.
    Before 1995 the arrivals occurred sporadically outside the PPA, but in the last 20 years there has been a tendency to increase the frequency of arribadas in those areas, mostly during the rainy season. In 2002 we estimated about 700,000 females in four miles of beach in Ostional.The number of females attempting to nest was such that many of them moved inland several hundred meters, where they tried to nest in the gardens of houses, soccer field and even the bar. Many of them were trapped in the vegetation, despite efforts to rescue them by the community of Ostional.
    Monitoring of the nesting population of olive ridleys in Ostional can conclude that it has increased since the area used by them during mass nesting events has grown, has increased in frequency of arrivals and reduced the interval of days between nesting. Finally the number of turtles coming to the PPA has not shown a decline ever since it has been monitored and the highest numbers of turtles have been registered in recent years.
    The large number of turtles nesting on each arrival produce millions of eggs. If each turtle gets an average of 100 eggs, an arrival of 400,000 female produces 40 million eggs. However after the arribada ends, the number of eggs that are actually on the beach is on average 40% lower than that estimated from the number of turtles that nested. The obvious question is where are the remaining 60% of eggs? These are lost for various reasons. The high density of nesting turtles, and the use of mostly the lower area of the beach has two effects on egg loss. First, in some arribadas up to 75% of the eggs are laid in the intertidal zone and therefore lost during the night when the tides change. Second, the highest density of nesting occurs in the first few meters of the beach producing a glut of space that triggers turtles that nest on the site previously placed on excavated nests, with a percentage that varies between 20-40% in the first days of the arrivals but reaches almost 100% to end of some arrivals (Cornelius et al 1991). The beach erosion by the sea and rivers also produce high mortality of eggs, although it is difficult to quantify, but as an example: the arrival of March 1999 was completely fruitless by the action of the sea and the Ostional estuary. Most of the nests were located at the river mouth, where the action of a very high tide completely eroded the nests away.
    But also the nests that survive the continues excavation and erosion also suffer from the high density of nests that are on the beach. We have recorded densities of between 7 to 14 nests per square meter in Ostional (Cornelius and Robinson 1983), with 23.91% of the nests overlapping in area during the arrivals (Chaves 2007). The overlap reduced nest hatching success to less than 30%. These nests attract more predators, tend to suffer higher mortality because the embryo de attaches because of trauma (Ewert 1979). Moreover it was found that the eggs affected tend to increase mortality in the rest of the clutch (Hill 1971).
    Because of these research results is that for 1987 the Ostional community was allowed, through the Development Association of Ostional (ADIO) to legally marketed eggs harvested during the first two days each arrival. The idea is that eggs harvested are the ones with a 100% chance of being destroyed by these turtles in the days following the first arrivals. The average harvest is of about about 500 thousand eggs per arrival, representing an average of 1% of the total eggs laid. In the small arrivals of the dry season much fewer eggs than that are harvested, mainly because of the difficulty of finding nests in dry and loose sand.
    Along with the benefits of the trade of eggs, ADIO continually performs conservation work involving the cleaning of the beach, saving babies, beach monitoring, guiding visitors, elimination of street lighting and placement of natural barriers that turtles avoid entering inland. The beaches’ clean-income improves and increases the turtle nesting area. Women and children in the community are organised to be working groups that scare away predators and help the young reaching the sea. Between 25,000 and 50,000 are rescued everyday. In total, the ADIO devotes about 60 thousand dollars a year to conservation.
    Also part of the proceeds from the sale of eggs is dedicated to community work, which has built community, education and health buildings. They also repair roads, construction of pedestrian bridges and sewage out of the sale of eggs.

    In 2004, we conducted an evaluation of the fate of the eggs left by the turtles from 1987 to 2003. During this period the arribadas there were more than eleven hundred millions eggs in the PPA, of which 76 million was spent on legal sales and 105 million hatched and left for the sea. This makes Ostional one of the beaches with the highest number of births of olive ridleys in the world.
    Given all this information, we believe that Ostional as a project can be sustainably exploited. We are totally in favour of protecting the turtles, based on many years of research that Ostional as resource can be managed.We reiterate that we promote the wise use of eggs in Ostional.
    Please if you have any further questions, the people who coordinate this project are willing to answer any concerns. You can communicate directly to Gerardo Chaves or Federico Bolaños. Also please feel welcome to join us in Ostional and learn more about this unique project.

    Bibliography

    Chaves, G. 2007. Population trend and hatching success of mass nesting of olive ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea Eschscholtz 1829) in the National Wildlife Refuge Ostional, Guanacaste. Magister Scientae, San Pedro de Montes de Oca.

    Cornelius, S.E., M. Alvarado-Ulloa, J.C. Castro-Iglesias, M. Mata-del Valle, D. C. Robinson.1991. Management of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting at beaches Nancite and Ostional, Costa Rica, p. 111-135. In J.G. Robinson and K.H. Redford, (eds.).Neotropical use and wildlife use and conservation. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.

    Cornelius, S.E. and D.C. Robinson. 1983. Abundance, distribution and movements of olive ridley sea turtles in Costa Rica. NWFS.

    Cornelius, S.E. and D.C. Robinson. 1985. Abundance, distribution and movements of olive ridley sea turtles in Costa Rica. NWFS.

    Ewert, M.A. 1979. The embryo and its egg: development and natural history, p. 333-413. In M.Harless and H. Morlock (eds.). Turtles: perspectives and research. John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.

    Hill, R.L. 1971. Rupturing The effect of sea turtle eggs in nests on the hatching emergence percentage. Notes-3 Turtle Suriname, Stichting Natuurbehoud Suriname (STINASU) Medeling 2: 14-16.

  18. robin says:

    AND…..if its a frickin’ ‘harvest’ ..these are not turtles raised for just that… these are wild , endangered turtles??? its bullshit ! shame on anyone who makes excuses and thinks this is ok !! The ticos and ticas I know , would never never never do something like this ..it is shameful to them and the country as a whole ! But, hey the US and other countries are guilty of this kind of crap too…but it doesnt make it right and I stand up against that too!

  19. robin says:

    As someone who moved to Costa Rica 2003-2005, as i thought they were environmentally conscious there. Ilearned in those 2 years ,that everyone can be bought!No matter how you ‘slice’ it …it is wrong. I am in a world of shit financially and may be on the verge of losing my home. I’m not out taking turtle eggs on my beaches to get by! Sorry …it is slaughter as far as I am concerned! And certainly not a lesson to teach your young! For God’s sake…the mother turtles are struggling right in front of them to carry on their species!! It is horrific!

  20. It’s time to bring those babies back from obscurity!

  21. Joe says:

    Exactlly Paul. Costa is in bed with the Chinese who longline off the coast for fins. They even have a warehouse for storage. The guy lied about it but a hidden camera exposed what they were doing.

    So, you people can make all the excuses you want to. But the fact is, Costa Rica is allowing the Chinese to slaughter sharks by the shipfull.

    Turtle conservation? Yeah, like right.

  22. Ray says:

    What a Poor article! This is not real.
    to write a real article you must conect the brain with the……

  23. Paul says:

    Costa Rica also allows Shark Finning, it may be legal, but it is wrong. The Sea Shepard have proved the Costa Rican Government is corrupt and most of their “legal” harvests end up in the Asian market sold for profit.

  24. andrea says:

    I think that If they really cared about the turtles that they would take the eggs from the first day and a half and put them in incubators. It seems to me that this is more of a money thing for the local economy.

  25. Marsha Vaughn says:

    If there were no market for these eggs, there would be no selling them. A good investigative report would include who is buying the eggs, not just “Asian and other countries.” We knew during the Viet Nam war that Monsanto was making napalm. That gave us a way as a consumer to make a statement. If we don’t know who is profiting from this there is little we can do to stop it other than express our outrage.

    Secondly, the people harvesting obviously need an income. As in other parts of the world, the focus on creating jobs, businesses, etc. would defeat this practice.

  26. TV Pura Vida says:

    They sell them in most bars with big signs that advertise the eggs, if they want it to stop they can start buy targeting the vendors as well.

  27. TV Pura Vida says:

    They sell them in most bars with big signs that advertise the eggs, if they want it to stop they can start buy targeting the vendors as well.

  28. Doug says:

    They are selling them rite here in Costa Rica,look at the bars and resturants!!!

  29. Janet Kines says:

    Someone in authority needs to verify this and determine if this an illegal action and do something about it. Otherwise disclose the nature of the operation and tell everyone what is going on. It appears to be devastating.

  30. matildaq says:

    The photographs are genuine, but they do not depict the illegal poaching of turtle eggs. In fact, the egg harvest shown in the photographs is a perfectly legal and strictly controlled event that is managed by the Costa Rican government and been in operation since the 1980′s. Far from being an “attack against nature”, the egg harvest is an integral part of a long term conservation program that has resulted in a significant increase in the successful hatchings of Olive Ridley Turtles.

  31. MatildaQ says:

    If everyone would actually check the facts they wouldn’t send hoaxes all over!!!

    The photographs are genuine, but they do not depict the illegal poaching of turtle eggs. In fact, the egg harvest shown in the photographs is a perfectly legal and strictly controlled event that is managed by the Costa Rican government and been in operation since the 1980′s.

    Far from being an “attack against nature”, the egg harvest is an integral part of a long term conservation program that has resulted in a significant increase in the successful hatchings of Olive Ridley Turtles.

    Detailed Analysis
    Every picture tells a story, they say. However, just how accurate and relevant that story may be is dependant on the context in which the picture appears and the preconceptions and expectations of the viewer. Things are not always what they seem.

    This widely circulated series of images depicting the collection of turtle eggs from a beach in Costa Rica is a case in point. The photographs themselves are perfectly genuine and they certainly do show the harvesting of turtle eggs. However, this egg harvest is not an illegal poaching operation nor is it an environmentally destructive “attack against nature” as suggested in the text that accompanies these photographs.

    Instead, the turtle egg harvest is an important part of a long-term environmental project developed and managed by the Costa Rican government. The photographs show an egg harvest by villagers at Ostional beach, a remote community near Punta Gurones on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. In 1983, the Costa Rican government created the Ostional Wildlife Refuge in the area and later initiated the Egg Harvest Project (EHP). The EHP allowed villagers to continue their traditional practice of harvesting eggs while furthering the long term goal of assisting in the conservation and recovery of the Olive Ridley turtle species. The harvests are strictly controlled, with villagers only allowed to take eggs within the first day and a half of each egg laying event, known as an “arribada”. An article about the Olive Ridley turtle published on the Ocean Actions website notes:
    The capacity of the half mile Ostional beach is insufficient for the large number of nesting turtles and as a result many clutches are destroyed in the nesting process. As thousands upon thousands of Olive Ridley turtles climb on to a stretch of Playa Ostional, 70-80% of previously laid nests are crushed or dug up during the subsequent nesting. It is for this reason that the Egg Harvest Project is justified. Villagers wait and watch, harvesting the eggs laid in the first day and half of the arribada.

    Over the years this practice has proven to increase the percentage of successful hatching by as much as 20%. Assessing a sea turtle population is a challenge, but nesting data in Ostional indicate a stable population. A major contribution to the success of the Egg Harvest Project is the lack of decomposing eggs. If the (sic) left unharvested, the early nests that are destroyed by later nesting females act as a source of bacteria that can contaminate the later nests.
    A 1998 article by John Burnett, correspondent for National Public Radio, also discusses the project:
    The age-old belief in the aphrodisiac power of turtle eggs sustains a thriving black market for the forbidden ovum throughout Latin America. Most countries have banned the collection of these eggs because the world’s eight sea turtle species are endangered by disease, incidental capture in fishing nets, disturbance of nesting areas, and poaching of eggs and turtles.

    But in the coastal town of Ostional, located on Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Peninsula, a 13-year-old project has helped stabilize the population of the olive ridley sea turtle. The government has, in essence, legalized poaching.

    For 10 months of the year, usually around the third quarter of the moon, olive ridleys swim by the hundreds of thousands to a single mile of beach at Ostional in an ancient reproductive rite little understood by scientists. They scuttle onto the sand, dig a hole with their flippers, and drop in an average of 100 leathery, white eggs the size of ping pong balls. Over the course of a five-day “arribada,” literally, an arrival, nesting females will leave as many as 10 million eggs in the black, volcanic sand. Mass nesting is nature’s way of ensuring that after the turkey vultures, feral dogs and raccoons have eaten all the fresh eggs they want, there will be enough left over to produce a sustainable population of olive ridleys.

    In the early 1980s, scientists learned that because of limited space on the beach, females arriving later destroy the first laid eggs. The researchers wondered: why not let poachers have the doomed eggs?

    “What we have done is turn people into predators,” says Dr. Anny Chavez, a sea turtle biologist and one of the founders of the Ostional project, which is world famous among turtle activists.

    Under a law written especially for Ostional, the government allows an egg harvesting cooperative to collect all they can during the first 36 hours of every arribada. Coop members then truck the eggs around the country, selling them to bars and restaurants. In return, the community must protect the olive ridley. Coop members clean debris from the nesting areas and patrol the beach day and night for poachers. Forty days later, when the hatchlings emerge, children from the Ostional Primary school run to the beach.
    Other photographs of Ostional available online clearly show that the photographs in the above sequence do indeed depict the beach at Ostional. And, if the images really did depict an illegal poaching activity, the large crowd of would-be poachers shown would very likely be more clandestine in their activities. Those egg harvesters shown in the images are obviously conducting their activities in a very open manner and clearly show no objection to being photographed. Not the sort of behaviour one would expect from callous poachers engaging in illegal activities.

    Thus, the suggestion in this “protest” email that images depict an event of “world wide shame” and an ‘attack against nature’ is misguided. And the request to send the message on in the hope of stopping the egg harvest is also misguided. As noted above, the Egg Harvest Project at Ostional helps to protect and sustain this precious species. The project represents an innovative, and so far successful approach to species protection. Spreading misinformation in the form of this inflammatory and misleading protest message will serve only to divert attention away from genuine environmental concerns. The illegal and uncontrolled poaching of sea turtle eggs, meat and shells in many parts of the world represents a real and ongoing threat to turtle species. But, castigating and misrepresenting a group of people who have, for many years, participated in a perfectly legal egg harvest that has demonstrably improved the long term outlook for Olive Ridley turtles is counterproductive to say the least.

  32. Uli Meyer says:

    WHY ARE THE AUTORITIES NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT these sad people who sell these eggs to replace Viagra… These people should be identified and FINED!!

  33. Anne says:

    It seems that you speak without knowing. It is a program established by MINAE since 1987. Permission granted for the extraction of eggs is justified by the fact that the first nests are dug up, trampled or damaged during the next bridge. The sustainable management of the mining project allows residents to take advantage of eggs on one hand (a
    Part of the profits being donated to the community), and tourism on the other hand, without affecting the survival of the “tortuga lora”.
    The images that you distribute samples show allowed during the first “arribadas” to Ostional in Guanacaste. This experience has helped to keep thousands of turtles. Poaching is reduced and the local population are not deprived of a source of considerable income.
    Do not rely on images.
    Nesting sites are not down except in the northern Guanacaste or uncontrolled building to house the North American tourists have completely destroyed the reserve Tamarindo / Play Great. This area is condemned but not the rest of the country.
    Many people struggle and achieve excellent results.

  34. Doodie says:

    This is horrible(maybe), but looking at the pictures; it’s daylight and they don’t look like they’re being sneaky at all.

    Are you sure this isn’t one of the authorized harvests? You might want to verify before making the people in the pictures look like criminals.

    I bought some turtle eggs at the “Jumbo” in Liberia last year for a few bucks. Turtle Egg harvesting is legal to a certain point in Ostional and UCR also supervises harvests.

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  1. albert says:

    albert…

    excellent post, keep it coming…

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