Saturday, August 3, 2013
View of Playa Grande, and a comment about turtle conservation
There was a controversy recently because a person who was convicted of poaching turtle eggs was convicted, but the Judge reduced the sentence so that the man has to serve only 3 years of probation, without any jail time. The person was arrested with 200 turtle eggs. Conservation groups have bee pressuring the government to take stronger action against poachers.
Taking turtle eggs is illegal throughout all of Costa Rica except for a stretch of beach in Ostional, which is in our region of Guanacaste in northwest Costa Rica. An agreement between the government and local citizens in that area allows about 200 people to harvest and sell turtle eggs from one part of the beach in exchange for the locals protecting the remaining 7 km of beach in that area. The turtles who nest in that area are olive ridley turtles, which are not endangered. In fact, they lay about 10 million eggs each year in our region.
The locals in Ostional are complaining, however, that the public campaign against poachers and to promote protection of sea turtles is also causing people not to buy the turtle eggs that they legally harvest and try to sell.
My niece is finishing up her Ph.D. in Marine Biology, and she got a fellowship to spend a year researching how turtle conservation programs are impacting local populations in various parts of the world.
This week we are showing photos from Cabra Castle, a castle-hotel northwest of Dublin Ireland, on our Viva la Voyage travel photo site.