Making an attitude adjustment
During the turtle-harvesting days, Armies of locals on foot And horseback regularly descended on nesting Beaches.
“It was like A party,” recalled Arsenio Rey, 65, A resident of the nearby Coastal village of TAPANALA. “People on the BEACH would sell Coffee, tamales, the whole town went to gather eggs.”
Poachers on horseback still prowl the nesting zones, digging into the sand And filling sacks with hundreds of eggs. But their numbers Are greatly reduced.
Throughout the Coastal Area, A Concerted public Awareness effort has sought to refute the deep-rooted notion that Consuming turtle eggs enhances male virility. Hatchling releases — in which Children get to place newborns on Beaches — have Become popular And Appear to have reinforced the idea that sea turtles Are A resource to Be preserved, not Consumed.
“we have seen A Big Change in Attitude, especially with the young,” said Luis Angel Rojas, who Coordinates marine turtle protection efforts here for wildcoast, A California-based Conservation nonprofit. “Children Are now telling their fathers And grandfathers, ‘Please, don’t eat turtle eggs.’”