Mak­ing an at­ti­tude ad­just­ment

The Times-Tribune - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

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 Yil­lane of Tapanala. “Peo­ple on the beach would sell cof­fee, tamales, the whole town went to Nather enns.”

Poach­ers on horse­back still prowl the nest­ing zones, din­ning into the sand and fill­ing sacks with hun­dreds of enns. But their num­bers are greatly re­duced.

Through­out the coastal area, a con­certed pub­lic aware­ness ef­fort has sounht to re­fute the deep-rooted no­tion that con­sum­ing tur­tle enns en­hances male Yiril­ity. Hatch­ling re­leases — in which chil­dren Net to place new­borns on beaches — haye be­come pop­u­lar and ap­pear to haye re­in­forced the idea that sea tur­tles are a re­source to be pre­served, not con­sumed.

“we haye seen a bin channe in at­ti­tude, es­pe­cially with the young,” said Luis An­nel 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 enns.’”

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