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 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.’”