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70,000 sea turtles of 3 species are released in Limón.

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An environmental compensation initiative for the protection of Playa Moín, called “Project for the Conservation of Sea Turtles in Playa Moín”, has released between 2015 and 2019 more than 70 thousand turtles, of which 90% correspond to trunks, 8% green and 2% tortoiseshell.

The Minister of Environment and Energy, Carlos Manuel indicated that Playa Moín is characterized by the spawning of three types of sea turtles: green, considered in danger of extinction and the leatherback and hawksbill, which are still in critical danger of extinction. “The program tries to instill in the locals the importance of not consuming turtle meat or eggs and to protect these species at risk,” he said.

Didiher Chacón Chaverri, director of the project, reported that during each liberation day they had the support of people from the community, project collaborators and at least 100 boys and girls from schools in the area, who are part of the education program project environment. “Before the project, almost all the clutches were looted, today from each nest, made up of approximately 83 eggs, 65% correspond to turtles that are successfully released,” he said.

The Tropical Science Center (CCT), developer of the proposal, executes a plan for the protection of sea turtle eggs and the release of hatchlings on the 18-kilometer strip of beach, ranging from the mouth of the Moín river to the mouth of the river Matina.

Chacón explained that this year, not being able to have the Public Security resource due to the pandemic, work with the community was reinforced. “Thus we have managed to collect 278 nests, which represent 50% of what is achieved in a normal year,” he explained.

“This idea will be developed with the community, government agencies and Limonense society, but in the medium term the objective is to involve international tourists,” said Chacón Chaverri.

The Project announced that by 2021 it is considering the possibility of accepting more volunteers and with more experience, creating a group of local guides to start with ecotourism -through night walks that raise awareness about the conservation of turtles- and eliminate consumption of their eggs and meat, promoting environmental education and ecotourism with local citizens as clients.

The Sea Turtle Conservation Project in Playa Moín has a team of 7 people: 2 biologists, 5 people from the community with knowledge of egg poaching, in addition to the support of security personnel provided by APM Terminals and the Public Force, being a excellent example of a public-private partnership.

This initiative – approved by the National Environmental Technical Secretariat (SETENA) – developed on this beach where turtles come to nest and spawn, is part of the Environmental Management Program (PGA) of AMP Terminals.

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