Helping a small newborn turtle reach the ocean for the first time, even if we do not know its destination, is an experience that every person should have in life. That is why we are here, to support its conservation. That is the work that we proudly carry out and that also generates resources for the community ”.
This is how Paola Carrillo defined the work carried out by the Punta Banco Neighborhood Association, in Golfito de Puntarenas, of which she is the vice president.
This November 13, more sea turtles were released on the beach during the tour carried out by Inder in the Brunca Region, to celebrate the success of the project that began in 2004 and which is led by a group of neighbors, concerned about the looting turtle eggs, hunting them indiscriminately and at the same time generating resources for their families.
“This organization was supported by Inder through its program for the Promotion of Food Production and Safety, which provided tools and supplies for the construction of new nurseries and thus prevent the theft of eggs,” said Harys Regidor, executive president of Inder, when visiting the project this Friday with the Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), Victoria Hernández, coordinator of the Territorial Dialogue Table of the Brunca Region.
Regidor added that “in addition, because the patrolling that the volunteers must do is extensive, 8 bicycles were donated to the organization, implements for conservation, three computers and a projector for talks to tourists. Inder’s investment in this project was ₡ 6.8 million ”, he specified.
“I celebrate the opportunity to maintain a healthy balance between the environmental and the socio-economic aspects with projects such as the conservation of turtles and responsible fishing, since they are a boost for this sector and the local economy of the communities that depend on fishing in the Canton of Golfito ”, said the Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce and coordinator of the area, Victoria Hernández.
Together in the defense of three species of turtles. This Punta Banco project is in charge of conserving three different species: parrot, green and hawksbill; these last two in serious danger of extinction. All of them come to this beach in the South Pacific of the country to spawn between June and January of each year.
It consists of 50 community volunteers, previously trained by biologists, following the protocols established by the Ministry of the Environment (MINAE) and with their cards up to date, are in charge of patrolling the beach every night, for more than 10 kilometers, to locate the turtle nests and carefully transfer them to the association’s so-called nurseries. Here the eggs are monitored during the incubation period which is between 40 and 45 days. After this, the turtles are released onto the beach.
However, according to expert data, only one in every thousand released turtles manages to survive, reach adulthood and start the reproduction cycle. This organization, in the last seven years, has released some 200 thousand turtles and at the same time resources are generated for the community.
Each person who successfully locates and moves the eggs to the hatcheries receives $ 10. Just the previous year, the project generated $ 13,000 for its residents. The resources to support the project come from the activities carried out such as the Turtle Festival, sale of T-shirts, donations from foreign foundations, bingo halls, among others.
Responsible Fishing Project. In Golfito, Inder also supported the Bahía Pavones Fishermen’s Association (APEBAPA) for its responsible artisanal fishing project, as an alternative to other types of fishing. Through the Promotion of Food Production and Safety program, they received 12 long-range communication radios.
This will allow them to have equipment that provides security in the event of an emergency on the high seas. In addition, they were provided with the 2 freezers to preserve the bait for longer, as well as to refrigerate the product to preserve its quality. In total, the organization received ₡ 5.5 million in equipment.
Both projects were led by the Inder Territorial Development offices in Paso Canoas and Río Claro and delivered this Friday as part of the Inder authorities’ tour of the Brunca Region.