Reporte final de la anidación de tortugas marinas, Playa Pacuare, Costa Rica (Temporada 2012)
¡Sí a la pesca sostenible!
Detrás del pescado no sólo hay peces
We are pleased to end the year by sharing with you our bulletin full of the latest activities and achievements of LAST/WIDECAST and look forward to working together over the next year as we move forward in achieving our goal to protect and conserve sea turtles in Latin America.
The aim of this study was to identify drivers underpinning sea turtle use by residents of communities surrounding
Cahuita national park on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The implications of these findings are addressed in relation
to the issue of illegal sea turtle egg removal within the national park. Members of 3 communities: Cahuita town, Hone
Creek and Playa Negra, were interviewed, face-to-face using semi-structured questionnaires (n=48) designed to
compare local human perceptions of sea turtles with differences in their use within and between communities. Factors
identified as influencing human poaching behaviour are economic drivers, perceived legitimacy, governance, personal
morals, socio-cultural norms, and awareness. In communities where income levels are variable, such as Hone Creek
and Playa Negra, economic drivers are the major influence of poaching behaviour due to reliance on illegal trade of sea
turtle eggs as a source of income. Conversely, the key behavioural drivers in Cahuita town are economic gain via the
tourism industry and social influence, resulting in compliance with regulations. Awareness of sea turtle conservation is
recognised as a key factor driving behaviour in all communities, influencing personal morals and perceived legitimacy
of regulations. Future management strategies should aim to involve local communities in sea turtle conservation as a
way to increase levels of self-compliance. Raising awareness through educational workshops in all communities
associated with the national park is recommended. These should be interactive, enabling open communication and
transparency of information between all stakeholder groups, to facilitate change and progress towards both ecological
and socio-economic sustainability.
The aim of this research was to compare marine turtle conservation methods on the
Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica at three sites: the Caribbean Conservation
Corporation site at Tortuguero and the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and
Rainforest Conservation site at Cano Palmo, and the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. These
sites were selected to represent diverse approaches in the conservation movement within
Costa Rica, including American, Canadian and Costa Rican.
During the early 1900s many marine turtle populations around the world were near
extinction due to hunting. Recently factors including nesting beach destruction due to
anthropogenic use, incidental capture in fisheries, fishing practices degrading turtle
feeding grounds, as well as pollution, have all been linked to declines in marine turtle
populations. Marine turtles play a large role in the social structures of the communities
surrounding these three sites, therefore, it is important to consider conservation strategies,
ecotourism and local communities while comparing these three sites.
Data from expert and stakeholder interviews conducted during November 2006 - January
2007 are used to compare conservation strategies employed at the three turtle nesting
sites. The most effective methods are employed at Ostional Wildlife Refuge due to the
fact that this site is able to combine local community needs with ecotourism. The local
community at this site is in control of conservation and ecotourism at this site is
beginning to directly benefit the local population. This research enhances current
understanding about marine turtle conservation methods. It describes the Costa Rican
situation but has wider applicability.
Sea turtles have an important cultural, ecological and economic value. Indigenous communities of the region, as well as more recent colonialists have benefited from the meat, shell, skin and oil of these turtles. Archaeological studies testify to the evidence of more than 1,000 captures per years. The negative effect of these historical captures without any regulation are even exacerbated by the causes of death that originated with the mid-twentieth century, which include: the incidental entanglement in fishing nets, the fragmentation of nesting and feeding grounds due to coastal development and increased tourism, as well as the diversification of human activities in coastal areas and in the ocean. Latter has caused them to be regarded as an endangered species, being included in Appendix I of the CITES agreement (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Las tortugas marinas del tienen un valor cultural, ecológico y económico. Las comunidades indígenas de la región, al igual que los colonizadores más recientes, se han beneficiado de la carne, carapacho, piel y aceite de las tortugas. Los estudios arqueológicos testimonian la evidencia de más de 1,000 años de captura. Los efectos negativos de una captura histórica y carente de regulación son exacerbados por las causas de mortalidad iniciadas a mediados del siglo XX. Entre las que se incluyen: ser retenidas accidentalmente en las redes de pesca y por su fragmentación en las áreas de alimentación y anidación, debido al desarrollo costero e incremento del turismo, así como ala diversificación en actividades realizadas tanto en las zonas costeras como en las oceánicas. Esto último ha ocasionado que se les considere como especies en peligro de extinción, y se les coloque en el Apéndice 1 de los acuerdos del CITES (Convención sobre el Comercio Internacional de Especies Amenazadas de Fauna y Flora silvestres, CITES por sus siglas en inglés).