Some people still do not get the message that turtles are more valuable for tourism than for the stew pot. Fuerza Pública officers said that they came across what looked like a turtle roundup Tuesday night in Moín. Five breeding-age green turtles were tied up and ready for slaughter, they said.
Officers did not capture the responsible parties, but poaching turtles is a continual problem on the Caribbean coast. The security ministry said that the turtles were returned safe and sound to the sea after getting a health check at the Centro de Rescate Jaguar de Puerto Viejo. Members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas trucked the turtles there.
There have been several incidents in the past weeks where officers found butchered turtles in vehicles or boats.
In addition to Costa Rican laws, green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are listed as endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.