Sea Shepherd plans turtle documentary

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has announced the release of its first feature-length, in-house documentary, titled “Why Just One?” The documentary addresses the dramatic decline in sea turtles and the organization’s efforts to defend them, it said.

The announcement corresponds with the launching of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise money to finish post-production on its documentary. Scheduled for release this summer, this documentary will change the way people see sea turtles and those who risk their lives to defend the turtles, the organization said.

In Costa Rica there is a war taking place between poachers and conservationists, said Sea Shepherd. The organization gave this description:

In the documentary, Sea Shepherd volunteers defend the same beach where 26-year-old Jairo Mora Sandoval was murdered in 2013 while protecting sea turtles. The Sea Shepherd crew endures attacks and braves treacherous conditions to follow in Jairo’s footsteps. They tackle a vexing paradox: trying to prevent the poaching of sea turtle eggs in Costa Rica when the activity is legal in one beach town, Ostional, on the country’s Pacific coast. This legal loophole fuels and enables egg poaching throughout in Costa Rica.

In “Why Just One?,” Sea Shepherd said it explores the widely accepted statistic that just one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings survive to maturity.  Experts, conservationists, government representatives and poachers are interviewed, including one of Jairo Mora Sandoval’s closest friends, it said.

“On May 31, 2015, we launched Operation Jairo to defend sea turtles in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Florida,” said Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s founder, Capt. Paul Watson, in a release. “We named the campaign after Jairo Mora Sandoval to honor his memory and continue his work to defend turtles. Without patrolling the beaches, we cannot tackle the problems of poaching turtles and their eggs. And without tackling the problems of poaching, we cannot save turtles from extinction.”

Last year, Sea Shepherd’s Operation Jairo saved more than 12,000 sea turtles and eggs in its campaign to protect the ancient mariners in Costa Rica, Honduras and Florida, the organization said. By patrolling the beaches at night, Sea Shepherd volunteers were able to stop poaching in Costa Rica and Honduras. In Florida, volunteers ensured that turtle hatchlings made their way into the ocean without being distracted by bright lights, the organization added.

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