Past Campaigns

Costa Rica

The Facts

Sea turtles face a long list of human induced threats including entanglement in fishing gear, by catch, ocean pollution, disorientation from artificial light from commercial and residential buildings, and poaching. Humans post the most significant threat to the survival of sea turtles today, but ironically, we also hold the key to their survival.

What SSCS is doing?

Sea Shepherd’s anti-poaching campaign in Jaco will launch on September 1st and run through December 1st. Sea Shepherd volunteers will protect olive ridley and green sea turtles that nest on Jaco Beach. Eggs from the nests will be relocated to the Jaco police hatchery. In addition to nightly patrols, volunteers will conduct weekly beach cleanups during the Costa Rica campaign.


Florida

The Facts

In southeastern Florida, sea turtle poaching is thankfully not an issue, but nesting turtles and hatchlings face an equally vexing problem. Loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles and hatchlings are at great risk in this region because industrial light pollution from businesses and homes along Florida’s Gold Coast, threatens the safety of the turtles and hatchlings by directing them away from the water and toward dangerous lighted streets and properties, where they become dehydrated and die or get crushed by cars.

What SSCS is doing?

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will employ a large team of volunteers each night, working hand-in-hand with volunteers from our local partner S.T.O.P. (Sea Turtle Oversight Protection) to re-orient emerging sea turtle hatchlingsaway from commercial light pollution along the shoreline and toward the ocean, thereby ensuring they make it safely to the sea. Lighting ordinances are in effect throughout Greater Ft. Lauderdale but compliance and enforcement will be an issue. Education and awareness are key. Remarkably, non-compliance with coastal lighting ordinances is responsible for causing more than one-third of the region’s sea turtle hatchlings to disorient toward lights rather than to the sea.


Honduras

The Facts

Pollution, poaching and accidental drownings in fishing gear have contributed to rapid population depletion and there is no end in sight. In an effort to ensure that female sea turtles are not disturbed while nesting and that their nests are not looted by poachers, who steal and sell the eggs, Sea Shepherd volunteers will patrol the beaches nightly, defending these peaceful creatures from August through November.

What SSCS is doing?

Throughout the night, patrols will search for fresh turtle tracks. When a set of tracks is found, volunteers follow them to locate the pregnant turtle, which has emerged from the ocean with the intent of “nesting.” Once she settles on a location, she will dig the hole and begin dropping eggs into the nest. During this time, the female turtle goes into a trance-like state, thereby allowing the volunteers to photograph, measure, and tag the female as well as count the eggs.

When the female has finished laying the eggs and covers up the nest, the volunteers will geo-tag the location for future reference and after the mother returns to the ocean, the volunteers will cover all tracks leading to and from the nest. This ensures poachers have no idea where the nests are and do not know where to dig for eggs. After the turtles hatch (50-60 days after nesting), volunteers will stand watch over the nests to make sure that poachers do not steal the baby turtles (hatchlings), and to assist disoriented hatchlings, thereby allowing them the best opportunity to safely make it into the ocean.

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