Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Announces Sea Turtle Defense Documentary ‘Why Just One?’

Newly hatched Olive Ridley making a run for the ocean. Photo: Matthew Karsten,

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society 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.

Today’s announcement corresponds with the launching of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to finish post-production on its groundbreaking new documentary. Scheduled for release in the summer 2016,  this documentary will change the way people see sea turtles and those who risk their lives to defend the turtles.

Dispatches from Camp Pacuare

Commentary by Alex Shopov

Sea Shepherd Operation Jairo volunteers in Costa Rica.
Photo: Sea Shepherd

As we made our way across the beach under the weak light of a moon almost completely obscured by clouds, the biologist studied the water pooling in his footprint with a quiet intensity. With a gleeful exultation, he dropped to his knees, and carefully began excavating deeper into the hole his foot had created in the damp sand. He beckoned for me to shine my light (filtered red, so as not to disturb any nesting turtles we came across) in the hole as he carefully exposed and removed the valuable buried treasure we had been searching for: newly hatched leatherback sea turtles.

Sea Shepherd to Launch ‘Operation Jairo’ in Southeastern Florida July 15

A turtle hatchling makes its way to the sea.
Photo: Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will launch a third location for Operation Jairo, its 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign, in Florida this week. The campaign will bring Sea Shepherd volunteers from Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom and United States to the shores of southeastern Florida’s Greater Fort Lauderdale area beginning on Wednesday, July 15.

Operation Jairo also continues in Costa Rica and Honduras where it began on May 31, marking the two-year anniversary of the tragic murder of young Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval.

Turtle Hatchlings Safely Reach the Sea with the Help of Operation Jairo Volunteers in Costa Rica

File photo: Sea turtle hatchlings make their way to the ocean. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager

Sea Shepherd volunteers for 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign Operation Jairo are currently on the ground in Costa Rica and Honduras, defending endangered nesting turtles and their eggs from poaching. With an average of only one in 1,000 sea turtle hatchlings surviving to adulthood, these imperiled marine animals need our help in order to have a fighting chance against extinction!

In the video below, watch as newly hatched baby turtles safely reach the ocean with the help of Sea Shepherd’s Operation Jairo crew, working together with a biologist from non-profit organization Quelonios del Caribe, in Costa Rica. Sea Shepherd volunteer Ben Harris of England recounts the timely rescue of the hatchlings on Pacuare Beach, which took place just before the tide would have washed over the nest, making it difficult for the tiny turtles to climb out from beneath the heavy sand. The eggs that had not yet hatched, 66 in total, were relocated to a hatchery, where they will be guarded until the turtles have emerged and are ready to be released to the sea.

Reward Offered for Two Turtle Terrorists

Sea Shepherd Offers $2,000 for the Capture of Anna Maria Island Turtle Killers

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

File photo: A protected sea turtle nest on a Florida beach
Photo: Sea Shepherd

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man and a woman who intentionally ran over sea turtle nests and nesting seabird chicks on the beach at Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Ana Maria Island is located on Florida’s northwestern Gulf Coast near Bradenton, just south of St. Petersburg.

The incident began at 10:30 pm on Saturday, June 27 between Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach where the birds were hit, and ended between 30th and 27th streets in Holmes Beach.

Sea Shepherd ‘Operation Jairo’ Volunteers Attacked by Armed Sea Turtle Poachers in Costa Rica

The Violent Assault Comes Just Ten Days after Sea Shepherd Reported to Costa Rican Authorities Receiving Warning of an Impending Attack by Poachers

Sea turtle nesting grounds on Pacuare Beach, Costa Rica  Credit: Sea Shepherd/Eva Hidalgo

A group of 11 volunteers working with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Sea Turtle Defense Campaign Operation Jairo were physically attacked by poachers last night during a peaceful patrol of Costa Rica’s Pacuare Beach to locate and protect nesting endangered turtles and their eggs. Two volunteers sustained minor injuries.

Upon spotting the Sea Shepherd crew, which included a media team as well as beach patrol volunteers, a group of poachers immediately approached and, unprovoked, began to attack the unarmed Sea Shepherd volunteers with branches and machetes. Initial reports indicate that more than 10 poachers were involved in the attack. Operation Jairo Ground Leader for Costa Rica, Brett Bradley of Australia, stood in between the poachers and his fellow volunteers, enduring most of the violent assault and sustaining injuries to his arms. Media crewmember Ellen Campbell of Canada also suffered an injury to her shoulder.

Sea Shepherd Warns of Threats Against Sea Turtle Defense Campaign Volunteers in Costa Rica

File photo: Sea Shepherd is protecting endangered sea turtles from the deadly threat of poaching
Photo: Sea Shepherd

Volunteers from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Operation Jairocampaign, currently protecting sea turtles and their nests in Pacuare, Limon, Costa Rica, have warned that poachers in the area are planning actions against their personal safety.

Operation Jairo Ground Leader for Costa Rica, Brett Bradley reports that he has been told by a confidential informant that poachers are planning an assault as an attempt to intimidate Sea Shepherd volunteers peacefully working to save sea turtles and their hatchlings along Costa Rican shores.

Sea Shepherd Volunteers Save Nesting Sea Turtle and Eggs from Poachers in Costa Rica

A poacher is caught red-handed with his arm inside the nest of a leatherback sea turtle, removing her eggs as they were being laid
Photo: Sea Shepherd

Just days after the May 31st launch of sea turtle defense campaign Operation Jairo, Sea Shepherd volunteers have located and stopped a poaching operation on Costa Rica’s Pacuare Beach.

Shortly after darkness began to fall on the night of June 4th, Sea Shepherd volunteers were preparing to begin their nightly beach patrol. Ground leader Brett Bradley was advised that a large endangered leatherback turtle was digging a nest near the front gate of the encampment, looking for a place to safely bury her eggs. Brett was also alerted that a man was loitering nearby, very closely watching the vulnerable nesting turtle and likely waiting to steal her freshly laid eggs.

Sea Shepherd Launches Operation Jairo, Sea Turtle Defense Campaign

Volunteers are now present in Honduras and Costa Rica; campaign begins in Florida in July

Upon emerging from its nest, a baby sea turtle hatchling heads to the sea Photo: Sea Shepherd

May 31st, the two-year anniversary of the murder of Costa Rican sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora Sandoval, marks the official start of Operation Jairo, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s summer 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign!

Sea Shepherd volunteers from around the world will be working in Honduras and Costa Rica to ensure that nesting sea turtles and their hatchlings make it safely to the sea.

Join Us on the Beaches to Help Save Sea Turtles!

Join the Volunteer Ground Crew of Sea Shepherd’s 2015 Sea Turtle Defense Campaign Operation Jairo

Sea Shepherd volunteers assisting the hatchlings
Photo: Sea Shepherd

Have you always wanted to join a Sea Shepherd campaign to defend ocean wildlife but have not been able to go to sea or spend a month or more away from home? Operation Jairo might be the perfect campaign for you!

Volunteers will join Sea Shepherd on the ground, conducting beach patrols to protect sea turtles and their hatchlings in three nesting regions critical for these endangered marine animals: southeastern Florida, Honduras and Costa Rica.