S.O.S. Baulas 



Las Cortinas de la Muerte

Fósiles vivientes

Playa Grande

Apoyo a la Baulas




 Dr. Freddy Pacheco
Catedrático UNA

Version Español haga click aqui!


While the speculation continues over the necessity of investing huge sums of money to buy the lands close to the nesting beaches leaving aside the most important cause of their disappearance, we will be witnesses and accomplices of their criminal disappearance. While the subject is treated as a theoretical exercise where the experts discuss or talk about this as if they were in academia, there will be arriving fewer and fewer Leatherbacks to lay eggs at Playa Grande and other beaches of the Latin American Pacific.Beyond the good intentions of those who have interest in their survival, the certainty is that the time comes, goes and after it will be impossible to replace. For the representatives of dozens of organizations that call for a moratorium on long line fishing that regulate the industrial fishing is the areas corresponding to the migratory routes of these turtles, this type of fishing constitutes the main threat to the leatherbacks of the Pacific.


The same is said to us by Doctors Frank Paladino and James Spotila when they affirm that to save these turtles it is necessary to take immediate action directed to minimize their deaths caused by fishing. And they say therefore, thanks to their biostatistical studies done for many years in Playa Grande, it is clear to them that this unsustainable adult mortality is “apparently a product of the fishing activity of humans that will very soon lead to the extinction of the population.”   It is not enough then to give due protection to the nesting beaches in which these invaluable animals nest, as they have done for 15 years in the Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas de Guanacaste. For this Paladino and Spotila are right when they say that “although with a total protection of the beaches, whatever population subjected to those rates of adult mortality cannot survive for more than a few years.” History that is repeated in the beaches of Mexico that before were of great importance for these same turtles of the Pacific and today the number of females that arrive to lay eggs are seen to diminish year by year and very accelerated.

In conclusion, to save them it is necessary to close the fishing areas where these turtles congregate and prohibit the form of fishing that is exterminating them as was very well said by Spotila (ENN June 2000). This argument is shared by the Greenpeace Mexico activist Juan Carlos Cantú who claims (in February 2002) that “although when it is know for many years that the tortugas laúd (or leatherbacks) of Mexico are victims of the fishing of other countries, the Mexican authorities have done nothing to establish an international action to remedy the critical situation of the species.”


We need, as much in Mexico as in Costa Rica, that our government authorities use diplomatic means of pressure against the governments of Chile and Peru that they stop the massacre that is caused by fishing boats in national and international waters. In this same way, it is essential that the environmental groups accelerate their international action that leads to an effective moratorium on industrial fishing that is ending the species.

On the other side, it is necessary to reaffirm the protection of the nesting sites so that the problem is not made worse. For this we look to the municipality of Santa Cruz making use of prerogatives and faculties impels and directs a regulatory plan that is specific and obligatory that has as a goal a better protection of the nesting areas located in the beaches of the canton.

Finally, to not be directly responsible for the environmental disaster, the disappearance of this great reptile of the sea, it is necessary to act with reality and urgency, leaving aside particular interests, although well intentioned, that seem mistaken. For now we have the word of the authorities of the central and local governments that they desire to work respectfully. Word that also we left to the inhabitants of the coastal communities that surely want to preserve for future generations the intrinsic natural wonder of the presence of the leatherback turtle.


©Asociacion Para La Proteccion de la Tortuga Baula y el Desarollo de la Bahia de Tamarindo - info@baulas.org