Sea turtles, prey to egg and meat traffickers and endangered by fishing and the destruction of their nesting sites, will find even more protection on Mexican shores: the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources has announced the creation of 17 new sanctuaries on arribada beaches.
An arribada, or arrival event, is a five-day-long nesting event on a beach that can involve up to 90,000 turtles.
Semarnat head María Luisa Albores explained earlier in December that the new natural protected areas will comprise over 6,700 hectares in nine states, Oaxaca included.
The new sanctuaries and natural protected areas were created on the beaches of Escobilla and Chacahua, already considered to be among the sea turtles’ favorite nesting beaches.
Similar sanctuaries will be found in the states of Sinaloa, Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Yucatán and Tamaulipas.
Adán Peña, national natural protected areas commissioner, was thankful for the work of park rangers, communities, ejidos, researchers and civil society organizations, emphasizing that in the 17 years since the implementation of the National Sea Turtle Conservation Program, 35 million nests have been protected in Mexico and more than 650 million hatchlings have been released.
“And with that we have recovered the possibility of subsistence of six species . . . and you are part of that history and those achievements,” he said of those who have supported the program.
Peña made a commitment to work immediately on the preparation of the management and operational programs for the 17 new turtle sanctuaries, in order to keep the designation from existing only on paper.