In three separate busts on different coasts, Costa Rican police officers and Coast Guard officials seized a total of 442 sea turtle eggs on Monday and Tuesday.
Officials from the Quepos Coast Guard discovered the first batch of eggs on Monday after stopping the fishing boat Porvenir VII for a routine inspection in Esterillos Oeste, on the country’s Central Pacific coast. Authorities opened the boat’s cooler and found a bag of 80 turtle eggs. Seven of the eggs were still in the process of formation, which led Coast Guard officers to assume the fishermen must have killed a mother turtle. The captain of the boat, a man surnamed López, was arrested.
On Tuesday night on the other side of the country, police intercepted a woman with the last name Meléndez and a man with the last name Rosales on a motorcycle in Limón carrying a bag of 313 green turtle eggs. The couple was arrested and the eggs were sent to biologists at the Environment Ministry to find a hatchery to rebury the eggs. That same night in the nearby town of Guápiles, police captured an egg vendor selling 49 eggs from a cooler outside the Palí grocery store. The suspect carried allegedly falsified paperwork that said the eggs came from Playa Ostional, the only beach in Costa Rica where sea turtle eggs can be legally harvested.