The environmental group Sea Shepherd will patrol beaches during this year’s turtle nesting season in the name of murdered Costa Rican conservationist Jairo Mora.
The group announced “Operation Jairo” on April 23 and asked for volunteers to help patrol beaches against poachers and other dangers in southeastern Florida, Honduras and Costa Rica.
“Sea Shepherd’s Operation Jairo campaign will span the peak nesting or hatching months for sea turtles in all three locations, in an effort to save as many hatchlings as possible – giving the next generations of these endangered species a fighting chance at survival,” the organization wrote on its website.
For the first time, the group will patrol Moín Beach in Costa Rica’s Limón province, the beach where Mora was brutally killed — allegedly by a group of poachers — in 2013.
Sea Shepherd will be patrolling from mid-July to mid-September in Fort Lauderdale, and from May 31st until September in Honduras and Costa Rica.
In Costa Rica, volunteers hope to protect hawksbill, green and leatherback sea turtles on Pacuare and Moín beaches. Poachers are the main threat.
Five out of seven species of sea turtles are endangered, and three of them —hawksbill, kemp’s ridley and leatherback — are listed as critically endangered.
Sea Shepherd has had a rocky relationship with the Costa Rican government. The organization’s founder, Paul Watson, is wanted by the government on charges of attempted shipwrecking in an incident that occurred off the coast of Guatemala in 2002.
In June 2014, Watson began a Facebook campaign to get people to ask Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís to drop the country’s extradition request. The request still stands.
Watson told Costa Rica’s Channel 7 last week that his life would be in danger if he returned to Costa Rica. He said poachers have maintained a $25,000 bounty on his head since 2002.