Sea Turtles are some of the oldest living creatures on earth and have called our oceans “home,” for over 500 million years.
Of the seven species of sea turtles that exist, six are currently on the red list of endangered species. They are threatened by human interactions including pollution, coastal development, fishing gear, and poaching. Due to these threats, there has been an alarming decline in sea turtle populations around the world. Since 2014, Sea Shepherd has conducted sea turtle protection campaigns at remote beaches around the world, helping defend mother sea turtles and their eggs from poaching. These locations include Costa Rica, Honduras, Florida, Antigua, Barbuda, and Nicaragua. Our efforts have saved the lives of thousands of turtles from a variety of species including Hawksbill, Green, Olive Ridley, and Leatherback.
The campaign, Operation Jairo II, will span three countries including the United States, Honduras and Costa Rica to protect endangered sea turtles. The launch comes on the heels of Sea Shepherd’s announcement of its first full-length feature film, Why Just One?, chronicling the organization’s successful 2015 Operation Jairo campaign. The crowd-funded documentary Why Just One? raised its goal of $18,000 in one day to complete the production and has a star-studded list of names supporting it. Like its predecessor, Operation Jairo II is named after Jairo Mora Sandoval, a Costa Rican turtle defender who was brutally murdered on May 31, 2013 while attempting to protect leatherback turtle nests. There are seven species of sea turtles in the world. Four have been identified as “endangered” or “critically endangered,” and two are classed as “vulnerable,” by the IUCN Red List of Endangered species. Sea turtles are some of the oldest living creatures, one of the few who’ve watched dinosaurs evolve and become extinct. They are now facing the same fate as their predecessors.
“This species which has survived so much, may not survive us,” commented Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson.