The following is a guest post from Scott Drucker, member of the “Between the Harvest” team.
“Between the Harvest” is the story of Ostional, a small coastal town that relies on a legal harvest of olive ridley sea turtle eggs. Told through the eyes of these two fragile species, this short documentary delves into one of the biggest controversies in the marine world: is this harvest an exemplary conservation project? The aim of the film is to create a discussion about conservation, think about the legality of such a project, and to expose the threats that exist to the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle.
If a closer investigation is needed of the harvest, perhaps this particular arribada and this community will help bring attention to the needs of the species in costa rica: people are still trashing the ocean, poaching eggs throughout the country, and illegally fishing off the shores of arribada beaches. Along with the threats of warming waters, we need to be more aware of how we are treating the ocean and its inhabitants, and truly think about what is best for all species.
Follow this link for a summary of many of the issues as well as an explanation of the arribada and harvesting practices at this beach. We cited one of the top books on the olive ridley sea turtle, Pamela Plotkin’s Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles, particularly the report from Lisa Campbell entitled Understanding Human Use of Olive Ridleys.
“I realized then that tourists and turtles both have a virtually identical impact on the community of ostional; they arrive out of the blue, bestow untold riches upon the town, and then return to their glorious lives in other parts of the world, thereby leaving the people of ostional no choice but to wishfully burn the days until their beneficiaries return.” -Adam Beals, former ICADS student