MIAMI – Tens of thousands of endangered sea turtles die every year in the United States when they are inadvertently snared in shrimp nets, an environmental group alleged in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the government.
Hundreds of protesters gathered Thursday in front of a court complex in the Costa Rican capital to express outrage over a verdict earlier this week that acquitted seven defendants of the 2013 murder of sea turtle conservationist Jairo Mora, who has quickly become an environmental martyr in this small Central American country known for its eco-tourism.
Known worldwide for its pristine green image, Costa Rica's environmental record is often seen as flawless by outsiders. Still, environmental problems exist in Costa Rica, and this year's headlines showed that the country has a lot of work to do to truly earn that flawless reputation.
During a meeting for the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals last week, members added a record 21 shark, ray and sawfish species to Appendix II of the convention, which includes all "migratory species requiring international protection."
Two weeks ago, park rangers at Isla del Coco National Park, located 590 kilometers west of Costa Rica's central Pacific coast, discovered six dead silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) and blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) on longline hooks within the boundaries of the park's protected marine area.
Tourist Maciej Oskroba headed back to his home country of Germany on Thursday just nine days after being caught red-handed with more than 400 live animals in his luggage at the Juan Santamaría International Airport outside of San José. He received no jail time and no fine.