Authorities have seized 47,000 sea turtle eggs from a building near Mazunte, a popular beach destination between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca and once the site of a turtle slaughterhouse.
Oaxaca Public Security Secretary Ernesto Salcedo said the seizure is the largest in recent years, and was achieved after an investigation in which the National Guard participated.
Four people were arrested for environmental crimes.
Nereo García, Oaxaca delegate for the environmental protection agency Profepa, said that illegal collection of sea turtle eggs from nests on beaches in Oaxaca is a problem, and that some egg traffickers are protected by municipal authorities.
In recent years the military has actively patrolled Oaxaca’s beaches, where thousands of turtles arrive annual to lay their eggs in the sand.
García added that he thinks a new culture of protection of sea turtles needs to be created.
Federal law states that anyone who illegally captures, injures or kills a sea turtle or marine mammal or any of its products can be punished with a prison term of between one and nine years. If the offense was committed in a protected area or was done for commercial purposes, an extra three years can be added to the sentence.
Source: Milenio (sp)