The plight of sea turtles reflects the general state of Salvadoran coastal resources. Habitat degradation and the unregulated, unsustainable collecting of the eggs of four sea turtles species nesting in El Salvador have brought a once abundant resource close to extinction. In February 2009, the government of El Salvador banned any form of sea turtle commercialization. The economic impact would have fallen mostly on vulnerable tortugueros and their families. USAID and other organizations established a program that paid tortugueros to bring sea turtle eggs to beach hatcheries for protected incubation and release. This program succeeded in replacing tortugueros’ lost income and released over 1 million sea turtle hatchlings. The program continues as part of a long-term, national program of sea turtle conservation. The HSBC partnership will establish an alliance to support sea turtle hatchery operations in the San Diego beach in eastern El Salvador. San Diego is a particularly important foraging and nesting area for hawksbill sea turtles. The partnership will use seed funding from USAID to bring together HSBC and the San Diego Tortuguero group to continue sea turtle egg collection activities and hatchery operations for at least five years.
|Location||Latin America and Carribean, El Salvador|