Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, Oaxaca — The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) reports the successful transfer of nearly 10,000 live turtle specimens that were seized in the state of Oaxaca.
La Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Profepa) says the seizure came after the live sea turtles were discovered durng a wildlife inspection in Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, Oaxaca bound for a market in China. Three people were found attempting to illegally ship 10,375 Olive Ridley sea turtles out of Mexico.
The seized turtles were transferred to the Center for the Conservation and Research of Wildlife in Los Reyes La Paz, State of Mexico, however, due to their deteriorated physical condition, officials made the decision to transfer the 9,888 turtles to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Several government agencies participated in the transfer of 158 wooden crates of turtles to management units in Chetumal, Quintana Roo and Mérida, Yucatán to improve their rate of survival.
Two women and one man aged 23, 27 and 31, originating from the municipality of Huamelula, Oaxaca, were arrested and handed over to the Federal Public Ministry of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) based in Salina Cruz.
All marine turtles that reproduce in Mexico are protected by NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, in which they appear with the category “P”, that is, in danger of extinction, for which the extraction, possession and commercialization is prohibited, including products, parts and derivatives of sea turtles.
The Federal Penal Code establishes in article 420 that whoever captures, damages or deprives of life any specimen of a sea turtle or mammal, or in its case collects or stores its products or by-products in any way, could receive a sentence of one to nine years in prison.