Thursday, January 10, 2008

Turtle Rescue

Up and down the coast fishermen have been working the sea heavily for days now. It's not often that the ocean seems to boil over with life, what with all the overfishing that takes place off these shores. When, pods of spinner, stinky, and spotted dolphin where seen only 15 miles from shore, and stretching far out into the horizon, the fishermen knew that the tuna would be with them. Our first day in the water we hit it big. We go great shots of the schooling spinner dolphin, but we wanted the rarer, and more difficult spotted dolphin. These more elusive dolphin carry with them the big tuna, and are one of the species that is constantly under attack by the tuna fisheries... If you find the dolphin, you find the tuna, and the dolphin are what people search for.

We returned the the ocean yesterday with all of our gear, new knowledge, and refined techniques ready to "get the shot" but it seemed like a whole new ocean. The dolphin where not just to far out, they where gone. Yet, while we where in the ocean, we found a long line in the water about 20 miles out. It's not illegal to use long lines out here, but while we followed the line of bouys, we found a sea turtle in distress. It had swallowed the bait, and had been fighting for hours, it's fatigue apparent as it didn't even try to escape the boat. And so, we entered the water, and freed the turtle. In Costa Rica, even the endangered species are used for food, as any meat is generally a delicacy for the locals. All turtles are protected, and it was a privilege to help this one along on its never ending ocean voyage.

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