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Sarah Kugel, a Natural Resources major, spent a semester in Baja California Sur, Mexico with the School for Field Studies working on sea turtle conservation.
"All five species of sea turtles that inhabit the waters of Mexico are in danger of extinction," Sarah explains. "The Mexican government made a ban against harvesting them in 1990, but this has only led to the development of a black market."
"Mexicans have been consuming sea turtle meat for centuries, especially on occasions such as weddings and Lent. From surveys I conducted with fishermen responsible for illegal sea turtle harvest, I found that many of them looked forward to their children and grandchildren being able to enjoy the meat just as their parents once did."
"In my short time in Baja, I worked alongside local conservation groups helping to educate fishermen on these issues by involving them in sea turtle conservation programs and providing them with alternatives to continuing illegal harvest. I found that education from conservation groups, including the program I was with, is going to be vital to the restoration of sea turtle populations."