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Turtle poaching still rife on Mexico’s Pacific coast

November 15, 2012

Hundreds of turtles are still being captured and killed by local poachers on the Jalisco coastline to be sold on the black market for their meat.

Although turtle poaching is not considered as significant a problem as it was during the 1970s and 1980s, it remains a lucrative business.

Sold raw, turtle meat is worth from 80 to 150 pesos per kilo, but sold to tourists in an “estofado” or stew, it can go for over 1,000 pesos per kilo, according to an investigation by Spanish-language daily Milenio this week.

Barra de Naviadad, Melaque and Manzanillo are the primary markets for turtle meat, while turtle eggs and hides are most commonly smuggled to Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta where they can be illegally sold at great profit.

While common along Mexico’s Pacific coast, Olive Ridley sea turtles are classified as “vulnerable” to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature And Natural Resources.

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