Operation Jairo is a broad campaign to defend endangered populations of green, leatherback, hawksbill, olive ridley and loggerhead turtles in Florida, Costa Rica and Honduras against various threats, including poaching, fishing net entanglement, trash and light pollution, and destruction of their habitat.
In Florida, the main threat to sea turtles is industrial and urban light pollution, which disorients turtles and prevents them from being able to find the ocean. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society employs a large team of volunteers each night in partnership with the local organization S.T.O.P. (Sea Turtle Oversight Protection) to re-orient emerging sea turtle hatchlings away from commercial light pollution along the shoreline and toward the ocean, thereby ensuring they make it safely to the sea.
In Costa Rica, sea turtles face an array of human-caused threats, including entanglement in fishing gear, by catch, ocean pollution, disorientation from artificial light from commercial and residential buildings, and poaching. When this part of the initiative launches in September 2018, SSCS volunteers will protect turtles that nest on Jaco Beach and relocate eggs to the Jaco police hatchery. In addition to nightly patrols, volunteers will conduct weekly beach cleanups during the Costa Rica campaign.
In Honduras, the main threat to sea turtles is poachers. SSCS patrols search for fresh turtle tracks at night, then follow them to locate and monitor the pregnant turtle as she builds a nest. The volunteers then geo-tag the location for future reference and cover all tracks leading to and from the nest after the mother leaves to ensure that poachers cannot find them. After the turtles hatch, volunteers guard the nests to make sure that poachers do not steal the hatchlings and make sure disoriented hatchlings safely make it into the ocean.
Defend endangered populations of green, leatherback, hawksbill, olive ridley and loggerhead turtles in Florida, Costa Rica and Honduras against various threats, including poaching, fishing net entanglement, trash and light pollution, and habitat destruction.