Please Report All Deceased Animals to ANAM

In the last 2 months there has been an unusual amount of sea life washing up on the South Caribbean shores of Panama and Costa Rica. It has definitely been the big beloved sea turtles that are the the most obvious and alarming to the people of these beach communities. There have been 41 sea turtles (both Hawksbill and Green) reported in Puerto Viejo and 10 Green Sea Turtles in Bocas del Toro (3 in Playa Larga, 3 in Zapatilla, 3 in Escudo de Veraguas and 1 in Bluff). Dolphins, Red Snapper, eels and unusually high amounts of other marine life (particularly Sharp-nosed Puffer fish) have also been sited washing ashore in the same time period.

Found in Playa Chiquita (Costa Rica) in September.

Found in Playa Chiquita (Costa Rica) in September.

I spoke with Gabriel Jacome of the Smithsonian Research Center and Cristina Ordoñez of ANAM and they both confirmed that this is nothing normal in their experience. Although there are a few theories going around as to the cause of this phenomenon, without the proper documentation and long-term study; nothing can be concluded as of yet. Stay tuned for the next print issue (also available on-line) for a more in-depth look at what experts think may be the reason behind these unusual circumstances.

If you happen find any deceased animals, it’s very important you contact the proper authorities and, if possible, take three pictures:

–          1.  Turtle next to your foot, a cellphone, or anything that can indicate its relative size.

–          2. Head (to tell the species)

–          3. Tail (to tell the sex)

An example of a "relative size" photo.  Note the flash light.

An example of a “relative size” photo. Note the flash light.

Contact ANAM (National Environmental Authority) at 757-9244 or Cristina Ordoñez directly at 6671-5794 and crisespino@yahoo.com.  With your help, hopefully the authorities can conclude exactly what is happening to our Caribbean sea life.

Nicholas Corea is the owner and editor of the Bocas Breeze. He wasn't born in Bocas, but he got there as fast as he could. Just one of the many foreigners who became enamored with the enchantment of the islands, his mission is to share the majesty of Bocas del Toro with the world. Nicholas (aka Nick / Nico) has been known to love literature and live music concerts. Nothing makes him happier than when others are interested in this entertaining and informative community newspaper. Mr. Corea would like to send his gratitude to all who read and support the Bocas Breeze; for it takes a village to publish a community newspaper!

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