PARAMARIBO — World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Guianas has kicked off a campaign to discourage the collection and consumption of leatherback sea turtle (krapé) eggs. Last Saturday volunteers placed stickers on all cars that visited Shell/Dio in Lelydorp. The organization hopes the message ‘Ik eet geen krapé eieren! Jij?’ (I don’t eat krapé eggs. You?) will thus reach all corners of the country.
Several local celebrities are lending their faces and voices to the campaign. This month DJ/MC Jurmic Patro serves as the ambassador. Miss India Suriname Varsha Ramrattan is ambassador for May. The two led a tailor-made Easter egg hunt through Palmentuin in Paramaribo on Easter Sunday.
And in March Chef Micle Fung’s culinary TV program dealt with the problems of eating turtle eggs.
WWF, which reported in February that the Guianas beaches are still a relative safe haven for leatherback turtles –while they are at increasing risk of getting hooked by longline fishing efforts in other parts of the world- obviously felt that they still need looking after.
With reason; over the past months, authorities regularly reported catching poachers who collected thousands of krapé eggs from beaches the animals visit in the season. As recent as April 8 two men had to fire warning shots to arrest two men who were coming ashore in Commewijne with almost 4,000 eggs; a third managed to escape. Poaching krapé eggs is punishable with hefty fines. The eggs are considered a delicacy in some circles.