The trade in sea turtle eggs in Guatemala is not illegal and there is a high demand nationwide due to their nutritional value and supposed ‘aphrodisiacal’ qualities. During the mid 1980s, CONAP (the Guatemalan Council for Protected Areas) initiated an informal ‘egg-donation system’, to promote ‘sustainable use’ of sea turtle eggs. According to this system, egg collectors are permitted to harvest unlimited quantities of sea turtle eggs, providing that 20% of the nest is donated to a local sea turtle hatchery for conservation purposes. It is estimated that close to 100% of all sea turtle nests are removed from the beach by local egg collectors (Project Parlama, 2006).

Guatemala’s Egg Donation System