The world's last mass slaughtering of green sea turtles began's another season on July 15. Each day locals take sailboats like this out into the Caribbean ocean off Mosquito Key and drop nets in the water. Right in the heart of a migration route, turtles are an easy catch, the next morning multiple turtles are trapped in nets.
Every day but Sunday, sailboats loaded with 10 to 15 green sea turtles arrive at Bilwi Wharf in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Turtles are tied together by their fins, in groups of five, then tossed in the water and pulled ashore.
Young men are hired to pull the turtles from the ocean onto the beach where they can be displayed and sold to local butchers.
Turtles are measured to determine their value.
Turtles are flipped on their backs and displayed to local butchers. After being sold young men drag the turtles from the beach up onto the pavement where they can be loaded into taxis or trucks.
For around two dollars per turtle taxis will delivery them from the pier to your home.
A tire eases the fall as a turtle is pulled off a truck and delivered to a families home.
A tire cushions the drop for a green sea turtle as it was pulled off the back of a truck onto the ground.
A rope strung around the turtles fins is used to drag them on their backs.
Once pulled from the water green sea turtles can survive on their backs for up to two weeks. Each day the weakest is butchered. Here a family stores them underneath their home in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.
Kimberly Hernandez, 9, (left) and Jairo Hernandez, 4, look at green sea turtles underneath their grandmother's house in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, as another is tied to a palm tree.
Turtles can survive on their backs for up to two weeks at a time. Making them easy to preserve. Here Laleska Mejia Gonzales, 16, sends messages on her phone while cooking turtle meat on the stove. Her family stores up to six green sea turtles at a time in their kitchen so they aren't stolen at night.
Each day Francisco Hernaldo Ruiz Oporta wakes up around 4 a.m. to slaughter one or two green sea turtles. Turtles are smashed in the head with an axe or hammer, then the fins are cut off, sometimes before they have died.
Marvin Padilla Vanegas, 22, cuts green sea turtle meat. His family will sell the meat at a small market in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.
Open by 6 a.m. small stands sell green sea turtle meat around the city of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. The turtle fins and head often sell first. Most people buy a mix, a combination of small pieces of meat, liver, heart and other turtle parts.
Vultures scavenge leftover scraps of meat from green sea turtle shells in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.
Researchers tag, measure and inspect a green sea turtle on the beach at Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica as it lays eggs. During peak season 500-600 will lay eggs on the beach each night. Many turtles killed along the Caribbean coast in Nicaragua migrate from here.
Locals and tourists at Tortuguero National Park watch a green sea turtle released back into the ocean after a GPS tracker was applied to her back. Now the turtle can be tracked anywhere in the world, which is how researchers know many turtles migrating North to Nicaragua are killed.
Turtle brings the lowest amount of money at market so many deep sea dive for conch or lobster instead, but the dangers are high. Faulty diving equipment often leads to men running out of oxygen under water, ascending too quickly and contracting the bends.
It's common to see men limping, on crutches, or in wheelchairs around the city of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Nearly all contracted the bends while deep sea diving for lobster or conch, a significantly higher paying alternative to catching turtle.
Deep sea divers frequently contract the bends because of poor equipment while diving for lobster or conch, an alternative to green sea turtle. If they can make it into this decompression tank within 30 to 60 minutes the effects might be reversed. Men from the U.S. Navy examine the tank at a local hospital in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.
Another alternative is working for a modern lobster company using traps, which is far safer then diving for lobster, but the money isn't as good as turtle.
In many minds of people in first world countries, catching a threatened species is illegal or taboo, but to a man living in a city dependent on the ocean it's hard to see past the consequences of driving the green sea turtle to extinction.