For Immediate Release

Joanna Nasar
Communications Director
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Cell: (415) 488-7711

Leading Marine Conservation Group Strengthens International Influence

Goldman Environmental Prize Winner to Serve as International Director

San Francisco (
February 17, 2016) – Turtle Island Restoration Network, a leading marine conservation organization, welcomes Randall Arauz, a world renowned and award-winning biologist, to their team in the newly created position of International Director.

“Over the past year, our close collaboration on several marine protection campaigns led to some stunning victories,” said Todd Steiner, Executive Director and Founder of Turtle Island. “We came to realize that by working together we could achieve more than we could individually.”

Over the past year, these collaborations have: convinced major U.S. carriers such as American Airlines and UPS not to transport shark fins, prompted Costa Rica to take leadership on shark protection at an important international meeting (the Convention on Migratory Species), and pioneered the use of drone technology at Cocos Island, Costa Rica to document pirate fishing at the World Heritage Site.

“Turtle Island’s international and U.S. reach will provide me with the grounding to launch new efforts in Latin America, and gain greater credibility in international policy arenas,” said Arauz. “Turtle Island’s nimble and cutting-edge approach fits perfectly with my agenda to transform protections for sea turtles, sharks, and other marine species,” he added.

Arauz has a rich history with Turtle Island. He first joined the staff in 1994 as Turtle Island’s Central America Director before eventually founding a sister non-profit organization in Costa Rica called PRETOMA that focused on grassroots activism, sea turtle conservation, and better fisheries management.


During a joint PRETOMA-Turtle Island undercover operation to document the impact of longline fishing on sea turtles, video footage surfaced of fishers finning sharks, and in 2001 Arauz initiated a campaign against this abominable practice that had domestic, regional, and global impacts. He has been honored for his work internationally, including receiving the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development, and Whitley Gold Award.

He serves on several official Costa Rican councils, such as the Cocos Island Regional Management Council, and the National Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES ) Scientific Council, and has participated as an official delegate at international conventions, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Convention on Migratory Species. He was also the first director of the Leatherback National Park.


Turtle Island Restoration Network works to mobilize people and communities around the world to protect marine wildlife, the oceans and the inland waterways that sustain them. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. SeaTurtles.Org