Riviera Beach man suspected of poaching nearly 300 turtle eggs

A Riviera Beach man has been arrested and charged with trying to poach nearly 300 turtle eggs from the Treasure Coast.

Fish and wildlife agents got a call Friday about someone digging in a turtle nest on South Hutchinson Island.

According to a police report, agents found turtle eggs in James McGriff's backpack.

Scientists who monitor sea turtle activity along that stretch of beach say even though the eggs were re-buried there could be some long term effects.

"The mother turtle puts them where they need to be in terms of the temperature and the humidity and when those eggs are disturbed while they're incubating, the embryos could be damaged or destroyed,” said Jonathan Gorham with the InWater Research Group.

Gorham added there is a small black market for the eggs which can sell for 3 to 5 dollars each.

He adds the eggs are coveted by those who believe they are an aphrodisiac.​