It is 1 thing to declare an area a national marine park or a marine protected area. It is quite another to enforce the rules and regulations created to protect the marine environment. Some of our most precious marine resources appear to be heavily protected, but the struggle to prevent breaches is a difficult and ongoing one.
Interesting to see this BBC article about the struggle to enforce fishing restrictions around the divers’ dream destination – Cocos Island in Costa Rica.
‘Nowadays the pirates are fishermen and they have been stripping the sea of sharks and tuna. Cocos attracts fish because it sits on top of an underwater mountain chain that forces up nutrients from the deep ocean. The island’s waters are a globally important hotspot for sharks, as I witnessed on an extraordinary night dive.
“It’s very frustrating,” Ranger Chinchilla tells me. “The fishers just sit on the edge of the no-take zone. We can’t be patrolling everywhere at the same time.”Sometimes four boats will be dropping long lines (baited with hooks which catch tuna, dolphins and turtles) to drift through the zone. But we only have the capacity to haul in two of the lines”.’
You can help by visiting Cocos on your next dive trip. The contributions you make both directly, in the form of the marine park fee and indirectly by encouraging the powers-that-be to view Cocos as a valuable eco-tourism asset, can help to make a difference. Of course you will also have an outrageously memorable liveaboard trip to one of the planet’s most sought after destinations!
There are also some pretty amazing special offers available for Cocos liveaboards these days. So if you can act soon you can treat yourself to a trip to divers’ paradise and make considerable savings.
Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.
Full story: Costa Rica: Radars of the lost shark