Photo by George Duffield
Cocos Island is about halfway between the coast of Costa Rica and the famed Galapagos Islands of Ecuador – along a key “swimway” for sea turtles and home to a vast profusion of marine life.
This area is known worldwide as an ocean haven for
spectacular sharks, rare sea turtles, whales and abundant marine
wildlife. Divers travel for days for the privilege of exploring the
waters of Cocos Island National Park, more than a day by boat off Costa Rica's Pacific coast.
World Heritage status has not stopped commercial fishers from invading
these treasured waters to set illegal hooks and lines in ruthless
pursuit of swordfish, tuna and big fish that are quickly disappearing
from the open ocean. Only recently have Cocos Island park rangers begun to patrol and protect the park's marine boundary.
With your help, we will stop the destructive longline fishers. More
than 1,000 prominent scientists around the globe have already joined our
call to stop longline fishing in the Pacific. Now, we will focus their
attention to demand that Costa Rica create a real “no-fishing zone” in
the Cocos Island swimway region.
is demanding that Costa Rica protect Cocos Island National Park
from outlaw ﬁshers and to expand the boundaries of the no-ﬁshing zone
around the Park. In 2011, Costa Rica took a step in the right direction
by creating the Seamounts Marine Management Area. But the rules that
control ﬁshing in this new management area are not yet written, and the
ﬁshing industry is doing all they can to keep the status quo—which
results in tens of thousands of endangered turtles and sharks being
hooked and killed every year. The Seamounts Marine Management Area must be kept completely off limits to industrial fishing.
With your support, we will take our vision of protections for the Cocos Island region even further, calling for Costa Rica to create a protected area that reaches all the way to Ecuador’s waters, north of the Galapagos Islands. These two nations could create one of the world’s largest protected ocean zones, and save the endangered leatherback turtle from extinction!
Please help by donating now to expand protections for sea turtles and all endangered marine wildlife in the Cocos Island region.