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Create a Marine Protected Area off the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica

Create a Marine Protected Area off the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica


Why this is important

Twenty years ago there were Dolphins as far as the eye could see, and Tuna everywhere. Today these monster factory ships have made Costa Rica's ocean into an almost barren sea. There are very few Tuna with the Dolphins. Scared as hell." ~ Fred Maschmeier ~ Drake Bay, Costa Rica Sport Fisherman

Costa Rica's dolphins, whales, sea turtles and other marine flora and fauna are being decimated at alarming rates due to rampant commericial fishing including long lines, gill nets, shrimp trawling and tuna boats.

The Osa Peninsula, on the South Pacific side of Costa Rica is known by National Geographic as the most biologically intense place on Earth. The waters off the Osa Peninsula are a virtual marine wonderland, housing over twenty-five species of dolphins and whales that live here year round or migrate through and also hosts four of the world’s eight species of sea turtles. Whales, dolphins, tuna, marlin, manta rays, sea turtles, sailfish and more, congregate in this area taking advantage of this year-round thermal dome of ecologically rich waters.

Humpback Whales come here from two different hemispheres, both North and America to have their babies and breed, but yet they are met with long lines, shrimp boats and nets. Just recently a baby humpback washed up on our shores with deep cuts from the net still attached to her. This is no way to treat an endangered species.

All this rich biodiversity is found here on the Osa Peninsula, but yet, the area is almost entirely unprotected, except for small areas around the national parks. Commercial fishing techniques such as long lining, shrimping, gill netting and tuna fishing are creating devastating and irreparable damage to this delicate and biologically diverse area and its marine inhabitants. If urgent and drastic actions are not taken immediately, the world will lose this treasure forever.

Our research shows more than an 80% decrease in Olive Ridley sea turtles in less than five years and the numbers of dolphins continue to fall due to relentless netting by the shrimp boats. We constantly find maimed and injured dolphins and whales from long lines and nets, and Costa Rica’s own sub species of dolphin, the Costa Rica Spinner Dolphin, have alarmingly decreased in numbers over the past few years.

The quickest and easiest way to protect this precious and pristine area before it is to late is to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and we need your help to do it. Social pressure from around the world is sure to make the Costa Rican government take notice as eco tourism is one of Costa Rica’s main sources of commerce. Let the government know that you would be more likely to visit Costa Rica with a Marine Protected Area and that they walk the talk of being an “eco” country.

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Posted November 10, 2013
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