Mission Blue joins with Costa Rica marine groups off Isla del Coco

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A scientific expedition led by renowned oceanographer, Dr. Sylvia Earle, just returned from Parque Nacional Isla del Coco where they spent over 10 days placing trackers on hammerhead sharks, sea turtles and other marine wildlife.

According to a recent statement by the Asociación CREMA, a non-profit group engaged in marine conservation advocacy, seven acoustic transmitters were placed on sharks and sea turtles to track their movements.

The group also removed abandoned fishing gear near one of their dive sites that had tangled in the coral off the shoreline of the island.

Dr. Earle’s Mission Blue team includes the national park as one of its Mission Blue spots.

Her organization often travels to different marine protected areas and networks with similarly-minded advocacy groups and organizations to create a global effort at raising awareness and establishing marine conservation policy, according to the group’s website.

A documentary called “Mission Blue” was recently released back in 2014 showcasing Dr. Earle’s lifetime of work as a marine biologist and oceanographer.

For its part, Mission Blue has partnered with CREMA-Costa Rica and Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation groups on this recent expedition.

Alex Antoniou, the president of Fins Attached, cautioned that park rangers at Isla del Coco must be appropriately equipped to deter illegal fishing operations in the area.

Antoniou seeks for the governments of Costa Rica and Ecuador to create the Cocos Galapagos Swimway, a transboundary marine protected area.

“Information is urgently needed to justify the creation of protected swimways for highly migratory species to other islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific such as the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and Malpelo Island, Colombia,” said Randall Arauz of Fins Attached.

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