Coco Island Costa Rica still Threatened by Poachers

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    Cocos Island Costa Rica is a renowned National Park and is a World Heritage Site and is one of the country’s richest in terms of biodiversity, but every year the region is threatened by illegal fishing.

    Problems such as lack of staff and equipment keep the authorities, who make a huge effort with few resources virtually defenseless.

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    A 2012 report for the Control and Protection of Cocos Island National Park, a total 21 rangers and over half of them are assigned to work in the control and protection program.

    The report emphasizes the need to begin a training process for licensing officials with basic seamanship with the ability to operate patrol vessels.

    As of September this year, a total of 47 incidence of illegal fishing was reported.

    Poachers are seriously impacting marine life, making species like sharks and turtles vulnerable.

    Despite these efforts, illegal fishing in the area resulted in the death of 67 species, which include five species of thresher shark and a total of 21 yellow fin tuna.

    In addition, 121 illegal fishing vessels were found with shark fins.

    The Coco Island conservation area made an agreement with the Coast Guard and the Ministry of Public Security to increase surveillance next year, adding two more patrol boats and will look to make better use of technology such as radar systems.

    The Costa Rica News
    San Jose Costa Rica

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