Costa Rica / Panama Patrols
We have agreements with the Costa Rican and Panamanian Environment Ministries to support their efforts in protecting Marine National Parks. We provide a ship and assets, while the government provides Park Rangers to oversee operations. The assets we provide include our 45m ship, 7.4m Rigid Inflatable Boat, 4.7m Zodiac, UAVs, and K9 Search-and-Rescue team. Our ship serves as a Base-Of-Operations. It has a fully equipped workshop, 10-ton crane, and Helicopter / UAV landing pad, and can operate offshore for up to 30 days without support. Our missions in Costa Rica and Panama are all joint operations with Park Rangers who have oversight, and who ensure the patrols are aligned with National Park policies. The patrols include the newly created CMAR MPAs of both countries, as well as 30 other coastal MPAs. Our operations are run entirely by Volunteers that pay to join our team. Below are a few videos from our campaign.
Local fishermen are seen as genuine stakeholders in this partnership. We are not opposed to fishermen – They provide food for local people, valuable income to their communities, and are a key element in maintaining healthy MPAs. So in most patrols we simply engage with fishermen we come across, be they inside or outside an MPA, and we encourage them to adhere to the rules. Local fishermen can also be extremely helpful with intelligence on illegal foreign vessels, and we do our best to be professional and friendly with them. All decisions in terms of arrests and prosecution are made by Park Rangers who have oversight of the operations. We facilitate the patrols that would not happen if we were not there.
We provide our services free of charge to Park Rangers, relying on donations, volunteer payments, sponsorship, and VIP guests to support our work. A key asset in these patrols is our UAV which can fly up to 100nm from our ship in search of illegal vessels. UAVs such as the Schiebel S-100 can play a key role in improving surveillance operations. We can accommodate up to 25 people on extended voyages, and we usually run with a core crew of around 10 personnel. The ship has 5 staterooms that accommodate the Rangers or in some cases VIPs, or special guests that help fund operations.
Services Earthrace is providing to help protect National Parks
* Schiebel S-100 UAV oversight of Marine and Terrestrial National Parks
* Joint coastal and offshore operations in MPAs including CMAR
* K9 tracking or location of people in terrestrial National Parks
* Support of Technologies such as FLIR, NVG, Radar, UAV operations
* Training on various elements of fishery and K9 operations
All our crew are volunteers that pay to join us. They give up a chunk of their lives, in exchange for being part of something very special. Our team can honestly say the world is a better place with the work that they do. If you’d like to know more about volunteering on a campaign, click HERE.
Below are 3 maps showing the CMAR MPAs, as well as the coastal MPAs of both countries. Our agreement with the government can see us patrolling any of these 30 different MPAs.