Costa Rica / Panama Patrols
We have agreements with the Costa Rican and Panamanian Governments to support their efforts in protecting Marine National Parks. We provide a ship and assets, while the government provides Park Rangers or Coastguard personnel to oversee operations. The assets we provide include our 45m ship, 7.4m Rigid Inflatable Boat, 4.7m Zodiac, Military UAV, and K9 Anti-Poaching Unit. Our ship serves as a Base-Of-Operations. It has fully equipped workshop, 10-ton crane, 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 government Park Rangers who have oversight, and who ensure the patrols are aligned with government policy. The patrols include the newly created CMAR MPAs of both countries, as well as 30 other coastal MPAs. 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.
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 here. As a general rule we don’t promote videos of people suspected of engaging in illegal activities.
We provide our services free-of-charge to Costa Rica and Panama, relying on donations, sponsorship and VIP guests to support our work. A key asset in these patrols is our UAV that 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 accomodate up to 25 people on extended voyages, and we usually run with a core crew of around 12 personnel. The ship has 5 staterooms that accomodate 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 Surveillance of Marine and Terrestrial National Parks
* Joint coastal and offshore patrols targeting fishing in MPAs including CMAR
* K9 tracking of people operating illegally in terrestrial National Parks
* Support of Technologies such as FLIR, NVG, Radar, UAV operations
* Training on various elements of fishery and K9 patrols
All our crew are unpaid volunteers. 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 some videos of various patrols around Costa Rica.
The above video was filmed by the local news channel in Costa Rica. We provided the ship, tender vessels, food, fuel, and logistics. It was supporting an elite Ranger team that was formed by Minister Rodriguez in 2020, and focussed on illegal mining in Corcovado National Park.
We have a crew of around 10, and up to 15 additional personnel (Rangers, specialists, VIP guests). This image was during deployment to Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica.