Joint Fishery Patrols in Costa Rica
For the last 3 years, we have been running joint fishery patrols in Costa Rica. Government Rangers join us on our ship, and we patrol the various Marine Protected Areas along Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline. The patrols are a mix of using our ship in blue waters, our RIB for coastal work, and our zodiac for estuarine or shallow waters. We provide the boats, personnel, food, fuel, and communications, while the government agency provides the Rangers to give legitimacy of operations, and that have experience in dealing with local fishery issues.
We have had great success in helping MINAE / SINAC reduce illegal fishing in these areas. These operations of course all require money, so if you can help us with funding it would be greatly appreciated. Click on the “Donation” button above to help us continue with these patrols.
Below are a couple videos of typical patrols. We don’t show the faces of local fishermen that are caught. They can be poor people, and while we may not agree with them fishing illegally (or unsustainably) in National Parks, we realise there can be complex drivers pushing people into doing what they do.
When we first started these patrols, we would catch a large number of offending fishermen each night, but in time this has reduced considerably. Our approach, in-line with SINAC policy, is to be polite and respectful to local fishermen. We always try and engage with every vessel we come across, and much of our intelligence now comes from fishermen.