Saving Malpelo Island

Saving Malpelo (Private and Confidential)

Background
Malpelo Island is one of the remotest places on Earth, located some 500km East of Colombia. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Sight in 2006, Malpelo today is one of the last pristine marine ecosystems, largely unaffected by man. That all started to change recently though, with foreign boats now illegally targeting its rich marine life.

A local NGO “Biodiversity Conservation Colombia” started operating there, but with limited assets and resource. During their surveillance missions they’ve uncovered an armada of small foreign vessels (pangas), but mystery surrounds the mothership servicing this fleet. Local Navy is available to assist at times, but their primary mandate is Narco Traffic. They’ve provided some assistance at Malpelo, but catching one or two small pangas barely dents the trade. What is needed is long range UAV and satellite assets to monitor the area, understand the fishing patterns, and then guide suitably equipped patrol vessels to seize the mothership, and subsequently apprehend all the smaller pangas that do the fishing. Earthrace was recently approached to provide assets and assistance to enable such an outcome.



Partners
1) Earthrace Conservation – Ship (Base of Operations), Small Boats, Schiebel S100 UAV
2) Biodiversity Conservation Colombia – Local crew, intelligence
3) Fundaci├│n Malpelo y Otros Ecosistemas Marinos – Local crew, intelligence
3) Schiebel Unmanned Air Systems – UAV Operational Support
4) Colombian Navy – Naval Assets
5) Global Fishing Watch – Satellite Surveillance
6) Ministry of Environment / National Park Authority – Govt. support

What we need
The ship, UAV and tender vessels are all already sponsored. Our crew of volunteers is experienced in this type of work, having run joint patrols with the Costa Rican National Park Authority (SINAC / MINAE) for the last 2 years. What is missing is the US$50k operational costs for this patrol to happen.



Proposed Schedule

Feb 25th. Ship arrives in Buenaventura (Colombia)
Mar 1st. Demonstration of UAV to local Parks Authority and Navy. March
Mar 4th. Mission briefing with Parks Authority and Navy
Mar 6th. Ship leaves for Malpelo Island
Mar 8th. Commence Patrols
Mar 31st. Complete patrols at Malpelo
Apr 2nd. Ship arrives back in Buenaventura
Apr 3rd. Final debriefing with Parks Authority and Navy.

What are the funds used for?
Our partners above are paying their costs, which in the case of the Navy for example is significant. What remains is funding for the diesel, food, lubricants and sat comms for the Modoc. We’re asking you to help with this, and be part of a team that saves Malpelo.

What Next
Reach out to Pete on either of the following:
pete.bethune@gmail.com
whats App +642102188188
Below are videos / images of where Malpelo Island is located, it’s rich wildlife, our current campaign in Costa Rica, and our Schiebel S-100 Camcopter UAV. We look forward to hearing from you.







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