Boat Caught Illegally Fishing by Isla del Coco

February 27, 2009

The government has seized a commercial fishing boat caught with nine-mile fishing line in the water inside the Isla del Coco National Marine Park, one of the country’s most prized protected areas, according to a statement from MarViva, a non-governmental sea conservation organization.

The boat, the Zaragoza II, registered out of Puntarenas, was caught by the MarViva I, a patrol boat belonging to the conservation NGO. MarViva conducts regular patrols with park guards from the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Ministry (MINAET) aboard.

The Zaragoza II was caught 8.5 nautical miles from the island of Isla del Coco, which lies 365 miles off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, according to MarViva.

The Isla del Coco National Park encompasses the island and the biologically rich waters surrounding it within 12 nautical miles of the shore.

However, MINAET has come under criticism for not providing enough protection to the island.

“This new seizure reminds us that the  Isla del Coco National Park is an area that is very threatened by illegal fishing,” said Jorge Jiménez, MarViva’s sub-director.

–Leland Baxter-

 

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