The Japanese government donated $94,995 to Costa Rica last week to help combat illegal fishing in the waters of Isla del Coco National Park, the country’s protected marine gem 365 miles west of the Pacific port town of Puntarenas.
The money, directed to a project to better equip authorities to protect the park’s waters, will be used to build a 48-square-meter cabin and install a small hydroelectric turbine near the mouth of the Río Oliver at Chatham Bay.
The new installation will allow the government to increase the number of park guards and allow the crews to spend more time on patrol.
Funds from the donation will also help purchase life rafts for the island’s two patrol boats and buy equipment to remove fishing hooks and lines from the water.
Park officials and the Japanese Embassy hope the new donation will help cut down on illegal fishing near the island.
“Our embassy considers that the (Isla del Coco) National Park is very important for the conservation of natural resources,” said Hidekazu Yamaguchi, Japan’s ambassador to Costa Rica. “Nevertheless, the park is vulnerable to illegal fishing and other threats and must be very well guarded.”