• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Dead shark finding precedes ‘Black October,’ the worst month for illegal fishing in Costa Rica

October 10, 2014

Two weeks ago, park rangers at Isla del Coco National Park, located 590 kilometers west of Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, found six dead silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis) and blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) on longline hooks within the boundaries of the park’s protected marine area.

Rangers were able to free five other sharks that were trapped on the line.

The discovery kicked off what is historically the worst time for illegal fishing in the park’s boundaries. From the end of September through October, illegal fishing boats flock to Isla del Coco for the rainy season.

(Courtesy of Geiner Golfin)
(Courtesy of Geiner Golfin)

During those months, the water’s cooler temperatures attract more sharks and fish to the area, and the increases in fishermen flocking to the area have led conservation groups and law enforcement officials to nickname the peak month “Black October.”

To push back against illegal fishing, environmental groups Conservation International and Misión Tiburón have released a mini-documentary about the problems at Isla del Coco, often referred to as the country’s legendary “Treasure Island.”

Watch the video (in Spanish):

https://vimeo.com/106732115

Although illegal fishing is more frequent during rainy months, Isla del Coco is besieged by poachers year-round. Between 2012 and 2014, illegal fishermen were found during one of every three patrols by park rangers and the Coast Guard.

“The pressure from illegal fishing isn’t just growing during Black October,” said Geiner Golfin, the park’s administrator. “It is constantly growing all the time.”

 

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica unemployment rate drops to 19%
Costa Rica
2537 views
Costa Rica
2537 views

Costa Rica unemployment rate drops to 19%

The Tico Times - March 4, 2021

Unemployment in Costa Rica fell to 19.1% in the moving quarter from November to January. This maintained a downward trend…

Throwback Thursday: 2006 Arenal Volcano lava flows
Arenal
4796 views
Arenal
4796 views

Throwback Thursday: 2006 Arenal Volcano lava flows

The Tico Times - March 4, 2021

Arenal Volcano's July 1968 eruption destroyed three small villages, killed 87 people and wiped out 232 square kilometers of crops…

MOPT warns of higher traffic accidents as measures are eased
Costa Rica
1328 views
Costa Rica
1328 views

MOPT warns of higher traffic accidents as measures are eased

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 4, 2021

The Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) is reminding drivers to follow the rules of the road when traveling this…