Like most nations around the globe, Costa Rica has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Because of its considerable tourism and fishing-based economy, the impact has been especially difficult for low-income workers. FECOP, the country’s national sport-fishing federation, has stepped up to help.
FECOP Food Baskets
The federation has distributed more than 1,000 food baskets to families of fishermen whose livelihoods collapsed due to restrictions to slow the COVID-19 outbreak. FECOP used their regional councils in Guanacaste, Quepos, Golfo Dulce and Limón to distribute the baskets of staples. The Brujas del Mar co-op in Puntarenas delivered baskets in their area. Amigos de Turismo Costero y Pesca distributed in the southern zone.
The relief efforts were split among the Pacific and Caribbean coastal communities. In some cases, the parcels traveled by 4-wheel drive vehicles and even boat to reach out-of-the-way destinations like Barra del Colorado, Tortuguero, and Parismini.
“The entire fishing sector is in dire need,” said Henry Marin, spokesperson for FECOP. “Fishing tourism has come to a halt, and the artisanal and longline commercial fishermen are also gravely affected.”
FECOP And Its Purpose
Although FECOP’s main purpose is to support sport fishing and influence good fishing practices and regulations through science, conservation and education, the food items will cross barriers where there are usually some differences and help all sectors. Three-hundred fifty of the baskets will go to Barco de Alimentos, the food bank center set up by the longline sector in Puntarenas.
“We juggled our budget and put a couple science projects on hold for now so we could pitch in on this effort,” explained Marin.
FECOP organized a second food drive in May to help affected families.
For information on the relief efforts, contact Henry Marin at For more details about FECOP’s mission and accomplishments, please visit www.fecop.org
Todd Staley has run sport fishing operations in Costa Rica for nearly 30 years and works in marine conservation. He currently is Communications Director at FECOP, the Costa Rican Fishing Federation (www.fecop.org), serves on the International Game Fish Association’s Central America Council, and oversees the fishing operation at Crocodile Bay Resort. Contact him at [email protected]