COCOS ISLAND (COSTA RICA)

This remote Pacific island is World Heritage Site that is targeted by illegal fishing because of its extraordinarily rich ecosystem, the ‘sharkiest place on the planet’.

Illegal fishing of tuna and sharks within the protected area is seriously compromising its fauna and ecosystems, as well as the capacity to maintain reproduction levels and productivity.

 

The latest scientific data, and all reports of the last 15 years, warn that the constant and abusive damage will sentence this sanctuary to extinction, unless we act soon.

The sharks overfishing is especially harmful, due to the huge fins trade that exists. Shark fins are highly prized in Asia. The practice of “finning” is a waste of the animal: between the 95% and 98% of its body is discarded, this practice  consists on mutilating only the fins from sharks and return the rest of their agonizing bodies back to the sea.

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Sharks, as top predators, play a very important role maintaining the health of the oceans. As regulators of the food chain, they contribute to a genetic improvement of their prey and sharks also regulate their prey population.

Cocos Island is a World Heritage Site, as well as the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China are. Although the latter two are Cultural Heritage and Cocos Island is a Natural Heritage, the simple designation of being a World Heritage Site declares a point from the Planet of being owner of an area of great primacy.

None of us would dare to destroy monuments or artworks only for a simple commercial interest. Why do we focuse our perspective to the other side when it comes to the environament?

Why we do not feel the same effect to react and appreciate our natural treasures?

From Nakawe, we propose to change this perception and begin to protect effectively this wonderful place. We do not want the world to lose this environament, but we need your help to achieve it.

HOW want to help this National Park ?

  • Cooperating with this unprotected Heritage Site providing them spreading  and resources.
  • Promote through ecoturism the acceptance of key species in the ecosystem.
  • Joining efforts and supporting other NGO’s and research institutions.

We want to inform, educate and raise awareness on the situation of Cocos Island, also with educational activities and through an animated film future project for the whole family.

Cocos Island is located in the Pacific Ocean and is part of Costa Rica. It was designated National Park in 1978, and also designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997 and declared a Wetland of International importance under The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, in 1991. Due to its size, isolation and conservation status is one of the most privileged natural sites worldwide. It is one of the few areas in the world where there is big congregation of hammerhead sharks, a severely endangered species.

Although the marine fauna of Cocos Island is theoretically protected with a Marine Protected Area that covers a radius of 12 miles (22,2 km), illegal fishing is a serious and persistent problem on the island.

Current levels of staffing and finance are low and make it difficult to implement the
management plan for the Property. Of greatest concern are the inadequacy of marine equipment
and personnel in support of law enforcement, and the lack of resources.

  Long-liner vessels in the no-fishing zone around Cocos Island National Park.

While the legal framework is strong, enforcement is insufficient because of inadequate financial and human resources, and the distance from the mainland.

It is impossible to control this vast sea with limited resources. This World Heritage Site needs to be provided with more important and serious resources. So, its protection is relatively fictitious because it became into an easy loophole for the multitude of ships which practice illegal fishing in its waters.

      A long-line flees the no-fishing zone around Cocos Island National Park.

      ( Boat cocos patrol ). 

FILM PROJECT

The movie will be a story to expose every sensation that produce feeling all the life within its waters, as well as the problems which impede developing this vitality. All the images that offers this place speak for themselves begging for help, and also warning that their resistance forces against abusive slaughter, every time, are becoming weaker.

It will be an animated film for everyone, with this film will pretend  open the eyes of the viewers around the world through the story of a girl who discovers the amazing world of Cocos Island, and also the alarming situation in which it is. She will decide to fight against the threats which are endangering this place, before the problem becomes irreversible.

From Nakawe we look for partners and sponsors to help us to spread this message and act over the most critical and threatened areas of our planet. Would you join us?

In Nakawe we prefer it this way. Would you help us achieve this or will you decide to stay on the surface? Help us to attack the bottom of the problem!