5 Hammerhead sharks tagged during expedition to Cocos Island with Sylvia Earl of Mission Blue
- Expedition joined by Fins Attached, Ocean First Foundation and CREMA-Costa Rica
- Group removed abandoned longline fishing gear
A 10 day scientific expedition led by Dr. Sylvia Earl of Mission Blue, just returned from Cocos Island National Park, Costa Rica, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, accompanied by members of Ocean First Foundation, Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation, and CREMA-Costa Rica. Seven acoustic receivers used to track the movements of sharks and sea turtles were serviced during the expedition, and five adult female hammerhead sharks were tagged with acoustic transmitters. The group also removed abandoned longline fishing gear near one of the dive sites that had tangled in the coral, and met with Park Rangers to discuss their vision and needs.
The first of the five sharks tagged was christened “Sylvia”, and is now a shark ambassador in the Eastern Pacific (watch the video). “We hope the tracking of Sylvia’s movements over the next year will generate scientific information needed to improve marine conservation policy in the region”, said a hopeful Randall Arauz, of the Colorado based organization Fins Attached. “Information is urgently needed to justify the creation of protected swimways for highly migratory species to other islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific such as the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and Malpelo Island, Colombia,” added Arauz.
“Cocos Island is one of the most fantastic places on earth, where large aggregations of sharks and other highly migratory marines species may still be found,” said an awed Alex Antoniou, President of Fins Attached. “The rangers however, must be appropriately equipped to deter illegal fishers, and the governments of Costa Rica and Ecuador must initiate discussions as soon as possible to create the “Cocos Galapagos Swimway”, the first ever proposed transboundary marine protected area.
Mission Blue will continue to support the conservation of Cocos Island and other Islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific through its partnership with Fins Attached and CREMA-Costa Rica.
Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation (www.finsattached.org) believes in the preservation of our world’s precious resources and that through the protection of the ocean’s apex predators marine ecosystem balance can be maintained for the benefit of all living things on earth.