One of the main current concerns is the expansion of highs seas longline fishery activities during the last 20 years. Pelagic waters, recently pristine, are now subject to an intensive industrial fishing effort, unprecedented in history.
Due to an increasing international concern over the destiny of existing fishery resources, the survival of critically endangered marine species, and global social well being, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations promulgated the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in 1995. The Code is voluntary, but it is based on international law (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982). TheInternational Plan of Action for the Management of Sharks stems from the Code.
- TED Project. We work with the Puntarenas Chamber of Fishermen, designing and implementing the use of Turtle Excluder Devices. This technology allows shrimp fishermen to carry out their operations without catching and killing sea turtles.
- Playas del Coco. We are working with Papagayo Seafood and Nutria Marina S.A. in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica, evaluating the impact of the pelagic LONGLINE FISHERY on sea turtles and sharks. Furthermore, we are introducing technology to facilitate the release of marine organisms captured with hooks, thus mitigating the impact of longline fishing.
- Artisinal Fisheries Project. We are working with the Association of Fishermen of Punta Guiones, who operate within the Marine Protected Area of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, evaluating the impact of this fishery on the marine resources that the Wildlife Refuge protects. Likewise, we are introducing technology to facilitate the release of marine organisms captured with hooks, thus mitigating their impact of their fishery.
- SATELLITE TRACKING. We are satellite tracking sea turtles that were captured by longlines and then freed. This technology helps us determine post hooking mortality and the efficiency of technologies designed to free sea turtles from hooks unharmed. We will soon carry out similar studies on sharks.
- Central America. PRETOMA is currently directing a project to foster responsible fisheries along the Pacific coast of Central America.