Cocos MPA fails to be enacted

Cocos Islands on Wetpixel

National Geographic reports that the 4,000-square-mile expansion of the marine protected area (MPA) around the extraordinarily biodiverse waters of Cocos Island National Park committed to by former Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís failed to be enacted. The report states that this was due to pressure from local fishing interests.

Solis was voted out last May, but newly elected Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado indicated that he wants to enact 5 new MPAs in a meeting held at NG’s Washington offices. There are no details currently about this proposal.

A report prepared for the organization Foundation Friends of Cocos Island about the enforcement of environmental regulations in the existing Cocos protected area, found no record of any boarding or detentions of any industrial fishing vessel between January 2012 and July 2017. This is despite significant satellite evidence of fishing activity by such vessels.