Blue Eco Blog

Splash! You are in Costa Rica's Blue Eco Blog. Echoing Eco for Oceans and Waters. Giving voice to dolphins and whales, their waves and their waters, and all denizens of the deep. News they think you should use. Dive in.

World Record Fish Dies For Glory of Woman

clock August 27, 2012 14:29 by author BlueEcoBlog
World Record Fish Dies For Glory of Woman.

She didn't catch it and it died.

A great example of the kooky world of catch and release fishing.  Some would add the word sport before fishing but that would be too funny for this blog.  By the way, she was going to let it go after she could get it high enough our of the water,but, but, oh well.  What a noble and goal oriented activity.  Most fish do not die after being released, at least not right away that anybody is seeing, so say the catch and releasers.  But still, must release fish cause, cause, otherwise they might disappear faster than they already are.  And then what would we catch and release?

Check out the article on this momentous occasion.
  And take a look a the most popular comments.  Does anyone think of this kind of fishing as sport?  Seems most see it as a senseless waste for a fleeting ego tour, not eco tour.   The Huff Post put it under Weird.  Costa Rica toursim people take note.  Its time to release catch and release.  If the fish is in so endangered you feel you need to release it, target something else.  And bring it home for sushi.

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New Billfish Hero Shot-The Costa Rican Standard for the Future

clock August 7, 2012 09:35 by author BlueEcoBlog

A Different Kind of Trophy Shot

From The Tico Times: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - By Shawn Larkin

It s happened so many times before, but not quite like this.

You pull the thick, taut line until the giant beast is in your arms. Careful: The thing is bigger than you and could explode with movement. You haul up the great animal in a sort of hug as you look up at the camera with your trophy from the sea bravely displayed. Click. Trophy shot.

The human-with-big-fish trophy shot has been played out more times in Costa Rica than anyone can count. But these photos are dying out because sportfishers want to use their resource sustainably, and the old trophy shots hurt the fish when they were hauled out of the water. People were beginning to think the trophy shot was a thing of the past.

Check out the new trophy shot of Costa Rican adventure ecotourism. Everything is the same as the old style, except that instead of on deck, you do it underwater, along the longlines set by commercial fishermen.

There is no catch, just release. You then resuscitate the fish by moving it through the water, great for more shots or even video.

You have to resuscitate the great fish because, for who knows how long, it has swum around in tiny circles at the end of a short line, with a steel hook through its mouth. The animal is so exhausted that it may die. That s why you don t worry so much about the danger of grabbing hold of some of the fastest animals in the sea; you can tell when they don t have much kick left in them.

When you feel the fish start to get a little life back, you let go and move away. The fish angles down to the depths and shakes a bit.

Then it starts to swim away into the blue. Another marlin pulls in alongside the first. It had been circling its hooked partner.

By letting the fish off the hook, you may be helping to generate millions of future dollars for the national economy through future sportfishing and ecotourism.

You move a short swim down the long line and find another short line with a sailfish on the end of a hook, its mate circling. So you do it all again. Underwater, the line runs out of sight with more hooks and giant fish.

When you lift your head up from the water and take your mask off, you see that the longline stretches out of sight, with little white buoys holding up the line every 500 meters into the distance. Many of the fish are dead on the hook, but there are still plenty more live ones to release. They will surely die without you.

You keep at it because you want to see big sharks. Diving along long lines remains one of the best ways left to see big sharks in Costa Rica. But you don t see any big sharks, because hardly any are left. You wonder if, soon, any marlin and sailfish will remain.

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Dolphins Dancing for Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia.

clock June 14, 2012 19:50 by author BlueEcoBlog

Julia Gillard, by directing the island continent of Australia to declare around one third, that is 33 percent, of her national waters to be conserved, becomes the greatest hero of the sea the world has ever known.  While some countries whine and stall about conserving even 1 percent of their ocean, Oz has set the bar for the blue planet.


The coolest minister on earth, The Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities of the great nation of Australia, says

"This new network of marine reserves will help ensure that Australia's diverse marine environment, and the life it supports, remain healthy, productive and resilient for future generations."

A good day indeed for the world.


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Costa Rican foolish fad of fishing FADs. Massive marine life slaughter of dolphins, whales, billfish, sharks and turtles!

clock January 24, 2012 09:47 by author BlueEcoBlog

FADs popular with marine life in Costa Rica’s oceans

Posted: The Tico Times, Friday, December 23, 2011 - By Shawn Larkin
THE BIG BLUE: Natural fish aggregating devices, or FADs, abound offshore of Costa Rica, attracting clouds of marine life.
Shawn Larkin

Divers check out a floating piece of tree, and the schools of fish drawn to it, off southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.

Those who ply the sea know floating things attract or aggregate fish. Fish aggregating devices, known as FADs, are often thought of as manmade objects, but that is not always the case.

Shawn Larkin

Shawn Larkin

For most of history, the fad in FADs was natural, in the form of forest products: a branch or a tree falls into a river and makes its way to the sea. Any Tico captain knows to be ever watchful for floating branches and tree trunks that can damage a prop or hull, especially during the high runoff of rainy season, even when far offshore. But jump in with a piece of tree in the sea and you may be shocked.

Vast clouds of marine life will surround floating things that are smaller than you. When you jump in, all the life will often surround you like moths to a flame. Sometimes people jump right back in the boat when they realize there is no reef to dive down to. But you are the reef, and there may be so many fish surrounding you that you cannot see someone right next to you. 

FADs offshore of southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula often draw diver favorites like silky sharks and manta rays, two species recently declared endangered. Super- and megapods of dolphins become natural FADs, and they check out other FADs. 

Why do many whales and dolphins, more than 300 species of fish like sharks, rays and billfish, all sea turtle species and countless crustaceans, seaweeds, invertebrates and other marine life hang out at natural and manmade FADs? Structure, protection, food and social opportunities seem to be the big attractions. Life like seaweed and barnacles quickly starts growing on almost all floating things. Other life shows up to eat what’s there. Still others may come for a bit of shade or a place to hide. Then come bigger things, and then even bigger things. A lot of marine life seems programmed with the instinct to check out FADs, probably because of the good chances to find lunch or a mate, or to not be eaten.

So where you have FADs, you have a lot of marine life. The longer the FAD is in the water, the more life it accumulates. Places with a lot of rivers and forests produce many natural FADs year-round, but mostly during rainy season and severe weather. The rivers of Costa Rica run full of FADs that will later drift many kilometers out to sea and grow their own clouds of marine life.

Natural FADs probably increase Costa Rica’s marine biodiversity and bioproductivity more than most people realize. Other places that are not so blessed with natural FADs make their own for local artisan and sport fishers and divers. Hawaii put in a system of FADs offshore of the islands in the 1970s. Today, each one of these many manmade FADs produces thousands of kilograms of fish a year with no by-catch, as well as recreation for local communities.

The purse seine commercial fishing industry also deploys manmade FADs, but on a massive scale over the entire Pacific. After the FADs grow their clouds of life, the ships put it all in a net. If they find a natural FAD, they do the same thing. This has a rather different outcome than the Hawaiian method.

The Hawaiian way kills no marine life other than food fish, and the local communities get the food and money the FAD generates. The Costa Rican purse seine netters’ way destroys the entire marine chain of life around the FAD, and no money or food goes to local Costa Ricans.

That is one fad I hope will end soon.

Click here to catch the newest fad in diving and dive a fad.

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