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.

Dolphin People Episode 1 Osa Costa Rica now on You Tube

clock June 22, 2013 11:39 by author BlueEcoBlog

Dolphin People Show from Costa Cetacea now on You Tube.  Click it to check it. 

 All ocean images from 2013 on GoPro Hero2s, in the blue water pelagic ecosystem of offshore Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, Pacific Ocean.

Dive on Dolphin People

No more nets or lines for a Osa Pelagic Park!  EIS before Ocean Drilling!!!  Duh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVxIqBwewpo&feature=c4-overview&list=UUZBaRfBkz4SPsBdQaa8v-4

 

 

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Offshore Osa Drilling Again in 2012

clock November 9, 2012 13:36 by author BlueEcoBlog

Marine life behavior alters after drilling

From The Tico Times Posted: Friday, June 17, 2011 - By Shawn Larkin
THE BIG BLUE: Dolphins have scattered and no whales have been seen in the area since a foreign research vessel drilled into the ocean floor earlier this year.
Rash of Rashes: A dolphin off southwestern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula displays a skin rash.

The blue-water pelagic ecosystem offshore of southwestern Costa Rica’s Isla del Caño Biological Reserve and Corcovado National Park took serious one-two punches during the past few months, and it remains to be seen whether things will ever return to conditions of the past. The area around, not inside, the two protected areas is probably Costa Rica’s most critical dolphin and whale breeding and feeding waters. But the whales are gone, and the dolphins have changed. The fishing has been off, and boats are headed elsewhere to find fish.

The first few months of the year shaped up to be one of the best seasons for marine life in Costa Rican waters in recent memory. The cool currents of La Niña stoked a profusion of big pelagic species like dolphins, whales, tuna, turtles and giant mantas. Divers and snorkelers from the Southern Zone reported more giant mantas seen at Caño Island in February and March than in the past 15 years put together. Flights and boats searching for marine life in the area were finding dolphin superpods, groups of dolphins numbering in the hundreds to thousands, all over the area. There were many mating and birthing humpback whales, a large pod of false killer whales, orcas, fin whales and even three blue whales, including a baby, feeding on giant bait balls of small fish brought up from the depths during the normal strong upwelling at this time of year. There were uncountable hectares of turtles, tuna and billfish. There were even a few big sharks.

Then, a giant foreign ship showed up and began drilling deep holes in the ocean floor not far from Caño Island, in the name of scientific research. Within a day, the whales were gone. Search time for dolphins from a plane went from a half hour or less to two hours or more. Most dolphin superpods broke into smaller groups and headed north toward offshore Quepos. Others broke into smaller groups and moved inshore, closer to the coast. Dolphins that stayed in the area developed a strange skin rash.

The spewing ship kept at it for a month. Great areas of waters turned from marine blue to metallic brown and green. The day after the ship left, a new one showed up towing many kilometers of giant air guns blasting extremely loud sounds repetitively. A week later they were still at it. Drake Bay ecotourism and sportfishing boats foolish enough to still be looking in their favorite hot spots were told to leave the area by burly men on a yacht out of Quepos. Scuba divers at Caño Island could hear the giant booms of the guns during their dives.

No environmental impact study was done for the area. No dolphin and whale observers were onboard to look out for cetacean safety. There were no Costa Ricans onboard until someone noticed. Many questions were never answered. No notice was given to area residents of what was going to happen.

Since the drilling, no whales have been reported in the area – the longest period without whale sightings that anglers and guides in Drake Bay can remember. No large dolphin superpods have been seen. The fishing is bad. No wonder so few tourists seem to want to visit the area right now.

This serious lack of ocean oversight has left locals wondering what is next. There are reports of making a permanent drilling riser here and of laying an undersea cable from the mainland to Caño Island and then offshore to the rig.

Let’s hope an environmental impact study is involved and that locals dependent on the area’s marine life are given some notice so they can find new jobs. Because what’s next could be the knockout punch for a good chunk of Costa Rica’s famous marine life: whales, dolphins, turtles – and fishers and divers.

Email costacetacea@gmail.com with contributions to The Big Blue, or check out www.costacetacea.com for more information.

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True Costa Rican Wild Animal Stories by Shawn Larkin Strunz

clock October 10, 2012 15:43 by author BlueEcoBlog

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Oceanic ‘Avatar’ Playing in Costa Rican Seas

clock August 6, 2012 11:00 by author BlueEcoBlog

To Costa Rica’s local tribes of whales and dolphins, the onslaught of fishing nets and longlines might seem like an oceanic version of the blockbuster movie “Avatar.” The film follows a clan of indigenous aliens on a fantasy planet as they defend themselves against big scary machines and greedy creatures from somewhere else. The tribe lives fully connected to local natural ecosystems, helping to perpetuate them into the future. The outsiders want to destroy ancient systems for quick and large profits. Sound familiar? If you were one of Costa Rica’s dolphins or whales, it would.

Head out to Costa Rica’s blue-water pelagic ecosystem offshore of Caño Island Biological Reserve and Corcovado National Park if you want to see really cool-looking, intelligent creatures fleeing for their lives from their ancestral haunts, where giant machines are destroying their self-sustaining world for a few tiny pieces of it. Shrimp nets are like giant bulldozers razing the otherworldly forests of Costa Rica’s deep-sea bottoms. Longline fishing hooks kill magical and fantastic beasts every day, right here. Giant, floating ships assault and indiscriminately kill chiefs and children alike. The only chance this world has is help from the people of planet Earth.

Shrimp trawling and other forms of deep-sea bulldozing must be banned. The ancient groves of mysterious life on the deep-sea floor might as well be another planet for many, but not for shrimpers. They know that if they raze the timeless and intricate deep-reef ecosystems to mud and sand, they can make a tidy profit on some shrimp.

Nobody knows the scope of what’s being destroyed down there, but we do know that countless animals are thrown back to the ocean dead from every net haul. The lines of dead sea life often stretch for kilometers behind each shrimp trawler.

Longline fishing, in which a kilometers-long line with numerous hooks along it floats around catching lots of fish, kills strange-looking billfish and much more every day. Billfish, prized by sportfishers for their fight, stand no chance against long-line hooks. You can find them one after the other, dead and dying, along lines that stretch out of sight. The image of man dominating billfish with a smile, known as the trophy shot, has recently fallen from hunter vogue because taking the fish from the water for the photo can be the death blow to a fish that just had one of the worst days of its life. A new version for Costa Rica might be a shot of the big hunter trying to resuscitate dying trophy billfish that are suffocating from being caught on a long-line hook for too long. There are countless photo ops.

The photo opportunities provided by huge tuna ships are not shots most people want to see. In fact, the ocean dozers will stop operations if cameras are around. The reason is that the tuna ships perpetuate massive dolphin tragedy. If not stopped from dragging their city block-sized nets through dolphin pods, tuna ships will continue to kill and harass some of the largest dolphin congregations known on earth, congregations that are crucial for mixing genetic diversity and thus survival of the dolphin tribes.

The cetaceans of planet Earth are fighting for their lives against greed and myopia. You do not need a sci-fi avatar to hang out with them. Put on a mask, snorkel and fins and head out to the Osa Peninsula’s blue water, and you become a crude dolphin avatar.

And you may then know that protecting the cetacean tribes of Costa Rica from deep-sea trawling, longlines and tuna dozers is something worth working very hard for.

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