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.

True Costa Rican Wild Animal Stories by Shawn Larkin Strunz

clock October 10, 2012 15:43 by author BlueEcoBlog

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Costa Rica Fish Farms are Back but Aqua Permaculture This TIme

clock August 17, 2012 08:41 by author BlueEcoBlog

Oceanic Farming Is Wave of the Future

From The Tico Times Thursday, September 16, 2008- By Shawn Larkin
THE BIG BLUE: The soil of the future is in the ocean

Costa Rica’s biggest and most bioproductive ecosystem, the offshore open-ocean pelagic, could be a shining blue diamond of economic productivity with a little management fertilizer.

Of course, pelagic or deep-sea fishing already provides big money, but many who have studied the situation think sustainability is being left out of the equation. Will Costa Rica’s oceans collapse like a tree stripped of leaves and fruit, or will it bloom for generations?

Ocean parks, refuges, sanctuaries and biological corridors clearly are part of any blue future. Costa Rica has demonstrated to the world the economic value of green protected areas, and hopefully we will follow our own lesson with our marine resources.

But parks are not all the future holds for our oceans. If history is any indicator, oceanic farming will become even bigger than the terrestrial kind. The soil of the future is the ocean.

If we know anything about the future, it’s that it will be hungry. By many estimates, more then half the world’s seafood is already farmed. And more than half the world’s fisheries have collapsed.

The future of open-ocean permaculture will be very different from the first crude attempts at ocean monoculture. As farmers around the world go green – meaning organic and sustainable – by demand, blue farmers get the advantage of being able to start off that way. Companies like Kona Blue Water Farms are already leading the way in sustainable seafood production. Blue farmers could literally save the world.

Future blue farms might be more like Indian milpas than monoculture banana plantations: multiple useful species growing in synergistic harmony, tended to by nearby local communities.

Imagine a giant shining blue diamond, bigger than your house, far offshore, out of sight of land – a giant diamond in the sea, half submerged. A pole runs from top to bottom. The sides of the diamond are made of a mesh that keeps fish in but lets water pass through. The waste from the fish feeds strings of shellfish around the bottom of the diamond. Algae and other life growing on the shellfish bring in a cloud of little fish that surround the diamond. Small holes in the mesh let the little fish dart through, feeding the big fish. And the big fish are harvested as needed.


Local communities and businesses could tend their own, local blue diamonds. Other diamonds could be released offshore near the northern or southern border. With currents, nature and technology doing the work, the diamonds would get harvested at the other end of the country, full of fat fish. Sportfishers would increase their catches around the massive fish-attracting devices, divers and snorkelers would go below for a look, boats and kayakers would want to go around, guides would be needed, and even more money and livelihoods would be made.

Perhaps we could help lead the way to the future of blue farming, applying the age-old principles of permaculture and sustainability. Many cultures have sustainably harvested shallow coastal waters since ancient times. Now is the time to take it farther offshore and farm, as well as conserve, the big blue.

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Billfish Foundation Fails to Stop Australia From Making Worlds Largest Marine Protected Area

clock June 18, 2012 13:12 by author BlueEcoBlog

Billfish Foundation Fights Agaist Marine Protected Areas and Loses in Oz.

The voice of the vast majority of ocean users is heard and they are not catch and release billfishers.

Fishers should always have access to most of the worlds oceans, not just for sport but to eat! But the world does need some places in the ocean to be free of nets and lines. Catching and releasing endangered billfish is not sport fishing and not as many people do it as some would have you think.

The crazy well funded, massivly sponsered, internationally super influencial Billfish Foundation took a big wave over the bow when the Prime Minister of Australia, backed by the people of one of the most ocean savy nations on earth, said our oceans are for a lot more than just catch and release billfishing. The Billfish Foundation has waged a campaign against marine protected areas, encouraging members to come out and help stop creation of marine protected areas

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No more Mexican Dolphin Slaves in Costa Rica!

clock June 8, 2012 07:41 by author BlueEcoBlog

World Oceans Day Splashback

Free the Dolphin Slaves held in Costa Rica.

Treated by family and friends, San Jose kids, interested in marine life, checked out some intelligent marine beings held in a life of slavery and prostitution in torturous and pathetic living conditions.

Yes, the Mexican circus is back in town and they have a new batch of dolphin slaves. The last dolphin slaves to visit the “no artificial-ingredients” country are dead. The same goes for all captive dolphins that have ever been in Costa Rica, save one who escaped.

Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world to observe wild and free whales and dolphins. There are only a handful of tico cetacean specialists.

Cetacean watching is bigger than a billion-dollar-a-year industry.

Why are so many big-name sponsers backing the worst example possible for Costa Rica's future scientists? Why are children being corrupted for a Mexican circus?

These big sponsers could show kids wild dolphins and help create future researchers and guides, instead they hope to make a buck with dolphin slaves in pathetic little tubs. What are kids learning from this?

Possibly those in charge did not realize that captive dolphins were part of the circus. Surely they would not want to damage Costa Rica's tourism reputation or their own. This should not happen again. Those involved should instead fund city children's vists to one of Costa Rica's nearby oceans to learn about no artificial ingredients. That kind of PR will make more than a buck.

Telling Costa Ricans about threats from oil-drilling in Limon is also good PR. Once again, children are being ripped of for short-term special interests. As the multinational contaminators prepare to divvy up Limon's

resources, perhaps Ticos could be educated about who stands to profit and who stands to lose. It seems San Jose politicians are more concerned about their pockets then Limon's long-term tourist economy.

One spill could wipe out the Caribbian coast, leaving residents with nothing and politicians with fatter pockets. Is this really what Costa Ricans want, or are they still in the dark about what's going on out there?

A major campaign against the greedy and myopic commercial fishing intrests would also be great PR. These intrests are wiping out an incredibly productive resource with overfishing, longlines, and enormous killer nets. Many dolphins are killed with plundering and wasteful fishing techniques. A resource that could have always provided for future generations of Costa Ricans is being stolen by short-term greed.

When the fishery has, like most others in the world, collapsed, where will Ticos buy fish? Japan?

A public campaign against all these short-term interests would only be good business. As business competition increases in Costa Rica, consumers will choose businesses with something extra or different.

Many companies all over the world have found that a public Eco-consciosness increases product sales, room occupancy etc.

Those Costa Rican businesses thinking about long-term profits will quickly see the light, or should I say $, by showing long-term thought and not short-term greed. Costa Rican children deserve to be scientists, researchers, guides, and business owners not oil-rig janitors, dolphin killing commercial fishing crew, or circus acts. 

This article was published in The Tico Times in 1999 by Shawn Larkin.  Dolphins in captivity is now illegal in Costa Rica, so far the drillers are being kept at bay, and the myopic part of the commercial fishing fleet is---Oh well 2 for 3.  We are still working on trying to get them to stop killing and netting Costa Rican dolphins. for more.


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