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 Embassy in Costa Rica-How to Visit. Dolphin People #2

clock July 14, 2013 20:46 by author BlueEcoBlog

Dolphin Embassy of Osa Costa Rica. The biggest dolphin embassy in the world?
Cruising Underwater with Dolphins in the Big Blue 
Open Ocean Offshore where others throw giant nets
Swim with Dolphins instead of netting dolphins.
Be safe everyone.
Dolphin Ambassadors-Star Larkin, Vanessa Larkin and Shawn Larkin

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqYdciN1qUA

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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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True Costa Rican Wild Animal Stories by Shawn Larkin Strunz

clock October 10, 2012 15:43 by author BlueEcoBlog

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Pelagic Park’ Would Help Save Spinner Dolphins

clock August 15, 2012 04:20 by author BlueEcoBlog

‘Pelagic Park’ Would Help Save Spinner Dolphins

From The Tico Times, Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008 - By Shawn Larkin

The most hightech, large-scale fishing in Costa Rica’s oceans is commercial tuna fishing.

From hardworking crew and helicopters to radar and satellites, these operations take catching fish very seriously.

They drop enormous nets bigger than a city block into the sea to catch vast quantities of an assortment of marine life. They are after mostly tuna, among the most valuable fish of any denizens of the deep.

When fishing boats find a big group of spinner dolphins, they find some of their ever-present sidekicks: giant yellowfin and bigeye tuna. Mostly seen only below the surface, the tuna would not be so easy to locate without the help of the dolphins, which must surface regularly to breathe. The giant tuna pack together around the dolphins that find their food for them. Here, offshore of southern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, the big tuna and the spinner dolphins are always together.

I reckon the dolphins think: “Now that the  moon is full, the current is from the southwest at two knots and the wind is calm, a bigspaced swell is coming in from west-southwest, it rained last night and the layers of water temperatures changed a lot, it’s a sunny day, almost high noon, and I think I know where all those other dolphins are going, and the orcas will not hunt today, and the tuna boats will be busy for a few hours – hope my friends and family make it out! – we should go hunt the south end of the Osa drop-off upwelling.”

And I reckon the tuna are thinking just one thing: “Follow the dolphins.”

Follow the dolphins. Just as the seabirds, the sailfish and the marlin, the sharks and the whales, the sportfishing captains and the commercial tuna-fishing fleets do. Follow the dolphins; they have the best actionable ocean intelligence. The dolphins have the network. They are always with the food.

In the Osa drop-off upwelling, where dense, cooler and nutrient-rich water is pushed toward the ocean surface, the tuna, birds and other marine life are nearly always with the dolphins. All a commercial fishing fleet has to do is find the birds on a special radar, send up a helicopter or two to check it out and call in coordinates, start corralling the dolphins with the helicopter and explosives dropped from the helicopter, put down small, fast chase boats to further corral the dolphins, use the ship to corral the dolphins even more, and then put down a very big net around the dolphins and associated marine life with the help of a special net boat.

If you do this, you get a lot of tuna in the net below the dolphins, and it’s worth a lot of money.

Sadly, this kind of bonanza is unsustainable. The longer-lived, more slowly reproducing spinners will probably die out before the tuna are exhausted, perhaps giving the tuna a chance to recuperate, because once the dolphins are gone, no one will be able to find the tuna. But how will the tuna find food without the dolphins?

Fishing industry insiders have told me that dozens of spinner dolphins are killed every day by busy boats. They die most frequently when their narrow, smiling mouths get stuck in the holes of the nets. Hundreds more must be manhandled by diving crews and thrown out of the nets daily, lest the nets are damaged.

Other Osa dolphin species, such as bottlenose and spotted dolphins, are somewhat likelier to swim out if a small piece of one end of the net is put down for a while, a procedure known as a “backdown.”

Backdowns do not help Osa’s spinner dolphins, however; they stay in the net.

Tuna fishermen say the spinners are tontos, stupid, because they do not swim away from the ship and out of the net. They seem unable to stop surfing the ship’s waves. The same trait the tourist boats love dooms the poor spinners.

Time for ‘Pelagic Park’

The blue-water pelagic (open-ocean) ecosystem domain of the Osa’s spinner dolphins is probably the most productive ecosystem in Costa Rica, perhaps in the tropical marine world. According to former members of Jacques Cousteau’s legendary conservation ship, Calypso, and the BBC’s top “Blue Planet” underwater cameramen, offshore Osa is the richest tropical blue water they have seen anywhere on the planet (see sidebar).

The dolphins’ domain is an area between five and 20 nautical miles from Caño Island Biological Reserve. The reserve’s waters currently extend only about two nautical miles; this is not enough to protect large animals such as dolphins and tuna. To protect large marine animals, you need a Corcovado or Amistad-sized park at sea.

For many years, around the world, protected marine areas have proven to increase catches in surrounding areas. With a big enough pelagic park, or better still, parks and corridors, tuna-fishing boats could make money in the long term, not just short.

An astounding number of big, amazing  animals live in the Osa drop-off upwelling area and would be protected along with the spinners. Fin, sei, Bryde’s, humpback and blue whales and orcas frequent this little upwelling. Sailfish, marlin, tuna, manta rays, whale sharks, turtles, beaked whales, pilot whales, pseudorcas, bottlenose dolphins and spotted dolphins are found here in some of the highest concentrations in the world.

A special area of the Osa drop-off upwelling, the clearest waters in Costa Rica, would be an excellent place to prohibit commercial fishing, save the spinners and allow boaters and divers to see and snorkel with dolphins and other amazing marine life in the big blue.

Many people in Costa Rica, including yours truly, already benefit greatly from tourists visiting the giant dolphin pods and other marine life congregations off the Osa. But the commercial fishing fleet will end it soon for us all if some sort of pelagic park is not created.

The spinners are dying. There seem to be a lot fewer little spinners now then there were in the past. The pods no longer stretch to the horizon in every direction.

A park is the only solution. Just as Costa Rica has demonstrated to the world the value of protecting functioning terrestrial ecosystems, we can show the world the same goes for the ocean. Costa Rica needs to make peace with the ocean as well as the rain forest. It’s time to set aside a meaningful, not miniscule, part of Costa Rica’s biggest ecosystem: the open ocean.

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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

 http://news.co.cr/billfish-foundation-fails-to-stop-australia-from-making-worlds-largest-marine-protected-area/8167/

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Dolphins Dancing For Laura Chinchilla Again!

clock June 16, 2012 13:21 by author BlueEcoBlog

Dolphins Dancing For Laura Chinchilla Again!

Costa Rica To Conserve Ten Percent of Oceans.

Latin America's greatest ocean hero, Laura Chinchilla, granted future Costa Ricans a much better chance of sustainably utilizing our Oceans into the future.  The sad free for all of too powerful special interests will now be controlled with vision directed to the people and the future by a new Vice Minister of Aguas and Mares.  Wow!  No thats how you do it!  Seems now the voices of all groups of ocean users, not just the most connected screaming special interests, will have a say.  Now is time for Costa Ricans to speak up about what they know about our oceans, and help conserve it.  Have you heard about the largest dolphin pod in the world, the spinner dolphins of the Osa peninsula and Cano Island?  Aaaa, happens to be they need a park!  They live near to famous protected areas Corcovado National Park and Cano Island Biological Reserve, BUT, they live in waters attacked by nets and lines.  This Park or protected area, needs to be south and west of Cano Island to at least a distance of 30 nautical miles to help these spinners.  NOT just 8 miles from the island as some are saying!  8 miles is not enough to protect the biggest dolphin pod in the world and Golfito and Puerto Jimenez need to make a lot money in the long run from conserving these dolphins, not killing them for short term collapsing profits. 

Three blue cheers for the awesome president of Costa Rica.

Check it
http://www.costacetacea.com/bluewaterpelagicpark.html

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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.

Why?

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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Catch and Release Sportfishing is headed the way of African Big Game Tourist Hunting—More money and sustainability in oceanic adventure ecotourism

clock June 3, 2012 10:15 by author BlueEcoBlog
Are Catch and Release Sport Fishers hiding who really catches their fish? 


Long ago shooting big animals to say you did it, stuff it for your wall, or get a trophy photo of yourself looming over the motionless beast, seemed like a cool thing to do for many tourists. When the animals started disappearing, big game hunting began to appear to be more of a ego trip. Trophy catch and release sportfishing for fish might be headed on the same course, for the same reasons.


While sportfishing to eat fish will be around as long as there are fish, trophy fishing for endangered large animals to release might not last too much longer. As happened before with the fashion of big game hunting in Africa for Europeans, as more people find out what trophy fishing really entails, the mystique is being shattered. A heap of porters and a bunch of beasts of burden doing most of the work, once their roll was understood, took much of the glory out of big game hunting because the glory was theirs. And wealthy tourists didn’t really need or want to eat lions, tigers and rhinos.


The catch and release crowd of sport fishing is pretty darn similar. The glory belongs to the mates and captain who, almost always do the vast majority of the work. A thousand or so horsepower seems to help a lot as well. Watching, it can be difficult to figure out what some of the “sportfishers” do other than sit, sip, and reel the reel sometimes, often letting the mates do much of the reeling. The mates will then grab the fish, take the hook out, and put the “sport fisher” in position with the fish for a photo. Then a mate will often be the one to take the photo of somebody holding the fish he just caught.


So the sportfisher comes back and tells everyone he caught a great beast, but since the great beasts are disappearing, he was grand enough to let it go. Wow. Dude.


I do know people who really do battle these fish themselves, from fueling up the boats, to baiting the hooks, to hours sweating as they finesse a powerful giant to the boat without breaking the line, to gaffing it, hauling it in, killing it and then taking it home to their family or community. They kill the fish because this type of fisher usually does not go after endangered species that need to be released. They fish for food, and with their expert skill they target other species.


That is what the sport fishing industry should do. Forget about billfish, they are in danger. Catching billfish stresses the creature big time and only contributes to their problems. Or did you think this macho battle was easy on the fish?


Do you really need to catch billfish to release them? For what? To study them to find out why they are disappearing? There are a lot of other fish in the sea. You will be just as tough and cool catching those. Even better if you bring home some catch to feed the hungry.


The future of terrestrial big game conservation and economic generation was ecotourism, not tourists hunting lions and elephants and gazelle. The future of ocean big game moneymaking and protection will be adventure ecotourism, not catching and releasing endangered sailfish, marlin and sharks.


http://www.costacetacea.com/costaricanoceanslife/billfishrescuedive.html


Shawn Larkin All rights reserved. Copyright 2012. Alright.

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Salvemos La Vida Marina de Osa Costa Rica Parque Pelagico Por Favor Rapido

clock May 19, 2012 06:32 by author BlueEcoBlog

Vida Marina en Osa Costa Rica en peligro. El piloto mas famoso de Osa, Costa Rica, Alvaro Romero sobre la conservacion de la vida marina de la peninsula de Osa con el menada del delfines mas grande del mundo, aqui en Costa Rica. De Bahia Drake.

Gracias al buzo Daniel Moreno, y capitan Roger Gonzales.

Mil Gracias a los delfines de Osa.

Un producion de Costa Cetacea y Shawn Larkin.
Paz Amor y Pura Vibra

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50grocYJ2eM

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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.
FADS
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.

 http://www.costacetacea.com/bluewaterpelagicdive.html

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