Mission Viejo, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/08/2014 -- Described by National Geographic as the “most biologically intense place on Earth,” there is an urgent need to protect the rich marine biodiversity of the Osa Peninsuladue to rampant commercial fishing that is rapidly killing off dolphins, whales, sea turtles and entire marine ecosystems. The MPA for OSA group (Marine Protected Area for OSA Peninsula) has started a campaign to have the area declared a marine protected area (MPA)to curb the commercial fishing that is destroyingthe area’s diverse marine life.
Marine biologists have been fascinated by the Osa Peninsula for years and agree that this is one of the most biologically diverse ocean ecosystems in the world. However, this marine wonderland has not been immune to commercial fishing, a practice that is fast wiping out the over twenty-five species of dolphins and whales, alongside four of the world’s eight species of sea turtles. MPA for OSA is working tirelessly to ensure these beautiful creatures don’t lose their natural habitat as it is urgent that action is taken immediately before it is too late.
“The changes I have seen in my sixteen years in this area are frightening. We used to see super mega pods of Spinner Dolphins (Costa Rica has its own sub-species of Spinner Dolphin, the Costa Rica Spinner Dolphin). We used to have to slow the boat down because there were so many sea turtles floating on the water. Not anymore, and if something isn’t done immediately, there will be nothing left for even the commercial fishermen who are exploiting and destroying the area,” said Sierra Goodman, coordinator for MPA for OSA campaign.
Costa Rican fishermen have also been witness to the drastic changes that have occurred over the years, and are afraid that a lack of action will result in a total collapse of the eco system. As local sportfisherman Fred Maschmeier said, “Twenty years ago there were Dolphins as far as the eye could see, and tuna everywhere. Today, these monster factory ships have made Costa Rica’s ocean into an almost barren sea. There are very few tuna with the dolphins. [We are] scared as hell.”
MPA for OSA has also created a petition on Avaaz to solicit the Costa Rican government to fast track the creation of the marine protected area. The group is also calling for an immediate moratorium on commercial fishing while details are worked out. The immediate moratorium would put an end to commercial fishing on the Osa Peninsula and allow parties privy to the matter to work out details after the ecosystem is protected.
In addition to the call for immediate cease of commercial fishing is a crowd funding campaign aimed at sourcing funds to continue the necessary research and also get local communities and the government to work together. Interested individuals and organizations are being asked to sign a petition to show their support for MPA for OSA’s campaign, and donate to the crowd fund.
The website has all the necessary information for individuals to get informed on the issues and the online petition can be signed here. The group has also established a presence on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Videos of their efforts can be viewed on YouTube, and any donations made to the fund site.
MPA for OSA stresses that this very urgent campaign needs the support of individuals who care about marine life and don’t want to see one of the most beautiful marine-life ecosystems destroyed by commercial fishing activities.
Sierra Goodman/MPA for OSA
(619) 866-4404 in US and (011 506) 8818 9784 in Costa Rica