Combining and collaborating
If you have read this blog up until now you know two things;
We love Conservation and working with others
We aspire to use evolved understanding and equipment to bring about positive change in the underwater world
This last month has seen a project occur that can involve both, the apitomy of modern outreach and ethics. Advanced diving through Boxfish Research engaged Smart Rabbit VR in Costa Rica to deliver a world first! High quality 360 video taken of the shark life of “Isle del Coco” the worlds greatest location for studying shark behavior and the home of the Scalloped Hammer head shark.
Smart Rabbit VR is a company based in CR aiming to deliver the island back to the people. Every Costa Rican person I met was so passionate about the island (400km offshore) and many will never get the opportunity to go. The team endeavors to showcase the island, both under and over to the people and thus involve them in this auspicious place. They work with schools and government alike to help grow a better understanding of this a most special place.
There are pressures here! There has historically been a tradition of long line fishing and it has had an impact on the population of sharks for sure. In recent times this is changing! Captains are migrating over to Sport fishing and a more discriminate practice of catch and release. This nation is one of conservation and tourism so this change we believe is nothing but a positive moving forward. Attitudes and education are integral to a positive culture change and this Costa Rican group is committed to this goal.
Mision Tiburon is an amazing organisation. These individuals have made consistent research into the island group of Cocos but also the pattern of breeding behaviors of the Hammer head sharks of the region. They graciously hosted an evening that we were able to display content in. A Truly amazing group of individuals, committed to growing awareness and protection of this and other shark species.
I could not go through this article without mentioning SINAC, The Bomberos (paramedicos) and the Rangers of Cocos Island. Not first but foremost they are the guardians of the island and work tirelessly in difficult conditions to maintain and preserve this amazing place. My time on the island was made easy by the continued efforts and positivity of this group. Every day these guys get up and do great things! Every day they work as they had as the previous & Every day they rose to meet new challenges, support the tourism and create a balance between humans and this UNESCO site.
Radar has changed the game in terms of protection of the island. There is a 12 Nautical mile exclusion zone and since its inception, there has been no illegal incursions in 4 years.
This place has had a real impact upon me. The team and all Costa Rican’s I met displayed nothing but kindness and a helpful nature. I was included in everything and despite not being a fluent Spanish speaker found nothing but support and understanding for my needs. A truly amazing experience with incredible people for a great goal.
A special thank you to Edgar Galvez, Marlon Romaro and Jesse Medina for being awesome humans.