INMOLO & Innoceana

INMOLO & Innoceana

Virtual Market supporting rural entrepreneurship

INMOLO & Innoceana

AUTORA: Laura Vanopdenbosch

Innoceana is an international Marine Conservation NGO. It has been working in the Pacific South of Costa Rica for the past two years. The team is composed of engineers and biologists whose aims are to protect the Ocean through Innovation and Education. They have created various research projects worldwide in places like Thaïland, Indonesia, Spain, California, and Costa Rica. With a focus on coral reefs, seagrass, water quality, and endangered marine species.

Innoceana believes that Education is the key to making a real change in protecting the Ocean. This is why every project involves collaboration and engagement through Citizen science.  (CS; also known as community science, crowd science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring, or online citizen science) is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur (or nonprofessional) scientists.)

Today we will describe the INMOLO project: IN-vertebrate MO- nitoring and LO-cation. This collaborative inventory of marine invertebrates was launched a year ago on Caño Island with the indispensable support of SINAC’s local park rangers. Invertebrates are essential to the ecosystem, and unfortunately poorly studied. They represent 97% of all animals, are the base of most food webs, and are used for medical purposes. Without invertebrates, the whole ecosystem would collapse.

El Mercado, a Virtual Market supporting rural entrepreneurship

INMOLO was created to study the invertebrate populations of Caño Island, their abundance, health, and awareness of the
importance of marine invertebrates for the environment’s health.

After a year working alongside the rangers of Caño Island, tour operators and local guides, Innoceana has recorded 95 species of marine invertebrates and reported more than 12.000 individuals. We made observations walking around the Island, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Eight species never observed on the Island before have also been reported for the first time.

The team is creating a collaborative book about all the species observed on the Island. The book displays pictures and observations taken by the local community and explains the ecological importance and distribution of each species.

With the participation and engagement of the local community, INMOLO has succeeded in raising awareness about the importance of marine invertebrates, their role, and their conservation. Cambutes or Giant Conch (Lobatus galeatus), is a critically endangered species in Costa Rica because, among others, they are highly appreciated for ceviche (marinated seafood).

With INMOLO, we raised awareness concerning their vulnerability, and as a result, illegal fishing of the species has decreased.  Our ambition is that INMOLO will be more than a single project. Inoceana’s goal is to replicate the INMOLO concept around the world, starting first of all with the National Park Marino Ballena.

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