The Secret Life of the Sharks
Author: Marta Cambra
After four years of research, the first results of the project The Secret Life of Sharks of Costa Rica are published in the Scientific Reports journal of Nature Research, a journal with a high impact worldwide. It is a project of the Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) of the University of Costa Rica. It seeks to offer information about sharks and rays and thus be able to give them better protection.
In this project, we use remote underwater cameras with bait, a technique recognized worldwide for its effectiveness in studying predatory species such as sharks. With this technique, we can study these animals without entering their habitat or taking them out of the water. That guarantees us more reliable data without causing any harm to the animals.
We have placed a total of 1037 cameras throughout the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, including Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) such as the Isla del Caño Biological Reserve, the Murcielago Islands, and the Isla del Coco National Park. We are lucky enough to work hand in hand with the island’s park rangers. Besides, we also monitor three sites where fishing is allowed in the North Pacific of Costa Rica.
Our cameras allowed us to detect up to 11 species of sharks and 18 species of rays, of which 66% are threatened. One of the most important results is that the largest species (top predators), such as hammerhead, tiger, silky, freshwater, or bull shark, were only detected within MPAs.
On the other hand, in places where fishing is allowed, many rays and smaller sharks were detected. Besides, top predators were much more abundant on Isla del Coco than on Isla del Caño and the Murcielago Islands, possibly due to the human impact these more coastal islands receive.
Therefore, our results demonstrate the benefits of marine protected areas for large shark species. They confirm the negative impact of humans on the subsistence of coastal sharks and rays.
We are currently looking for funds and alliances to continue with this monitoring of sharks and rays, which at the regional level is the most extensive and durable recorded to date.
This study is possible thanks to alliances with government entities (SINAC), NGOs (Global Finprint, FAICO, Costa Rica por Siempre, Waitt Foundation, Fundación Pacífico, Idea Wild, Conservation International, Fundación Costa Rica Wildlife) and local companies (Costa Rica Dive and Surf, Undersea Hunter and Cuajiniquil Dive Center).
During 2020, Ballena Tales Travel and Service Guide Magazine has published numerous uplifting, constructive, and thought-provoking articles on nature, people’s initiatives, or a healthy lifestyle. Our contributing authors are members of our community, business owners, and individuals with deep knowledge and love of the South Pacific, thus creating an oasis of inspiration and well-being for you to enjoy.
The Alma De Ojochal Hotel is, as the name says, “the soul of Ojochal” and is in tune with the spirit of Pura Vida on the South Western coast of Costa Rica. Here you will have the feeling of enjoying life to the fullest, embracing experience and adventure in a very relaxed atmosphere.
What a beautiful spot. You will now understand why people love this secluded beach, surrounded by lush rainforest and lined with palm trees. It mostly has calm waves. The shallow waters are safe for children (always under their parents’ observation and paying attention to the lifeguards’ alerts.)
Indeed, most of the Costa Ballena region is dependent on tourism. Given that as the background, we hear from our homeowners, clients, and the social media channels: What can we do to help with the local economy?
Most of the construction on the Costa Ballena and Osa Peninsula is done by hotels and second-home builders drawn by the lush rainforest. Native timber feels like an obvious choice: who doesn’t love a handcrafted Cristobal door’s luxury?
It is an exhibition with identity, designed by and for the inhabitants of the Osa Canton. It is a temporary exhibition “In Osa history travels by bicycle,” which you can admire at the Finca 6 Museum site, in Palmar Sur.
The whole gang of teenage monkeys turned tail, ran for the fig tree, scuffled for a position, and ascended to the crown. Once safe from the mother raccoon, they seemed to lose interest in her, like a person trying to forget an embarrassing incident and pretending it never happened. The monkeys returned to their vagrant behavior, and mama continued about her business with her cubs at her side.
DAWG is a Dog and Cat Rescue Organization, provided food, a medicated shampoo, vet care, a crate and a puppy pen.
Another week went by, and another puppy showed up at the property beside the hotel, so then there were five puppies!!!