The Shark Quest

Shark in the water  - Costa Rica - Photo by David García

Shark in the water – Costa Rica – Photo by David García

In 2008, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini) was declared an endangered species.

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Being protected around Coco Island, there are no conservation measures along Costa Rica’s Pacific coastal areas. For this reason, the Shark Quest (Misión Tiburón) is created in 2010, with the support of International  conservation organizations and the fishermen of the Golfo Dulce. Its purpose is to identify and protect areas of aggregation used by the hammerhead shark. For the identification and management of these areas they have been gathering anecdotal and biologically-fishery information in cooperation with local fishermen (FENOPEA). Up to date they have analyzed 67 different fishing operation areas (Jiménez, Pavones, Matapalo and Punta Banco). The largest catches of juvenile hammerhead shark appeared during the months of July and August, when the sharks are still small (65 cm).

The Shark Quest - Photo by David García

The Shark Quest – Photo by David García

The way the sharks and rays were captured, made it possible to release them alive and score 70 sharks (hammerheads, tigers, cats, billfish) and 65 rays. Based on the analysis, Golfo Dulce is a potential breeding area for hammerheads in the Costa Rican Pacific.

Posted in Environment & Wildlife, Environmental Initiatives and tagged .