Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Central America Fishing Reports' started by Crocodile Dave, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Crocodile Dave

    Crocodile Dave Crocodile Dave

    Location:
    Petaluma, Ca.
    Name:
    David
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    n/a
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    The Golfo Dulce Becomes the Largest Marine Area of Responsible Fishing in Central America

    Crocodile Bay Resort sits on one of the few tropical fjords in the world. The entire gulf as of June 12th, became the largest MARF in all of Central America. How did that happen? Well no good divorce lawyer would want you to know but what every family counselor in world would advocate, you get everyone involved sitting at the same table talking things out. Dad, mom, the kids, the dog and cat with the goldfish sitting on the table talking about their wants, needs, and frustrations. That is exactly what happened.
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    Satellite Image of Costa Rica's Golfo Dulce

    The small scale commercial fishing Federation (FENOPEA) sat down with the National Tourist Fishing Federation (FECOPT), the local tourist fishing association (APTC) , INCOPESCA, the Costa Rican governing agency of all fishing laws, and the shrimping industry. Everyone discussed their groups personal well being as well as the future of the Golfo Dulce.
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    The process took over a year to complete and the inshore fishery inside the gulf has already seen spectacular results. The first to go, were the shrimp boats. They signed an agreement to quit trawling inside the gulf and left last September. It is a know fact that for every pound of shrimp they catch, they also catch 10 lbs of bycatch (small fish and other crustaceans) that are discarded.
    Some of them would find a reef on the way out of the gulf and dump there bycatch overboard and when the snapper came up to feed, they would drag their net and take a mother load of snapper with them, though totally illegal.
    Last season we saw an immediate change and had the best snapper fishing we had seen in 11 years of operation. It was to the point where you always got a couple smaller dinner size snapper to eat and the big females could be released.
    Next was the gill netters. All but a handful agreed to stop using nets inside the gulf. After much debate and with the assistance provided by those willing to give up the practice, it was decided that no licenses to fish with nets will be renewed and the last license expires in 2012. With less than 10 working now, down 90% from before, the incidental mortality rate in the gulf will is drastically lower.
    The Golfo Dulce has been divided in half. In the northern half, small commercial fisherman will only be allowed to fish with hand lines. The other half of the Gulf, short bottom lines will be permitted but must all be used by hand, no equipment to haul lines is allowed.
    Groups like Mar Viva have gotten involved to train these fishermen in processing and marketing. Much like organic gardening their product now has a higher value, marketed as sustainable caught. With the success of such a program, the commercial guys will not be tempted to return to old fishing methods.
    The local sport fishing people agreed to do their part by replacing all treble hooks on lures to single hooks when fishing inside the gulf. There was resistance from a small group of anglers inside the country that rarely fish the gulf and they produced documents from The Billfish Foundation, and the World Wildlife Foundation stating treble hooks were sustainable.
    I read the TBF study, and have searched all over the internet for the WWF study but have yet to find it.
    My personal argument and backed by many who use the gulf is we are not dealing with fish that can be held in your hand while the free hand can use a pair of pliers to remove the multiple hooks from a fish. We are dealing with big fish, roosterfish 10 to 60 lbs and the extra time that fish is out of the water while multiple hooks are removed is life threatening to them. This will also save me about a half dozen trips to the hospital each year as my crews while trying to release a big fish caught on treble hooks often end up hooking themselves.
    The prohibition did not get written into law but Crocodile Bay and most other fishing operations will be making the switch on a voluntary bases. The Siwash series hook, has proven to have an excellent hook up record when used as a replacement for treble hooks.
    The sum of all this is: The inshore fishery, roosterfish, snapper, grouper, trevally, and many more species has always been fair year round. It is about to get great!
    We Can Help Your Group Raise Funds for your Organization
    In celebration of the recent success in the Golfo Dulce and the amount of volunteer man hours taken to accomplish this we at Crocodile Bay would like to help you raise funds for your favorite organization.
    Whether it be a fishing, hunting, conservation or a group that helps people like the like the Scouts, Little League, and more. All are eligible.
    If your group is making a difference in this world for nature or the people that live in it, we want to do our part to help you accomplish your goals. Crocodile Bay will donate 10% of any fishing or eco tour package booked direct with us (excluding travel expenses) during the 2010-2011 season to your favorite organization.
    Your group must pre-register to participate and a specially designed mail out will be prepared for you to send to your organization. For details, have the leaders of your group contact me at [email protected]with “fundraising” in the subject box
    Keep a wet line!
    Todd Staley

    Editors note: Our Fishing Director Todd Staley has twenty years of promoting Fishing tourism, conservation, and sustainable use of marine resources in Costa Rica. He was recently appointed President of FECOPT, The Federation that represents sport fishermen for the entire country of Costa Rica
     
  2. FAT CAT

    FAT CAT FAT CAT

    Location:
    Baja Sur, MX
    Name:
    Bill Burkett
    Boat:
    22' Twin-Vee Catamaran POLE CAT
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    Now thats the kind of report we all need. Hope it all works out for everyone involved and other places can follow this example. We could sure use some of this type of cooperation here in Baja, Mexico.
     
  3. jimfrogs

    jimfrogs Newbie

    Location:
    Oakland CA
    Name:
    roach
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    sold them all
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    I lived in Costa Rica long enough to know that laws don't mean much because there is no enforcement and even when there is enforcement the fines are so small as to be meaningless to discourage breaking the laws. But I hope it all improves like you are saying. The Costa Rican government tells the whole world that long lining is not done in Costa Rica because it is against the law and every time I go out I see hundreds of long liners working. Good luck in your case around the Gulf. The Gulf is a beautiful place with great habitat and I really hope it can be saved.
     
  4. Thums up

    Thums up Newbie

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Name:
    Greg Thummel
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    30 Custom
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    There is plenty of enforcement now! Things in CR have changed quite a bit in just the last two years.
     
  5. Team Karma

    Team Karma Newbie

    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Name:
    Kyle
    Boat:
    54 Sculley: Karma 3
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    Thank you for sharing. One thing I know about the ocean is that once an area begins to be protected, it normally rebounds quite well and then flows over into nearby areas. Hopefully fishing inside the gulf will become more productive- what sportfishermen (and charter operator) doesn't love short trips to fish?
     

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