Ocean Voyages Institute, For the Oceans Foundation, and Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy launch marine pollution recovery and protection mission in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor

PUNTARENAS, CR – Less than two months after signing a promising new marine conservation collaboration agreement comprising the areas of Coco’s Island National Park, Golfo Dulce and the surrounding waters of the Thermal Dome with Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza Murillo, and Jorge Serendero, Executive Director of For the Oceans (FTO), a Costa Rican foundation, a fundamental advance in the partnership is announced with the arrival of Ocean Voyages Institute’s plastic recovery vessel, kick-starting the tasks committed to in the public-private agreement. 

The initiative, with the objective of protecting migratory species within the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor from marine plastic pollution and illegal fishing, benefits from the ghost-net recovery and marine clean-up expertise of Ocean Voyages Institute, a non-profit organization based in California which has set a World Record for removing over 170 tons of plastic debris from the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone or Gyre.

Photos Courtesy: Jackson McMuldren for OVI

In addition to removing plastic debris, the partnership will also perform =at-sea monitoring operations in marine protected areas. The Ministry of Environment and Energy in cooperation with For the Oceans Foundation and Ocean Voyages Institute will be working cooperatively to protect Costa Rica’s marine environment against Illegal, Unreported or Unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illicit activities in the protected areas of Osa, Guanacaste, Central Pacific and Coco’s Island, as agreed
with SINAC, Costa Rica’s Conservation Areas Network, and in light of the recent creation of the EasternTropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR) initiative between Panama, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica which both joins and increases the size of their protected territorial waters to create a fishing-free corridor covering more than 500,000 sq km (200,000 sq miles) in one of the world’s most important migratory routes for sea turtles, whales, sharks and rays.

At sea marine clean-up operations in Costa Rican waters will be carried out throughout November, with the objective of a long-term collaboration between OVI, FTO and MINAE to assist in protecting Costa Rica’s rich marine biodiversity. 

“We are truly honored to be collaborating with Andrea Meza Murillo, the Minister of Environment and Energy and Jorge Serendero, Executive Director of For the Oceans Foundation. We look forward to working closely together to protect Costa Rica’s beautiful marine environment,” stated Mary Crowley, the founder and president of Ocean Voyages Institute.

Costa Rica’s sovereign decision to double the surface area of all its Protected Wild Areas will require greater monitoring, control and surveillance efforts to comply with local legislation on protection and management of marine resources. Ocean Voyages Institute’s vessel will be operating within Costa Rican waters in the area of Guanacaste Conservation Area throughout the month of November, carrying out marine clean-up operations before returning to Puntarenas to responsibly recycle and up-cycle any plastic debris recovered, in collaboration with MINAE and For the Oceans Foundation.


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