WASHINGTON, Sep 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) has placed a full page ad in The New York Times today, calling on the presidents of Costa Rica and Ecuador to protect migratory marine species by creating the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway. The announcement, endorsed by Dr Sylvia Earle of Mission Blue and over 150 organizations around the world, was also published in La Nacion because the two countries are committed to protecting at least 30% of their marine territories by 2030.
Research carried out by an international group of marine scientists known as MigraMar indicated Endangered marine species including green turtles, leatherback turtles and scalloped hammerhead sharks become vulnerable to fishing activities when they migrate between Cocos Island National Park in Costa Rica and the Galapagos Marine Reserve in Ecuador .
Costa Rica is currently considering growing protection around Cocos Island. The Cocos-Galapagos bath, which was declared a Mission Blue Hope Spot, is an integral part of this initiative. More than 10,000 scientists and citizens of the world have called so that the Cocos-Galapagos Swimway is a fully protected area.
“It is important to think like sharks, sea turtles and the various life forms that are not found only in the places where we have named and claimed a territory”, said Dr Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue. “We have to look at the creatures that occupy this liquid space we call the ocean and realize that if we were to take action to protect them, it would not be enough for Cocos and Galapagos to have an area of refuge around them. What about the space in between? This too must be protected. This is the underlying rationale.
Marine protected areas, such as Cocos Island National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve, can restore ocean productivity, improve the capacity to increase resilience to climate change, and deliver socio-economic benefits through non-extractive industries such as tourism.
“The Presidents of Ecuador and Costa Rica have a unique opportunity to create a new paradigm to protect ocean wildlife”, said Mariano Castro of the Turtle Island Restoration Network. “The creation of the Swimway will allow endangered species to migrate safely and link the marine protected areas of two countries, which we hope will be a model that will be copied around the world. “
Organizations among the 150+ signatories from 20 countries include Center for Biological Diversity, CREMA, Endangered Species Coalition, Equilibrio Azul, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Grupo de los Cien, Humane Society International, Instituto Baleia Jubarte, Island Conservation, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, Marine Conservation Institute, Mas Galapagos, MigraMar, Mision Tiburon, Oceanic Preservation Society, Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Sea Turtle Conservancy, Seacology, Shark Allies, SOS Galápagos, The Leatherback Trust, The SeaChange Agency and Upwell.
Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN) is a global non-profit conservation organization and a leading advocate for the world’s oceans and marine life. TIRN has led more than 25 tagging expeditions to Cocos Island since 2009 to help elucidate the migratory routes of sharks and sea turtles in the eastern tropical Pacific. Our work is science-based, powered by caring people, and effective in catalyzing lasting positive change that protects green turtles, whale sharks and coho salmon. By working with people, communities and our more than 90,000 members, we conserve and restore critical habitats such as the stream banks of the California Redwood Forest to the biodiversity-rich waters of Cocos Island.
Led by legendary oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, Mission Blue brings together a global coalition to inspire a wave of public awareness, access and support for a global network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots. Under the leadership of Dr Earle, the Mission Blue team implements communication campaigns that elevate Hope Spots to the global stage through documentaries, social media, traditional media and innovative tools like Google Earth. Mission Blue regularly embarks on oceanic expeditions that shed light on these vital ecosystems and build support for their protection. Mission Blue also supports the work of conservation NGOs around the world who share the mission of building public support for ocean protection. The Mission Blue alliance includes more than 200 respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations.
School of Scalloped Hammerhead Shark at Cocos Island _ Nonie Silver
Map of swimming lanes _ MigraMar