Thursday, June 14, 2007


For over 60 years Costa Rica has had ties with Taiwan, and now, the ties have been cut and Costa Rica announces their new contract with China. Taiwan was granted the fishing rights to the Costa Rican waters and had hungrily scooped up everything in it's path, now, with an even hungrier benefactor, the oceans of Costa Rica are about to come under siege. Already, over 90% of the large fish are gone. Not missing, just gone.

Costa Rica let it happen, bribed by Taiwan with bridges and roads, and of course large payoffs to the right government officials. Costa Rica has long enjoyed the reputation that it's held as the Eco friendly vacation spot. With tourism dollars pouring into Eco tourism, hotels have been built on what was once mangroves, cities have been built around "pristine" rain forest so as to bring gawking tourists closer. Thus isolating species, and encroaching on their habitat.

With one of the best dive spots in the world in Costa Rica, they again appear to be doing everything just right, all those who visit are wooed by the vast schools of hammerhead shark, the gigantic tuna, and the jack schools so large that they block out the sun. This Island is a protected area, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Costa Ricans have dedicated one small boat to patrol over 450 square miles of ocean. Fishing boats enjoy lax laws that just barely allow the government to say that they are making an effort. Just outside of the the 12 mile radius, sea life falls off drastically, a testament to the overfishing that is rampant in the region.

It seems odd that a country whos number one income is tourism would risk it all by openly squandering their recourses, and they will continue to do so until that tourism market is affected. Of course, your average tourist is ignorant of the main issues of the world, and travel to places like Costa Rica where there is little besides the landscape to make them feel like they have gone too far from home. Awareness is our only weapon against transactions like these. When it is common knowledge that we are on the brink of disaster, and that certain places like Costa Rica have actively fooled us for decades, then and only then will they take action.

No comments: