In October 2013, Pete, an Earthrace team of ex-services personnel (The Operatives) and a volunteer support crew, plus the new Sealegs amphibious craft, returned home after a three month campaign in Costa Rica helping to tackle pirate vessels fishing illegally around the coast.
Illegal fishing is like a plague for this small country. Costa Rica, which in many respects, has an enviable environmental record compared with neighbouring countries, has a number of marine protected zones around the coastline. Authorities like the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans of Costa Rica (MINAE), and NGO’s such as Pretoma, are constantly working to protect these areas but they are being overwhelmed by the size of the problem.
Much of the work of the team over the three month period focused on the marine protected areas, and they spent many days and nights observing and filming fishing activities in and around them. Footage obtained from Sealegs and from suspected illegal fishing vessels boarded by the team is being passed to the relevant authorities. Bethune will return to Costa Rica soon to meet with them and present further evidence that will allow more arrests and prosecutions.
Look out for more news from the Operatives coming soon.