By Sinay Céspedes Moreno
Quito, May 15 (Prensa Latina)
Quito, May 15 (Prensa Latina) – Today, scientists from the Coco-Galapagos Migravía expedition are promoting joint work to reinforce the care of that biological corridor that links the marine areas of Ecuador and Costa Rica.
The investigation began on May 3 with the departure of the Sharkwater vessel from Costa Rican territory, where they monitored Isla del Coco, Las Gemelas and Medina.
Official data revealed that the expedition’s work in these areas included more than 24 hours of fishing in order to mark migratory species, 216 hours of video and 12 vertical samplings to measure oceanographic parameters at depth and six of environmental DNA.
In this regard, the Ministry of Environment and Water of Ecuador explained that the researchers developed 18 transects (an analytical system) of sightings of fauna and macroplastics.
After traveling 700 nautical miles, the expedition reached its current stage in the Galapagos, where the work is focused on species and oceanographic surveys on San Cristóbal Island.
In the so-called Enchanted Islands, the first natural heritage of humanity site, the expedition members were received by the Minister of Environment and Water, Marcelo Mata, and authorities of the archipelago.
“This experience has shown us that the circumstances and realities of our countries change, but the reasons why the Marine Corridor of the Eastern Tropical Pacific was created remains and must prevail,” said the headline.
In the opinion of Jennifer Suárez, an Ecuadorian scientist and park ranger of the Galapagos National Park Directorate, the work is hard but very rewarding, since it is an opportunity to learn about what is happening outside the marine reserve, data upon which the future of the migratory species depends
According to the information provided by both countries, through the study the researchers managed to mark a tiger shark, a blacktip, a silvertip and a pelagic thresher shark.
Likewise, in the Cocos Island, the cameras captured the highest abundance of megafauna, followed by the Gemelas and Medina, where they sighted silky sharks and tigers, large schools of yellowfin tuna, wahoo and pilot fish.
Additionally, they added that they also observed species in Medina in low abundance, but notable species, such as the manta cornuda, black marlin and striped marlin.
The initiative, supported by 14 scientists, seeks to collect solid information that allows the presentation of concrete recommendations on the level of protection required for the conservation of marine species, and, in order to improve the sustainable management schemes and environmental benefit for coastal communities in the region.
During the remaining days at sea, the expedition will go to Darwin Island, where it will have two days to further its the investigation and, later, in the Paramount seamount to carry out marking, sampling and counting of marine organisms.
Before concluding the journey, the evaluation points will be Isla del Coco Occidental and the seamounts of La Fila del Coco, finally arriving at port on May 23, in Quepos, Costa Rica, after traveling more than 1,500 nautical miles .
The team consists of 14 researchers from six nationalities, who seek to obtain scientific evidence on the migration of marine species between the two protected areas, supporting concrete recommendations on the level of protection required for the conservation and improvement of sustainable management schemes in the region.
The Coco-Galapagos Migration Route connects the Isla del Coco National Park and the Submarine Mountains Marine Management Area in Costa Rica, with the Galapagos Marine Reserve in Ecuador and covers a work area of 240 thousand square kilometers which requires a management framework of binational coordination.
These biological corridors are a space for the mobilization of fish, marine mammals and other species, and at the same time, a special management instrument for these high connectivity routes which allows safeguarding migrations, ensuring the sustainable use of marine resources and increasing benefits, both environmental and socio-economic, for the countries of the region.
Read the full coverage from Prensa Latina at https://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?o=rn&id=449284&SEO=ecuador-y-costa-rica-refuerzan-cuidado-de-migrovia-coco-galapagos
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