Conservation

Shark Conservation

We conduct research in areas that are key for successful shark conservation

Ocean First Institute conducts shark research to foster conservation success.

Marine Census in Las Catalinas, Costa Rica 

The Las Catalinas project goal is to document and ultimately protect sensitive marine life in the Tropical East Pacific of Costa Rica. Through our local and international collaboration we are conducting a scientific census of fish, sharks and rays at two sites on the northwest coast of the Guanacaste region. Our long-term goal is to collect baseline ecological data and resource-user patterns and provide that information to local fishery managers and communities for determining the best way to manage the resource for all users.

Hammerhead Shark Conservation in Gulfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Our work involves a collaboration with our partners, Mision Tiburon in Costa Rica. Together, we are investigating the regional decline in scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) sharks. Much of the decline has been attributed to the pressures of unsustainable and unregulated international shark fishing, predominantly for shark fins, within Costa Rican waters. In an effort to promote sustainability and protection of Costa Rican resources, the Institute has partnered with Mision Tiburon in an ongoing tagging project in Golfo Dulce. This is an area which has been protected from destructive fishing practices for nearly five years and is showing the resiliency of and a rebounding in populations of juvenile scalloped hammerheads. The sharks were tracked and Golfo Dulce was determined to be a critical shark nursery area, needing protection. In May, 2018 the President of Costa Rica declared Golfo Dulce as the world’s first hammerhead shark sanctuary!¬†