Costa Rica Fishing Report – September 2103 by Todd Staley, Fishing Director Crocodile Bay
First I would like to thank Will Briegel for filling in for me while I concentrated on some other things. I made three trips to the states in the last few weeks. The annual ICAST tackle show is a great chance to see what is new in the fishing game as well as catch up with some old friends. I followed that with a family reunion and to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday. What started as a family of seven kids has grown to where there were over 140 in attendance. Later I went to the Florida Outdoor Writer’s Conference where I saw a lot of old friends and promoted some of the advances in marine conservation we have made here in Costa Rica. It was an honor to be there when fishing great Flip Pallot received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
I know Will had the Gorham family in the last report but they sent me a story from their trip and I would like to share it with you. Also Scott Young who I got to know by e-mail but missed here at the lodge sent me photos of his trip. Daryl, Matt, and Andrew Gorup from the Peterbilt family made another visit here. So many people have become such good friends over the years that I am really blessed to be starting my 14th season here in November.
Fishing went flat for 4 days when I returned last week as green water slowed things up. We sent the fleet a little further and found some cleaner water and Brain Thurston and Gary Arnold from Fishing Tackles Retailer magazine went 5 for 5 on sails. Fishing has improved daily.
Costa Rica Marine Conservation
We have had some great advances lately which will undoubtedly improve fishing in Costa Rica. No more shrimp boats. The Costa Rican courts have sided with conservationists and declared trawling for shrimp an unsustainable form of fishing and have ruled that shrimpers can continue to work until their current license expires and then they will be forced to stop. It is not an overnight fix but a substantial one and the last boat will be out of the water in four years.
Charlie, the animated tuna that has promoted the consumption of tuna in the United States for decades will even be happier if Costa Rican fishermen get their way. The Pacific Fisherman’s Union a commercial lobby and FECOP, the recognized sport fishing lobby in Costa Rica on September 2, asked the Costa Rican government for a 6 year moratorium on tuna purse seine fishing.
After years of throwing stones at each other the commercial fleet and the sport fishing fleet have come together to promote a Blue Agenda to insure more responsible fishing methods in the country.
Costa Rica does not have a purse seine fleet and all licenses to fish this method are being given to foreign vessels. Armed with a study done by FECOP that concludes that Costa Rican fishermen are being robbed of the resource as well as possible financial gain, the groups have asked for this time frame to study the situation and develop sustainable fishing methods for the benefit of local fisherman.
Right now nearly 90% of all tuna caught in Costa Rica are landed in other countries and Costa Rica sees only a $37 dollar per ton benefit by letting foreign flagged seiners take the resource. This coupled with other irregularities and illegal activities such as the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD’s) are not only depleting the tuna resource, but increase the capture of juvenile by-catch with is thrown dead back into the ocean.
FECOP has found that by uniting the commercial and sport fishing sector, rather than constantly fight each other they can better influence the government to make changes to promote a Blue Agenda similar to Costa Rica’s Green Agenda which is world famous. The Costa Rican commercial sector has agreed to seek more sustainable fishing practices to target tuna that also reduces by-catch of species targeted by sport fishermen like marlin and sailfish.
For more information go to www.fecop.org and click on English
Last November the Marlin bite was very good! Come find out
See you in Costa Rica!
Crocodile Bay Resort