For the past five years, Shark Boat has been dedicated to investigating poaching and illegal fishing throughout the world’s marine protected areas (MPAs). It’s also dedicated to confronting poachers when necessary.
Founded by Captain Chris Wade, marine biologist and shark expert, Shark Boat works with other organizations as well as top marine scientists to spread awareness about the precious, disappearing beauty of the world’s oceans.
This month, the Shark Boat crew is heading down to Cocos Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site off the coast of Costa Rica, to patrol its coastal waters and collect data on solid baselines.
There are strict rules governing commercial fishing in MPAs; namely, it’s not allowed. Despite this fact, illegal fishing takes place in these areas all the time, either directly or through the use of “sneaking” – using long lines that reach from outside the area to inside of it. The preserved ecosystems of MPAs ensure that the selection of fish is rich and plentiful – but these creatures are strictly off the menu.
Because MPAs can be incredibly large in an ocean that is already a very large place, enforcement of their protected status is a constant battle. It’s a necessary one, though, as forecasts put the collapse of commercial fisheries at 2048. Imagine 90 percent of large fish gone from our oceans. That’s not a nice world to live in.
The Shark Boat’s EcoPirate crew has dedicated itself to spreading awareness about the dangers of overfishing as well as the injustice being done to ocean poachers. It’s a huge mission with a huge overhead (fuel, maintenance, repairs, port fees, permits, food, supplies, post production and equipment), which is why Shark Boat is incredibly grateful to the generous donations that made its current Cocos Island mission possible.
Through partnerships and agreements we have a unique ability to protect the island and enforce policies while effecting our research. We have full support and will be working with the top researchers and ocean advocates in the world. These are the people that are making a difference every day. We will be filming and documenting our journey to create a documentary with some of the biggest names in science to gain more data while protecting the area from Pirates, Profiteers, and Zombie Fishing fleets.