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Costa Rica Marine Reserve

Good news from Costa Rica for endangered species including hammerhead sharks and leatherback turtles. Costa Rica has designated a new marine protected reserve around Cocos Island, and established new rules to help recover fish stocks that are important to local communities, reports Conservation International.

hammerhead sharkThe new reserve will be almost 1 million hectares, five times as large as the existing National Park around the Cocos Islands. That is, it is larger than Yellowstone Park and second only to the Galapagos National Park among marine protected reserves in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

Cocos Island itself is relatively small, and is surrounded by waters that are home to an abundance of sharks and over 30 unique, marine endemic species. The new conservation rules will forbid fishing in some zones, while limiting fishing to sustainable levels in the rest of the area.

The new marine protected reserve will conserve an entire marine ecosystem, as well as a group of underwater mountains southwest of Cocos Island.

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Alison Wheatley

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