- Photo via  Ocean Voyages Institute -

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Published on Wednesday,  November 17, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The U.S. Ocean Voyages Institute begins their clean-up operation in some maritime areas off the Pacific Coast and Cocos Island as part of an agreement with the Ministry of the Environment.

"We look forward to working closely to protect Costa Rica's precious marine resources," said Mary Crowley, founder of the Ocean Voyages Institute.

According to the ministry, the ship Belle Lashun III of the Ocean Voyages Institute will sail through the maritime zone of the country as part of the cooperation agreement in maritime control and surveillance in Cocos Island and Dulce Gulf.

The ship crew along with members of the Costa Rican foundation For the Oceans will begin cleaning operations in the maritime zone of Guanacaste Province during the month of November. Then, they will continue in the Pacific Coast maritime zone.

The recovered plastic material will be taken to recycling plants, they said.

In addition to extracting waste, the ship crew will also carry out monitoring operations in marine protected areas to detect possible illegal fishing boats and other illegal activities in the protected areas of Osa Peninsula, Guanacaste Province, Puntarenas Province and Cocos Island.

Ocean Voyages Institute is a California-based non-profit NGO that has set records for the removal of more than 170 tons of plastic waste from the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, the ministry said.

The agreement allows the foundation to bring its specialists onboard for marine research tasks, monitoring wildlife species, filming documentaries, and developing marine environmental education programs for school children contemplated in its “Ambassadors for the Oceans” project.

This is the second agreement this year between the ministry and an international  organization to carry out cleanup operations in maritime zones. Recently, the ministry signed an agreement with The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch organization, to use the "Interceptor" ship for cleaning the surface of the Tarcoles River.

Should the ministry include local fishing ships to carry out cleaning operations with these clean-up crews? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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