On The Water with FECOP

FECOP acquires Oceanography and Satellite Data Expert

Dr. Marina Marrari PhD.  has joined the FECOP team to head a series of exciting new projects at Fecop. She is a former employee at NASA space research working in their Satellite division. She will need the help of the Costa Rican fishing public to accomplish Fecop’s goals.

Fishing Log Books

Fecop is asking as many Captains, fishing, operators or individual anglers to loan Dr Marrari their fishing logs for as far back as possible. She will then take the catch data and analyze it with historical oceanic and weather conditions for the same dates to develop patterns in the fishery. Included is chlorophyll, temperatures, currents, eddies, winds, tides, moon phases and much more. A major part of her analyses will be El Nino periods, which we are experiencing now.

Marrari is not asking for any secret fishing spots, just general areas. The final report will be shared with all participants without giving away anyone’s private information. Fecop will also develop a fishing log book for folks who currently not keeping records but wish to in the future. Similar studies have been used in California to increase swordfish stocks and lower bycatch in that industry.

Crocodile Bay Resort was the first to turn over 12 years of fishing logs from their fleet of more than 20 boats. To participate contact Fecop at info@fecop.org or call 2291 2150

FECOP and INCOPESCA Sign Agreement

Dr. Marina Marrari will also lead the Fecop team on a Four-part project with Incopesca, the governing agency of Costa Rican fisheries. The project is long term and Fecop will invest four years in the project.

Highlights of the agreement are:

• Training for the analysis of satellite data including the assessment of the effects of El Nino Oscillation with the development of a mobile App and website to keep the fishing community updated.

• Training for the assessment of fisheries stocks involved in sport fishing. Social and economic analysis of the sector.

• Capacity building for all fisheries stock assessment with classic methods and poor-data fisheries. Social and economic analysis

• Training for the analysis of satellite information for the detection of illegal and unreported fishing.

Tuna Purse Sein Boats Pushed out to 60 Miles

Incopesca Director Moises Mugg along with President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado announced a new decree ending of the system of granting free licenses to foreign tuna purse sein boats. The old system allowed seiner to extract nearly 9000 tons of tuna last year at a fee of less than 2 cents (around 12 colones) a kilo.

Part of the new decree moved purse seiners 60 miles from the coastline. Fecop helped draft the original decree in 2014 that moved purse seiners out to 45 miles and protected over 200,000 square kilometers from purse sein activity. The sport fishing sector has seen a big recovery in that 45 miles and 60 will sure help. The commercial fleet claims it is not enough and does not help the national fleet that much.

Also included is addressing illegal and unreported fishing by the purse sein fleet. Full details will be available when the new decree is officially published.


Todd Staley has managed sportfishing operations in Costa Rica for 25 years. He has been involved with FECOP since its inception and is former President of the group and was co-recipient of IGFA’s Chester H. Wolfe award in 2015 for his conservation efforts in Costa Rica. He is currently Fishing Columnist for the Tico Times and works full-time with FECOP as Director of Communications. Contact Todd at todd@fecop.org