"Twenty years ago there were Dolphins as far as the eye could see, and Tuna everywhere. Today these monster factory ships have made Costa Rica's Ocean into an almost barren sea. There are very few Tuna with the Dolphins. Scared as hell."
Fred Maschmeier ~ Sport Fisherman, Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Welcome to MPA for OSA



Costa Rica's dolphins, whales, sea turtles and other marine flora and fauna are being decimated at alarming rates
due to rampant commericIal fishing including long lines, gill nets, shrimp trawling and tuna boats.

The Osa Peninsula, on the South Pacific side of Costa Rica is known by National Geographic as the most biologically intense place on Earth. The waters off the Osa Peninsula are a virtual marine wonderland, housing over twenty-five species of dolphins and whales that live here year round or migrate through and also hosts four of the world’s eight species of sea turtles. 

In fact, Costa Rica enjoys one of the most biologically diverse ocean ecosystems in the world. This is mainly because the heart of a vast habitat known as the Costa Rican Thermal Convection Dome, named for its proximity to this country, lies near here. Shallow warm waters lie on top of low-oxygen cold water, creating the perfect ecosystem for a vast variety of marine life. The dome off the coast of Costa Rica is the only one in the world that is constant. Such conditions provide the Costa Rican Pacific waters with a very unique scheme of biological richness. Whales, dolphins, tuna, marlin, manta rays, sea turtles, sailfish and more, congregate in this area taking advantage of this year-round thermal dome of ecologically rich waters.

All this rich biodiversity is found here on the Osa Peninsula, but yet, the area is almost entirely unprotected, except for small areas around the national parks. Commercial fishing techniques such as long lining, shrimping, gill netting and tuna fishing are wreaking havoc on this delicate and biologically diverse area and its marine inhabitants, and if urgent and drastic actions are not taken immediately, the world will lose this treasure forever.

The quickest and easiest way to protect this precious and pristine area before it is to late is to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA)… and we need your help to do it

Finally, after 20 years of working towards a protected marine area here on the Osa Peninsula, we progress. Bill No. 20.333, for the creation of Reserva Marina Álvaro Ugalde Víquez, is now before Congress and will soon be reviewed by the Environmental Commission prior to its submission to the full Congress. Now is the time for public comment and that is where we need your help. 

In the words of the late, great Alvaro Ugalde, for whom the Marine Preserve is named:

“SOS .... SOS ... SOS - A plea to the Government and all Costa Ricans:

Dolphins, whales, turtles, sharks and all the extraordinary life in the seas of the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica are in danger. The tuna boats and other commercial fishing activities are killing them.

We have the duty to do something to save these true miracles of creation from extinction. We must protect them through the establishment of a protected marine area. We have still time, but we must act now. Tomorrow will be too late. The time has arrived to act to save this extraordinary world treasure.”

The waters off the Osa Peninsula are essential habitat for a great variety of both resident and migratory marine species. This includes whales, dolphins, and sea turtles as well as other species which together have high biological, commercial, recreational and economic value. They are being threatened by indiscriminate and unsustainable commercial fishing - specifically shrimp trawlers, gill-nets and longlines.

Now is the time to send your endorsement of this proposed marine reserve by email or letter which must be in Spanish. Below you will find links to the actual Bill and the technical report (both in Spanish) contracted by the Tropical Science Center, that provided justification for the decision to propose creation of this new protected area. The map of the proposed marine preserve is also linked below, as well as a summary of the Bill in English.

 The supporting technical report in Spanish http://www.mpaforosa.com/AUMR Technical Report.pdf
The summary of the Alvaro Ugalde Marine Reserve Bill in English http://www.mpaforosa.com/AUMR Summary English.docx
The Bill now in Congress in Spanish http://www.mpaforosa.com/AUMR Proy 20333.docx
The map of the proposed Alvaro Ugalde Marine Reserve http://www.mpaforosa.com/AUMR.png  

Please pass this message on to other businesses in your area and to your mailing lists too. Let your guests who know and enjoy the Osa Peninsula show their support too.

“Alvaro Ugalde was one of the co-founders of the national park system and the National Park Service of Costa Rica, back in 1970.  Since that time, he dedicated his entire life to the defense of the protected areas and to the extraordinary biodiversity of our country.  He particularly loved the Osa Peninsula and the Southern Pacific area. There is no better way to honor his memory and all his legacy, than to create this marine reserve in his name.“

Mario Boza
Co-founder of Costa Rica’s National Park System and Service

Suggested language for your endorsement is as follows. It is best to modify your letter to have more of an impact.

“Sra. Hannia Durán
Comisión de Ambiente
Asamblea Legislativa
San Jose, Costa Rica

Estimada Sra. Durán:

Con el ruego de hacerlo del conocimiento de las señoras y señores diputados de la Comisión de Ambiente de la Asamblea Legislativa, deseo expresar mi total apoyo al proyecto de ley Expediente Nº 20.333, Ley de Creación de la Reserva Marina Álvaro Ugalde Víquez. 

Considero que la creación de esta Reserva no sólo se constituiría en un merecido reconocimiento a uno de los grandes conservacionistas de Costa Rica, sino que protegería una zona de extraordinaria riqueza marina, en la que todavía abundan diversas especies de ballenas, delfines, tiburones, rayas, peces, tortugas marinas y aves marinas, al igual que un gran número de especies de moluscos, crustáceos y corales.

Esta Reserva también se constituiría en fuente de trabajo y de bienestar para un gran número de habitantes locales que se dedican a la pesca artesanal, al cultivo de moluscos, al ecoturismo marino y a otras actividades que dependen de la conservación de los recursos marinos y costero-marinos que existen en el Pacífico Sur de Costa Rica.

El/l _______________ apoyamos la ley de creación de la Reserva Marina Álvaro Ugalde Víquez, como se propone en el Expediente Nº 20.333.

Un cordial saludo.

(name and affiliation of the person sending the message)

Comments should be submitted before August 15th. Those from local organizations (and individuals) should be sent by mail using the organization’s letterhead. Comments from groups outside Costa Rica should be submitted by email to avoid the international postal system’s long delays.


Sign Petition

"One of the few commitments made by world leaders at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002 was to address the current inadequate protection of our oceans and coasts by creating representative networks of MPAs by 2012. More recently, in 2010 governments gathered in Japan at the UN Convention on Biodiversity meeting agreed to a biodiversity rescue plan that includes marine protected areas covering 10% of our oceans by 2020." 
World Wildlife Federation


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