Marine Conservation Institute, recognizing the need for more and better ocean protection, is leading a major initiative to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. Launched in 2017, Blue Parks is an innovative strategy to incentivize decision makers to establish protected areas that safeguard marine life and promote opportunities for sustainable tourism. Learn more about the program at blueparks.org
Cocos Island was made a national park by Costa Rica in 1978. It was established as an official marine protected area (MPA) in 1982. The MPA covers 2,095 square kilometers (809 square miles). Cocos Island National Park is managed by Costa Rica’s National Ministry for Energy and the Environment.
The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The site was expanded to include the marine area in 2002.
Cocos Island National Park is a marine reserve. This means it has strict limitations on how people can interact with it. It takes about 30 hours to reach the island from mainland Costa Rica, and tourists and scientists are not allowed to camp or stay overnight. In fact, they can only come ashore with approval from park rangers.
No one is allowed to take any organism or artifact from the park. Fishing and hunting are not allowed, and people are barred from looking for fossils or buried treasure. (Remember, Cocos Island was used by pirates, although there is no reliable evidence of any buried treasure.)
Despite these restrictions, conservationists face several challenges in protecting Cocos Island National Park. Illegal fishing, also known as poaching, is the largest threat to the habitats of the MPA.
Note: Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla Miranda signed an Executive Decree on Thursday March 3, 2012 that formalizes the creation of the new marine protected area surrounding Cocos Island National Park. The area, called "Seamounts Marine Management Area" (Area Marina de Manejo Montes Submarinos), extending nearly one million hectares - will be five times as large as the existing National Park around the Cocos Islands, currently a fully protected non-fishing zone covering nearly 200,000 hectares and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Isla del Coco
) is an uninhabited island (except for a permanent ranger station) located off the shore of Costa Rica. It constitutes the 11th district (one of 13) of Puntarenas Canton of the province of Puntarenas. It is one of the National Parks of Costa Rica . It is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 550 km (340 mi) from the Pacific shore of Costa Rica, at 05°31′08″N 087°04′18″W
. With an area of approximately 23.85 km² (9.2 mi²), about 8×3 km (5×1.9 mi) and a perimeter of around 23.3 km, this island is more or less rectangular in shape.
Surrounded by deep waters with counter-currents, Cocos Island is admired by scuba divers for its populations of Hammerhead sharks, rays, dolphins and other large marine species. The extremely wet climate and oceanic character give Cocos an ecological character that is not shared with either the Galapagos Archipelago or any of the other islands (e.g., Malpelo or Coiba) in this region of the world.
Cocos Island was declared a Costa Rican National Park by means of Executive Decree in 1978 . Cocos Island National Park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. In 2002, the World Heritage Site designation was extended to include an expanded marine zone of 1,997 km². In addition, it is included in the list of "Wetlands of International Importance".
Contacts & Resources
Original data record from World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) via ProtectedPlanet.net [view record on site].