The governments of Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama plan to designate a thousand square kilometer area of the Pacific Ocean as a marine conservation zone. Representatives of the four countries say they hope to agree on a final plan later this year.
Ecuador Environment Minister Tarsicio Granizo says that fishing will be allowed in the protection zone, but it will be limited and monitored to assure compliance with special rules. “We will allow sustainable fishing practices but not over-fishing,” he said. “There will be corridor of control and surveillance to guarantee migration and reproduction in an area that connects the Gorgona Islands in Colombia, Coiba Island in Panama, Cocos Island in Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands.”
He said that the countries involved in the plan have become concerned about excessive fishing in the area in recent years and worry that it is depleting fish stocks.
According to Granizo, after the four countries develop rules and security measures for the protection zone, they will go to the United Nations to request international approval for the plan.