In a joint effort between The Billfish Foundation and the Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation, commercial longlining will be closed over a 40-mile area during the upcoming Presidential Challenge of Costa Rica, March 1-4.
The announcement was made by the Costa Rican Fisheries and Aquaculture Institute (INCOPESCA), which manages the country's commercial and recreational fisheries. It establishes "a temporal exclusive zone for sport fishing only," extending north and south of the tournament site at Playa Carrillo and including waters up to 40 miles offshore. At least one patrol boat is expected to monitor the closed zone.
"This is truly a revolutionary move on the part of INCOPESCA," said Joan Vernon, tournament director of the Presidential Challenge. "They recognize the importance of sport-fishing tourism in Costa Rica and are willing to celebrate that importance through this closure."
Herbert Nanne, TBF's conservation director for Central America, was instrumental in helping implement the closure via INCOPESCA, and he cited a recent socio-economic study on the positive impact of sport fishing as it relates to both jobs and hard currency generation.