High seas and coastal linkages: the case of the Costa Rica Thermal Dome

Presented by Jorge Jiménez and Katherine Arroyo, Fundación MarViva


Upwellings are critical not only to the productivity of marine ecosystems, but to the maintenance of socio-economical process in nearby coastlines and world-level fisheries. Adjacent to the Central American Pacific coast, the Costa Rica Thermal Dome is an important upwelling system that generates a permanent, dynamic boom of blue-green algae that maintains a complex food web and impacts fisheries and tourism activities in the nearby coastal economies. 

Centered in the high seas, the Dome expands seasonally into the EEZ of most Central American countries, posing a significant governance challenge to those partners interested in its management and conservation. MarViva is leading a process to raise awareness on this significant upwelling system, insert this theme in the maritime agenda of all Central American countries, and establish linkages with regional and world level organisations (such as the IATTC and IMO) to develop a governance model in the high seas portion of the Dome.

Quantifying linkages between the Dome dynamics and the coastal economies is a critical step in securing the interest and involvement of coastal states and multi-lateral agencies. Migration patterns of species groups such as turtles, tunas, sharks and billfishes are relevant to the establishment of those linkages.

This webinar will present the Dome and the ongoing and future actions that are being pursued to ensure the proper management and conservation of this region. 

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