The Costa Rica Thermal Dome becomes interactive

GOBI partner Fundación MarViva in Costa Rica has launched an interactive ‘geoportal’ for the Costa Rica Thermal Dome.  The creation and launch of the portal is in addition to the printed and electronic versions of the Atlas of the Dome, which were launched at the most recent UN BBNJ negotiations in New York (BBNJ IGC3, August 2019).  All such dissemination media are the product of MarViva’s successful collaboration over the past few years with GOBI, IKI and the Costa Rican Government.

The interactive portal allows the viewer to select and explore the various layers of information that contribute to the ecological significance of the Dome, including water currents, sea surface temperature, depth of thermocline, primary productivity, etc., as well as the difference in all of these parameters between seasons. In addition, the distribution of large pelagic species, such as sea turtles, sharks, tunas and whales can be visualised, demonstrating how they are drawn to the Dome when conditions are most favourable to them.  Human activities can also be visualised and overlapped, including shipping traffic by vessel type and fishing intensity.

Interactive visualisation of fishing intensity in the Costa Rica Thermal Dome.

The intuitive visual interface of such complex information is intended to facilitate the understanding of large-scale natural phenomena and promote the improved management of activities that depend upon them.  Only with such a broad-scale perspective on a regional-scale feature can States who benefit from it better protect their shared common interest in its sustainable use and preservation.