This project is an initiative of Biodiversity Conservation Colombia ,a foundation created in alliance with Biodiversity Conservation Trust-Australia , supported by Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia (Convenio 001 of 2017 between FBCC and PNN), with a mission to help preserve the biodiversity of the Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora of Malpelo , designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2006. PROTECT MALPELO-SILKY develop a global media resource and educational outreach campaign to activate social and political change, work with scientists, ecotourism enterprises and high profile partners to secure the future of this oceanic jewel.
How this project works
Protect Malpelo-Silky seeks to support the work of the rangers from Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia inside the protected area of SFF Malpelo by providing the rangers a complete marine work platform: a 55 tt catamaran name Silky property of the FBCC with Colombian flag and a SRR 4.2 Milpro zodiac .
In this platform and with its crew hired by FBCC , we seek to help the rangers perform all their duties that Includes the exercise of the environmental authority (control and monitoring of the island and helping preventing illegal fishing) - supporting science and research activities and monitoring ecotourism operators.
The Protect Malpelo-Silky project seeks to maintain a non-stop presence of the rangers in the sanctuary and monitor the area to detect illegal fisherman , to preserve its spectacular ecosystem. This will be achieve by monitor the area daily, trying to remain 10 / 11 months per year. SFF Malpelo remains one of the world’s richest marine environments largely due to the Colombian Government’s strict approach to illegal fishing, with penalties of up to 18 years imprisonment and $1 million fines for both those caught illegally fishing in SFF Malpelo (resume of the Ley de Pesca that establish the consequences of illegal fishing).
¿What are we proposing?
Malpelo’s vertical limestone cliffs constitute the principal challenge to conducting regular navy patrols. The island’s geology makes it impossible to pull small and nimble Armada Nacional patrol vessels (ARC) onto the safety of dry land in the case of adverse weather conditions. Therefore, navy patrols can only be conducted either by ocean-going motor vessels, with sizeable engines and extremely high capital and maintenance costs.
Our objective, being an NGO unabel by law to make any kind of legal actions, will be based on another strategy that is mainly focus in the monitoring and alerting the authorities of the presence of illegal fishing vessels in the area, removing lines from the water and releasing the fauna still alive in the Longlines ; that will be achieve using a 55ft catamaran as a mother vessel from which we will launch a 4.2m semi-rigid Milpro zodiac used by the rangers to control and surveillance of the area (impose the preventive measures etc ) and immediately alert the Armada Nacional for interceptions in which case they will start legal procedures against the infractors such as interdictions, capture etc.
SFF Malpelo is situated around
500 km from the nearest Colombian city ,the Distrito de Buenaventura ; that travel takes an average 35 / 40 hours on a standard vessel; when capture, the Armada Nacional take the suspects immediately back to land once detained.
Our operation will be focus on providing the vessels in which the rangers as the environmental authority, will be gathering evidence and confiscating all fishing equipment find in the illegal operation. The average cost of this equipment, including thousands of hooks, several kilometres of long-line and hundreds of plastic floating markers would usually add up to well over $10,000. Combined with the destruction of any fish already on-board and the wasted fuel used for the 1000-1500 km round trip from Ecuador and Costa Rica to Malpelo, the cost imposed by this operation should act as a significant deterrent.