The Seamounts Marine Management Area covers 9,640 km2. Photo: © MarViva
San José, Costa Rica.- "Excellence in National Ocean Administration" is the name of the award with which the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards will recognize the efforts of President of Costa Rica Laura Chinchilla for the conservation and sustainable management of ocean resources, based on MarViva’s recommendation.
The awards ceremony will be held in Washington DC, on Friday, May 20 at 4:00 pm, in the facilities of the Inter-American Development Bank. The award will be presented by Wendy Benchley, widow of the journalist and environmentalist Peter Benchley, who is recognized globally for his novel and film "Jaws", which led to reflection on the need to preserve the species.
"This award encourages us to go forward. I am clear about the large and complex challenges that Costa Rica is facing in marine conservation. We have taken an enormous step with the decree that establishes the Seamounts Marine Management Area, which together with Cocos Island National Park will encompass a total of 11,629 km2 protected area," said President Laura Chinchilla upon receiving the designation.
The Peter Benchley Ocean Awards have filled a gap, since they recognize individuals who have worked on behalf of the planet’s oceans. The ceremony will take place in the context of the Blue Vision Summit, a biannual meeting about marine conservation held by the Blue Frontier Campaign.
The Cocos Island Conservation Area, with 11,629 km², houses many species including rich corals, yellowfin tuna, manta rays, brown boobies, dolphins and sharks. A 2009 National Geographic expedition determined that the biomass of fish in Cocos Island National Park is the highest reported in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Photo: © Kai BENSON
"The MarViva Foundation, aware of the Government of Costa Rica’s recent accomplishment in declaring the Seamounts Marine Management Area last March, provided the name of Laura Chinchilla for consideration by the Blue Frontier Campaign as a means of celebrating her noteworthy efforts for the protection of the Eastern Tropical Pacific," said Jorge A. Jiménez, MarViva General Director.
Among those attending the award event were: IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, Costa Rica’s Ambassador in Washington, DC Muni Figueres, and high level representatives of environmental foundations, the diplomatic corps, international agencies and the White House.