San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

National Geographic To Focus On Costa Rica’s Isla del Coco

As part of the National Geographic Society’s “Ocean Now” program, a team of scientists, explorers and cameramen will visit Costa Rica’s cherished Isla del Coco next week to explore the area’s underwater Las Gemelas mountains.

The submarine peaks, located about 35 miles south of the Isla del Coco National Park in the Pacific, have never been explored and are believed to contain a rich seabed of marine biodiversity.

Researchers from Spain, New Zealand, the United States and Costa Rica will document which species live in the region and will take the first images of the underwater landscape.

“This is a very important expedition since the Las Gemelas submarine mountains have never been researched or explored and they are sites that are believed to have a rich biodiversity where the pressure of fishing has never been measured or regulated,” said Enric Sala, expedition leader for National Geographic.

With the help of photos taken by GeoEye, a protected area security satellite, scientists will also gauge the state of the national park and measure the impact that illegal fishing has had on the area.

Teams will visit the island in submarines between Sept. 9 and Oct. 1. While scientists gather data, film crews will shoot scenes for an hour-long documentary to be aired on the National Geographic Channel.

Follow the trip at www.ocean.national Scientists will upload daily photos, videos and reports to the website during their visit.

–Mike McDonald


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