With almost no oxygen, the researchers returned to land with great discoveries in the field of geology.
Golfo Dulce is an area with very high seismic potential. This is where three tectonic plates: the Cocos Plate, the Caribbean plate and the Nazca Plate, meet up in conjunction with the Panama micro plate.
Although geologists know that this is a newly formed tectonic depression, formed about 3 million years ago, the observations will allow further study of the origin of the Gulf.
The expedition of the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica began on Friday May 11 and lasting for six days.
The following is a press release by Deep Sean Hunter:
Golfo Dulce: Costa Ricans are privileged to have an immense richness of marine resources. But this privilege must be complemented with the responsibility to rationally use and safeguard those goods and services that the oceans provide for us.
Among the marine ecosystems of Costa Rica, Golfo Dulce stands out for its uniqueness. This is a product of the combination of its particular biological, geological, oceanographic, and social attributes. In spite of this, it still is considered among the ‘conservation gaps’ of our country.
Nevertheless, beyond the threats stemming from pollution, overfishing, unplanned development, deforestation, drug trafficking, among others, and beyond all the unknowns about the actual richness and its vulnerability of the ecosystems and resources it hold, there is hope. We might still have the chance to safeguard Golfo Dulce’s natural legacy for our future generations.
University of Costa Rica (UCR), through the Research Center of Marine Science and Limnology (CIMAR), and other research centers and academic units, has been permanently present in the South Pacific coast of our country for more than four decades, with projects ranging from scientific research, to production and environmental affairs, as well as outreach and teaching.
Since 2010, UCR has joined efforts with The Billfish Foundation (TBF) and Pronature, aiming at assessing the status of the fisheries resources of Golfo Dulce. Under this framework, the Undersea Hunter Group (UHG) has become part of this strategic alliance in order to undertake an exploratory expedition with the DeepSee submersible. The objectives of this trip are to: (1) identify the potential scientific value of some sites for further, detailed research; (2) record hi resolution images of all deep-‐water living organisms, habitats, and geological formations we found in our path; (3) conduct ground truthing of substrate, formations and depth measurements obtained with indirect methods; and (4) set up the logistics for an efficient and safe operation of the submersible in future research.
This trip is a remarkable milestone in the production of scientific knowledge about Golfo Dulce’s richness. It is a most exciting combination of adventure, research, and reaching for a last frontier of our own country.
Besides starting the process of filling the information gaps, this exploration will begin the gathering of first-hand knowledge for decision-making regarding a wide range of issues, such as enforcement, navigation, spatial planning for multiple uses, marine protection areas, responsible fishing activities, pollutant emission control, improvements of land use management of associated watersheds, etc.