Sharks, the ultimate
predators are suffering a slow and lingering death due to the
cruel practice of finning. The animals are still alive when
their fins are hacked off, their helpless bodies, thrown overboard,
sink to a slow and painful death. Amazingly, the killing is
happening in a National Park and World Heritage Site — Cocos
Sharks are hunted, but dolphins, turtles and other marine animals are killed
in the process. Change will only come through awareness, education and alternatives,
that's where The Imaging Foundation comes in. Our team of scientists, award-winning
filmmakers and local grassroots volunteers uses the power of media to educate
and develop ocean stewardship.
Cocos is remote, too far for most Costa Ricans to visit, so we will bring the
island to them. An immersive educational experience, "Virtual Cocos
Island" will foster understanding and pride of their natural heritage.
The virtual tour highlights elements that make this island essential to the
ocean’s health. The steep cliffs emerge in a virtual dawn, we reveal rich
endemic wildlife and an exciting history of piracy, before dipping beneath
the waves. Now virtual explorers discover Cocos's greatest treasure, its
marine life. Visitors find themselves face to face with sharks and exchange
fear for respect. Our tour descends 2,000 feet beneath the surface, highlighting
the value of this World Heritage Site and nurturing a desire to protect it.
Essential to this exhibit is an interactive database offering illegal fishing
alternatives. Kiosks highlight the role of predators and expose the illegal
finning that could destroy it all. A live video feed from the island adds
to the experience. All information will be fun, accessible and educational.
Thousands of Costa Rican children and their families will enjoy the exhibit
first, promoting environmental stewardship within the community. The exhibit
will also tour institutions globally so thousands can enjoy the island's
beauty, yet leave it pristine.
Cocos Island, lies over 300 miles west of
Costa Rica (CR), one of the earth’s last spectacular wild
places. The UN inscribed Cocos as a World Heritage Site,
a place of “outstanding natural importance to the common
heritage of humanity.” But Cocos is now under threat. We
will develop a “Virtual Cocos” exhibit providing CR, the
US and the world with a breathtaking display of the beauty
and the looming environmental crisis, providing a powerful
tool to help conserve Cocos.
Cocos is remote and expensive to visit, only accessible via a 36 hour boat
crossing. In the past this distance protected it from development and fishing.
But as our seas become more depleted, fishermen turn to Cocos to fish illegally.
Isolation makes it difficult for the authorities to enforce current laws.
CR has a strong cultural history of fishing, and few CR citizens have visited
the island and are unaware of its importance and beauty, as a result protection
laws are unpopular.
Our permanent exhibit in San Jose, CR and international touring display,
will teach children, teachers and lawmakers about Cocos, raising awareness
and support. Thousands will be able to tour the island remotely, without
impacting the fragile ecosystem. 50% of sharks are on the endangered species
list: Cocos could represent a safe haven, but only with protection. People
love what they know and protect what they love. Enabling them to get to
know the island, will make them want to protect it.
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