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Radar-based surveillance system to be installed on Isla del Coco

January 22nd, 2013 ( The Isla del Coco (Coco Island) National Park will be the site for the first of 15 radar stations Costa Rica plans to install throughout the country’s coastal areas.  The radar will be used for surveillance purposes, in an effort to combat problems such as drug trafficking and illegal fishing.


Jackeline Rivera, technical advisor with the Vice Ministry of Waters and Seas, said that the public bid for the purchase of the radar has already begun.


“We have been working on the [terms] so that this coming month we will have about five companies from which we can select which one is the appropriate one for the purchase. We have also coordinated with representatives from the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT), the Security Ministry, the National Electricity Institute (ICE), and ourselves, in the Ministry of Environment and Energy, so that the control and surveillance strategy can advance faster,” said Rivera.


Rivera said that the first radar, at Isla del Coco, could be installed in September.  Costa Rica would be the first country in the region to have this type of system.


“A total of 15 towers would be installed at the coasts, in which high-end and long-range cameras would be installed, as well as remote sensors that would capture movement, which would be linked to devices that we are trying to bring into the legal norms of the country through the Navigation Law that is in the Legislative Assembly, which we are promoting,” she said.


The official stated that every vessel in the country would be required to have a mandatory device installed, through which it can be identified, regardless of its location.


“The radar captures the signals and there is going to be a general data center that would be located at the Coastguard station in Caldera, and from there the information would be sent to sub-control centers that would receive the data so that qualified staff can attend to the situation,” said Rivera.


Rivera also said that the new technology would help Costa Rica strengthen its control and protection of national marine resources.

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