Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau called Cocos Island the 'most beautiful in the world'. Photograph: Under Sea Hunter/AFP/Getty Images
Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau called Cocos Island the ‘most beautiful in the world’. Photograph: Under Sea Hunter/AFP/Getty Images

In his report, Damian Carrington joins a patrol boat on a hunt for pirate vessels looting the Cocos Island’s natural wealth.

The Guardian – It’s just after dawn and on the gleaming Pacific Ocean, 365 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, the hunt is on for pirates. But these 21st-century buccaneers are looting the treasure beneath the waves, not the gold and silver coins buried long ago on Cocos Island a few miles away.

A long-liner boat flees the no-fishing zone around Cocos Island national park. Photograph: Damian Carrington
A long-liner boat flees the no-fishing zone around Cocos Island national park. Photograph: Damian Carrington

Cocos, the remote emerald tip of a towering underwater mountain range which was the setting for the fictional Isla Nublar in the novel Jurassic Park, has served as a pirate hideaway, whaling station, penal colony and a pit stop for Colombian drug runners. It is the most shark-rich island on Earth and its underwater flanks serve as a nursery for myriad marine species, many unique.

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