Geographic location, diverse habitat and lack of exploration all play roles in the
long standing reputation of Panama Fishing paradise. Only about 8 degrees above the
equator, Panama’s warm sea temperatures attract a long list of marine game fish.
The warm easterly moving Equatorial Counter Current collides with the cooler, north
moving Peru Current along the entire Pacific Coast of Panama. This accounts high
nutrient levels; unusually rich upwellings occur when these currents reach the country’s
numerous islands, bays, narrow land passages and the continental shelf. This marine
resource has not been depleted by over fishing, pollution or coastal development.
Most of the Panamanian commercial fleet are hand-liners and small scale gill netters
that work with a limited supply of ice. Offshore islands and banks remain relatively
undisturbed. Additionally whole regions such as Coiba Island benefit preserve status
that outlaws commercial fishing. The Panama government has played a additional role
by not issuing any drift permits to foreign vessels. One hopes only this policy will
continue. Both coasts remain almost completely undeveloped, and most of the marine
ecosystems remain in a natural state.