The Battle for Paradise

Surfing, Tuna, and One Town's Quest to Save a Wave

Jeremy Evans

University of Nebraska (publisher)

CORRECTION:Regarding the book, The Battle for Paradise by Jeremy Evans, the following correction has been made on page 163 in paragraph three (3) to wit:“Weston once worked in concert with government officials in a pre-planned sting operation, complete with marked bills: Weston, whose role in the operation involved paying a bribe to the Golfito mayor for a concession and then documenting the bribe as a way to expose the mayor as a corrupt government official, was a former cocaine dealer, according to Dan, and someone who illegally acquired possession of his sawmill property.”Pavones, a town located on the southern tip of Costa Rica, is a haven for surfers, expatriates, and fishermen seeking a place to start over. Located on the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf), a marine sanctuary and one of the few tropical fjords in the world, Pavones is home to a legendary surf break and a cottage fishing industry. In 2004 a multinational company received approval to install the world’s first yellowfin tuna farm near the mouth of the Golfo Dulce. The tuna farm as planned would pollute the area, endanger sea turtles, affect the existing fish population, and threaten the world-class wave. A lawsuit was filed just in time, and the project was successfully stalled. Thus began an unlikely alliance of local surfers, fishermen, and global environmental groups to save a wave and one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. In The Battle for Paradise, Jeremy Evans travels to Pavones to uncover the story of how this ragtag group stood up to a multinational company and how a shadowy figure from the town’s violent past became an unlikely hero. In this harrowing but ultimately inspiring story, Evans focuses in turn on a colorful cast of characters with an unyielding love for the ocean and surfing, a company’s unscrupulous efforts to expand profits, and a government that nearly sold out the perfect wave.

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