President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos and Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla. (Photo: presidencia.go.cr)
Colombia cooperates in radar installation to control illegal fishing
Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
The presidents of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, and of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, agreed to install a network of 13 radars in Pacific Ocean waters to control illegal fishing and combat organized crime (trafficking of persons, drugs and weapons).
In the meeting of foreign ministers, the officials of both countries reiterated their interest to implement joint measures against shark finning, among others.
At the moment, data about the manufacturer of the equipment are unknown -- but there is preference for Northrop Grumman -- and the budget of each nation to obtain them has not been informed yet.
It is also possible that the radars are obtained thanks to the collaboration of the US to Colombia, reported Infodefensa.
During the meeting between the foreign ministers of both countries the 'Political Dialogue Mechanism' was reactivated after having last used it in 2003. Therefore, a broad agenda of bilateral and regional interest was addressed.
Costa Rican Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Roverssi described the meeting as "very fruitful" and said they had agreed to follow up on issues of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, the President of Costa Rica said that in the next meeting between the parties an "expansion of commercial relations" will be sought and "a protocol for joint action in the fight against shark finning" will be announced.
It is also expected there will be an analysis of the activation of a bilateral commission for the second half of the year and "cooperation on security issues," as the Costa Rican government pointed out.
According to Chinchilla, Costa Rica and Colombia will seek to create a zero tolerance zone in common oceans to stop people from poaching sharks.
"I am confident that the alliance with Colombia is particularly directed to hopefully declare this area as a zero tolerance zone on the shark finning issue," the president of Costa Rica stressed.
And Santos announced that the Navy will conduct a strict surveillance to avoid the presence of illegal vessels in Colombian waters that encourage fishing of protected species, Caracol reported.
Miguel Gómez, a representative from the Sea Turtle Restoration Programme (Pretoma), said he held talks with the Government of Costa Rica for the issuance of a decree prohibiting the entry of sharks without fins via any route, not just the sea, El Financiero reported.
By Analia Murias