Shark fins. (Photo: Pretoma)
Ban on shark fin import urged
Thursday, August 30, 2012, 00:50 (GMT + 9)
The Sea Turtle Restoration Programme (Pretoma) and the Citizen Action Party (PAC) requested the Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex) to ban the entry of shark fins from Nicaragua.
According to reports provided by the Costa Rican Institute of Fishing and Aquaculture (Incopesca), between June, 2011 and July, 2012 about 500 kilograms of dried shark fins entered Costa Rican public piers from Nicaragua.
Randall Arauz Vargas, Pretoma president, considers fin import from the neighbouring country is a mechanism to evade national regulations against the separation of this part of the shark's body at sea.
"Shark fin import is just the latest ruse to which foreign fleets resort to perpetuate shark finning," warned Arauz Vargas.
And the official recalled that Costa Rica made significant progress in the last two years through the implementation of various measures, including the closure of private docks for unloading products from foreign fleets and the requirement to land sharks with fins attached to their bodies.
Congresswoman Maria Eugenia Venegas Renauld, PAC representative and proponent of initiatives such as the Law on National Coastal Marine Education Development, joined the request of the Programme.
"We support Pretoma’s request. If we want our foreign and domestic policies to be consistent with regard to the protection of endangered species, we can not accept fin import under the present conditions," argued the legislator.
From Pretoma, the launch of a national campaign to demand Comex the total ban on shark fin imports was also announced.
Venegas Renauld said she had sent a letter to President Laura Chinchilla in July this year to stop finning and import practices.
Meanwhile, Yolanda Acuña, PAC’s fraction chief, stressed that "double standards can not exist, that is to say, it can not be possible to prohibit finning but allow import by land," El País reported.
- Colombia cooperates in radar installation to control illegal fishing
By Analia Murias