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Hundreds Of Taiwanese Citizens Call On Costa Rica To Protect Sharks; 'A Horrid, Extremely Horrid Practice'

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SAN JOSé, Costa Rica -- Last Friday, a petition was delivered to Mrs. Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, with the signatures of 380 Taiwanese citizens calling for a complete ban on the importation of shark fins and other shark products. The signatures include staff of the Taipei local government, folks from a Taipei-based Christian church, elementary school students, and many more. The signatures were compiled by Shanon Lee, lecturer at the prestigious National Chiao Tung University.

"We, concerned citizens of Taiwan, are appalled by Taiwan government's indifference to the illegal finning activities of its fleets overseas in Nicaragua and Costa Rica" denounced Lee. "We do not care for shark fin soup and consider it a horrid, extremely horrid practice, and the Government of Costa Rica has our full support to kick the fleets out!"

While the citizens of Taiwan express their concern over shark finning by their fleets in Costa Rica, Incopesca authorizes the importation of shark fins from Nicaragua by land through Peñas Blancas. Since December 1st, date since which the foreign fleets are obligated to abide by the law and land their products in the public dock of Puntarenas, Incopesca confirmed (DM-08-016-11) that is has authorized the importation of 15000 kilos of shark fins from Nicaragua, clearly circumventing Technical Note 68, which forbids the importation of shark fins that are not attached naturally to the bodies.

"With these signatures included, over 5000 citizens of the world have asked President Chinchilla to forbid the importation of sharks to Costa Rica," informed Randall Arauz, President of Pretoma. "This is the only way that Costa Rica can advance toward the effective conservation and management of shark resources, and if it doesn't do it, the foreign fleet will continue to circumvent and make a mockery of Costa Rican shark conservation and management policy, affecting our credibility in international forums", he said.

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