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International Fishing Fleet Caught Landing Shark Fins At Puntarenas Public Dock; 'The System Is Working'

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Yesterday, Incopesca fisheries inspectors discovered the international longline fishing vessel Hung Chi Fu XII landing shark fins at a public dock in Puntarenas-a blatant violation of Article 40 of the Fisheries Law that states that fins must be attached to a shark's body when landed.

Since December 1, 2010, international fishing boats have been required to land their cargo at public docks to better control shark finning (AJDIP/371/2010) in accordance with Articles 211 and 212 of the Customs Law and Supreme Court resolution 1109-2006. International fleet representatives appealed the mandate; however, last Friday the Administrative Appeals Court ruled that public docks must be used for the landing such cargo.

"The system is working", said Randall Arauz, president of the environmental organization Pretoma. "Clearly, the international fleet needs the privacy of its private docks to hide its shark finning activities, but now it must respect our laws", added Arauz with satisfaction.

"We have presented the case to the corresponding legal entities and Pretoma is hopeful that the guilty parties will be duly sanctioned", said Jorge Ballestero, also of Pretoma. "It seems like this is the beginning of the end for the international shark finning fleet here in Costa Rica."

For more information, see Pretoma's website.

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