Friday 11 February 2011

Shark Attacks Again

Fran├žais : Aileron de requin. English : Shark ...Image via Wikipedia
The law in Costa Rica states that shark may only be landed at public avoid the barbaric and lucrative practice of finning the shark alive at sea and leaving it to drown in agony.

The public docks at Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast, centre of this trade, are under the jurisdiction of the Costa Rican Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Aquacultura).

Legal action has been taken by the owners of three private docks, now no longer legally able to acccept shark landings, Mariscos Wang S.A., Porta Portese S.A. and Transportes el Pescador S.A., who claim that there is a lack of adequate refrigeration facilities at the public dock and that a ban on using private docks is causing their enterprises irreparable damage..

Environmentalists are of the view that if boats are allowed to use the private docks....and all the unlicensed nooks and crannies currently unsupervised....then they will be able to escape their legal obligations and the finning at sea will continue unabated.

The case was heard in the administrative courts (Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo) by Judge Rosa Maria Cortes Morales, who granted  a temporary injunction exempting fishing craft from the obligation to use the public docks and put the Fisheries Institute on notice of the case.

In my view it is quite improper to criticise the judge. She has an obligation to consider the case brought by the plaintiffs.

It would have been quite proper to criticise the Fisheries Institute if they had not registered an objection and filed for a full hearing.....the ban on shark finning would then be just a mockery.
They have so filed.

But while the case wends its way through the courts, unsupervised landings continue.

Given the demand for shark fins in the Asian market and given the close involvement of first Taiwan and now China with the Costa Rican government a cynic would say that the legislation has no chance whatsoever of being effectively put into action......if one case fails another will be started to keep the trade in being.

And while we are all raising our hands in horror at what goes on in developing countries, just take a look at the European Union, under whose regulations shark finning is banned......unless you have a permit.
And there are permits aplenty.

So while I hope you will contact Costa Rican embassies and firms doing business with Costa Rica...notably in the tourism express your wish that the country will take proper steps to control this disgusting trade I also hope that you will contact the Commission of the European Union who are taking comments on the question of finning permits until the end of this month.

If you live in Europe, shake up your Member of the European's about time these sharks did something to help their brothers.
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  1. The worst sharks are the ones who lurk in the shadows where nobody can see them...

  2. Steve, they do a lot more damage generally than the sharks in the sea...

  3. Fly:Can I put a link to your blog post on my Facebook page? This is a post worth spreading as far as possible I think.

  4. Fly: I have done a post on my blog in any case, referring my followers to your post.

  5. Ayak, thank you for putting up a post...the only chance for change is people getting vocal.
    And a link is fine too.

  6. An abhorrent trade I think. Interesting that it doesn't get the same publicity as tuna or whale fishing

  7. Mark, I suppose the shark doesn't have a cuddly image somehow...

  8. Just shows you that around the world, the only difference is peoples behaviour is whether they have a permit or not. Head, bang, brick wall comes to mind.

  9. Natalie, the hypocrisy of the EU is what gets me...

  10. It's typical. Here in Costa Rica, if one case fails, someone comes and starts a new one and nobody takes real action. Unfortunately, not only with this issue.

    Two days ago I was speaking with a taxi driver, and he started the topic about the new National Stadium. I was stupid enough to criticise how we got the "cooperation" from China to build it. Of course, the taxi driver only avoided the topic. He's very happy with the building; he doesn't care about the real price nor the rest of the population. It's just sick.

  11. Ana Lu, it's not only in Costa Rica you meet with apathy and a refusal to contemplate what's under peoples' noses....

    If the National stadium is anything like the ones the Chinese have been building in Africa...and in the Caribbean for the cricket world cup...then you can bet your boots it will have been build with sub standard cement and that no one will have thought about drainage for the pitch.

  12. Re: the hypocrisy of the EU – I’ve always felt that the only thing that ‘Brussels’ produces in spectacular volume and frequency…is a vast number of farts.

    And ‘Yes’ – this subject has my vote and support as well – over here Fly.

  13. Phil, thank you!
    Yes, not for nothing is the HQ of the EU in Brussels...