Vessel seen landing shark fins in Nicaragua Fins then imported into Costa RicaPress Release by PRETOMA. July 20, 2011 – San José, Costa Rica.
According to reports published in the Nicaraguan press (La Prensa, Monday July 18, page 4a), an unidentified foreign vessel landed between 4 and 8 tons of shark fins in Puerto Sandino, which were then exported to Costa Rica. The denouncement was made by Nicaraguan biologist Fabio Buitrago who told the press that according to Nicaragua Fisheries authorities there is no measure in place that impedes shark exploitation, even though article 75 of the country’s Fisheries Law states that, “the capture of sharks for the single use of their fins is prohibited”.
Municipal authorities in San Juan del Sur have denied permission to future boats soliciting permission to land shark fins, after it was publicly exposed on April 30th that the Belize- flagged Taiwanese-owned Hung Chi Fu 68 landed an unknown amount of fins that were then exported to Costa Rica. For this very reason, the latest landing of shark fins occurred in Puerto Sandino. According to the Nicaraguan press, the government is proposing changes to the Fisheries Law that would weaken existing shark finning legislation facilitating increased landings of shark fins by foreign flagged vessels.
“Costa Rica has to immediately ban the importation of shark fins in order to stop this unscrupulous industry”, said Randall Arauz of the Costa Rican organization Pretoma. “This Taiwan foreign fleet that uses all sorts of flags to circumvent regulations, is here for only one thing: TO FIN SHARKS, it’s about time that the countries in the region start taking serious measures against these modern day pirates”, said Arauz.