Legalized Shark Finning in Costa Rica
Costa Rica News – The trial against Kathy Tseng, a Taiwanese-Costa Rican businesswoman, was the first time for Costa Rica to show in their legal system that they the Taiwanese mafia no longer made the decisions about shark finning in Costa Rica and that the government was serious in their legislation in banning shark finning in Costa Rica.
However after the judges ruling it is quite obvious that Costa Rica has no real desire to stand up against the money and power that lies in this shark finning industry. Actions speak much louder than words and the actions of the Costa Rica government to actually fight against this illegal activity is just smoke and mirrors. How could President Laura Chinchilla win the Shark Guardian Award from international shark conservation group Shark Project. What a farce.
According to the case’s prosecutor, Tatiana Chaves, Judge Franklin Lara absolved Tseng of all charges, saying she had not broken the law. The judges ruling was based on the fact that Tseng did not unload and sell the finned sharks and because she had not done this she had not committed a crime.
During the trial, both defense expert witnesses backed out of testifying against Tseng. Incopesca biologist José Miguel Carvajal chose not to testify after the prosecution warned him that taking the stand could cause him to lose his job at Incopesca due to a conflict of interest. Environmental consultant Moíses Mug failed to show up in court. For me this shows the power in the industry. It is just like the drug cartels dictating the law and shows that the government has been bought off.
“With this reasoning the judge is permitting ships to arrive to shore with shark fins,” Chaves said. “As long as they do not unload them, it means they have not committed a crime.”
With this decision Costa Rica has become a safe haven for shark finning in the waters surrounding the country. They should at this point just say that the legislation signed by Laura Chinchilla banning shark finning was only a media stunt to pretend Costa Rica cares. The only thing Costa Rica cares about is its image and will do anything to protect it.