From 2010 to 2017, from 8,000 to 10,000 bodies of hammerhead sharks were landed per year. Nonetheless, from 2017 to 2019 the landings dropped from 4556 to only 488 bodies of hammerhead sharks (Figure 1).
The President of Costa Rica has vetoed the law that planned to renew the activity in the country.
The fight against shrimp trawling in Costa Rica is celebrating an important victory. Yesterday, October 20th 2020, Carlos Alvarado, Costa Rica’s president, has exert his right to veto the Decret 9909, which planned to renew fishing licenses to the shrimp trawling industry in Costa Rica.
This fight, going over since the 1990’s with CREMA, national and international NGO’s, small scale fishers, scientists, tour operators, local municipalities and thousands of citizens showing and manifesting their disagreement with the shrimp trawling and asking the government to finally shut down the industry. After a positive vote on Costa Rica’s national congress, the president tweeted yesterday:
“It is my responsibility to promote common good, to honor the Costa Rican tradition of protecting the environment, and to guarantee the right balance between economy vs sustainability. Consequently, I have veto the law that would reactivate trawling in Costa Rica.”
During last week national citizens have found different ways to protest against the congress decision, including two female activist who have been on a hunger strike outside the presidential house since the vote was casted. Protests and a huge social media campaign with the hashtag #vetelaley generated great pressure on president Alvarado, with the campaign reaching international levels.
“This is an important win, but we have won a battle, not the war. The fight goes on, we still have to defend our sharks, sea turtles, and other important wildlife from unsustainable fisheries, finding new opportunities and alternatives for responsible small scale fishers in the country” stated Daniel Arauz, biologist from CREMA. “Now, we need to put pressure on our congress and make sure that our congressmen and congresswoman finally bury this law and prevent this destructive industry from threatening our oceans”.
We thank everyone for the support during this campaign, and we invite you to keep supporting everyone in Costa Rica defending and fighting for the sustainable use of our marine resources. From CREMA, we will keep developing research projects in coastal communities with the aim that scientific information is used in the most positive way.
The small scale fishers of Coyote and Bejuco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, landed more spotted rose snapper in 2019 than they had ever landed in any of the 12 previous years since records have been kept, with more than twice as much snapper landed when compared to 2011.