Costa Rica received positive certification for taking actions to remedy IUU fishing activities.

by | Sep 5, 2023

According to NGOs, IUU fishing in Costa Rica is rampant.

NOAA released today its 2023 Report to Congress on Improving International Fisheries Management, in which Costa Rica received a positive certification for taking actions against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, for which it was identified in 2021.  NOAA positively certified Costa Rica on the basis of its actions to address unreported harvests, to engage actively in capacity building to meet ICCAT reporting requirements, and to submit a management/development plan for North Atlantic swordfish in accordance with the requirements of ICCAT Rec. 17-02.

“We are disappointed with the positive certification, as better data recording and capacity building, along with the development of eternal plans that never consolidate, does not improve shark conservation in any way whatsoever”, called out Randall Arauz, of Marine Watch International, who led a coalition of 18 NGOS that considered Costa Rica deserved a negative certification.

“As pointed out in our letter, Costa Rica doesn´t even abide by its own fisheries and wildlife conservation laws, which is confirmed by the Supreme Court of Justice, which nullified the listing of threatened sharks by the Costa Rican Fishery Institute (INCOPESCA for its Spanish acronym) under its commercial species list in May of 2017, and ordered these sharks to be protected under the Wildlife Conservation Law and the Law of Biodiversity.  Until this sentence is abided by, IUU fishing will remain rampant”.

IUU fishing is a serious global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries that are critical to global food and economic security — putting law-abiding fishermen and seafood producers in the United States and abroad at a disadvantage. There are also growing concerns regarding the exploitation of many shark stocks in international fisheries.

For more information:

Isabel Naranjo
Centro Rescate de Especies Marinas Amenazadas – Costa Rica / +506 8385 0507

Randall Arauz
International Marine Conservation Policy Advisor
Marine Watch International / +506 8708 8253