Court Asked to Rule on Foreign Shark Fin Vessels Landing at Private Docks
August 19, 2005 – San Jose, Costa Rica
On August 16, 2005 PRETOMA filed a request for an expedited ruling by the Costa Rican Constitutional Court asking the Court to rule on a case filed 18 months previously. In the original case, PRETOMA asked the court to rule on the constitutionality of Customs permitting foreign fishing vessels to land at private docks.
Articles 211 and 212 of the Customs Law state that foreign vessel landings must occur at public docks and private docks may only be authorized exceptionally. Customs and the National Fisheries Institute have been denounced for allowing foreign vessels to routinely land at the private docks where Coast Guard officials do not have free access to inspect and where foreign vessels have gotten away with illegally landing shark fins.
“Foreign vessel landings at the private docks are the norm, there is nothing exceptional about them, and for that reason we filed the original case,” said Randall Arauz, President of PRETOMA. “As has been demonstrated, allowing foreign vessels to land at private docks leaves open the opportunity for these vessels to illegally land shark fins.”
PRETOMA (Programa Restauraci