Costa Rica and its shark conservation policies

Four years ago during the CITES Conference of the Parties (COP) in Thailand, Costa Rica championed the initiative to include hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini) and other species of the genus in the international convention’s Appendix II in order to strictly regulate their international trade.

Since the species’ populations have been reduced by up to 95% in several parts of the world and it is threatened with extinction, Randall Arauz joined Costa Rica’s official delegation of representatives at the COP in order to secure enough votes to include hammerheads in Appendix II.  In addition to this work, Arauz also proposed that other overexploited species be protected.

Today in Costa Rica the conservation policies for hammerhead sharks have been undermined to favor the shark fin soup industry and fin exporters’ private agendas, making the country one of the main enemies of sharks worldwide.