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Costa Rican President Luis Solís Awarded ‘Shark Enemy of the Year’ Award

Costa Rica News – The animal conservation group Sharkproject International handed down their verdict by naming Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís the “Shark Enemy of the Year Award.”

Finned Shark

According to a report from the Tico Times, the Costa Rican leader was nominated for the ‘award’ November last year for not supporting additional protections of shark species during international conventions.

The nomination, which was made public by a full-page advertisement in the Central American country’s daily newspaper La Nación, listed down many other reasons why Solís deserves the title.

Since its founding in 2002, Sharkproject International has become one of the most active and most influential animal conservation advocacy groups all over the world.

Aside from ‘awarding’ shark enemies as a means to shame them, the non-profit organization, based in Germany, also commend people or entities who have made a significant contribution to protecting the seas’ most notorious predators.

In their latest post, the group presented the winners of the “Shark Guardian of the Year” and the “Shark Enemy of the Year” awards as well as the reason why they were chosen.

Based on a rough translation (via Google Translate), the Sharkproject International chose Solis as the “Shark Enemy of the Year” for 2016, a second Costa Rican leader to receive the acerbic accolade.

Back in 2006, then-president Abel Pacheco was awarded the same title for his shark-unfriendly policies.

Because of this, his successor President Laura Chinchilla Miranda made moves to avoid getting the same award, including the prohibition of the shark fin trade and the use of secret docks to prevent smuggling of shark products along the Costa Rican Pacific coast.

This earned her the title of the “Shark Guardian of the Year” in 2013, the same title granted to the State of California this 2016.

In October, Solis’ administration decided to no longer “propose or support” international policies for additional shark protection or adjustment of the minimum required catch size.

“The government of Costa Rica promises not to propose or support the inclusion of shark species of commercial interest in the CITES convention or in CMS [Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals]” a statement from the government read as previously reported by Tico Times.

This caught the organization’s attention and ultimately resulted in Solis’ being chosen as the “Shark Enemy of the Year.”
Lke all those who were awarded before him, the Costa Rican president did not attend the ceremony held at the end of January to receive his rusty metal shark fin trophy.

According to Tico Times, the Costa Rican president rejected such award, claiming that the new shark fishing policies passed under his administration are poised to ease coastal poverty.

By Erika Miranda, Latin One

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