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Shark Finning Ban or Chinese “Gifts”? A Costa Rican Conundrum

Costa Rica News – Leave it to Costa Rica to leave a loophole open, especially in regards to shark finning in the country.  In this case it is a “temporary” ban on shark exportation for 6 months, allowing them to show China that they will be able to do it in the future.  

shark finning costa ricaThey definitely do not want to lose those millions of “gifts” from the Far East.

Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment stopped issuing permits to export hammerhead shark fins. The suspension will last at least six months and was started to due environmentalists claiming the government violated international agreements to protect endangered species.

Criteria to determine that exports will not further endanger the sharks must be met before any other permits will be issued. This process is lengthy but necessary to protect the fragile species and ecosystem we all benefit from. We shouldn’t let a species die just to make money selling shark fin soup.

Costa Rica wants to move away from its reputation for being a hidden hub for shark finning, so they have passed laws outlawing it. Still, shark trade is allowed as long as the fins are still attached to the shark.

The controversy started on February 16th when SINAC authorized a company to export hammerhead fins. Social media spread the story and environmentalists spoke out.

The government insists it has done nothing wrong because it is only cutting the fins off and tossing the animal overboard to die which is illegal, not the sale of shark fins brought to shore still attached.

“Green” Costa Rica is going to have to make a decision, take away it’s environmental conservation image and allow shark finning in 6 months or pretend a little harder that the ban they signed meant anything and hide the shark finning a little better that occurs still today in its waters.

Losing the money that China continue to throw at Costa Rica is not an option to the back pockets of those in government. 

 

 

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