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What is Costa Rica’s Real Stance on Shark Protection?

Costa Rica News – On Tuesday afternoon, three rangers of Coco’s Island in the Pacific Ocean released six sharks trapped in a fishing line and eight others were found lifeless.

costa-rica-shark-protection-1Geiner Golfín, administrator of the Submarine Marine Area, said the 14 sharks were trapped in hooks from fishing gear used by longline boats. The nylon line was 11 miles off the coast, it had tuna bait and the sharks were glued on hooks.

According to Golfín, they immediately proceeded to release the sharks that were still alive when they arrived. Four of the sharks were Silky sharks and two others, Hammers. Golfín, alongside rangers Keylor Morales and Róger Madrigal, took the measurements of the dead sharks to have a record and then discard them in the sea.

The fishing gear was five miles and had two radioboots (devices with an electronic signal or transmitter), five flags, four plum-plugs, nine gallons and 80 J-shaped hooks.

When the boat from the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) arrived to the scene, it was noted that a longline boat was one and a half kilometers outside the protected 12 miles around the island where fishing is prohibited.

The captain of the semi-industrial boat called María Paula, that waved the Costa Rican flag, denied that the fishing line belonged to them and said that they were not fishing within the protected 12 miles radius established.

Quirós, who was accompanied by four other Costa Rican sailors, were able to continue their work because there was not proof that the line belonged to them. The boat had the license and the sailing permit in order.

The National Park Ranger said they had two months of not seeing boats inside the protected area and expresses that they will continue to patrol the National Park.

By Brenda Sotelo

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