Costa Rica News – The layoffs in Costa Rica continue. Two Costa Rican shrimp processing firms were forced to lay off 412 workers since October last year, following a sharp drop in production.
Executives from the two firms, Emmanuel del Pacifico and Talmana, claim the situation worsened after a court judgment prohibiting the issuing of new fishing licenses for trawling.
This gear type is considered to be one of the most harmful to marine wildlife by environmentalists, because of the level of by-catch incurred.
Both companies, however, claim they can develop a sustainable fishery and that their fishing activity is carried out in the deep sea and not on the coast.
In the case of Talmana, the plant had to stop production in 2014 and lay off 132 workers. It has already accumulated a loss of $500,000.
The manager of the firm, Román Chavarria, said they sold all their boats and only 18 employees were kept for the plant maintenance.
In this situation, the company is looking to restructure its business, either in Costa Rica or abroad.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel del Pacifico has reduced its production by 50% since last November and gradually made 280 employees redundant.
To date, this exporting firm has recorded losses of more than $1 million, after stopping two cargo ships heading abroad, said Ernesto Rodriguez, executive president and legal representative of the company.
Chavarria told El Confidencial his company was fishing for shrimp in an area that is a mile deep, and ensured the process was not as harmful as it is thought.
He complained that all fishermen were rated equally, without being given the opportunity to explain how they work.
In addition, he stressed that they were fishing for camellon shrimp, which is not in danger, but it was confused with camellito shrimp (Heterocarpus vicarius).
The chairman of Emmanuel del Pacifico told the court ruling affected them because the company captured langostina, a product that has never been fished in Costa Rica and has nothing to do with coastal fisheries.
Talmana’s fishing license expires in 2016 and Emmanuel’s in 2017.
From – www.undercurrentnews.com