Costa Rica News – The trial against Kathy Tseng, a Taiwanese-Costa Rican businesswoman, was the first time for Costa Rica to show in their legal system that they the Taiwanese mafia no longer made the decisions about shark finning in Costa Rica and that the government was serious in their legislation in banning shark finning in Costa Rica.
However after the judges ruling it is quite obvious that Costa Rica has no real desire to stand up against the money and power that lies in this shark finning industry. Actions speak much louder than words and the actions of the Costa Rica government to actually fight against this illegal activity is just smoke and mirrors. How could President Laura Chinchilla win the Shark Guardian Award from international shark conservation group Shark Project. What a farce.
The judge absolved Tseng of all charges, saying she had not broken the law. The judges ruling was based on the fact that Tseng did not unload and sell the finned sharks and because she had not done this she had not committed a crime.
During the trial, the defense expert witnesses did not testify against Tseng. Incopesca biologist José Miguel Carvajal chose not to testify after he was warned that taking the stand could cause him to lose his job at Incopesca. Environmental consultant Moíses Mug also failed to show up in court on his required day. For me this shows the power in the industry. It is just like the drug cartels dictating the law and shows that the government has been bought off.
The judge’s ruling basically allows shark finning in Costa Rica. The boats are allowed to arrive to shore with the shark fins and as long as they do not unload them they are not committing a crime. Way to go Costa Rica!!
With this decision Costa Rica has become a safe haven for shark finning in the waters surrounding the country. They should at this point just say that the legislation signed by Laura Chinchilla banning shark finning was only a media stunt to pretend Costa Rica cares. The only thing Costa Rica cares about is its image and will do anything to protect it.