Costa rica News – Do you ever notice that when a fisherman is caught shark finning it is someone that does not have many fins and they were just at the wrong place at the wrong time? It is pretty much the same as when the US government makes a drug bust at the border to seem like they are really trying to do something about it…..Smoke and Mirrors.
The most recent sacrificial lamb of the Costa Rican government was the ship “Gypsy Woman” 1407 which has fishing licenses for the day. On the ship were three crew members, who were passed to prosecutors.
They were caught with 108 shark fins or about 90 pounds.
The captain was identified as named Valverde (28 years), as well as the crew Valverde (42) and Jimenez (35).
The seizure occurred about six miles south of the port of Quepos, opposite the lighthouse, when the Coast Gaurd intercepted the boat on patrol to combat illegal fishing and drug trafficking. Wrong place at the wrong time….I guess their radio was not working or they were not a member of the shark finning network.
While awaiting the trial for the crime of violating the fishing law, the ship remains in as an asset of the owner but in temporary storage, where it cannot be used. The
Shark finning is punishable by imprisonment and monetary fines.
The real question is though the punishment and fines, do they really do anything? The answer is quite frankly “no”.
The final cost of shark fin soup in Asia is about $200. Let’s say the fisherman are getting paid between $20 to $30 per shark fin. 100 Shark fins or a days work grosses about $2,000 to $3,000. That is 3 or 4 times the average salary in Costa Rica in ONE DAY!
The average fine is no where near that and the prison stay is usually only about 3 months if anything.
Since China has already bought the government officials in the country and unless the punishments for shark finning are made more severe this crime (and they actually enforce the laws); This illegal act will continue to destroy the waters of Costa Rica.