“I am and I will be against trawling,” said President Carlos Alvarado during his campaign. Has he changed his mind? Many organizations and institutions call on him now to veto the law approved in Congress on Thursday that would allow trawling once again.
The practice is widely believed to devastate the ecosystems that so many sectors and families depend on. The fishing technique was suspended in 2013, by the Constitutional Chamber, due to the environmental damage it caused. The door was left open to restart it if a sustainable outlet was demonstrated.
A new type of net was tested and shown to capture 75% shrimp and 25% other marine life. Older practices caught a much larger percentage of fish and turtles. Still, these studies are under question because they were carried out so quickly without taking into account the conditions in different sectors of the seabed and during different parts of the year.
The United Nations Development Program called on Costa Rica to not backtrack on the progress made in conservation and sustainable marine management, for which it was awarded the “Champions of the Earth 2019” award.