Fishermen and the Government have yet to reach an agreement. Representatives from both the Government and the fishermen’s chambers met at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday to discuss the issues.
At the end of the meeting, fishermen continued disappointed. They gave President Carlos Alvarado three months to resolve their claims or else they will not let him into Puntarenas on September 30th for a meeting of the Governing Council.
The demands and consequences were made clear by Mauricio González Gutiérrez. They have three demands: VAT exemption for their products, review of beacons, and licenses for 600 artisanal fishermen.
Fish fillets did not pay sales tax before the tax reform. With the VAT added to them, they become difficult to sell to the national customer. Beacons, devices with satellite locators, allow them to know if they are in a protected area but they often go out leaving the fishermen unknowingly where they can be captured and charged for illegal fishing.