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San José, Costa Rica, Tuesday Edition
November 21, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 207
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Group denounces the granting of
new permits for shrimp trawling

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

On Nov. 10, The Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca) apparently approved the delivery of new licenses that would allow shrimp trawling. This practice was banned by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court in 2013, according to the MarViva Foundation.

"Incopesca is acting as the Legislative Assembly when establishing new licenses through an agreement from the Board of Directors," said Jorge Jiménez, general director of the MarViva foundation. "According to the ruling of the Chamber, a legal reform backed with scientific and technological data is needed to grant those permits."

In ruling 10540-2013, the Constitutional Chamber outlawed some articles of the Fisheries Law related to permits and licenses for fishing shrimp with trawling nets.

Magistrates considered that allowing this type of fishing is contrary to the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, the nation’s obligation to protect its natural beauty, the food sovereignty of the country and a violation of the principle of democratic and preventive sustainable development.

"The Assembly has not approved any Law allowing it and, as of today, the National University and the Center for Research in Marine Sciences has confirmed the non-existence of such studies," added Jiménez.

Since 2013, Incopesca has been prohibited from granting or renewing permits, authorizations or new licenses, which are expired or inactive for shrimp fishing with trawling nets.

Fundación Mar Viva photo 
Trawling has been the subject of intense debate over the years.

The Board of Directors, not endorsed by the scientific community of the country, granted itself the right of creating new permits, said Jiménez.

The Constitutional Chamber has pointed out that the method used in shrimp trawling, capturing all types of marine species, not only affects the interests of people engaged in artisanal shrimp fishing, but also the interests of all artisanal fishermen.

The MarViva Foundation said it calls on the government and the Board of Directors of INCOPESCA to change their decision on this issue and respect the finding of the Constitutional Chamber.

"More than four years after the sentence, the government has not managed to establish alternatives for fishermen, while stubbornly promoting an ill-conceived bill that does not have the support of most coastal communities nor the environmental sector," said Mar Viva on a press statement.


Most of Costa Rican’s not interested
in environmental issues

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

For 90% of Costa Ricans, the environmental issues do not generate interest or the need for action, according to a research from the Estado de La Nación program (PEN).

The study also found that 73% of Ticos consider other nationals do not do anything to solve environmental problems, although they do care about them. 17% of them said environmental matters are not important at all.

When asked about who has the responsibility to protect the environment, interviewees said government and municipal authorities, private enterprises and citizens.

To gather this information, the PEN designed a 65 questionnaire. The data was collected by the company Unimer Centroamérica between June 24 and July 17, 2017, with 1,200 personal home interviews, 700 in the metropolitan area and 500 in the rest of the country.
AM Costa Rica archive photo  
17% percent of the interviewees said environmental matters are not important.

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