Published Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Tourist Chamber asks for studies on
the consequences of trawl fishing
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The National Chamber of Tourism, CANATUR, requests to the authorities of the Fisheries Institute to ensure that licenses to develop trawl fishing will not be granted for semi-industrial shrimp fishing until there are adequate, transparent, scientific and technical studies to confirm the viability of this type of fishing is not causing damage to the ecology, before the application of the recently approved law.
Last week, the bill No. 21478, called "Shrimp Trawling Fisheries Law, for the sustainable use of shrimp trawling in Costa Rica," authorizing trawling, was pre-approved, in the second round of voting in Congress, with 28 deputies in favor and 18 against.
According to the Chamber, these studies are needed before resuming, formally and permanently, the use of this fishing technique. The institute authorities must also ensure a broad, transparent and rigorous process with the participation of the best professionals in the country and the highest world authorities on the matter, they said in its statement.
The possible consequences associated with the practice of trawling could harm the ecosystems of the seabed and the life that resides in it, which has been demonstrated, widely, in various studies, around the world.
"We express our deep concern about the probable impact that it would cause in tourist activities that are associated with the use of marine resources, which would be destroyed by the decrease in species, as a result of the capture of accompanying fauna derived from this type of fishing," the Chamber said.
Also, tourist activities such as sport fishing, diving, and watching tours of dolphins, whales, turtles, rays, among others, generate income and jobs in the coastal areas and that would be affected by trawling.
"We must not forget that Costa Rica is considered a model of sustainable tourism development worldwide and that the country image must be protected and strengthened, above all, by all Costa Ricans, besides that we yearn to inherit a better country to the future generations," they said.
The chamber is one of the organizations that have expressed their disapproval with the recently approved trawl fish. Specialists from the School of Biology and the Research Center in Sciences of the Sea, of the University of Costa Rica, issued a statement in which they express their opposition to this mode of fishing.
According to Daniel Briceño Lobo, director of the School of Biology of the University of Costa Rica and Ingo Wehrtmann, director of the Center for Research in Marine Sciences, there are no studies in Costa Rica showing the sustainability of trawling. Their reasons for why trawling is not suitable can be read in the article, “It is unwise to reopen trawling in Costa Rica, experts say" published on AM Costa Rica on Oct. 26.
Should President Carlos Alvarado revoke the trawling fishing law? We would like to know
your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org