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Uh Oh, People Are Still Shark Finning Legally in Costa Rica Despite the Ban

Uh Oh, People Are Still Shark Finning Legally in Costa Rica Despite the Ban

Written by Michael Richard Graham

Sharks are paying with their lives for this loophole

When you create a law to regulate something, there’s always the danger that people will drive a truck through the loopholes, adhering to the letter of the law but not its spirit. When we wrote about Costa Rica banning shark finning last year, we couldn’t have known what would happen…

INTERPOL reports:

An INTERPOL Purple Notice has been circulated for a modus operandi of the technique where only a band of skin to keep the fin attached to the spine is retained and the remainder of the body discarded at sea. This method is aimed at circumventing legislation banning finning which states that the fins of the shark must be ‘naturally attached’ to the body.

Why do fishermen do this? Because shark fins are a lot more valuable than the rest of the shark, so it’s more profitable to fill your boat with just the fins. But now that there’s a ban on just fins, they are circumventing the prohibition by keeping the fins attached to the shark’s spine, something that is totally against the spirit of the law.

INTERPOL’s goal is to alert other governments about this method:

Head of NCB San José Gustavo Chinchilla said: “This is an opportunity to encourage other member countries to share types of modi operandi, in order to alert enforcement authorities to environmental crimes. I strongly believe that international cooperation and use of INTERPOL´s tools, such as Purple Notices, allow us to provide a more coordinated and effective response to addressing fisheries issues.”

The Purple Notice – to seek or provide information on modi operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals – was requested by Costa Rica following its first National Environmental Security Seminar (NESS) held in San José in August of this year.

Hopefully it is made clear to fishermen that this is not ‘ok’ and not legal and rules against shark finning are enforced. Poor sharks already have a hard time enough as it is

This post was originally published in TreeHugger

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Photo Credit: Flickr

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87 comments

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6:52AM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Hugh W. I certainly and without hesitation also blame the "fishermen".. that's like saying don't blame the concentration camp guards of Auschwitz.. are you kidding me?

6:49AM PST on Dec 1, 2013

Earth without humans = paradise

11:28AM PST on Nov 18, 2013

Laws are made by humans; just like if there are is no teenage who drinks and drives, no such law is needed. Yet those humans with evil mind never live by the laws and worse, they find ways to make it right for them. It's OK to live poor rather than without wisdom, so sad.....whatever evil thing people do will eventually haunt them like shadows that will always follow them. The people who buys shark fins are as bad as the people who kill them for money, they are equally evil!!!!! I agree with Ron B. the world will end sooner than expected because we don't appreciate what we have till we lose it.

5:52AM PST on Nov 15, 2013

How awful! It's disgusting the way people behave over money, greed is the single most disgusting thing in people. They behave in such a repulsive way in order to gain as much as possible.

8:18PM PST on Nov 14, 2013

It is the buyers who fuel this trade. If no one wanted to buy this product, there would be no need to sell shark fins.

10:03AM PST on Nov 14, 2013

Don't blame the fishermen. Blame those with the money that are buying the fins from them.

We devastate local economies throughout the world and then wonder why people do "bad" things or harm nature. It is those at the top of this supply chain and every other that are to blame.

10:03AM PST on Nov 14, 2013

Don't blame the fishermen. Blame those with the money that are buying the fins from them.

We devastate local economies throughout the world and then wonder why people do "bad" things or harm nature. It is those at the top of this supply chain and every other that are to blame.

7:18AM PST on Nov 14, 2013

I'm not surprised they do that to sharks. I was in Costa Rica and it was shocking. I spent the whole time feeding starved dogs roaming on the streets. It was heartbreaking. They were all starved to the bones. People down there have no compassion towards animals and I heard Costa Rica is up scaled compared with other countries. When I came back from that trip I was depressed for a month, seeing all the dogs I helped in my dreams knowing I couldn’t do more then just feed them while I was there.

2:16AM PST on Nov 14, 2013

Sick people will do everything for money...

2:03AM PST on Nov 14, 2013

absolutely disgusting

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