Under existing legislation, shark finning itself had been banned in Costa Rica, but under a new executive order issued by President Laura Chinchilla, loopholes allowing the transport and import of shark fins have been closed, fully banning the shark fin trade.
Huffington Post quotes Chinchilla:
“Costa Rica may set an example to the world when it comes to environmental protection, but it must be noted that we had a significant lag when it comes to protecting the oceans.”
Towards enforcing the ban—always an issue—the President also announced a new $15 million investment in radar systems to target potential lawbreaking fishing boats.
The move on shark finning comes within days of legislation being put forward that outlaws sport hunting in Costa Rica.
As with the ban on sport hunting allowing subsistence hunting, the new law on shark finning still allows catching of entire sharks for food.
With all the recent moves by Costa Rica towards increasing conservation efforts, it does all make you think that all the legal action towards arresting and extraditing Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson really was entirely politically motivated, and had zero to do with the actual charges.
By Mat McDermott, TreeHugger