The petition hosted on Change.org says:
Since the President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado took office on May 8, exporters of shark fins have continued to buy hammerhead fins from local fishermen, and stocking them in Puntarenas in hopes of exporting the fins cache. in the near future.
The export of hammerhead shark fins was prohibited as of March 1, 2015 by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) of the Ministry of Environment (MINAE). The measure is effective as long as the Council of Representatives of Scientific Authorities CITES (a collegiate body made up of between eight and sixteen members established by the Wildlife Conservation Law under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment) approves the resumption of the same biological sustainability criteria. However, since then the Council of Scientists has issued two criteria (August 2015 and February 2017) recommending that the ban on the export of hammerhead sharks be kept in force, since the current extraction to satisfy international trade results to the detriment of the survival of the species.
Although it is difficult to determine the current size of the hammerhead shark fin cache accumulated in Puntarenas, it is known with certainty that between May 1 and December 31, 2015, exporters accumulated more than 10 tons of hammerhead shark fins ( More than 15,000 hammerhead sharks are needed to knead a 10-ton fin cache.)
In August 2017, frustrated by the criteria of scientists that prevented the resumption of the export of hammerhead sharks, and pressured by the fin exporter sector, the previous government of Luis Guillermo Solís stripped MINAE of its jurisdiction over sharks, by including them on the INCOPESCA Commercial Species List (AJDIP 290-2017). As a result, the conservation and management of sharks from now on is solely assumed by INCOPESCA, outside the applicability of the Wildlife Conservation Law and the jurisdiction of MINAE. Sadly, hammerhead shark conservation has regressed leaps and bounds since Costa Rica bravely led the process to list the species under CITES Appendix II just 5 years ago.
However, President Carlos Alvarado now has an invaluable tool to change the situation of the hammerhead shark in Costa Rica once and for all. On May 18, just two weeks after assuming the presidency, the Court of Appeals of the Administrative and Civil Litigation Court of the Treasury ordered the suspension of the declaration of hammerhead sharks as a Commercial Species by INCOPESCA (Folder No. 17-8322-1027-CA ).
This resolution paves the way for returning responsibility for the management and conservation of hammerhead sharks to MINAE, where the Wildlife Conservation Law must be fully implemented to save hammerhead sharks from their imminent extinction. This is the minimum action required to achieve the conservation of hammerhead sharks in Costa Rican waters!
Let’s continue with this call to President Alvarado for Costa Rica NOT to export that stash of hammerhead sharks, and demand the protection of sharks under the Wildlife Conservation Law, in compliance with the order of the Court.
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