Trawling: Controversy Over New Law

Following the approval of the law on trawling in the country, fishermen's unions announced that they will hold demonstrations so that the Alvarado administration can veto the law.

Friday, October 23, 2020

After a long discussion about the benefits it will bring to a group of fishermen and the harm it could cause to others, the trawling bill was approved in the second debate with a vote of 28 deputies in favor and 18 against, the Legislative Assembly reported.

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According to the October 22nd press release, file 21478, Law for the sustainable use of shrimp fishing in Costa Rica, seeks to reform the law on fishing and aquaculture, in order to provide a solution to the social, economic and environmental problem generated in coastal areas by the suspension of this economic activity for more than five years.

The project proposes that licenses for the sustainable use of shrimp for commercial purposes be granted only to national flag and registration vessels, as well as to Costa Rican individuals and corporations. The initiative establishes that the sustainable use of shrimp with trawl nets must have fish and turtle excluder devices, adjusted to the technical and scientific regulations for the significant reduction of the capture of accompanying fauna and the reduction of environmental impacts to the marine ecosystem.

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After the legislative endorsement was known, representatives of the House of Fishermen of Guanacaste, assured that next week they will start an indefinite demonstration to ask for the veto.

Martin Contreras, a member of the fishermen's union, told that "... it is a time when fishermen must change their fishing techniques and cause the least impact on the marine ecosystem. Although improvements have been made to trawling, in a short time the marine resources will be highly affected and the recovery of the biomass will be difficult."

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