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Controversy over harmful trawl fishing revives in Costa Rica

The trawling, prohibited by the Constitutional Chamber in Costa Rica due to its environmental impact, has jumped back to the fore in the Central American country for the Government's intention to deliver new licenses.

San Jose, Nov 26 (EFE) .- The trawling, prohibited by the Constitutional Chamber in Costa Rica due to its environmental impact, has jumped back to the fore in the Central American country by the intention of the Government to deliver new licenses.

This type of slaughter is used by the shrimp fishing fleet and generates serious damage to the seabed, since it consists of raking the ground, and also causes a lot of incidental fishing of other species of fish and sea turtles.

"We are surprised at how things have taken place. a bill. Policy of the ecologist MarViva Foundation, Haydée Rodríguez.

The board of directors of the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca), attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), took an agreement of board of directors that was in firm last Friday, by means of which it establishes requirements to process licenses for fishing of drag sustainable.

"The studies referred to by Incopesca in the agreement of the board of directors have not been endorsed by the country's Academy." The Constitutional Chamber demanded Prohibited trawling was a legal reform with scientific studies that showed that sustainable development and the right to life and food security were not harmed, " Rodríguez explained.

The MarViva Foundation analyzes what legal actions can be taken against the Incopesca board of directors' agreement.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Luis Felipe Arauz, explained in an article sent to the media that "nobody wants the trawl fishing as practiced today," but said that "nobody wants either aggravate a situation of social vulnerability "of the 3,500 people who depend on this activity.

" Here is where the question is whether shrimp can be caught from the sea floor by eliminating the problems or reducing them substantially (...) the answer is yes, but requires a comprehensive approach, incorporating new technological, regulatory and technical-scientific measures ", said Arauz.

The minister said that Incopesca is establishing a series of requirements for the fishing fleet that "would eventually lead to the granting of a license Sustainable Use of Shrimp Resources (LASRC) ",

Among these measures, the Government will establish exclusion zones in the Gulf of Nicoya, Golfo Dulce, protected areas, marine areas responsible for fishing and areas with a depth of less than 70 meters on average along the Pacific coast.

"This implies a distance of 3 to 5 miles from the coast, so the fleet that eventually operates under this type of license would not interfere with artisanal fishing, benefiting about 15,000 families that live off this activity, "he said. Arauz.

Trawling will not be allowed on reefs or seagrasses.

In terms of technology, Arauz assured that there will be satellite control of the ships and that they will require modifications in fishing gear and exclusion devices that reduce incidental fishing and damage to the seabed.

The MarViva official commented that the fishing zones exclusion have worked in countries with strong controls to enforce regulations and with technological resources that Costa Rican authorities do not have.

"We must stop the Drag fishing in the country once and for all and file the bill. of shrimp, "said Rodríguez.

Among these possibilities cited promote shrimp farming with clear criteria or the conversion of the fleet to tuna fishing.

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