Tsa Yu Jen, a Taiwanese citizen accused by local authorities of loading more than 44,000 pounds of finless sharks at public docks last March 2, will not face a prison sentence.
Instead, the captain will be forced to pay a $36,000 fine. Also, the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute will seize the $64,000 in profits the vessel obtained after selling the shark meat.
The sentence was issued Wednesday in the Puntarenas.
Environmentalist groups sought a more severe punishment. However, judges did not find enough evidence to prove the shark finning happened within Costa Rica territory.
“This is a great first step to send a clear message for those involved in shark finning: Get out of Costa Rica.” said Jorge Ballestero, an environmental activist of the Marine Turtle Restoration Program, one of the biggest environmental groups in the country.