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U.S. cites Costa Rica for fishing non-compliance

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States identified Costa Rica among seven nations for activities relating to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The August 2021 report to Congress says Costa Rica is “failing to effectively manage and control its fleet and fisheries” in accordance to international standards.

“Costa Rica’s limited and inconsistent reporting of statistical data on its catches of ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) species is a serious matter and constitutes noncompliance with ICCAT requirements,” the report reads.

The NOAA also cited Costa Rica for harvesting North Atlantic swordfish without a quota and for “extensive overharvest” of Atlantic white marlin.

The U.S. agency asked that Costa Rica implement the following steps:

  • Improve data collection from its fisheries, including through implementation of ICCAT observer and logbook programs, and enhanced reporting of species-specific statistical data and other ICCAT-required information
  • Ceasing the harvest of North Atlantic swordfish and white marlin to begin the ICCAT- required process of paying back its previous overharvests, until it receives authorization from ICCAT to resume harvesting.

The other nations listed in the NOAA report as engaging in IUU fishing activities are: China, Guyana, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Senegal and Taiwan.

“Reasons for these identifications include illegal fishing in U.S. waters, fishing in violation of RFMO (Regional fisheries management organisation) measures, failure to investigate violations or take appropriate corrective actions, and failure to provide required data to an RFMO,” the NOAA said.

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