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Costa Rica Announces Measures for Shark Conservation

Costa Rica signed a binding Joint Actions Agreement to promote the sustainable management of ecosystems and shark species. This was announced on Friday, after the meeting held by the countries that belong to the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR).

Franz Tattenbach Capra, Minister of Energy and Environment, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and Executive President of the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA), Heiner Méndez Barrientos, signed said arrangement.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Environment, with this document the country is complying with “regulations of the different Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), the Organization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA), CITES, CMS, INCOPESCA Board Agreements and SINAC Resolutions.”

In line with the agreement, it is prohibited to retain on board, transship, unload, store, sell, or offer for sale any part or whole body of the oceanic whitetip shark, Carcharhinus longimanus, Mobulid rays (including Manta and Mobula rays) and Sawfish (Pristis sp).

Also, it is agreed to maintain the conservation and management measures established upon in accordance with the competent international organizations and national and international regulations for said shark species, and in those cases where required, to promote new conservation and management measures for several species.

On this matter, the Minister of Environment and Energy, Franz Tattenbach Capra, emphasized that Incopesca is working with him, with scientific information, to take these binding measures for the conservation, protection and sustainable management of endangered marine species, according to the agreements and conventions signed with competent international organizations and national and international regulations.

“We will advance in the inter-institutional implementation of the National Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks developed by INCOPESCA, in order to strengthen actions to ensure the conservation and optimal, responsible and sustainable use of shark species present in national waters,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Heiner Méndez Barrientos, explained that joint activities will be promoted for the period 2022-2025, in order to stimulate research and the exchange of information to conserve and improve the management of these species and their habitats.

“We have a great challenge and that is to promote the development of sustainable socioeconomic activities, through alliances, programs and alternatives around tourism activities, commercial fishing and research related to shark species, through the involvement of local communities, the fishing sector, the tourism sector and the private sector, with a blue economy approach,” he said.

The agreement will be beneficial for Costa Rica’s oceans as monitoring programs will be established to ensure compliance with the conservation and management objectives and thoroughly study the status of the populations of the species.

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