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HomeCosta RicaCosta Ricans Overwhelmingly Reject Shrimp Trawling, Survey Reveals

Costa Ricans Overwhelmingly Reject Shrimp Trawling, Survey Reveals

A vast majority of Costa Ricans have voiced their rejection of shrimp trawling. According to the National University (UNA), 91.3% of the population is against this practice.

The study, published on Wednesday morning, indicated that a mere 8.7% of respondents were in favor of shrimp trawling.

The “Perception of Islands and Living Conditions of Their Populations” survey interviewed 1,448 individuals over 18 via telephone in early September.

The results have a margin of error of 2.6% and a confidence level of 95%. The main reasons for opposing shrimp trawling include an adverse impact on diversity due to the trawling technique, destruction of the ecosystem and species, extinction of several species, and poor fishing techniques combined with a lack of regulations.

In contrast, those in favor of shrimp trawling are motivated by job creation and economic benefits for fishermen (34.5% of supporters), the belief that fishermen need to make a living somehow (18.0%), responsible fishing with permits (17.3%), among other reasons.

According to Mario Hernández, a researcher at the Institute of Population Studies (Idespo-UNA), 69.4% claimed to understand what trawl fishing entails, while 29.0% admitted they did not.

Additionally, 42.3% believed that this technique allows the capture of fish, and only 39.1% correctly identified shrimp as the target catch.

Hernández noted, “Studies from 2010 and 2022 had indicated complexities due to the high environmental and ecological impact from capture techniques, leading to the incidental catch of non-commercial but ecologically valuable species such as turtles, crabs, and mantas.”

Other important findings

Additional results emerging from the UNA study relate to the fact that 67.9% of respondents believe that the State does not adequately manage the seas and coasts, compared to 23.3% who believe it does, and 8.7% who either don’t know or did not respond.

The researcher emphasized that Costa Rica has a national marine policy in place; however, the actions taken in this regard during the current administration are unknown.

“During this administration, there has been no appointment of a deputy ministry for water and seas, as previous administrations have done, and there has been no determination of any sector,” stated Hernandez.

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