HomeNewsBriefCosta Rica Bans 'Shark Finning'
BRIEF

Costa Rica Bans 'Shark Finning'

COSTA RICA / 12 OCT 2012 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Following years of pressure by environmental groups, Costa Rica has passed a comprehensive ban on shark finning, outlawing not only the practice itself, but also the importation and transportation of shark fins.

The executive order, which was signed by President Laura Chinchilla on October 10, closes loopholes in the country's existing legislation, which was passed in 2001 and did not include restrictions on the shark fin trade, reports Reuters. The new law imposes strict penalties on those caught finning sharks, such as fines and the loss of fishing licenses.

Pressure has mounted for years on the Costa Rican government to confront the problem, especially given the importance the country places on protecting its bountiful natural resources. According to La Nacion, up to 400,000 sharks were caught in 2011 off the coast of Costa Rica for the purpose of selling the fins, and since 2010 over 15 tons of shark fins have entered the country from Nicaragua.

InSight Crime Analysis

Shark finning -- in which a shark's fin is removed, often while the animal is still alive, and the rest of the body tossed back in the ocean -- is widespread along the coasts of Central America. Due to high demand in East Asia for shark fins to use in soup and in traditional medicine, shark fins now constitute a multi-million dollar industry. According to the Pew Environmental Group, shark fins can fetch up to $300 on the black market. Globally, over 70 million sharks are killed each year due to the fin trade.

Honduras has also taken steps to combat the illicit shark fin trade. In 2011, President Porfirio Lobo made Honduran waters a permanent shark sanctuary, outlawing all commercial shark fishing. In July of this year, the president burnt over 100 shark fins seized from illegal fishermen to demonstrate the government's commitment to protecting the country's many shark species.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COSTA RICA / 22 AUG 2013

Why did the seizure of a briefcase containing money on a secluded Costa Rican border cause so much concern to…

COSTA RICA / 3 MAY 2019

A new criminal group in Costa Rica, Los Moreco, is causing concern as their tactics, reach and admiration for Mexico's…

COSTA RICA / 7 JUL 2016

Costa Rica located dozens of illegal airstrips used by drug traffickers in the last year along its Pacific coast, highlighting…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…