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

ECUADOR / 3 AUG 2022

Ecuador is a hotspot for landing massive amounts of shark catch, and the nation is among the world’s biggest exporters…

COCA / 1 SEP 2021

Deforestation is the most visible face of environmental crime in Colombia’s Amazon.

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 27 JUL 2022

A black market for fishing licenses is flourishing in Suriname. Fishers from Guyana rent them from boat owners for a…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…