Last Wednesday February 17, over 100 activists sang “Happy Birthday” to the Judges of Costa Rica’s Supreme Court of Justice, to celebrate the 3rd year of waiting for a resolution that could finally put an end to shark finning in Costa Rica.

Since January of 2006, the Constitutional Court of the Supreme Court of Justice, ruled in favor of a Constitutional Lawsuit filed by Pretoma (04-001511-0007-CO), in which the use of public infrastructure is ordered for the landing of fishery products by the foreign shark finning fleet. In February of 2007, a year later, Pretoma filed a contempt suit against the Ministry of Public Transportations, Incopesca, Customs, and Ministry of Environment, because the authorities had ignored the orders of the Constitutional Court. Three years later, the Costa Rican people are still waiting for a resolution, while the foreign fleet continues to carelessly land sharks and fins in the privacy of their docks.

With this event, the citizens want to remind the Judges that we are still waiting for a resolution on our law suit, because as long as the private docks in Puntarenas continue breaking the law, there will be shark finning in Costa Rica”, warned Randall Arauz, President of Pretoma. “Three years waiting for a resolution is just too much, and sharks can no longer take the indiscriminate fishing pressure they are under, with the blessing of our authorities”, complained Arauz.

As of now, the Costa Rican Congress (Expediente 18.890), the Comptrollership (DFOE-PGA-86/2006) and the Defender of the Inhabitants (Boletin 2, Dic 2006), have seconded the order of the Supreme Court of Justice, but the defendants continue to defend the interests of the foreign owners of the private docks in Puntarenas. In an effort to legitimize their actions, the defendants have issued resolutions that have been shot down over and over again by the Courts. Now, the defendants rely on the “Rules to authorize the landing of fishery products by national and foreign vessels (A.J.D.I.P /042-2009), which allows the use of private docks by foreign fleets if the foreign owners allow access to public functionaries. However, under this scenario, it is impossible to defend the public interest, because it is impossible to abide by public administration laws as private property is protected by the Constitution. Pretoma filed yet another constitutional lawsuit against the new rules, and is waiting for a resolution.

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    Last Wednesday February 17, over 100 activists sang “Happy Birthday” to the Judges of Costa Rica’s Supreme Court of Justice, to celebrate the 3rd year of waiting for a resolution that could finally put an end to shark finning in Costa Rica. Since January of 2006, the Constitutional Court of...