Call for an elimination of shrimp trawling fishing in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Action is needed to reach sustainable fishing

(August 4, 2008 -San José, Costa Rica)

Last July 28, a group of 12 artisanal and sport fishing organizations operating in the Golfo Dulce, as well as environmental organizations, met in Puerto Jimenez, Southern Area, to discuss conservation strategies and the management of marine resources. When the meeting concluded, the assistants issued a Public Manifest addressed to the national fishing organization INCOPESCA, which expressed its concern regarding the overfishing of marine resources in the Golfo Dulce due to shrimp trawling, and the negative impacts that the local artisanal fisheries suffer.

“This public manifest is the expression of a society making efforts to protect its marine resources, currently under the attack of trawling nets that destroy the sea bottom and interrupt very important biological processes, affecting other productive sectors that depend on sustainable activities”, said Allan Bolaños, PRETOMA’s Southern Pacific Project Coordinator.

One of the main problems of shrimp trawling is the large amount of organisms that have to be discarded compared to very few shrimp caught. Normally, for every kilo of shrimp caught, between 8 and 10 kilos of other organisms are discarded. In Costa Rica, the shrimp trawling industry discards between 6000 and 8000 metric tones of organisms every year.

“While artisanal fishermen fight to survive, the large shrimp trawlers waste thousands of tones of marine organisms every year”, claimed Maximiliano Guerrero, artisanal fisherman and President of the Comisión of Representación of the Artisanal Fishermen Communities of the Golfo Dulce (COMPSA-GD). “We need to find ways to promote the sustainable exploitation of valuable marine resources in the Golfo Dulce, and shrimp fishing trawling is simply not feasible from any point of view”, concluded Guerrero.

“The Sport Fishing Sector is interested in the conservation and responsible management of marine resources, our industry depends on a healthy marine environment”, expressed Todd Staley, from the Costa Rican Tourism Fishermen Association (APTC)”. “Unfortunately, it is impossible to reach this objective when shrimp trawling fishermen destroy the sea bed and threaten the survival of many endangered species, such as sea turtles”, expressed Staley with concern.

Between the petition of those present, include:

  1. The prohibition of trawling nets inside the Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.
  2. Extend the actual closure of the Golfo de Nicoya to the sector in between Punta Llorona and Punta Burica, inside the normative of trawling nets.
  3. The prohibition of landing shrimp trawlers marine products at Golfito’s Municipal Dock, due to the lack of authorization from INCOPESCA to land marine products.
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    Call for an elimination of shrimp trawling fishing in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica Action is needed to reach sustainable fishing (August 4, 2008 -San José, Costa Rica) Last July 28, a group of 12 artisanal and sport fishing organizations operating in the Golfo Dulce, as well as environmental organizations, met in Puerto...