Coyote and Bejuco fishers call for three year shrimp trawl ban
- Environmental and social impacts denounced
(February 3, 2015 – San José, Costa Rica)
Last January 30th, a letter was delivered to the President of INCOPESCA, priest Gustavo Meneses, on behalf of the Association of Punta Coyote Fishers (ASPEPUCO) and the Association of Bejuco Fishers (ASOBEJUCO), calling for a three year shrimp trawl ban in Bejuco, Nandayure, Guanacaste, specifically in the areas where these artisanal fishers target spotted rose snapper. Fishers are specifically requesting INCOPESCA’s Board of Directors to ban the operation of shrimp trawlers in waters shallower than 30 fathoms (56 ms) in the fishing zone between the marine protected areas of the Caletas-Arío National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Camaronal NWR where shrimp trawling is already banned.
Amado Quirós and Mirian Vargas, co-signers of the letter and respective Presidents of ASPEPUCO and ASOBEJUCO, are concerned over the dramatic drop in spotted rose snapper production, a situation they attribute to overfishing by shrimp trawlers. They also point out that spotted rose snapper is a seasonal resource that tends to form reproductive aggregations, which increase their vulnerability to this type of fishing. “When the seasonal presence of spotted rose snapper occurs, the area is invaded by shrimp trawlers who direct their fishing effort towards these fish instead of shrimp, as their license dictates, taking away a resource upon which we depend for the socioeconomic development of our communities”, they denounced.
Quirós and Vargas also expressed to the authorities of INCOPESCA that “this would be a logical step to initiate the effective zoning of the marine space in Nandayure, and would facilitate the development of our local sustainable fishing projects”. Finally, they extended an invitation to the President of INCOPESCA and to the Vice Minister of Waters, Oceans, Coasts, and Wetlands, for them to visit the area and see these projects for themselves.
Note: The Coyote and Bejuco spotted rose snapper fishery entered a process in 2008 to obtain the first international sustainable fishery certification in Central America, which would open options for the fishers to market their products. The certification, however, will not be attainable as long as shrimp trawlers continue extracting spotted rose snappers at unsustainable rates, capturing and killing sea turtles, as well as generally damaging Nandayure’s complex and delicate marine ecosystem.
For more information:
Amado Quirós, ASPEPUCO. 8718-5406
Mirian Vargas, ASOBEJUCO. 8767-1356
Randall Arauz, consultant, PRETOMA. 8344 3711
Andy Bystrom, consultant, ARCAE. 8764 4839http://www.pretoma.org/coyote-and-bejuco-fishers-call-for-three-year-shrimp-trawl-ban/Press Releases