(October 9, 2012 – San Jose Costa Rica)

Yesterday, the Association of Fishermen of Puerto Coyote (Aspepuco) and the Association of Fishermen of Bejuco (Asobejuco), both domiciled in Nandayure, Costa Rica, presented before the Constitutional Chamber a third party action for the unconstitutionality law suit that aims to declare the shrimp trawl fishery unconstitutional.

On 6 September 2012, the Constitutional Court accepted a constitutional law suit submitted by Frente por Nuestros Mares, an amalgam of national marine conservation organizations.

Aspepuco y Asobejuco are going through the process to obtain a sustainable fisheries certification form the Marine Steawardship Council

Shrimp trawling is widely acknowledged as one of the most predatory and destructive fishing practices, consisting of a net that sweeps the ocean floor, devastating everything in its path. Besides discarding from 6,000 to 9,000 metric tons of bycatch per year, the national fleet captures more than 7,500 sea turtles per year (considering that currently half of the fleet does not even operate). Moreover, due to shrimp overfishing, the trawl fleet now directs its effort toward snappers, in socioeconomic detriment of snapper fishermen who do use sustainable fishing methods.

“We have promoted sustainable fisheries in the two National Wildlife Refugesof the area, Camaronal and Caletas – Ario, in which shrimp trawling is prohibited” assured the artisanal fishermen of Asobejuco.” Unfortunately, shrimp trawlers catch many small snappers that haven’t had a chance to reproduce yet, compromising the resource, in an irresponsible and unsustainable practice,” argued the fishermen.

“They do not use turtle saving devices, nor do they respect the legal limitation to operate in Wildlife Refuges,” denounced the fishermen of Aspepuco. “The impact is huge in neighboring communities, who live of ecotourism and sustainable fisheries,” they said.

The Asobejuco and Aspepuco third party actions join those presented by Congresswoman Maria Eugenia Venegas (PAC) (link to her letter) and the ones presented by 180 fishermen and 13 fishing organizations of Puntarenas and Golfito, who also feel affected by the activities of the shrimp trawl industry:

  • Asociación de Pescadores Artesanales de Puerto Pilón, Pavones (Asosinpap)

  • Asociación de Pescadores y Piangüeros del Golfo Dulce
  • Asociación de Pescadores de Pequeña Escala y Turística de Zancudo.
  • Asociación de Pescadores Para el Desarrollo Sostenible de Puntarenas
  • Asociación de Pescadores Artesanales Conservacionistas de la Isla Puntarenitas de Golfito
  • Sindicato Industrial de Pescadores Artesanales, Criadores Acuícolas y Anexos de Puntarenas (SIPACAAP)
  • Asociación Comité Local de Pescadores de Corozal de Jicaral de Puntarenas
  • Asociación Pesquera Costera del Pacífico – Costa de Pájaros
  • Asociación de Pescadores Pangueros Artesanales de Puntarenas (Asopaappu)
  • Asociación Cámara de Pescadores Artesanales de Puntarenas
  • Sindicato de la Unión de Pescadores Artesanales de Puntarenas
  • Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Pesquera (SITRAIPA).
  • Asociación de Pescadores de San Juanillo

Para Más información:

Miguel Gómez, Pretoma, 2241 5227

Randall Arauz, 8344 3711

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