News: 1. Costa Rican Environmental Politics – 2. Shark Conservation
Costa Rican Protests at United Nations
Rodrigo Cabezas, a doctor from Alajuela made the journey to the United Nations in New York last week to protest Costa Rican Presidents Óscar Arias’ conflicting national and international environmental politics. While there he unveiled a banner that read, “President Arias: Do in your own country what you preach to the world”. The news appeared in La Nación (Spanish version only).
Spain prohibits fishing of Hammerhead and thresher sharks
The Miniatry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs(MARM) will prohibit the capture of thresher sharks and scalloped hammerhead sharks – by means of a Ministerial Order set to enter into force 1 January 2010 – in an effort to protect both vulnerable species.
According to the regulation, Spanish fishing vessels will be not be allowed to catch, land, offload, or commercialize these sharks throughout their entire fishing grounds (Source: FIS).
“We want to congratulate the Spanish Government for acknowledging the precarious state of these species of sharks, overfished to depletion by industrial fisheries, and enacting regulations that will have direct and immediate benefit for these endangered species”, said Randall Arauz, of the Costa Rican organization Pretoma. “These regulations, however, must be global in scope, as these particular species of sharks are highly migratory”, added Arauz.
“Pretoma also calls on the Costa Rican government to continue leading political processes in global fisheries management forums, by proposing the inclusion of hammerhead sharks in Appendix II of the Convention for International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES)”, said Miguel Gómez, Shark Campaign Coordinator of Pretoma. “Costa Rica is a natural leader for this cause, as the country has already gained the respect of the international community for its work promoting shark conservation policy in the United Nations Informal Consultative Process on the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS), the Convention for Migratory Species (CMS), and the Conference of Fisheries (COFI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), stated Gómez.
The government of Costa Rica is currently studying the possibility of officially proposing hammerhead sharks in Appendix II of CITES, during the next conference to be held in Doha, Quatar, March 2010.
Global populations of scalloped hammer heads (Sphyrna lewini) have been drastically reduced in recent years, up to 95% in some ocean basins, due to overfishing. As a result, the species was recently classified as Endangered, by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. A listing in Appendix II of CITES would promote better control of products derived from hammerhead sharks, a business that is highlighted by the Asian shark fin soup market.http://www.pretoma.org/news-1-costa-rican-environmental-politics-2-shark-conservation/News