A marine conservation group is calling for the defense of hammerhead, silky and thresher shark species in Costa Rica. Specifically, they are asking the current president, Carlos Alvarado, to sign an executive order to prevent the trade in endangered shark species. This decree would guarantee their protection by categorizing them as wild species and not as commercial species.
The conservation group has delivered a package with more than 177,000 signatures from people around the world, in a bid to ensure endangered sharks are protected under wildlife conservation law. This law prohibits the extraction of wild animals and the export of products from species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Despite the fact that species such as the hammerhead shark, silky shark and thresher shark are listed as endangered species, through a decree in 2017 Costa Rica decided that these animals would be protected commercial species in under the Fisheries Act.
For Randall Arauz, of the organization “Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation”, the ban on exporting hammerhead shark products has not served to protect them, because in Costa Rica the capture of this species and the trade in products in national ports is still allowed.
“That’s why we are telling President Carlos Alvarado that he must cancel this decree and that we must return to the status we had in 2017,” he explained.
“Sharks need to be wildlife so the Department of Environment and Energy can protect them; because as long as endangered shark species are considered commercial species, they are doomed to extinction, under the supervision of the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute,” Arauz said.
Furthermore, Randall Arauz hopes that the current government authorities will be able to move forward on this file, despite the short time left in the government of Carlos Alvarado.
“We are hopeful, we need Costa Ricans and the world to tell the President this is the Costa Rica we want, a Costa Rica we should be proud of and protect these species as endangered wildlife. what are; we want to lead these conservation processes in international forums,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Carolina Ramirez, a member of the United for Sharks Coalition, has indicated that she will continue to push for a bill to include endangered shark species irrevocably in wildlife law. .
The demand is being promoted by 94 national and international organizations, which expect Costa Rica to resume environmental leadership from 2013 when it promoted the protection of hammerhead sharks in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Wildlife and Wildlife. wild flora threatened with extinction (CITES).
“Declaring sharks as wildlife is a big step for Costa Rica, so that the country can be the environmental leader it claims to be,” Ramírez said.