Shark-finning campaign launched by three groupsFrom: www.amcostarica.com
Three organizations have launched a campaign against shark finning by Costa Rican-based boats.
The cruel practice of “shark finning” is threatening Costa Rica’s eco-friendly image, said Ethical Traveler, one of the organizations. Shark finning is the act of chopping the fins off of live sharks and dumping the then-helpless sharks back into the sea to drown. The fins are exported to Asia where they are used in an expensive delicacy: shark fin soup—or as journalist John Platt calls it, “Extinction in a Bowl.”
A 2007 study published by Science magazine showed a 90-percent decline in global shark populations in recent decades.
A study commissioned for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species found fishermen responsible for the death of over 200 million sharks each year.
“Sharks are a majestic and critical part of the ocean ecosystem,” said Jeff Greenwald, executive director of Ethical Traveler. “Killing them for their fins is more than just barbarous and wasteful — it’s illegal under Costa Rican law. This crime must be stopped.”
EthicalTraveler.org has partnered with nonprofit groups MissionBlue.org and Costa Rica’s Pretoma.org to stop shark finning in the Central American nation. In April, Pretoma founder Randall Arauz received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Award for his work to pass a Costa Rican law requiring that sharks be “landed” with their fins attached — a major victory for the sharks. But the work is not finished, said Ethical Traveler.
Arauz is also launching a campaign to discourage Costa Ricans from eating shark meat, which is often concealed behind different names — such as cazón, bolillo, and bolillón — and consumed unknowingly.
Thanks to the growing middle class in China, appetite for shark fin soup is as insatiable as ever, Ethical Traveler notes. According to Arauz, shark fins sell for more than 100 times the price of shark meat. Arauz notes that “Taiwanese finning ships are now docking at Costa Rica’s private facilities under cover of darkness, in order to escape the reach of the country’s anti-finning law.”
Travelers and environmentalists are pressuring the Costa Rican government to step-up enforcement of existing laws against landing fish at private docks, and to discourage the consumption of shark meat.
Ethical Travel is an organization that encourages tourists to visit only those countries that protect human rights and the environment. Ethical Traveler is a project of the Earth Island Institute, based in San Francisco, California. Specifically, the organizations ask that:
• Costa Rica’s customs laws be strictly obeyed, even in privately owned docks;
• Shark meat be properly labeled, so that consumers are not misled;
• Directed shark fisheries be banned, and shark quotas established;
• Marine protected areas be created in coastal waters that serve as critical habitats for sharks, and in oceanic migratory corridors between Parque Nacional Isla Cocos and Galapagos Islands National Park in Ecuador).
Mission Blue is an organization encouraging public support for a global network of marine protected areas.
Word of the Day
Conceal: v. to place out of sight
Decline: v. to become less in amount
Dock: n. a landing pier
Eco-friendly: adj. not harmful to the environment
Fin: v. to cut off the fins from (a fish)
Land: v. : to set or put on shore from a ship
Mislead: v. to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by deliberate deceit
Quota: n. In the context of international trade, this is a limit put on the amount of a specific good that can be imported
Love those Phrasal Verbs!
Step up: Increase
- We will need to step up the production of the micro chips in order to have them ready for the new computers due out next month.