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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Calculations by Marviva Foundation show that semi – industrial shrimp boats drag annually an area of ​​2,240.46 km2 equivalent to 320,066 football fields, or nearly the length of the province of Heredia area. This large area of seabed is directly affected by the destructive effect which produce trawls, destroying important habitats associated with hard and soft bottoms, and breeding sites for species such as shrimp, snapper, sea bass and sharks.

    To reach this results, official details of Incopesc were used, which focus on the number of hours ships were operating in 2007 (latest data available). Also data of FAO on the average size of shrimp trawls in Costa Rica and data concerning the speed at which the ships operate were included.
    According to Incopesca, 26 trawlers operate actively, which have two nets of 24 meters each, and operated an average of 21 .856 hours per year. According to Dr. Erick Ross of MarViva: “Besides raising the seabed, one of the main damages caused by trawling refers to the capture of all species, of which 50 % has returned dead to the sea. For every pound of shrimp 5.7 kg of other species are caught, which causes a destruction and a waste of resources more than any other fishing activity.”
    Despite the damage generated by trawling, a law introduced by deputies Rodolfo Sotomayor and Agnes Gomez is driven in the Assembly and in recent days has generated pressure to be discussed in plenary today. The same technical service department of the Legislature recommends not to approve the project and indicates a report concluding that “in trawling, the process involves the capture of a large number of fish for commercial business and, therefore, affects the sustainability of other fishermen, particularly artisanal fisheries. “
    The report concludes that “approving the proposed reform, without establishing additional standards as exclusion zones, regulations of the shrimp catch and visibility of the social and environmental costs of such production activity would not be feasible under the terms established by the Constitutional Chamber. And thus eventually will violate the principle of rational exploitation of natural resources or the principle of rational land use. “
    Dr. Jorge Arturo Jimenez, General Director of MarViva said that “it is unacceptable that the members are applied pressure for a project that has no scientific background. This seems to be a struggle where only few shrimp companies benefit, regardless of the decisions of the Constitutional Court.”

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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