Several olive ridley turtles were rescued by Costa Rican Coast Guard officers, thanks to the constant patrols carried out in border waters with Nicaragua in the North Pacific. According to what was reported by Commissioner Martín Arias, director of the National Coast Guard Service, as they are protected areas, there is an abundance of marine resources.
This abundance often leads to illegal fishing activities by both national fishermen and from the neighboring country. Regarding Nicaraguan vessels, Arias explained that, so far this month, the Murcielago Coast Guard Station, La Cruz canton, Guanacaste, have registered five incidents with boats from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. However, only in two cases was it possible to collect enough evidence for the captains of the vessels to be prosecuted for the crime of illegal fishing.
Coast Guard arrived in time to save the turtle’s life
Among the most recent cases are the one that occurred on Wednesday of this past week, when the crew of a Coast Guard interceptor boat, which was patrolling the marine area of the Santa Rosa National Park, observed a Nicaraguan-flagged boat.
The ship was near the maritime border, so, upon noticing the presence of the Coast Guard, it immediately escaped into the waters of the neighboring country. Near where said boat was, the Coast Guard sighted a line approximately three miles long that had 400 hooks attached.
Among the animals that were trapped, still alive, were turtles and fishes of various species, which were released immediately.
Nicaraguan boat captain could face charges for illegal fishing
Another case, in which it was possible to arrest those allegedly responsible for the crime of illegal fishing occurred on June 10th. On that occasion, the coast guard intercepted, near Punta Santa Elena, a Nicaraguan boat named “Ángel Mahi Mahi”, with registration number 1360 from San Juan del Sur. The foreigners were fishing off the Murcielago Islands and holding 3,200 meters of line with bait in the water.
As part of the evidence found by the Coast Guard officers, there were 10 live specimens of sailfish, tuna and dorado, which were released. On that occasion, the ship was detained along with its four crew members, who were identified as Chávez, Díaz, Cano and Gutiérrez.
The Nicaraguans were placed under the order of the Liberia Prosecutor’s Office, where possibly the captain would be prosecuted for the crime of illegal fishing.