The President of the Republic, Rodrigo Chaves, announced last Friday, during the Government Council in Puntarenas, that the Government will carry out new technical studies to reactivate shrimp fishing in Costa Rican seas.
According to the President, the studies have already been approved by the Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca) and will be carried out during the first quarter of 2023. In addition, Chaves assured that they already have the necessary resources for the investigation.
“The studies and the project that are behind this were approved by the Board of Directors of Incopesca, it is not that we are going to present them to them, they are already approved, they have the money, the budget, the ships and the biologists,” said the President of the Republic.
He added that “the studies will allow the evaluation of responsible fishing alternatives for the different types of shrimp and will provide the scientific, social and economic information to determine, as ordered by Chamber IV, what can be done with the licenses for this type of fishing.”
Given this announcement by the Government, and with the interest of knowing more about the next investigation, Fundación MarViva requested detailed information about the investigation.
Managing our marine space and its resources effectively
“As a foundation that works for the benefit of the oceans and coastal communities, but also based on our right to have access to information of public interest, we respectfully ask Incopesca for more details about the study that it will carry out for the fishing of shrimp. Respecting the basic principles of an investigation and carrying out an exhaustive analysis with transparency, control and accountability with the participation of all relevant sectors, are key aspects to be able to manage our marine space and its resources effectively”, highlighted Jorge Jiménez, Director General of MarViva Foundation.
Where and when the studies will be carried out, how long they will last, what species they will be focused on, who will be the technical team in charge of the investigation, who will be in charge of the control and what the cost it represents for Costa Ricans are some of the questions MarViva asks Incopesca.
Shrimp fishing is prohibited due to the damage it causes to marine ecosystems
Shrimp trawling is prohibited in Costa Rica due to the damage it causes to marine ecosystems; Despite the insistence of various groups that tried to revive it from 2019 to 2021, relying on a study on accompanying fauna carried out by Incopesca, which lacked minimum experimental principles, its sampling time was insufficient and evidenced poor data analysis.
“Incopesca’s previous study on accompanying fauna was the basis used by some deputies to revive trawling. The study was loaded with inconsistencies, it was embarrassing. Its limitations were such that Incopesca itself made an addendum to the report confirming the lack of rigor in the data analysis. It was a mediocre report that all Costa Ricans paid for and our interest is that this does not happen again, we are going to be very attentive to this new study that they will carry out, ”said Jiménez.
According to MarViva, in shrimp trawling, between 70% and 90% of the catch is not shrimp, but fish of artisanal interest and protected species in a state of vulnerability. In addition, seabed skidding destroys the communities that live in those habitats and releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases.
“The socioeconomic impact on coastal populations is another reason to consider, since Costa Rica’s economy depends largely on healthy ecosystems for artisanal fishing and national and international tourism,” the foundation concluded.