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    Ombudsman Demands to Certify Non-Use of Trawling in Products Imported to Costa Rica

    “We cannot stand idly by while the neighboring countries destroy their seabed through trawling and export products to our country”

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    The Ombudsman’s Office asked the President of the Republic, to assume a position of international “consequence” with respect to the Costa Rican legislation that prohibits Trawling.

    For the Ombudsman: “In Costa Rica we cannot stand idly by while the neighboring countries destroy their seabed through trawling to export products to our country. Which is equivalent to not demanding from others what we demand from our fishing fleet in favor of the conservation of the seas”.

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    That is why the Ombudsman demanded that the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) and the Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA) design and implement new regulations that, according to the Law that Prohibits Trawling, prevent commercialization in Costa Rica of marine products obtained through this technique.

    Since it is contradictory and double standards, protect the seabed in our seas and facilitate the use of trawling in the importation of marine products from neighboring countries that, given the high demand of the Costa Rican market, have intensified the use of the trawling in our adjacent seas, as if the ocean and its protection were not an issue that should concern us beyond our maritime borders.

    Establishing a technical regulation and a conformity assessment mechanism

    The Minister of Foreign Trade, responded to the Ombudsman’s Office that: “the competent entities, namely the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) and the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA), could analyze the possibility of establishing a technical regulation and a conformity assessment mechanism (certification) that pursue the objectives (…) “of environmental protection that justified the suppression of trawling in Costa Rica”.

    Due to the foregoing, the Ombudsman demands that the heads of these entities carry out the necessary coordination to issue the regulation that prevents and eliminates the arrival in our markets of marine products obtained through this illegal practice.

    Against climate change

    In line with this request to the Government of the Republic, the Ombudsman’s Office launched a global initiative against climate change, based on the Global ban on bottom trawling for the international protection of the oceans, which has been communicated to the 114 offices of each National Human Rights Institution in order to build the international platform for this international initiative generated from Costa Rica.

    The Ombudsman’s Office, with the support of Princeton University, developed this initiative based on the recent discovery by a group of scientists who revealed that the absorption, which for thousands of years, has made the seabed of significant amounts of CO2 are released from one moment to the next through trawling; which causes greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to accelerating Climate Change worldwide”.

    “This finding confirms the importance of banning trawling; not only because of the damage to ecosystems and the destruction of the biodiversity present in the seabed; but also, due to the significant release of CO2 into the atmosphere, which was previously unknown, thus accelerating Climate Change”.

    “Now we have more scientific reasons for trawling not only to be banned in Costa Rica (which has already happened), but also globally and our initiative called COCOS, which was conceived from Costa Rica, is about this objective. So that this practice is prohibited worldwide in favor of the environmental safeguard of our planet”, stated the Ombudsman.

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