Thanks to Public Outrage, Costa Rica Halts Any Further Hammerhead Exports

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    The Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) warned that since September 2014, there have been deficiencies by the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) in granting permits for the export, import and re-export of protected species included in the Convention on International Trade for Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) as in the case of the hammerhead shark fins.

    In, in 2009-2012 total, 2,810 permits granted by SINAC included various species listed under CITES, which depending on the situation, allows limited trade of these species as long as it does not threaten their survival.

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    However, after analyzing 122 authorizations, a watchdog found that most did not meet these CITES Non-Detriment requirements.

    For example, 87.1 percent of export permits did not verify that the specimen had been obtained without violating this law.

    According to the audit report, in most cases, “SINAC ignores the advice of the Scientific Authority, arguing that species don’t remain in positions of entering and leaving the country for long, therefore lacking opportunity in the management of such permits.”

    As explained by the director of SINAC, Julio Jurado, in recent months they been trying to improve the functioning of the Council of Representatives of the CITES Scientific Authorities (CRACCITES), which is the body responsible for making non-detrimental extractions.

    On February 16, 2015, SINAC authorized the export of hammerhead shark fins, which sparked the controversy, since a non-detriment permit had not been issued(DNP). A similar authorization was given in December 2014.

    However, SINAC announced on Tuesday that will stop issuing authorizations for this species until they have a proper DNP process ready, which will take about six months.

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