Whale Watching Tax is Suspended as Season Starts

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    The Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca), this week approved a moratorium on the collection of licenses for whale and dolphin watching in the South Pacific.

    This was reported by Daniel Carrasco, Executive President of the institution who justified the decision as a measure that will help in the economic reactivation of coastal communities in the midst of the Pandemic and the economic and fiscal crisis facing the country.

    The application of the moratorium will be during 2020 and 2021. Incopesca defended that the cost of the card is just $ 5.65 and not $ 30. “In the face of the health emergency we are in, concrete actions are taken that guarantee dynamization in the sectors most affected by the Pandemic,” declared the chief.

    Passion Passport Recognizes Costa Rica as one of the Five Best Countries in the World to go Whales Watching

    The entity reported that in addition, the agreement repealed point 65 of the AJDIP / 384-2017 agreement, which establishes an annual charge for the cetacean observation card. “Considering that it is not proactively applied according to the nature of the activity and urges the Executive Presidency of the Institute to approach the institutions involved in this Decree, to analyze the relevance of these requirements and assess the reforms that are considered pertinent”, informed Incopesca.

    According to Renato Alvarado, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, the suspension of the said tax is the correct step to meet the needs of the tourism sector that has been affected.

    Reviews echoed
    The legislative deputies of various political parties were among the great critics of the measure adopted by Incopesca. While the institution took refuge in the fact that the charge is established in Article 5 of Executive Decree 32495 “Regulations for the Operation of Activities Related to Cetaceans in Costa Rica”, the legislators requested to eliminate this requirement.

    Gustavo Viales, a Puntarenas deputy, was one of those who requested the repeal of said normative provision. “From the Institute we reiterate that safeguarding and contributing to the economic development of coastal communities prevails and, where there is a link between tourism and fishing, we will work to generate activities that provide support in the difficult moments that we live in the country”, Carrasco stated.

    The Marino Ballena National Park, reported that in its territory you can already see arriving 15-meter whales, equivalent to the size of a truck. In the Park they informed that the sighting season will last until the end of October.

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