Court decision expected Friday on public dock rule

A final decision is expected Friday from a judge in Puntarenas over the use of private docks to unload shark products in Costa Rica. This is the court that temporarily froze an agreement that only public docks should be used so that officials can keep an eye on the catch.

The case is in the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo, which addresses conflicts with government authorities. The judge, Rosa Cortés Morales, issued a temporary restraint against the rule after finishing firms complained the public docks were not adequate for their use.

The firms in the case are Mariscos Wang S.A. and Porta Portense S.A., according to the environmental group Programa de Restaraución de Tortugas Marinas.

The Minsiterio de Obras Públicas y Transportes had reached an agreement with the Instituto Costarricense de Pescas y Acuacultura that as of Dec. 1 only public docks could be used.

The fisheries institute and the fishing companies presented their arguments last week.

The case relates to shark finning, the practice of cutting the fins off sharks and then dumping the rest of the fish into the sea to die. Costa Rican law requires that the shark be landed with its fins, although that cannot be enforced at private docks where there is no access.

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