Environmentalists are hoping that a shark finning boat captain will have his vessel confiscated and get two years in prison.
The environmentalist are members of the Program de Restauración de Tortuga Marina, which is following the case closely in Puntarenas.
On trial is Tsa Yu Jen, captain of the Belize-registered boat. He is accused of unloading 20,000 kilos of shark fins without the shark attached, as Costa Rican law requires. He is the first person caught after a court decided that the
country could enforce its rule that all fishing boats unload at a public dock.
The trial in the flagrancy court in Puntarenas was continued
next Tuesday. Six witnesses are participating, including employees of the state Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura, which is supposed to supervise the unloading, and the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas.
The institute presented photos and videos relating to the case, according to the environmental organization.
The chances that the boat captain will be jailed are slim. Those with a clean record usually are released if the prison sentence is three years or less.
The Costa Rica law is supposed to make it less efficient for shark finning operators to kill sharks. Usually they simply slice off the fins and dump the wounded fish back into the ocean to die. Some have gone so far as to tie or tape shark fins to shark carcasses to comply with the law that the fin must be attached to the shark.