Taiwanese boat captain in court today in shark finning case

A Taiwanese boat captain goes before a judge today in Puntarenas faced with the allegation that he unloaded shark fins that were not attached to sharks. He is the first to be detained based on a rule that all boats must unload their catch at the public dock in Barrio El Carmen de Puntarenas.

The boat captain was identified by the last name of Yu. He commanded the fishing vessel Hung Chi Fu 12. Inspectors from the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuacultura encountered the captian and the crew March 2.

He is being tried in a flagrancy court for those who are caught in the act of a crime or nearly so. The boat captain
has been free since his detention basically on is own recognizance. The court hearing is scheduled for 5:15 p.m., said the Poder Judicial.

Puntarenas is a major port for shark finning activities. Environmentalist are outraged that sharks would be caught, stripped of their fins and then dumped back into the ocean to die.

The Minsiterio de Obras Públicas y Transportes reached an agreement that as of Dec. 1, all ships would unload thier cargo at the public docks where they could be observed.

Nevertheless, some boats did not and docked instead at private docks. The public dock rule was challenged in an administrative court. But the court upheld the measure.

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