Local environmental group cites Taiwanese petition

An environmental group that opposes shark finning said that hundreds of Taiwanese citizens have sent a petition to President Laura Chinchilla calling for a complete ban on the importation of shark fins and other shark products. The individuals are from local government, elementary students and members of a Christian church, said the Programa de Restauración de Tortugas Marinas, the environmental group.

The signatures were compiled by Shanon Lee, a lecturer at the National Chiao Tung University, said the organization that is known as Pretoma.

“We, concerned citizens of Taiwan, are appalled by Taiwan government’s indifference to the illegal finning activities of its fleets overseas in Nicaragua and Costa Rica” denounced the organizer. “We do not care for shark fin soup and consider it a horrid, extremely horrid practice, and the government of Costa Rica has our full support to kick the fleets out!”

“With these signatures included, over 5,000 citizens of the world have asked President Chinchilla to forbid the importation of sharks to Costa Rica,” said Randall Arauz, president of Pretoma. “This is the only way that Costa Rica can advance toward the effective conservation and management of shark resources, and if it doesn’t do it, the foreign fleet will continue to circumvent and make a mockery of Costa Rican shark conservation and management policy, affecting our credibility in international forums”, he sentenced.

The environmental organization noted that the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuacultura has authorized the importation of 15 tons of shark fins from Nicaragua since Dec. 1. That is because Costa Rican law forbids landing shark fins that are not attached to a shark. But the finners unload in Nicaragua and bring the fins to Puntarenas by truck.

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