Guardacostas crew locates another fishing boat with shark fins

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo Coast guard crewmen catalogue the shark fins

Costa Rican coast guardsmen located another fishing boat that seemed to have been in the shark-finning business. Although the law is murky on that, the boat also did not have a current license, said the Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública.

Costa Rica ha stepped up patrols seeking shark finners after it moved to extradite environmentalist Paul Watson from
Germany. This is the second vessel that has been caught with fins. The director of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas, Martín Arias, estimated that the crew killed about 30 sharks to get the 120 fins.

The boat, the 12-meter “Yamaulke,” was intercepted off Punta Banco in extreme southern Costa Rica. The boat’s home port is Golfito, the coast guard said.

Among the crew, officials found a 16 year old. They also found 1,200 kilos of assorted marine species. The boat engages in long-line fishing with a primary cord from which multiple hooks are attached.

Coast Guard officials said that having fins that have been separated from the carcass of the shark is illegal, but the penalty is a fine. The law only seems to prohibited offloading fins without carcasses.

However, there is a more general law that protects all types of marine and land species.

That, too, carries a fine as a penalty.

Officials also said that the crew members were not those who were listed on the manifest when the bot left Golfito.

The coast guard caught another boat with shark fins last June 12. Watson got in trouble because his “Ocean Warrior” bumped a Costa Rican fishing boat in foreign waters in 2002. He is notthe subject of a Costa Rican extradition request. Watson,
founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, is on bail in Germany.

The “Yamaulke,” and the “Elizabeth X,” the boat intercepted June 12, are the first to face legal action over shark finning, according to news files. They certainly are the first interceptions that the ministry announced in a press release.

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