March over shark fins sales is at noon

Those who hope to protect sharks are marching today at noon from the environmental ministry with plans to arrive at the legislature at 2 p.m.

Environmentalists and others are irked that the government fisheries agency has been allowing the export of shark fins.

The march organizers said that many of the boats involved in the shark trade have been spotted within the boundaries of the Isla del Coco protected area. They gave a list in a news release. The area around the island is known for its many hammerhead sharks

They said that since January 2013 to last September some 120 boats have been seen intruding into the protected area, according to data from the Área de Conservación de Isla del Coco.

The Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura is in charge of permitting the sale of shark fins, a practice that was believed by many to have been halted. Government officials said that the fins were taken legally from sharks that were then destined for food. They insist that they did not allow the practice of simply finning the sharks and dumping the living carcass back into the water to die.

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