Fishermen voice opposition to trawling bill

Opponent of shrimp trawling are rallying those who seek other fish.

The Fundación MarViva said that Guanacaste fishermen met with lawmakers over the weekend to voice their opposition. The foundation also opposes bill No. 19.838 that would sidestep a Sala IV constitutional court decision outlawing shrimp trawling.

The foundation provided a summary of the weekend meeting.

The central government supports the measure because officials are concerned by the individuals put out of work by the ban.

One reason for the opposition is that shrimp fishermen can use a net with openings of just 1.5 inches square, the lawmakers were told. Other fishermen have to use a net with openings 4.5 inches square.

Consequently, the shrimp trawlers sweep up a lot of unwanted fish.

The lawmakers also were told that the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Acuicultura does not have the resources to provide the needed oversight.

The bill is in the Comisión de Ambiente.

The Sala IV also told the fishing institute to not renew licenses for shrimp trawling when they expire.

Others have expressed concern because the trawling method damages coral.

Opponents of shrimp trawling display a net to lawmakers at a weekend session in Santa Cruz.

Opponents of shrimp trawling display a net to lawmakers at a weekend session in Santa Cruz.

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