Government continues to push for shrimp trawling

Despite a constitutional court prohibition and environmental opposition, the central government is trying to put together a consensus to reinstitute shrimp fishing by trawler nets in the Pacific coast.

Shrimp trawling is the most destructive technique that exists at the moment, according to Jorge Arturo Jiménez, director general of
Fundación MarViva. He expressed his views at a legislative committee meeting.

The Comisión de Ambiente is considering No. 19.838, which is supposed to regulate sustainable shrimp fishing.

Trawling does major damage to coral and snags many unwanted sea creatures, including sea turtles at times.

The government has said it wants to reinstitute shrimp trawling to benefit families who have depended on the method. The Sala IV constitutional court struck down the method in 2013 and told the central government to let existing shrimping licenses expire. Some of the families have been receiving government aid.

A week ago the central government released a proposal that specified certain areas of the Pacific where various fishing methods would be allowed.

The map was the center of a discussion by a meeting of a handful of government agencies. The concept was represented by Helena Molina, of the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología of the Universidad de Costa Rica.

In some areas, trawling is allowed. In other areas it is not. And in some areas no commercial fishing is allowed.

The government said that the idea of zones would be expanded to the Caribbean.

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