Sharks bite the CR government on the butt

By Eric Robinson

Once again the Costa Rica government has shot itself in the foot. The abuse of sharks has put all of us in the Costa Rica hotel industry and other tourism sectors in an uncomfortable position. Former President Abel Pacheco was caught (but never prosecuted because he owned the judges) receiving illegal donations through a Panama bank account from Taiwan, a nation with an insatiable taste for $60 per bowl shark fin soup.

For years, Taiwan, and others have been allowed to unload illegal shark fins into Costa Rican docks without inspection, though laws prohibit such practices. Obviously new President Oscar Arias is slow on the uptake and continues to permit the cruel and lucrative practice of cutting off shark’s fins then throwing the live body back in the seas to agonize a long painful death. Director and narrator Rob Stewart, a biologist and videographer by training, has released his movie, ‘Sharkwater’, throughout the United States and Canada, smearing Costa Rica’s ‘green image’, and justifyably so.

In a weak and unsubstantiated attempt to cover up the government’s inadequacies, the Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE) says that the information is outdated. Yet envoronmentalists claim the practice continues unabated as the law is unenforceable when there are no public docks capable of accepting the small boats used by shark fishermen, nor have funds been provided to pay inspectors to go to private docks. Now government officials want Stewart to add a scene or text to his movie explaining the new fisheries laws (which aren’t enforced) and the ‘progress’ the Costa Rican government has been making since the filming of the movie. This is in line with the typical Tico reaction to anything that needs to be fixed, they do absolutely nothing until you offend them.

Stewart apparently balks at the suggestion and I just shake my head at these government idiots, too little, too late, and from all of us trying to make a living in the Hotel industry of Costa Rica and all other tourism sectors, thanks for nothing! But far worse to me is the on-going turturous treatment these majestic animals are slowly dying from. The Costa Rican government selfish, gutless and the epitomy of the Peter Principle, where everyone rises within the bureaucracy to their level of incompetence, some rise even above that point.

3 thoughts on “Sharks bite the CR government on the butt

  1. what is meant by moderation concerning my 2 letters? i am the only non tico in our household. my wife and our children are native born. when i am asked what i do here my answer is that i fight this government, this administration. i fight for my family. besides i would do as such anywhere. that means here as well as the u.s.
    i’d be happy to arrange a sit-in at the japanese embassy, especially as on 3 corners are the japenese, the chinese, and oscar arias sanchez.
    i remember when we did a protest at oscar’s and there was another in pro of tibet at the chinese embassy/residence.
    that sounds good to me.

  2. Thank you so much for your posting of the shark fin episode. This is so typical of both oscar and rodrigo arias sanchez as well as laura chinchilla and all those who vote PLN.
    let the world know of the japanese slaughter. i hope that sea world and all those such as it are closed permanently and that the personal are jailed. maybe the death of the trainer at the orlando seaworld had it coming.
    i have wanted for years to overfly the puntarenas docks and spray the areas with black paint. generally, that would be the roofs of the buildings where the fins dry.
    oscar and rodrigo know and approve this. also so do the taiwanese as it is they who also pay for the fins, the fins for the international bridge of peace!!!
    what would or should be called that medal around oscar’s neck?

  3. Oh Eric, I’m so glad you posted this. It’s be one of my outrages. I actually considered not coming to CR when my daughter told me they were having their wedding here, because of this situation.

    I was livid after having see Sharkwater. I guess it’s hard to fight the dollar of those demanding the trade in shark fins. I think over time the Asian demand will cease, but it may be to late by then.
    If I think too much about the dying oceans in its inevitability, I almost want to kill myself. Good thing I’m a Christian…I still believe the creator still has a plan bigger than ours!
    Thanks, Arlette

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