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Costa Rica Passes Blanket Ban on Shark Finning

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Last week Costa Rica provisionally approved a ban on hunting for sport. This week, the country has officially banned shark finning. We’d say the month of October has been pretty good to animals on the island.

While Costa Rica has had laws to protect sharks since 2001, there were loopholes (like allowing the importation of fins) that still made shark finning possible. President Laura Chinchilla has now closed those loopholes to protect sharks in the nation’s coastal waters. She told reporters at the signing ceremony, “Costa Rica may set an example to the world when it comes to environmental protection, but it must be noted that we had a significant lag when it comes to protecting the oceans.”

Those found breaking the law will risk fines or the cancellation of their fishing license. Costa Rica also announced a new 15 million dollar radar system to better catch those breaking the law. However, sharks will still be able to be hunted for food.

This is great news for sharks, a species facing rapidly depleting populations due to shark finning. Environmentalists have been asking Costa Rica for years to close these loopholes, so it’s a major victory for the movement. Perhaps other countries will follow their example.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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