Four Costa Ricans were arrested yesterday morning by the National Guard (NG) on suspicion of killing sharks for their fins.
Authorities arrested the Costa Ricans with 122 fins – about 30 sharks, 20 nautical miles southeast (37 km) from Golfito, off Punta Banco, in waters near the tip of Burica in the South Pacific.
Those arrested were identified with the names Calvo (captain, 21 years old), Castillo (28 years old), Brenes (18 years old), and a youth of 16 years old. All are residents of Golfito.
Martin Arias, director of SNG, said the four were taken to the prosecution, but they were released and should be submitted today to continue with the process.
Individuals were aboard the fishing vessel Yamauke, type long line of 12 meters long and with a registration PG-8969.
During a police patrol, the boat SNG station 82-4 Golfito, intercepted Yamauke around 8 a. m. The ship was in the custody of SNG.
The police inspected the ship and found the fins inside freezers, detached from the bodies of animals, which, presumably, were thrown overboard.
In addition, there were 1,200 kilos of various fish products that will be disbursed to the Costa Rican Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca). The fish will be auctioned today.
The Coast Guard officials found that Yamauke fishing license had expired on May 3.
On the other hand, said that the crew that was Captain Calvo was not registered in the sailing permit issued by the Captain of the Port of Golfito.
The captain told the officers that he had to decide these fishermen, because members of the crew was authorized, they were very drunk and had to leave the ground.
Freddy Montes, lawyer for the detained fishermen, said his clients caught shark for bait, and they were not breaking any law. “All due to a misunderstanding. There is a misunderstanding.” he said.
This is the second case against shark finning detected in 15 days in the South Pacific. On 11 June they intercepted the vessel SNG Elizabeth X, when they transported 58 shark fins detached from the bodies.
The discovery was made by the patrol Juan Mora, 10 nautical miles (18 kilometers) southeast of Punta Banco de Golfito.
The Fisheries and Aquaculture Act provides penalties of six months to two years in prison for those permits, orders or authorizes the discharge of shark fins without the corresponding body or stem.
Arias, director of Coast Guard, said that while it punishes the fins to the Prosecutor pursues this act, flapping.
Aria added, since August last year there have been eight cases of wing flapping on Quepos, Puntarenas and Golfito.
Ilena Zanella, Shark Quest, said: “We need to modify the Fisheries Act and keep a closer watch on things and springs.”
“For years, Coast Guard was unable to make such seizures. It seems curious that now they are doing. 15 days ago, when news came of the seizure, we were very happy because he is acting. However, the law always leaves a small door, “she added.