During the Fourth Global Fisheries Enforcement Training Workshop (GFETW) in Playa Herradura, Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla used her opening remarks as a platform to announce stickter tuna fishing regulations.
The new law will require fishing vessels to “show proof” of their knowledge of the Costa Rican law that bans the use use of any Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). Many people believe that the use of these devises has played a major roll in the over fishing of many of the oceans species. The fishing vessel will be required to provide Costa Rica’s authorities with the methods they have been using to catch tuna in the current and past year.
While the change in regulation does not stand a major landmark it does show a major effort to enforce the current law on the books. Many of is Costa Rica know that Costa Rican officials have a tendency to pick and choose which laws they want to enforce and many times only for a limited period of time.
Over fishing has become a major hot button topic lately, so it should come as no surprise that this decision has been made to increase enforcement. Lets just hope this is not one of those limited time offers as the importance of fishing regulation can not be overstated.
What may be seen as a bigger step forward is that Costa Rica is the first county in the Americas to host a GFETW meeting. While politicians will always posture, educating the fishing fleets is the key to making progress on the open waters.