SHARK FINNING AT COCOS ISLAND
I love Costa Rica but it's under attack by shark finning modern-day pirates.
Desecration of a World Jewel
See the Whale Shark below? It’s about 30-40 feet long, weighs 20,000-30,000 pounds, is peaceful and increasingly rare.
Know what it's worth? About $1,000 to a fisherman.
For 15 tons of meat? Nope. For its fins.
And what's the value of the meat?
Nothing. It’s considered trash.
After the fins are cut off, the animal is simply set adrift to sink to the bottom and, if the animal were definned alive, it drowns an agonizing death.
Millions of sharks, every species, every size, and every age are killed every year despite a near international ban on this practice.
Why? So people in China and Taiwan---and regrettably the United States---can have shark fin soup.
A few years ago, shark fins were so rare that a bowl of soup cost $100 or more; today, modern fishing methods have driven the price down to a couple of bucks despite the international ban. There are even “all-you-can-eat” shark fin buffets in the Orient now.
It's also a lucrative, sleezy business, too awful to imagine (but it's too important not to imagine it). And, a few years ago, the pirates discovered the bountiful waters around Costa Rica’s wonderful Cocos Island and have been plundering it night and day ever since.
Here's a short video taken in Costa Rica. WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC FOOTAGE.
Though the horrendous shark-finning goes on at Cocos Island and within the other waters of Costa Rica, two things need to be made perfectly clear.
First, these pirates are relentlessly attacking everywhere in the world. Recently, the U.S. seized a boat in Hawaii with 16 tons of fins----not sharks, just fins. Visit
Fortunately, there's some reason for hope because many in Costa Rica are committed to preservation and sustainability.
The Government Has Started to Respond
Hope. Based on evidence.
1. In January 2008 a team of Yale and Columbia University researchers released the first world-wide comprehensive Environmental Performance Index.
149 countries were rated on their environmental performance using 25 different criteria.
Costa Rica was in the top five. Only Switzerland and three Scandinavian countries topped it.
An amazing accomplishment considering that their Gross Domestic Products are three times that of little Costa Rica.
In January 2010, Costa Rica jumped into the top 3 countries on the world's
Environmental Performance Index, click
3. In 2008, by executive order, it created one of the first sanctuaries for whales and dolphins in Latin America.
4. Costa Rica is the headquarters for the West Pacific Conservation Marine Corridor, which takes in the area of the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) (also under attack!), Cocos Island (Costa Rica), Coiba Island (Panama) and the Colombian islands Malpelo and Gorgona.
5. 149 countries have now banned finning and the world's media is beginning to report on this important topic. Click to watch CNN clip on
7. In March 2009, Costa Rica, leading 10 other Central American countries, formally requested a United Nations workshop to address the barbaric and wasteful practice of finning sharks. It is supported by members of the Shark coalition and the Humane Society International.
8. In 2011, Costa Rica prohibited foreign vessels from docking at private docks in Puntarenas. These docks have been notorious for allowing foreign based shark finning vessels to come ashore there. The government also banned boats coming ashore with shark fins unless they remain attached to the animal.
9. Where There's a Will, There's a Way
Turns out that, while Costa Rica outlawed the landing of vessels in the country having shark fins (sans the shark) attached, it didn't outlaw importation of shark fins overland so the sea pirates simply land in Nicaragua, then send the shark fins to Costa Rica by truck.
In the first nine months of the "ban", some 33,000 pounds of shark fins, taken from Costa Rica waters to Nicaragua, returned to Costa Rica by truck.
A law without teeth is simply a farce.
Shame on Costa Rica for permitting such a travesty.
Cocos Island is Too Valuable to Lose
Cocos Island is one of the most extraordinary places in the world. It's the largest uninhabited island on the planet and has the BEST big animal diving anywhere.
It's been nominated as one of the world's Seven Natural Wonders and is already one of the Costa Rica Seven Wonders, click.
Shark Finning Needs to Stop
Spread the Word to Your Friends
In an age of instantaneous, viral communication, our voices multiply and count.
Please share this page (use the buttons for Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites on this page) or send the link to your friends or other social media sites----any way you communicate----and ask them to do the same).
We're all in this together.
Changing the world. . .
One voice at a time.
And, do something more.
Sign a petition.
Join a campaign. Support or Volunteer at Pretoma Add a voice. Send it 'round the world.
Ask others to add their voice. Click to go to