Wednesday January 25, 2023

Turtle Island Restoration Network

An international coalition of 18 Marine Conservation Organizations (MCOs) has presented evidence to the Office of International Affairs, Trade, and Commerce (IATC) of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that Costa Rica is in violation of at least two fisheries conventions as well as U.S. Public Law, and its actions threaten populations of endangered sharks and commercial billfish.

The coalition is calling on NMFS to present a negative finding against Costa Rica in its next Biannual Report in 2023 to the US Congress and maintain its status as a nation that repeatedly practices Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. NMFS had already identified Costa Rica as an IUU nation in its 2021 Congressional Report which also highlighted unsustainable fishing problems that the country has since failed to rectify.

IUU fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Until these illegal practices are halted, Costa’ Rica’s fishery threatens marine biodiversity and regional fisheries within the Pacific Central American Coastal Large Marine Ecosystem (PACA). The issuing of a negative finding for Costa Rica by NMFS could deny Costa Rican fishing vessels access to U.S. ports and potential import restrictions on fish or fish products under the U.S. Moratorium Protection Act.

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