August 8th, 2013 (InsideCostRica.com) Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court (Sala IV) has declared the practice of shrimp trawling unconstitutional, based on “extensive” scientific studies that indicate the practice causes serious harm to the marine environment. Judge Paul Rueda made the ruling yesterday.
“Based on extensive scientific studies the Court was able to demonstrate that this fishing technique causes serious harm to the marine environment, due to the amount of marine life that is incidentally captured but not used,” the Court said as part of a statement.
“In fact, the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture has compared [the practice] with the clear-cutting of a forest.”
Judges further determined that the practice “negatively affects the democratic rights” of artisanal fishermen by reducing their fishing opportunities.
The ruling states that no new permit, authorization or license for bottom trawling will be permitted, and any existing authorization for the activity will not be renewed.
Learn more about the problems with destructive bottom trawling for shrimp here.
Watch a short video of a shrimp net in the Gulf of Mexico.