Congress votes 26 over 18 in favor to renew semi-commercial net fishing permits

5 years ago, Costa Rican Congress had forbid the renovation or emission of new trawling permits because of concerns over the negative impact this practice has on marine life and natural habitats. In late November of this year, Congress proposed the changes to the bill and made this statement regarding their decision, “with the goal of solving the social, economic and environmental problem created in coastal areas by the suspension of this economic activity over the last five years,”.

Trawling is a type of fishing where the boats drag long nets along the ocean floor. Typically, the industry is focused on shrimp, however these nets catch any and everything that get caught in their path. This heavy equipment can also damage or destroy sensitive reefs and other important marine-life habitats. The proposed bill will allow for a type of net to be used called AA Costa Rica. This net specifically allows the capture of 75% shrimp and 25% of other species per ton trawled, the opposite of the traditional technique.

Social media has exploded over the last few weeks with public outcry over this news. Many Costa Rican’s are pleading to their government not to go through with this. Posts, photos, and videos of all kinds have been shared displaying information and imagery about the destruction this type of fishing causes. Here is one of the many videos shared.

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