Costa Rican President Meets with Artisanal Fishing Organizations. The President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, met with artisanal fishing organizations from Puntarenas and Guanacaste to learn about their needs and provide solutions that make it possible to stimulate and facilitate the work of the sector. Also present were representatives from longline, shrimp and recreational fishing groups.
During the meeting the group followed up on previous agreements with the Government. Representatives of the Chamber of Fishermen of Guanacaste were in attendance.
The group is part of an entity that brings together more than 30 organizations of the north Pacific coast of artisanal fishing; mollusk fishing, diving and tourist fishing.
“The maritime resource is only one and the maritime sector requires our support. It is our wish that all the families that depend on the sea live well and have the necessary conditions to work in a formal way, with legal certainty, with licenses and with sustainable efforts, ensuring compliance with the law and care for resources,” said President Chaves.
The president announced that soon Incopesca will receive sufficient economic resources to improve its work thanks to the collection of hauling fees, according to an agreement with the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). With this effort, it is expected to obtain funds of at least ¢2,000 million a year.
During the meeting, Martín Contreras, representative of the Chamber of Fishermen of Guanacaste requested to reinforce the port captaincy in Playas del Coco since there is only one official; also the reactivation of investigations to grant licenses, the formalization of the sector and support for the work of the coast guard.
Regarding these requests, the President of Costa Rica confirmed that on October 15, a second port captain will begin to reinforce the work of the current one; also that the investigations will be reactivated as of next year in the seven existing collection centers and the sampling in communities that do not have collection centers.
In turn, he pointed out that work is being done to facilitate the formalization of the sector by lowering the minimum tax base for the monthly payments to be paid to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund.
Representing the shrimp fishermen of Puntarenas, members of the Federación de Pescadores Artesanales en Pequeña Escala de Costa Rica were also in attendance. The entity brings together 28 organizations in the province.
Emanuel González, representative of the province, expressed the urgency to reactivate the technical studies required by the Constitutional Chamber to restore the shrimp licenses that were revoked since 2013 and authorize trawling, ensuring that the species are not affected through the use of new techniques such as the use of networks known as double AA (Antonio Astúa).
Regarding the technical studies, the President of Incopesca indicated that they already have a referential framework that will be submitted to the Board of Directors for evaluation and that once approved, it would be executed for next year when they have economic resources.
President Chaves said that scientifically rigorous trawling would only be authorized if it is possible to demonstrate technical and environmental suitability.
“Today we are facing something never seen before. The entire fishing sector together, in dialogue with the Government and in search of solutions. We were abandoned for years, but now we know that it is possible to reactivate the sector,” said Emanuel González.
For his part, Mauricio González, representative of the longline fishing sector, pointed out the need to strengthen human resources in the captaincies of Quepos and Golfito. Also, he expressed his concern about the progress of Bill No. 21,754, which is being analyzed in the Legislative Assembly, given the possible fishing limitations for some species.
President Chaves indicated to the sector that the technical studies required by Incopesca will be carried out and that, by the year 2023, there will be financing from a World Bank loan that will allow the institution to meet the most pressing needs for the sector.
The president was accompanied by the Minister of the Presidency, Natalia Díaz, the executive president of the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Incopesca), Heiner Méndez Barrientos, and the Minister of Environment and Energy, Franz Tattenbach, together with technical representatives of these ministries and of the Rural Development Institute, Inder.
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