Monday, May 11, 2009

Costa Rica to Sea Turtles, "Piss OFF!"

Plight of the Sea Turtles- does Costa Rica give a F***?

Time and time again Costa Rica has shown it CANNOT Police itself and would rather wait until their hand is caught in the cookie jar… before actually enforcing their OWN laws to correct the problem. In this case- shrimp trawling and its effects on sea turtles. The United States stepped in and played the role of ‘Mother’- how embarrassing for Costa Rica… or is it? Here’s the latest:

“The United States decertified Costa Rica as a turtle friendly country (again) May 1. Margaret F. Hayes, acting deputy assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries for the United States, said that Costa Rican officials did not comply with their promise to take steps to sanction shrimp fishermen who do not use turtle excluder devices.

The Punishment: The United States will not import Costa Rica shrimp for at least the next year. This is the 4th time since 1999 Costa Rica has been caught not enforcing their own laws- again, embarrassing, but VERY telling.

This is how it went down:

"In meetings with senior Costa Rican fisheries officials during the December 2008 certification visit, the State Department representative stressed that without rapid remedial action Costa Rica's certification might be compromised," she added. "Costa Rican officials were aware of the issue and promised to resolve it early in 2009. However, the United States Embassy in San Jose reports that since that December visit Costa Rican authorities have not taken all the action they promised."

*Before I continue I just want to SHOUT OUT to Randall Arauz and the folks at Pretoma (the organization for the preservation of sea turtles and sharks ) who I KNOW were instrumental in seeing this through. Keep up the GREAT work (it takes a village). BTW- they could really use your HELP, visit the link and find out how you can support Pretoma and help preserve the marine life that live off the waters of Costa Rica.

The remedy seems quite simple- Shrimp fishermen need to use turtle excluder devices, which are like trap doors built into shrimp trawl nets that let trapped turtles swim away… and for the ones that don’t use the device- LAWS need to be enforced. So, what’s the problem?

'You mention COST... you have no IDEA.'

Let’s BREAK this down: This is the 4th time in ten years Costa Rica has been caught not enforcing their own laws by the United States… again. HELLOOOOOOOOO.

The Costa Rican powers that be know what they’re doing, they can’t be this stupid, so I call, “BULLSHIT”. I’m thinking the Costa Rican government doesn’t really CARE what the United States does- the non-enforcement of these LAWS must be WORTH it on some LEVEL- there’s no other explanation. Think about it, if you knew for a FACT you were getting a supposed ‘severe’ consequence for your actions (because you’d gotten 3 previously), would you change your behavior? You’d be STUPID not too…unless the consequence didn’t really affect you as it was intended. And really, they KNOW and KNEW ‘Mother’ and the folks at Pretoma were watching them. They KNEW they’d be caught AGAIN. The consequence of not importing shrimp from Costa Rica must not be severe enough-

I say Follow the Money, it's BIGGER somewhere else.

It’s like giving a kid a consequence of, “No fruitcake for a week”- but the kid doesn’t like fruitcake to begin with. Something's amiss.

Randall Arauz told me the powers that BE in Costa Rica often attempt to circumvent their OWN laws in order to keep the money FLOWING into Costa Rica (he was talking about the practice of SHARK FINNING as it pertains to the relationship between Costa Rica and the Taiwanese government). I guarantee this is much BIGGER and more political than turtles and sharks.

Money is always the bottom line. Here’s a breakdown of the so-called LOSSES to Costa Rica:
‘Costa Rica has exported at least 20,000 pounds of premium shrimp a month to the United States. That is shrimp with a retail price of nearly $200,000, according to news files.’
I guess I’m jaded, but that just doesn’t seem like a high number to me in the realm of things.

And I hate to complicate things and throw a wrench in the spokes, but seriously, this entire story could be BULLSHIT. Even the United States could be in on it… it’s not like manipulating a ‘situation’ for a variety of reasons is foreign to our neighbor to the north…. just sayin.

Bottom Line:

Costa Rica doesn't seem to mind a little 'egg on their face' because obviously in the long term, 'someone' or 'something' is getting MORE than they're LOSING.... and egg wipes off.

Because if not, that would mean Costa Rica is STUPID…

Costa Rica isn’t STUPID are THEY?

I know I posted this a few days ago, but personally, if ONLY 1 more person sees this who hasn't already, then it's worth it, and that '1' just may be the DIFFERENCE. My Interview with the president of Pretoma, Randall Arauz:

Hey Everyone, we got TONS of Costa Rica Travel Information in our Travel Guide at Travel Costa Rica NOW and don't FORGET all our Costa Rica Travel Tip Videos, completely ORGANIZED so you can EASILY find what you're LOOKING for. ENjOY!