Stop the Killing of Endangered Sharks in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is home to dozens of shark species, many of which are in serious danger of being overfished to extinction.

Earlier this year, President Carlos Alvarado signed a decree that gutted vital protections, leaving endangered sharks vulnerable to extinction. The President removed the ability of the Ministry of Environment to protect sharks and shifted management responsibilities to the Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA). This agency lacks the capacity to effectively monitor population trends and stands to benefit from their commercialization.

Costa Rica’s government is authorizing the overexploitation of sharks as commercial species · Shawn Heinrichs
Dozens of longline fishing vessels primarily target sharks in Costa Rica · Shawn Heinrichs
The Costa Rican government has essentially legalized the overfishing of sharks—even those species officially protected by international agreements.

One of the most at-risk species is the critically endangered hammerhead shark, a national symbol of Costa Rica’s marine conservation efforts. Scientific research has shown that hammerheads could become extinct within the next 20 years if no action is taken. 

As top predators, sharks provide stability to marine ecosystems · Andy Mann
Nearly half of the 40+ shark species in Costa Rica are in serious danger of extinction · Andy Mann
Despite its image as a leader in ocean conservation, Costa Rica is failing to protect endangered sharks · Andy Mann

President Alvarado has previously noted that species like the hammerhead should be protected under Costa Rica’s Wildlife Conservation Law. But in practice, he is failing to take any measures whatsoever to safeguard sharks, which are critical in providing stability to marine ecosystems.

Add your name below to call on President Alvarado to return the management of sharks in Costa Rica to the Ministry of Environment to save these endangered species from extinction.
53,916 signed. Let’s get to 60K.
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