Target: Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís
Goal: Protect hammerhead sharks by banning and enforcing the export of hammerhead fins.
Recently, the Costa Rican Environment Ministry’s National System of Conservations Areas has authorized a company to export hammerhead fins. Many sharks have been the target of widespread hunting as there is a large market in Asia for shark. With Costa Rica allowing the export of hammerhead shark fins, the consequences could be devastating.
The shark fins allegedly are the result of bycatch–the unintentional catching of a marine animal when targeting a different species. The fins come from approximately 2,000 sharks and are approved to be shipped to Asia. Claims have been made to insist that the shark fins were not obtained maliciously and not finned, a process wherein the shark’s fin is cut off and the shark is returned back to the ocean where it will die. However we cannot guarantee the motive behind how these shark fins were obtained and therefore they should not be exported and profited from.
The Costa Rican government has worked to protect hammerhead sharks, yet these fins are still being allowed to be sold for profit. Allowing this exportation sends the wrong message that there is still a market for hammerhead shark fins. Please help to protect hammerhead sharks. By signing this petition, you’ll be demanding that no more shark fins are exported for profit and that more protection is put in place to catch and discourage poachers in Costa Rica.
Dear President Solis,
Hammerhead sharks are an important part of the oceans of Costa Rica’s ecosystem as their presence ensures a balance in the environment. However, the unique shark species has been threatened in recent years for its fin, which is subject to poaching and illegal hunting.
While a recent catch of shark fins is said to be the result of bycatch, the truth cannot be determined. Regardless of whether the fins of approximately 2,000 sharks were from bycatch or not, allowing the exportation of these fins to Asia sends a message that there is still a market that poachers can profit from.
Please do not allow anymore shark fins, regardless of how they were obtained, to be exported to other countries for profit. I also encourage you to enhance the laws protecting hammerhead sharks in Costa Rica by increasing enforcement and punishing illegal poachers. The hammerhead shark is a unique species that deserves to be protected. Please act now.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: petersbar via Flickr