Date: October 16, 2002
Contact: Roxana Silman
The Legislative Assembly approves Law for Protection, Conservation and Recuperation of Sea Turtle Populations
SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA – The Special Permanent Commission of the Legislative Assembly last week passed the Law for Protection, Conservation and Recuperation of Sea Turtle Populations. This new law is an important instrument that significantly strengthens sea turtle protection and declares research into sea turtles and their habitats to be in the public interest. It also states that the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) is responsible for coordinating with other Government institutions to protect these marine species.
The law determines that a person who kills, hunts, captures, slaughters, traffics in or trades sea turtles will be punished with a prison term. It is also made illegal to keep sea turtles for commerical purposes, or to trade sea turtle products and sub-products.
In addition, all Costa Rican and foreign shrimping vessels that operate in the terretorial waters and exclusive economic zone of Costa Rica are required to use turtle-excluder devices (TEDs).
“We are extremely pleased,” says Roxana Silman, National Director of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to sea turtle research and conservation. “It has been a four-year campaign to develop, promote and finally see the approval of this law by the Legislative Assembly. We are very grateful to all the congressmen and women, and to the Special Commission for showing once again that Costa Rica wishes to assert its global leadership in sea turtle conservation,” Silman concludes.
The news of the law has been received with approval in many parts of the country.
“The passing of this law will undoubtedly help us improve protection for the sea turtles that come to nest on our beaches,” says Eduardo Chamorro, the Administrator of Tortuguero National Park in northeastern Costa Rica.