For the past few years, shark finning had been banned in Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama waters and for all vessels that fly their flags. Unfortunately, some people still defy the bans. Recently, a tourist on one of three tour boats authorized to visit Banco de la Plata (Silver Banks) to watch humpback whales released photos taken around a month ago, where a boat with dozens of shark fins can be seen in the waters of the wildlife refuge. See excerpts below:
The local environmentalist group Eco & ½Ambiente posted the information on Facebook. It said the tourist asked the group to wait until the end of the whale-watching season to post the pictures and voice his complaint, to prevent the fishermen’s reprisals against tourists visiting the sanctuary.
By law, an Environment Ministry official should be on any of the authorized tourist boats operating within the refuge during the humpback whale-watching season. [. . .] For years environmentalists around the world have denounced that type of fishing, because after they cut the shark’s fins the animal is thrown into the water, slowly drowning, and one of the reasons many countries banned the practice.