Can a Fish Bring a Country Together?

Three Billboards Outside San José, Costa Rica: Can fish bring a country together? By Todd Staley for the Tico Times November 14, 2018 A tuna-fishing boat launching speed boats. (Courtesy FECOP) If you are driving from Juan Santamaría International Airport toward San José, you will pass two sets of billboards. Lettered in Spanish, the signs translate to English as: There are foreign boats fishing illegally in Costa Rica They are taking our marine resources without permits Together we can change this… Find out how at fecop.org [Editor’s note: The author of this story works as the communications director for FECOP, the Costa Rican Fishing Federation.] The campaign billboards were modeled after the ones in the award-winning film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” The signs were designed to be simple but effective. It is estimated that more than 25 percent of all tuna fished by foreign purse seine boats in Costa Rican territorial waters goes unreported or is taken by vessels not licensed to fish in Costa Rica — resulting in zero benefit to the country. In an interview on Monumental Radio, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, denounced that the country loses millions of dollars in the illegal fishing of tuna. Thanks to the international licenses that the country provides for tuna fishing, this sector generates legal profits of $50 million and pays only $1.3 million for it. He went on to say if more tuna were available to Costa Rica fishermen, they would target tuna rather than … Continue reading Can a Fish Bring a Country Together?