October 14, 2011
Sandra Bessudo, special advisor on biodiversity to Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, said that Costa Rican boats have been setting long lines near Malpelo. The fishermen cut off the fins of sharks they captured. The fins are likely destined for Asia where they are used in shark fin soup, a delicacy served at weddings and special events.
Bessudo said the Colombian government would notify Costa Rica of the illegal activities by Costa Rican nationals. Environmentalists say Costa Rica has been slow to tackle the shark fin trade, which is concentrated in Pacific coast ports.
Malpelo island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Bessudo was instrumental in establishing Malpelo as a protected area and winning UNESCO designation.