Shrimp n’ Street Talk

Guys in the Zone heresay service: I thought that I’d behave like a blogger this morning and so I cruised the Costa Rica news & real estate blogs.  The following are my findings along with some current gossip:

The PRETOMA (Programa Restauracion de Tortugas Marinas) website

The US Department of State`s Bureau of Oceans, Environment, and Science imposed a trade embargo on all Costa Rican shrimp exports to the US, effective as of May 1.  The embargo is due to Costa Rica’s failure to enforce its laws that require commercial shrimp fishers to protect sea turtles from capture and death in trawl nets by using Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs).

And then a little commentary on the matter from Globalpost:

It’s not the first time that the United States, Costa Rica’s chief shrimp buyer (shrimp exports to the U.S. grossed $2.8 million in 2007), has put a trade embargo on Tico shrimp. The ban has been imposed four times since 1999, in an attempt to penalize this country’s shrimping habits.

Fishers are netting shrimp illegally near river heads and protected marine areas in the Pacific, and aren’t using technology designed to prevent turtles from drowning in trawl nets, according to PRETOMA.

The article included statements that the biggest hit here is to Costa Rica’s “Green” reputation.  Costa Rica is apparently allowing shrimp harvesting in such a way that endangers the marine turtles — the green sea turtle, the olive ridley, hawksbill and leatherback.  So the U.S. is wielding its influence, and for those of us that like the idea of preserving the earth’s natural resources, this is good news.

Yesterday I was talking with Chef Dave from La Cusinga.  He’s doing some pretty interesting things here, one of which is cooking up a culinary experience at the La Cusinga restaurant which is called The Gecko.  I haven’t tried it yet, but for those that have, they say that it is nothing short of divine.

Anyway, it turns out that Chef Dave is a bit of a writer, and that he is interested in a lot of the things that I like writing about as well.  He’s started his own blog over at Chef of the Jungle.  He is the one that had originally told me about the U. S. ban on Costa Rica shrimp imports to the U. S. (You can read his commentary on the matter by clicking here).  That is indicative of the topics found in his blog.  Here is a clip from his website:

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Uproar Over Project Shut Downs

Yesterday started off as a typical, glorious Costa Rica morning. Rod and I got an early start with San Buenas Golf Resort Project Manager Larry Breau, walking the golf course project. This involved a drive from our Uvita Costa Rica office towards the south about 20 minutes. There was a slight delay in travelling south due to to ICE (pronounced ee-say), which is the monopolistic agency here in Costa Rica in charge of telecommunications. They are running a new grid of lines to accommodate the rapid growth in the zone. No problem, just a 5 minute wait.

We had a full morning of rubber boots, machetes, broad rimmed hats and a liter of water reviewing the project.

In driving back to the office we encountered a line of cars backed up. Thinking it was ICE we sat patiently waiting. A number of people had turned off their cars and were milling about in the road, talking, some with exaggerated arm gestures. One gal walked by and upon seeing the lighter shade of our skin (assuming that meant English is spoken) she approached us and asked what the hold up was. We very authoritatively informed her what was going on with ICE. Turns out we were dead wrong. This was a road block caused by angry protesters out in front of Crystal Ballena, a local hotel and restaurant where a high level meeting was in its second day.

Costa Rica government officials met with developers and the local Osa government departments to discuss some of the project closures that were the result of an inspection sweep

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