Some species, such as camel (Heterocarpus vicarius) and fidel (Solenocera agassizii) shrimp, are found in deep-waters. (Photo: Pablo Montiel)
INCOPESCA will pay USD 5 million to six vessels to evaluate shrimp populations
Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
The Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA) will pay almost CRC 3 billion (approximately USD 5 million) to six shrimp vessels that it needs to hire to conduct research to evaluate shrimp populations deep in the Pacific.
According to the INCOPESCA, as part of its strategic plan there is a need to do this research to determine "the sustainable use and provide a possible alternative to the semi-industrial shrimp fleet."
The executive presidents of the National Apprenticeship Institute (INA), Andrés Valenciano, and the Costa Rican Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA), Moisés Mug, signed a cooperation agreement last January that allowed investing approximately CRC 2,950 million to investigate the impacts of trawling and especially shrimp
In 2013, the Constitutional Chamber indicated that efficient devices should be available to reduce incidental catches during shrimp trawling.
In addition, the magistrates prohibited the renewal or grant of new semi-industrial fishing licenses. They pointed out that a "legal reform" should be needed and that "with the corresponding scientific and technological support, a significant reduction of such bycatch compatible with a sustainable democratic development would be demonstrated."
Shrimp fishing trawler
The Solis Rivera administration did everything possible to reactivate the technique. They promoted a bill that did not progress in the Assembly, endorsed an agreement to allow new licenses and the Constitutional Chamber had, again, to cancel that agreement of the Board of Directors of INCOPESCA.
Even at the end of the previous year a study was made on the reduction of bycatch in trawling operations, but it was questioned by environmental organizations because two months do not provide the basic requirements, such as seasonality.
INCOPESCA justified the need to contract the six shrimp boats for a total amount of CRC 2,776,500,000, since it needs to "have the information to determine in which areas each species is distributed and their spatial and bathymetric (depths) pattern, and if there are seasonal patterns of abundance."
Shrimp and accompanying species on the deck of a fishing trawler.
Associated with this objective, according to INCOPESCA, the sizes of shrimp maturation would be determined.
In addition, they seek to complement the experiments to determine the levels of reduction of accompanying fauna for the camel shrimp.
The Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic did not authorize INCOPESCA to carry out a direct contracting, which was its objective with the shrimp boats.
On the contrary, in a response sent on May 14 it indicated that it should make a public tender.
Building of the Comptroller General of the Republic
The institution that regulates fishing in the country justified the direct contracting contested alleging judicial and legislative dispositions, and that the scientific study was to begin last April.
It explained that the contracting of six ships can not be done through a public tender because it is not a service that the State usually requires and "neither is the service offered frequently by means of a tender and the limited number of owners of shrimp boats interested in occasionally sell services to the State."
However, the Comptroller General rejected these arguments, since "the fact that there are many or few providers of a service is not a sufficient reason to authorize a direct contract."
Author: Erick Carvajal/crhoy.com