Government unveils creative solution to rectify shark finning dilemma and improve recycling
PUNTARENAS – Costa Rica has launched an initiative to replace severed shark fins with scuba flippers, a move that will diminish the environmental calamity of finning and make the ocean beasts more aerodynamic, Environmental Minister Rene Castro said yesterday.
Shark finning, a hot-button topic among animal rights activists worldwide, has plagued Costa Rican waters in recent years. While government efforts to reduce the abhorrent practice have made little progress, Castro said yesterday that arming finless sharks with snorkel fins will save lives and improve recycling.
“This is an example of how the Costa Rican people turn broncas into opportunities,” Castro said after unveiling the prototype image of the scuba finned shark. “What do you get when you combine a suffering shark and an abandoned scuba fin? Progress.”
The creative solution, which was originally devised by a group of enlightened hippies at Envision Fest in Uvita, received critical acclaim from Captain Paul Watson, the shark-finning vigilante known as the Sea Shepherd. The flippers not only make sharks more beautiful, but also like way faster, he said.
“It sounded pretty absurd at first,” Watson said. “But when I saw the mockups, I was blown away. They look amazing. It was like the sharks were dressed in American Eagle outfits.”
The original idea came from Uvita native and hemp bracelet salesman Marvincito Mora, who has no marine experience but an “undeniably magical vision,” Watson said. Mora’s idea is to remove finless sharks from the ocean and put the snorkel flipper in place with super glue or caulk, followed by the immediate use of a hair dryer to seal the chemical bond, he said.
“We have kids’ sized flippers for smaller sharks and adult sized ones for great whites and bull sharks,” Mora said. “We also have a supply of Swiffer mops to apply to hammerhead sharks should the situation arise.”
Though the plan is not without controversy, outgoing President Laura Chinchilla has put her full support behind Plan Scuba Flipper, as it is now known.
“Only in Costa Rica can we take two negatives and make a positive,” Chinchilla said. “I have no doubt that Marvincito Mora will be inscribed into the annals of Costa Rican history given his vision and dedication to restoring one of the ocean’s most vital creatures.”
Though the procedure has yet to be put into practice, it is thought that new president elect Luis Guillermo Solis will meet with the vice president of Intel and Bank of America to propose sending recently laid-off employees from both companies to work on the shark finning boats.