In a ceremony last week, Costa Rica’s president Laura Chinchilla signed a decree banning the cruel and inhumane practice, outlining the country’s “zero tolerance” policy going forward.
Arauz has been working for years to raise awareness about shark finning, close loopholes that allow it to flourish and advocate for stricter policies to protect endangered wildlife. He was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2010 for his efforts.
The Tico Times article “Costa Rica Bans Shark Finning,” credits Arauz for his influence in getting the ban passed:
The ban is the result of more than a decade of work by many of the country’s nonprofit conservation groups, including the Marine Turtle Restoration Project (Pretoma), MarViva Foundation and others.
One of those at the forefront of the fight to end shark finning in Costa Rican waters is Pretoma President Randall Arauz. Pretoma, a small conservation group with a budget of $300,000 annually, has worked tirelessly in the past decade to draw attention to the highly lucrative global shark fin trade.