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Friday, April 18 2014 @ 09:08 AM EDT

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New Measure Outlaws Shark and Ray Finning

Fishing Well, it's about time. Back in November I reported on "Shark and ray finning and selective ANAM enforcement" (http://www.panama-guide.com/article.php/20051121145313359). The national assembly finally got around to doing something about it. La Prensa; The National Assembly restricted shark hunting in Panama, after approving yesterday in third debate the prohibition of "finning" in Panama. The new law allows for fines of up to $1,000 to local fishermen who are caught shark finning. International fishermen can be fined up to $100,000 dolars. According to the Regional Director of MarViva Foundation, Michael Rothschild, the new las is a great step forward for the protection of the marine resources of Panama. (Editor's Comment: Nice to see this step taken, now let's see someone get busted and fined. Shark finners ship truckloads of the stuff out of Panama through Costa Rica right under everyone's nose. It's time for some balanced enforcement to go with the new regulation. In other words, get the "talk" and the "walk" in step...)
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Deep-Sea Fishing on Zane Grey Reef in Panama

Fishing In Panama, time still works its magic, especially for the blue-water angler. Today this Central American nation remains a stunning land where rugged coastal mountains plunge through a tropical rainforest straight into the abyss of the Pacific. And it is in that deep ocean where sailfish, marlin and dorado roam the waters surrounding the renowned Zane Grey Reef just as they have done since the beginning of creation. Thanks to a rich supply of nutrients that flow between the reef's pinnacles, the great triangle of baitfish, giant billfish and enthusiastic anglers come together in a frantic, splashing frenzy. That's when host Tom Ackerman and actor Jason Priestley of "Beverly Hills 90210" fame venture to the renowned Tropic Star Lodge for some world-class billfishing.

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Taiwan Donates 50 Eco-Friendly Fishing Nets to Panama

Fishing Panama City, Feb. 15 (CNA) The Republic of China donated 50 fishing nets that meet international standards to the Panamanian government Wednesday to help the Central American country's fishermen to safeguard marine ecology and engage in sustainable fishing practices. http://www.cna.com.tw/eng/cepread.php?id=200602160015
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Panamanian Registered Vessels Illegally Fishing in AU

Fishing AN "explosive" confrontation is looming between illegal foreign poachers operating in northern Australian waters and local fishermen - a stand-off made more volatile by fears Chinese syndicates are preparing to target the vulnerable Kimberley coast. The Panama-registered Chen Long, a 75m Chinese "mother ship" arrested while fishing illegally off the northern Wessell Islands on Sunday, is expected to arrive in Darwin today under navy escort. With a crew of 18 Chinese nationals, the refrigerated cargo ship was carrying 640 tonnes of reef fish - 270 tonnes of which is believed poached. The arrest has rung alarm bells in Canberra. The federal Government is already under fire for its failure to stop rampant illegal Indonesian fishing in the fragile northern area. "Mate, things are going to explode up here," northern shark fishery spokesman Doug Rogers said yesterday. "What are our rights as Australians to defend ourselves in Australian waters against people we believe are basically pirates? "We've been telling those people in Canberra for two years this was going to happen, and they would not listen."
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Shark and rey finning and selective ANAM enforcement

Fishing The economic incentives are enormous. For years local fishermen have been practicing shark finning. Panama's waters in the Pacific used to be brimming with sharks but because of shark finning their population has been sharply reduced in Panama and worldwide. Ironically, sharks eat stingrays, and with less sharks the stingray population exploded. Now, facing a shortage of shark fins, buyers have switched to stingray fins as an alternative. Thousands of pounds of stingray fins are pulled from Panama's waters and shipped out through Costa Rica.
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So; Now Videotaping Fish is Bad for Them?

FishingThis is really getting stupid. I just got another call from Capt. Tom Yust on Coiba. He has a group of tourists that simply want to free-dive, snorkel, and do some underwater video taping of the fish and marine wildlife for personal (not commercial) use. Capt. Yust, in trying to make absolutely sure that he was in compliance with the new laws protecting the waters around Coiba, called the ANAM regional office in Veraguas and asked the question. You won't believe the answer.
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Why is ANAM going after this guy?

FishingCapt. Tom Yust has been fishing the waters around Coiba for fourteen years. In that time he as brought tourists to Panama who have spent more than $5.7 million dollars in the country, combined total. Now, ANAM has decided to start enforcing a law that's been on the books since Feb 2005, and they did so in a relatively ham-fisted manner.
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ANAM Starting to Enforce Laws Protecting Waters Around Coiba

FishingRepresentatives from the Panamanian National Environmental Authority (ANAM) confiscated approximately 50 pounds of fish and impounded fishing equipment worth more than $10,000 from veteran American fishing Captain Thomas Yust over the weekend. Capitan Yust was fishing with three visiting tourists near Coiba, and the ANAM team was waiting for him when he returned from a day of fishing. But, don't jump to conclusions too quickly about who's right and who's wrong.
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Fish Catches Boy … (Up-side the head)

FishingI wrote this article for Panama 980 magazine, a new publication about Panama (the first edition has just hit the streets, grab your copy now...) It’s one heck of a fish story and worth repeating. Panama is well known for having some of the world’s best sportfishing, especially in Piñas Bay, considered to be a sort of “mecca” for enthusiasts. But one angler recently caught more than he could handle...
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Bioprospecting In the Waters Near Coiba

FishingThis report, published on mongobay.com, highlights the possibility for "Bioprospecting" in Panama.
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