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San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, June 30, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 128
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Sportsmen


Majestic sailfish are stacked like cord wood after their confiscation on a caldera beach Tuesday. The fish appear to be accidental catches by a commercial tuna operation.
saii
                                fish
Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo
Sailfish called health hazard after illegal unloading
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

As sports fishermen take to the Pacific today there are about 2.8 tons of sailfish they will not catch.

The fish, which are protected in part for their benefit to tourism, were confiscated by members of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas when they saw them being offloaded onto a sandy beach in Caldera.

The unloading was from a large Nicaraguan tuna fishing vessel in the Gulf of Nicoya, and the procedure appeared to be designed to avoid the requirement to unload catches at government docks for inspection.

A small boat was being used to bring the fish to shore for eventual transport in a nearby truck. The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública

said that sailfish, pez vela in Spanish, are regulated due to their scientific and tourism interests.

Sports fishermen practice catch and release, so the dead fish represented many lost hours of enjoyment for tourists.

The ministry said that the fish were being placed on a beach with no regard for sanitation. An inspector from the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal declared the fish unfit for human consumption, said the ministry. The fish totaled  2,572 kilos.

Failing to unload at a government dock only is punishable by a fine, but the ministry said that the local prosecutor ordered the coast guard to take custody of the foreign tuna boat for investigation. The crewmen also confiscated the small launch.



Government says its wants to raise the retirement age
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

While teachers were protesting in the street Wednesday, and other labor groups continue to be enraged by potential salary cuts, the central government added fuel to the fire.

As an aside to a statement about luxury pensions, Casa Presidencial said that the government backs a plan to raise the retirement age to 70 and also suggested that the amount deduced from employee paychecks for health and pensions could nearly double.

The Presidencia was responding to a news article that said leading political parties in the legislature were backing away from a proposal to cut what are called luxury pensions. They are pensions that have been fixed with annual increase, and sometimes the monthly amount is

excessive. The government said it wanted to enact strong curbs. The government also said it wanted to base pensions on standards issued by the International Labour Organization.

But then the statement said that the government also wants to raise the retirement age by five years to 70, doing so over five years.

Then it also said that the monthly contribution of workers that is now 9 percent should be raised to 16 percent. The statement was unclear if the increase would be in the total social charges workers pay each month or just the part that goes for pensions.

Workers now face deductions of 9 percent that go to the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, to Banco Popular and a disability and death benefit fund.

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