The answer to the question of whether spearfishing is illegal in Costa Rica is not a simple yes or no. It depends on the type of activity and involvement of the fishers. Generally, spearfishing is considered legal when it’s done for sport or recreational purposes, as long as it’s done responsibly with respect for the environment and local regulations.
Under Costa Rican law, it is illegal to use a spear gun to hunt in marine reserves, protected areas, or parks. Spearfishing in areas that are open to fishing is allowed, but only with polespears (also known as Hawaiian spears) and a single barbless hook.
Polespears are considered much safer than powered spear guns because they can only be used at close range. As such, they reduce the risk of accidental catch of non-Target species or damage to nearby aquatic life.
In addition, there are certain restrictions on spearfishing activities within Costa Rica’s waters that must be observed. For example, it’s prohibited to hunt larger fish such as sharks and rays with spears; they must be caught by traditional methods such as trolling or jigging. There are also limits on the size and number of fish that can be taken from each area.
When it comes to recreational fishing in Costa Rica, there are also stringent regulations governing the types of gear that can be used. For example, powered spear guns are generally prohibited due to their destructive nature and potential harm to aquatic life. Similarly, nets and traps must have mesh sizes small enough not to accidentally catch non-Target species.
In conclusion, while spearfishing is legal in Costa Rica for recreational purposes when done responsibly and with respect for local regulations, there are certain restrictions on gear types and catch limits that must be observed. It’s important for fishers to familiarize themselves with these regulations before engaging in any type of fishing activity within Costa Rican waters.