Loing the sport fishing industry in Costa Rica. It is a fact that few people are willing to talk about. Costa Rica, once known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” is under serious threat of losing an industry that generates nearly $600 million annually and supplies 4000 direct jobs and nearly 63,000 indirect jobs according to a study done by the University of Costa Rica, sponsored by The Billfish Foundation in 2009. But it is not too late to save it.
Sport fishing operators in Costa Rica have seen the numbers decline year after year but have not been very vocal about the problem for fear of scaring off potential clients. A tourist fisherman that has been coming for many years has seen the numbers drop also. They got used to raising 20 or more sails a day and have seen that number drop to 5 or less fish up in the spread a day. As a result of this they are going elsewhere. What has kept the industry hanging on by a thread is that first time visitors who don’t know about the glory years are content to catch 2 or 3 fish a day.
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