So I’m going to Costa Rica (18 Comments)

Have had some thinking to do about this, but changes are afoot, and I couldn’t possibly not be there for the fun!
The president, the ministry, Randall Arauz from Pretoma (organized the rallies in Costa Rica) and myself will be sitting down to a public press conference after the first screening of Sharkwater in San Jose, Costa Rica; the nation’s capital, now home to 3 story Sharkwater billboards…..
I’ve got bodyguards, a camera crew, and the mission I started over 5 years ago coming full circle.

18 Responses to “So I’m going to Costa Rica”

    1. sarah November 11th, 2007 at 11:18 am

      Wonderful! I’m sure your going to make certain changes for these people in CR. Hopefully the word will spread and they will realize what certain fisheries are doing. Will you be showing anywhere else when your there?

      Have a good trip and good luck!


    1. Pum and Pui November 11th, 2007 at 11:42 am

      Hello Rob,
      We’ve just saw your Sharkwater trailer in
      and it really stunt us!

      We’re living in Thailand where has many chinese resturants that selling Shark fins as the first class food.

      Usually we fear of the shark but when we saw your work and we changed our attitude.

      Hope we can see your work in Thailand, by the way, we work for the movie magazine called Starpics, and we going to write the news article about your work this month. Hope it will help to spread your work and let people know more about sharks.

      thanks for making good work,if you have any information that want to let us know please contact us.

      best regard,

    1. Lila November 12th, 2007 at 11:46 pm

      Hi Rob, I’ve been checking out the trailers and other information on the Sharkwater website. The information struck me not only because of what we have been doing to sharks but also of the misconceptions. Lack of knowledge and understanding is surely a barrier to those who might have tried to get the true picture the shark finning business and do something about it. I wish you the best of luck in your upcoming journeys, and thanks for the eye-opening, amazing things you have done.

      By the way, I haven’t seen any showtimes for the Boston area yet… I’m truly looking forward to seeing Sharkwater in theater.

      All the best,


    1. Joellen November 13th, 2007 at 8:09 pm

      Congratulations on all your success! The movie looks truly amazing! (I haven’t had a chance to see it myself). I hope that this movie makes as much of an impact on everyone there as it has on me!

      All the best,

    1. Joellen November 13th, 2007 at 8:10 pm

      or rather, how much effect the “trailer/making of” has had on me.

    1. Steve November 14th, 2007 at 12:31 am


      So here’s a group (PRETOMA) I was introduced to by commenting about the film to someone. Thought I’d share the web link for others who might read this. I’ve now found out that there are quite a few US restaurants selling shark fins. It oughta be like ivory which is illegal to trade.

      Am going to learn more about the threatened or endangered status within the US endangered species act. Although the current administration has set new records with not listing species.

      Any plans in the future to air it on cable access or another scenario of cable or free speech tv on satellite?

      Good luck with Costa Rica.


    1. Steve November 14th, 2007 at 12:31 am
    1. Sarah B. November 14th, 2007 at 3:25 am

      Hi Rob,
      I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago. My friends and I were wondering if there are any plans to screen this film in Chicago. I just checked the dates on the website and so far, there are only West coast dates.

      My school also has a great independent movie theater that the students run, called Doc Films. I suspect that the students running it will be putting a calender for the next term very soon, and I think it would be phenomenal if you’d come to campus and introduce your film and such.

      I’m going to email those kids and request that they investigate this documentary.

      Thank you again and I’m looking forward to any chance to see this film myself!

      Sarah B.

    1. Shiva November 14th, 2007 at 11:58 am

      Hey Rob,

      Just wanted to congratulate you on such an incredible project! It is absolutely breathtaking. The world really needs to be educated about such marine issues. I was in Taiwan in May for a marine biology field course but was unaware of the situation of shark finning. I visited a number of fishing ports and am pretty sure I saw shark fins being brought in from boats in buckets.

      Unfortunately I missed the Canadian release of the film, and am resorted to repeatedly watching all the clips on the website :D. And i can say from only the clips, my view of sharks has changed dramatically.

      I am really excited about the DVD release. Best of luck with the rest of the tour!!


    1. Nicole November 14th, 2007 at 11:45 pm

      I wish I could be there for that screening in Costa Rica. I’ve yet to see the film but I’m eager to learn more than the small bit of self-research I’ve dug up in response to seeing the trailer for your documentary.
      I also agree with Lila ~ I live around the Boston area and I really want to see your film but it’s impossible to reach from my area as of now. I’m looking forward to learning.
      I’m only 18 but I want to make a differnce like you are. Wildlife doesn’t deserved to be bullied by humans just because people fear what they don’t know about.

      Maine, USA.

    1. Juan November 15th, 2007 at 2:03 pm

      Hello all,

      My name is Juan and I’m from Costa Rica. This weekend I went to the movie theater and saw the Sharkwater trailer, very impressive! Also, theaters here are full of Sharkwater posters saying “Equilibrium has been broken in Costa Rica”, and I can say there’s great expectation about this movie, especially because it tells us about a reality that is unknown to most Costa Ricans.

      Right now, we’re doing all we can to stop shark finning by enforcing our laws and preventing ships from dropping shark cargo in private docks. This is the petition that we are signing from the PRETOMA group:,en/

      However, I was amazed to see that shark fin soups and other dishes are sold not only in Asian contries but also in Canada and the US. There are plenty of restaruants in cities such as Vancouver and San Francisco that are making big money out of this, check these websites:

      As I said, CR it’s doing its best to stop shark finning, but I think it would really help if countries that consume shark fins ban those imports and prohibit restaurants from selling shark products.

      The Sharkwater movie has helped raise an important movement against shark fishing in CR. I hope it also raises a movement against shark consumption in other countries.

      Best regards,


    1. Carlos November 16th, 2007 at 1:57 pm

      It is great you are coming to Costa Rica! You are not going to be alone, there is a lot of people concerned long time ago with this situation, and I think with this film, things are going to definitely change here. And I hope that will happen also in some other countries. See you in Costa Rica!
      Liberia-Costa Rica

    1. Miguel November 16th, 2007 at 2:14 pm

      Hi all,

      PRETOMA has sent out a request asking the Costa Rican authorities to uphold their duties so that the private docks comply with the law.,en/

      Rob, welcome to Costa Rica again!


    1. Janine Wright-Smith November 17th, 2007 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Rob,
      I was wondering what you were going to do next for some fun,hence I found this site. I wish you a great time on your travels.Maybe you should tell your folks that positive thoughts go a long way.Seriously, if you can heal your body from all the infections that you got at the same time,then I think you have plenty of innate power to see you through whatever adventure you’re in the thick of.
      My son and I met you at the end of the evening at the Santa Monica benefit for Sea Shepherd.It was such a great night .I wished we could have talked longer.Anyway,I’d wish you a safe trip,but I think “memorable”! might suit you better,

    1. JJ November 18th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

      Good job Rob…

      welcome to Costa Rica and thanks for try to protect that we don’t want to do…

      Best regards.


    1. Danilo November 25th, 2007 at 9:41 pm

      More support from Costa Rica.

      Saw your film yesterday. Incredible!

      Just so you know, things appear to be moving around here… I was watching the Congress a few days ago and a couple of congresswomen were wearing “I saved a Shark” T-shirts and collecting signatures.

      Another link about the campaign against finning:

      “Funny” thing, one of our worse tv channels, if not the worst, aired Jaws today… Typical stupid costarican journalism…

      Anyway, thank you for your film!

    1. Hannelore Brandt November 27th, 2007 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Rob!!
      Well, I saw your film yersterday and I must admit that it really made me feel awfully sad and depressed. I knew about the problem of finning, but it isn´t until you see pictures about it, that you realize how cruel and terrible that problem is.
      I´m costarican and I´m going to study biology in the University of Costa Rica. It isn´t easy for me to say that most of the costarican population doesn´t care about nature and the environment. Of course, there are many people that want to help the environment and protect it,there are a lot of environmental organizations too, but most of the costaricans live still in a “bubble”, thinking that what is happening now (global warming,the extinction of species)doesn´t have anything to do with us. Costaricans are always talking about our beautiful nature and the effort that is being made to protect it, but a lot of costaricans don´t do anything to protect it.
      That´s why I´m glad, that you Rob, made this movie, that you showed this cruel reality to the rest to the world and that we, costaricans, appeared in it, because I hope that this movie will open our eyes and that people in this country will finally realize what is going on and so, they will try to help to save the sharks and the environment too…
      PS:Sorry if my English isn´t that good, but English isn´t my mother tongue!! I hope you´ll understand most of what I wanted to say!!

    1. Randall Arauz December 1st, 2007 at 12:45 pm



      (San José, Costa Rica – 29 November, 2007)

      Since November 13, in compliance with a mandate by the Constitutional Court, the Puntarenas Port Authority, by order of the Director of Navigation and Security of the Ministry of Public Transportation, has not authorized the arrival of international flag longline vessels at private docks in Puntarenas (Resolution CPP-2007-379). The Port Authority’s position is in response to an accusation of disobedience to the Constitutional Court’s ruling of February 3, 2006, (Case: 2006-1109), which ordered the Port Authority, the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (INCOPESCA) and Customs Office of the Ministry of Treasury), to immediately halt the landing of these vessels on private docks that are not provided with public infrastructure. The accusation was presented by PRETOMA, in January of 2007, after the authorities had disobeyed the Constitutional Court order for a year.

      “We are very satisfied with this victory, given the importance of compliance with national laws,” said Jorge Ballestero, of Programa Restauración de Tortugas Marinas (PRETOMA). “The landing of shark fins and other fishery products at the private docks of Puntarenas by international flag longline vessels is an illegal activity, and one which clearly favors activities like shark finning, given that in the privacy of these docks it is impossible to protect the public interest,” explained Ballestero.

      PRETOMA has identified the use of private docks by international flag longline vessels to be the greatest loop hole that facilitates shark finning in Costa Rica. In fact, Articles 211 and 212 of the Customs Law orders the obligatory use of public docks by international flag fishing fleets. In spite of these laws, Costa Rica has continued to receive these landings at private docks, uninterruptedly, since 1998.

      Since the adoption of this policy by the Port Authority two weeks ago, three international flagged longline vessels have attempted, without success, to land their products. All three vessels, the Dragon 28, the Conchita 8, Yu Long 6, sail under the flag of Belize, and are currently docked at the private docks. This situation, however, could be only temporary, given that the Ministry of the Treasury has expressed its dissatisfaction to the Constitutional Court regarding the recent ruling, and has petitioned the accusation of disobedience to be dropped, with the intention of prolonging the illegal use of private docks to land shark fins and other shark products.

      “The Ministry of the Treasury and the owners of the private docks are exerting enormous political pressure to allow the landings of these vessels, but fortunately, the Port Authority has stayed firm,” warned Randall Arauz, President of PRETOMA. “NOW is the moment for the Government of President Oscar Arias to show its commitment to the protection and conservation and sharks, and sign an Executive Decree to put an end to the illegal use of private docks once and for all,” said Arauz.

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