Shark fins.

Agriculture Ministers of Central America agreed to ban the capture of sharks for their fins and to encourage intra-regional commodity trade, among other issues discussed in Panama.

In addition to officials from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, the minister of the Dominican Republic, Salvador Jiménez also participated.

At the meeting, there was consensus in the Central American Agricultural Council (CAC) to approve the regional regulation of the Organization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of the Central American Isthmus (Ospesca) to avoid shark "finning" practice in the countries from Central American Integration System (SICA).

During the meeting, the Dominican Minister extended his country's application to join Ospesca regional agreements.

According to Mario González Recinos, Ospesca regional director, "from Belize to Panama, finning practice in the sea will be punished and governments will take steps to establish sanctions," the newspaper La Estrella reported.

Another issue addressed was the ecological project of Sixaloa-Changuinola rivers, which is jointly developed by Costa Rica and Panama.

This initiative is being carried out in the Atlantic border of the Costa Rican province of Talamanca with Panama's Bocas del Toro, reported Prensa Latina.

The main objectives of this project are to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in protected areas and their biological corridors, and to the development of community self-management.

Central American ministers also agreed to share production statistics so that every nation can know the amount and the season. Besides, it will be possible to "maintain a kind of open market," said the Ministry of Agricultural Development of Panama in a press release.

The CAC is an entity that belongs to the SICA and it is considered the institutional mechanism to link the agricultural sector with other institutions.