SalmonChile's Cesar Barros welcomed the passage of the Joint Commission's report. (Photo: SalmonChile/ Stock File)
Passage of fisheries law satisfies unionists, execs
Monday, March 15, 2010, 08:30 (GMT + 9)
The passage of the Joint Commission's proposal over the bill that modifies the General Fisheries and Aquaculture Law (LGPA) by part of Chilean congressmen and senators generated satisfaction among trade union leaders and executives of the salmon farming sector.
According to the executive secretary of the Salmon Table, Felipe Sandoval, the passage of the modifications is good news and a “very good sign that is going to allow the start of the reactivation of
the industry. In addition to being the last bill by [ex-] president [Michelle] Bachelet, which highlights her concern over aquaculture.”
The official maintains that it is a landmark for the salmon farming industry, because it experienced significant development over 20 years and its crisis allowed the sector "to be overhauled" and well prepared for this new stage.
"I hope that we have some 20 years as successful as the previous ones. We must learn from the mistakes that were committed so that things can improve from now on," said Sandoval in an interview with Aqua.
Referring to the main challenges of the sector, he indicated: “I believe that the industry has two challenges, one is to be able to operate in neighbourhoods, in a more community-based way and not as individuals, as has been [the case] until now. Second, is the relationship with the community and that is one of the things learned from these 20 years. It’s often difficult to invest in this relationship, but it is necessary to exert effort because part of the industry's success has to do with the good acceptance of the community it finds itself in.”
Meanwhile, the president of the Chilean Salmon Industry Association AG (SalmonChile), Cesar Barros, praised the passage of the report of
the Joint Commission.
"Although new salmon farming has already become operational, this will give legal sustenance to banks and investors, which will have less uncertainty and will be able to trust our sector,” the trade union leader indicated.
“Sadly, the time forced it to be processed in a period of electoral tension and its technical nature was subjected to political priorities, a situation that did not contribute to the recovery of a sector that generated a significant number of jobs in
the region. In spite of it, the union had sufficient will to apply a series of sanitary measures, prior to the final approval of the law,” he added.
In other news, the director-general of Marine Harvest Chile, Alvaro Jimenez, expressed his satisfaction as “this law gives power to the authority so that it applies a regulatory framework that assures a new, much more sustainable salmon farming.”
Whereas the president of the board of Companies AquaChile, Victor Hugo Puchi, said he had “a lot of confidence that this law, so vital for the region, the country and for reclaiming the level of jobs and trust, was going to be passed.”
"I see the future with far more optimism, because I am convinced that the industry is competitive. I feel that we have learnt from our errors, that we must be more prudent, that nature places limits, and that we must respect marine spaces,” Puchi added.
"Now it is necessary to do things well," stressed the advisor of the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions, Jorge Claro.
"The important thing is they ensure that the work that the companies are going to do is within the good practises generally accepted by the industry, and I believe that with time they are going to be demonstrating that yes they fulfil them,” he said. “One thing is that the law allows things to be done well and another is that companies demonstrate they do them well.”
However, the president of the National Confederation of Chilean Artisanal Fishermen (CONAPACH), Zoila Bustamante, reiterated her criticism of the passing of the new aquaculture norm.
"The salmon farming law was mainly intended to regulate the granting of mortgages in favour of banks to guarantee credits to the companies in this category, and now it is time to remember that artisanal fishing did not agree with this support of those who are responsible for the contamination of our sea,” Bustamante lashed out.
"Sanitary and environmental regulations, like those of the labour conditions, are declarations of good intentions, foundations of the present norm and they leave major doubts with respect to their ability to consolidate a sustainable, environmental and sanitary aquaculture,” she asserted.
- Congress passes modifications of aquaculture law
By Analia Murias
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member SalmonChile - Asociación de la Industria del Salmón A.G