Most deputies at the Chamber approved the General Fisheries Bill. (Photo: Camara.cl)
MEPs give green light to Fisheries Bill
Friday, July 20, 2012, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
The Chamber of Deputies agreed on a general voting session for or against the General Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill. Now the proposal is expected to enter in the Fisheries Committee of the Senate in early August to continue the legislative process.
On analyzing the bill specifically, the deputies approved the majority of the entries that had been submitted by the Executive, such as the fragmentation of the quotas for the industrial and artisanal sector.
The legislation, approved with 60 votes in favour, 42 votes against and 2 abstentions, prioritizes the sustainability of fishery resources, the access to the industrial and artisanal activity and the strengthening of research and of the sector control.
During the discussion of the Act more than 600 indications of the original initiative in the Fisheries Committee and in the Finance one were analysed.
In this regard, the head of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca), Pablo Galilea, praised the high consensus reached at the voting session last Wednesday in Congress.
Some of the items approved by the Chamber of Deputies are the protection of the first mile as an exclusive reserve for small-scale artisanal fishing; the use of satellite positioning devices; landing certificates; the payment of permit fees for large-scale artisanal vessels; and the division between the main shared industrial and the artisanal fisheries.
As the new law takes effect, the artisanal fisheries sector will have 55 per cent of the landings from 2013.
Meanwhile, industrial fishers will have the remaining 45 per cent, the statement of Congress indicates.
Galilea regretted that the tendering system and Class A, B and C fishing permits were rejected by the lawmakers, because "it was an opening mechanism for the entry of new players."
Anyway, he said they were "satisfied with the achievements made on that session."
In addition, the bill provides for the elimination of the resolving power of the National Fisheries Committee and limits the powers of the Executive in setting fishing quotas, a responsibility that has been taken over by scientists.
It also incorporates the concept of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) as an objective of fisheries management, and improves the institution character of the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca) to strengthen the control of the activity.
The president of the National Fisheries Defense Committee, Nelson Estrada, regretted the deputies’ decision.
In his opinion, with this vote cast in favor of the General Fisheries Act "artisanal fishing was sentenced to death. It implies the disappearance of almost the entire industry," reported Terra.
"It can not be allowed for resources, which are all Chilean, to be in the hands of few families who have been privileged and who have plundered the sea for 20 years and now they will do so forever," the union leader added.
Alfredo Irarrázaval, Pymepes manager and spokesperson for ChilePesca, also expressed disappointment at the parliamentarians’ decision.
"The deputies’ decision is worrying, since they are not only giving away the resources but also preventing free competition from existing. We have just had the door slammed at the face, hindering any possibility of developing an enterprise for our industry," he added.
- Finance Committee approves Fisheries Bill
By Analia Murias