Los Lagos mayor Juan Sebastián Montes considers the current production capacity is more than enough. (Photo: goreloslagos.cl/Amichile/FIS)
Granting of mussel farming permits halted
Thursday, April 26, 2012, 16:30 (GMT + 9)
The Undersecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca) decided to indefinitely stop granting mussel farming concessions in the region of Los Lagos. This measure complements the recent withdrawal of three sectors considered Areas Suitable for Aquaculture (AAA) for the cultivation of mussels (Mytillus chilensis).
In this regard, Juan Sebastián Montes, Mayor of Los Lagos, explained that the cancellation of concessions "arises out of social conflicts taking place in the communities, especially of fishermen and/or of indigenous peoples, who raised their voice on seeing that an endless number of farms of aquatic species were located in front of their territories, risking their heritage and development capabilities."
For the government, "the excessive concessions granted in addition to those that are pending, are irresponsible, both legally and sustainably," he added.
He also said that "over-production is an attack on sustainability, since it jeopardizes the seafloor as a result of having a biomass that overloads the water columns," reported Aqua.
The measure announced by Subpesca follows another one taken by the Regional Commission for the Use of the Coastal Border (CRUBC), which on 16 April decided on the withdrawal of three sectors considered as AAA destined to the cultivation of mussels.
The sectors are:
- Exposed coast of the District Los Lagos (from the north of the province of Osorno-regional boundary with Los Ríos - up to Chacao Canal, on the island of Chiloé);
- East of Reloncaví (between Coihuín and Caleta La Arena);
- West of Reloncaví (Punta Panitao area facing Maillen Island).
In the first case, the change corresponds to the complete withdrawal of AAA decreed from the border with Los Ríos Region (Rio Bueno) to the latitude 41º 33' 20'' S, which sets the southern boundary of influence of the first mile of AAA based on the DS (M) 371 of 1993, Montes commented.
In the second sector, the proposed amendment is for the withdrawal of AAA currently operating in two areas: Quillaipe and Metri-La Arena.
In both sectors, certain specific areas of the coast bank remain as AAA in order to allow the maintenance of applications for pelillo farming and for small-scale aquaculture.
Meanwhile, in the third case, Maillen Paso area is withdrawn to allow the free transit of vessels that will operate in the future port to be built in that area.
"In the three sectors to be withdrawn, those that have production in the water at present may continue operations. The rest, applicants and pending, are immediately cancelled," said the mayor of Los Lagos.
Given the possibility of the emergence of criticism as a result of the measure imposed by the Government, the official clarified that with the concessions in force as well as the 1,560 ones that are pending, "there is a production capacity four times greater than the market demand."
“I want to stress this fact because apart from the pollution generated by overproduction, there is a risk of prices falling even further," Montes highlighted.
The general manager of the Mussel Farmers Association of Chile (AmiChile), Johana González, said that while they disagree on the resolution that has been passed by Subpesca, they consider that "it should not cause further inconvenience."
By Analia Murias