Signing the agreement to struggle against illegal fishing in the high seas. (Photo: Subpesa)
High seas illegal fishing struggle formalised
Friday, September 07, 2012, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
Government agencies and national fisheries organisations signed an agreement setting a procedure for the notification of the sighting of foreign flagged vessels conducting illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing in an offshore area adjacent to the Chilean EEZ.
The initiative is promoted by the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca), the Directorate General of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine of the Chilean Navy (Directemar), the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca), industrial fishing unions, unions of fishing chiefs and the association of fishing captains at sea.
According to the Undersecretary of Fisheries, Pablo Galilea, after the country's entry to the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), the signing of this agreement is an important step for the Chilean fishing industry.
"It is necessary for Chile to adopt a surveillance attitude towards the behaviour of foreign ships operating just outside our 200 miles, especially on horse mackerel, which is a trans-zone resource," the head of Subpesca pointed out.
And he added: "This initiative also impacts on other resources of great interest to our country on which foreign ships operate, such as swordfish, even though this is a resource that is not regulated by SPRFMO."
Galilea explained that Chile considers it necessary to formalise this voluntary commitment by signing this public-private cooperation agreement. "We have to assume that the protection of that wide sea area is everybody's job," he pointed out.
The newly signed agreement states that the captain of a national flagged ship, operating in national or international waters who sights a foreign-flagged ship in an offshore area adjacent to the Chilean EEZ performing or likely to perform fishing activities, or supporting this activity, will document the information according to an agreed protocol, which will be reported to the authorities.
The data the captains must take into account is: name, flag, vessel type and description, its area of operation, the geographical coordinates of the location, date and time of the sighting, a photographic record and details of the fishing activities performed by foreign-flagged vessel.
By Analia Murias