Sernapesca certifies first industrial fishing vessels with onboard cameras
Monday, January 27, 2020, 00:00 (GMT + 9)
Nine industrial vessels have already been certified in the northern part of Chile, within the framework of the implementation of Law 20.625, also known as the "Discard Law". The regulation seeks to provide Sernapesca with new technological tools for monitoring and control of fishing activities on the high seas, especially the catches that are returned to the sea, a practice known as "discard".
Photo: courtesy elreporterodeiquique.com
For this, the Regional Department of Sernapesca Tarapacá has inspected the image registration devices (DRI) that must be installed and maintained by all industrial vessels during their fishing trips. These cameras will detect and record all discard actions that occur on board, in order to know their percentages and take measures that contribute to their decline, for the development of more sustainable fisheries.
This was explained by Sernapesca Tarapacá regional director Marcelo Moreno, who indicated that the certification of the devices began on January 16, with three ships of Corpesca, and that the process continued on Tuesday with six other ships of Camanchaca.
"This represents a milestone of great importance in terms of fisheries control in the northern part of the country, because it gives us a powerful tool to monitor what happens on each fishing trip, and achieve the reduction of discards, which is one of the main fishing problems in the world, since it threatens the sustainability of this activity," said Moreno.
The Hydrobiological Species Discard Act requires industrial and artisanal fishing vessels - equal or greater than 15 meters - to use image recording devices to detect and probe discard and incidental fishing activities. Its implementation will be done gradually, starting this year with the industrial vessels and from there implementing the mandatory for smaller vessels.
This regulation considers recommendations of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), as well as suggestions from various international fisheries forums.
The Law defines discarding as the action of returning captured hydrobiological species to the sea; and incidental catches as those made up of species that are not part of the accompanying fauna. According to the latest FAO update, the average discard rate in the world's fisheries is at least 10.8%. This indicates that average discards may reach over 9 million tons per year for a total of 85 million tons captured annually.
Vessels that have not implemented the rule or that alter the information are exposed to a fine of 20 to 300 monthly tax units (UTM), and the captain or ship master could be sanctioned with 3 to 30 UTM. (The value of the UTM today is CLP 49,673 - USD 64)