SERNAPESCA officials seized 22 tons of Chilean kelp in a processing plant. (Photo: Sernapesca)
22 tons of Chilean kelp valued at over USD 15,000 seized
Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Officials of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA) of Atacama Region, together with Carabineros, managed to seize 22,000 kilos of Chilean kelp from a processing plant located in Caldera. This species has a closed collection quota and only the collection of natural stranding by authorized fishermen is allowed.
Guillermo Mery, SERNAPESCA regional director, explained that in the proceeding, the found resource showed evident traces of having been barred, that is, uprooted out with the help of some forceful element.
"We have received a lot of complaints from organizations due to the illegal algae collection from the coast, after the inquiries we went to the plant, we were not allowed to enter and we entered with policemen detecting 22 tonnes of Chilean kelp, barred and without legal accreditation. Theser 22 tonnes correspond to about CLP 10 million (USD 15,700) and if we transform it into wet seaweed are about 58 tonnes that were collected and marketed illegally," explained the regional fisheries authority.
The seized resource was diverted to landfill and the respective citation was sent to the local court for infringement of the fishing act and obstruction to the control.
SERNAPESCA regional director also explained that at the regional level, the collection quota of seaweed has already been completed and during this period only the collection of stranding resource by registered fishermen and from management areas that must have the legal origin accreditation from SERNAPESCA is authorised.
This operation is part of the joint control plan promoted by SERNAPESCA with other services to combat the algae illegal collection by those who do not register permits or fail to comply with the regulations that seek to protect the sustainability of this important resource of regional fishing activity.