Mussel concession relocation law enters into force
Friday, November 22, 2019, 06:40 (GMT + 9)
The legislation will strengthen, for example, small-scale aquaculture activities, by creating the figure of the special permit for collecting mussel seeds, outside of concessions and management areas in charge of fishermen (AMERB).
Law No. 21,183 on the relocation of concessions for mitilides (mussels or 'choritos') has already entered into force in Chile, after being published on Thursday in the Official Gazette. This law extends the relocation of aquaculture concessions to farming centers other than salmon, which includes mussels (mitilides), pelillo (a seaweed type), and oysters, among other resources.
Relocation of farming centers with location problems - derived from cartographic complications - benefits medium and small producers, by granting them greater legal certainty.
The application of this law will also allow the continuation of the processing of around 800 applications for seaweed and mussel concessions - submitted by small farmers - that have been trapped since 2015.
In addition, it will strengthen small-scale aquaculture activities, by creating the figure of the special permit for collection of mussel seeds outside the concessions and management areas in charge of fishermen, a long-standing desire of the sector.
In short, the new law will favor almost 2,000 existing aquaculture concessions throughout the country. Of these, 1,581 are located in Los Lagos Region (1,064 of mollusks, and 517 of seaweed).
In that area, mitiliculture generates about 17,000 direct and indirect jobs, and the figure could increase from the full application of this law.
Until now, seed collectors had to renew annually the permits to carry out their task. The new law, on the other hand, establishes a validity of 10 years for these authorizations.
After salmon, miticulture is the second most relevant activity within the national aquaculture industry. In 2018, harvests and exports of ‘choritos’ reached 367,709 tons and USD 210 million, respectively.
About 619 companies (89% of them SMEs) participate in this productive sector, together with more than 20 processing plants and over 40 export agents.
Chile is the second largest producer of mussels, behind China, as well as the world's leading exporter of this mollusc.