PROGRESS ON CHILE'S NEW FISHERIES ACT
Good progress is being made on the regulations which will implement the new Fisheries Act in Chile. By the end of this year the 12 regulations will be in place, enabling setting of quota for 2014 based primarily on scientific considerations, rather than economic or political pressures.
This was confirmed on October 11 by the head of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca), Pablo Galilea.
Galilea emphasised that the changes implemented by the new Fisheries Act will entail "sacrifices in the present to have positive achievements in the future" in order to be successful in the recovery of the main fisheries in the country.
The Fisheries Act limits the powers of the Minister of Economy, Felix de Vicente; and the Undersecretary of Fisheries, so they can only decide on the extent of the allowable catch quota for the following year within the range specified by the Scientific Committee.
"We are also aware that it is a complex moment because with the new system of decision-making where science comes first, it's likely that the quotas will be equal to or lower than those last year," the Undersecretary of Fisheries stated.
And he added that "to get ahead it is necessary to have everybody’s willingness to do so."
The Fisheries Act, enacted on February 9, 2013, provides for the establishment of scientific and technical committees as a tool to achieve the sustainability of the fisheries resources by placing the scientific criteria over the economic and political considerations. The names of the 28 experts who make up the eight Scientific and Technical Committee for Fisheries were announced on October 7. Scientific committees
The scientists who make up these committees should take major fishery management decisions, such as quota or ban setting for the main Chilean fish species.
Galilea also emphasised the promotion of small-scale aquaculture by the national government.
"We believe that we must look for activities that allow fishermen to improve their income, with greater stability over time, especially in times of closures or during environmental phenomena affecting the availability of resources," he said.
"We are aware that we must invest more in fisheries research as it is key to making good public policy decisions," he concluded.
In December 2013, the fishing quotas for 2014 will be adopted under the new rules.
Source: multiple reports including FIS