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Chile Begins Initiative to Protect Fisheries, Aquaculture from Climate Change

Alice Mitchell
29 April 2015, at 1:00am

CHILE - The Chilean government has begun an initiative to make the country's fisheries and aquaculture sector more resilient to climate change.

The project was announced by the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Ministry of Environment of Chile (MMA), with the support of the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

At the launching ceremony of the project initiative, the FAO Deputy Regional Representative in Chile, Dr Eve Crowley, said it is essential to work together in producing "a project for Chile to be prepared to face in a planned fashion threats that climate change poses to the fisheries and aquaculture sector."

"In fact, this phenomenon adds to new challenges currently facing the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, such as overfishing, habitat loss and pollution," she said.

The initiative, which then could be replicated in other countries of the continent, received technical clearance for its development through the GEF-SCCF (Special Trust Fund on Climate Change).

The Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Raul Súnico said that climate change represents a new challenge for public sector policies, and "we must be prepared and together make these effects as low as possible in fishing and aquaculture communities."

Representing the Ministry of Environment, the chief of the Division of Air Quality and Climate Change, Sebastian Tolvet, added: "We are a vulnerable country as evidenced by the recent volcanic events in South and rains in the north.

"In this perspective it is important to incorporate knowledge about climate change from universities and other institutions so that we achieve, in the case of fisheries, projects to make better use of resources."