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Quota Standard Talks Will Travel The Country

Sustainability Politics +2 more

CHILE - A law concerning the maximum catch limit per ship will expire in December 2012. With this in mind, the Chilean government must create a new Fisheries Act to govern the allocation of fisheries over the next 20 years.

Senator Antonio Horvath, Chairman of the Committee on Fisheries, pointed out that not all players involved were represented at agreement reached by the Fisheries Roundtable. For the new standard, he added that more views will be taken into account through sessions in different regions, allowing greater participation.

Mr Horvath said that all organisations will be listened too in the coming week - not only to ensure a fair system is put in place, but also to ensure that the investigation is thorough to eventually allow the recovery of marine ecosystems.

The history of any current agreements in place have been assessed, to look at how fisheries allocations will be split over the next 20 years.

Mr Horvath said that it was important that an agreement was reached that would allow fisheries performance to be analysed - taking into consideration the different ecosystems and their recovery.

He added that by looking at past quota allocations, it can be seen how to discuss the maximum catch limit per ship, will expire in December 2012. This is a way to allocate different quota segments into a global one.

It is set annually among handcraft fishermen and the fish industry. Regarding the fish industry, the quota is an average of past allocations and administrative permits.

From his point of view, this method has only worked partially. There have been some superimposed global quotas, allocated in the past, which have lead to overexploitation of some marine resources, for example, as with mackerel.

He added that it was necessary to improve organisations because the fish industry is weak in terms of supervision and control ability, as well as obeying the law.

Pablo Longueira, Ministry of Economy, described this agreement as "historical". He also stated the most important fish industry players took part in the roundtable.

He specified that the next Fisheries Standard will be sent to Parliament to be approved and will include significant changes on supervision and control.

Regarding mackerel captures, the agreement indicates that quota will be increased from five to 10 per cent for handcraft fishermen in Arica, Parinacota and Los Lagos regions.

On the other hand, the hake quota will be increased from 50 to 60 per cent for those in the South. It will be decreased from 50 to 40 per cent for commercial fishermen.