Shrimp Industry At Threat

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
4 March 2010, at 12:00am

Ecuador - In a letter to the Ecuador aquaculture industry, Executive Chairman of the National Chamber of Aquaculture, Cesar Monge said that the shrimp farming sector is in danger of death.

"With great concern I must inform you all of the events in the last few hours which have put the country's shrimp producers at imminent risk, regardless of their location, size or characteristic."

In October 2009, the Government decided to initiate a review process of the sector's requirements previously established in the General Rules of the Law on Fisheries and Fisheries Development, to maintain or renew the country's shrimp concessions.

The Government's aim was that the industry not only complies with the provisions and processes traditionally required, but in addition, abides to requirements regarding employment, environmental, tax and health national laws.

And so began the reform of the General Regulations of the Fisheries Act and Fisheries Development. It should be mentioned that the National Chamber of Aquaculture never questioned the requirement of producers to comply with work requirements, environmental, tax and health, which already existed in the general laws.

At that time, the CNA supported the application of measures that allowed the oversight of laboratories of larvae, among other questions.

As recently as February 2010, the Subsecretariat of Aquaculture and the Coordinating Ministry of Production agreed on a definitive rough draft of the reform to the Regulation and sent it to the Presidency of the Republic for its subsequent signing.

It was announced on 26 February that new regulations and parameters for aquaculture concessions and shrimp had been signed.

However the National Chamber of Aquaculture was surprised at a number of changes.

The first been that it includes shrimp farming concessions, but also shrimp farming activity on high lands or private property.

The second is that is establishes a productive extension limit for both cases, of 50 hectares for individuals and 250 hectares per company or legal person, unlike the previous Regulation, where companies or concessionaires related to each other cannot exist.

In the case of private property or high lands, if the companies or legal people exceed these hectare limits, whether through a relative, corporate relationship or by themselves, the Authority will revoke the authorisation to carry out the activity, so that this remains established within the cited maximum limits, losing private production developed in ‘excess’.

Among the exigencies put forth to maintain or renew a concession, they contemplate absolutely subjective and radical norms that put all the concessions of the state and aquaculture activities in private property in danger, regardless of their size.

Mr Monte said that the National Chamber of Aquaculture will be completing a comprehensive legal and technical report on the subject to make it available across the sector. Mr Monge said he will also be meeting with all unions, association and cooperatives in the shrimp industry as soon as possible to implement a strategy of action to defend the industries rights.

"The application of some of these measures would represent a serious attack on the effort and private development of thousands of shrimp faming families in the country."