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Operation against illegal fishing. (Photo: Sernapesca)

New barrier against illegal fishing proves effective

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Friday, August 10, 2018, 00:00 (GMT + 9)

Clams caught under legal minimum capture size and mussels and clams without accreditation of legal origin were part of the resources seized by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA) in the southern access to the Metropolitan Region.

The first SERNAPESCA inspection day in the newly opened fishing control barrier that will operate 24/7 in the southern access to the Metropolitan Region concluded with the seizure of almost 4 tonnes of fishing resources that are under size and without legal accreditation. This initiative is part of the framework of the action plan to combat illegal fishing implemented by the Government.

According to the balance, during the first day a total of 20 vehicles from the regions Los Lagos, Biobío and Valparaíso were controlled, among which the inspection teams detected two cargo trucks: one of them was transporting 700 kilos of clams under the minimum catch size (5.5 cm) while the second one was taking 1,575 kilos of clams, 1,320 kilos of mussels and 240 kilos of another kind of mussels, all without accreditation of legal origin.

The accreditation of legal origin is the document that together with the landing and/or invoice guide certifies that the hydrobiological resource and/or derivative product has a legal origin. This accreditation is part of the duties of the sectoral agent before the Fisheries Service that demonstrates that the captured, harvested, landed, processed, transported, stored or marketed resources comply with fisheries regulations and thus contribute to the sustainability of fisheries.

SERNAPESCA national director Alicia Gallardo valued the good result of this fishing barrier that, as she stated, aims to "control all the movement that at this minute, with the first barrier that is being implemented from the southern zone, reaches the Metropolitan Fishing Terminal and is able to control those products that do not comply with legality, with the minimum size or that are closed. "

Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture Eduardo Riquelme, given the result of the first operation hours of the fishing barrier in Paine, said: "With satisfaction we want to announce that in the first 24 hours of operation of the pilot barrier plan in Paine for the detection of illegal fishing, having controlled 20 trucks, two of them were found to carry four tons of illegal products, that is to say, in 10 per cent of the trucks inspected, illegal fishing was detected. The news indicates a measure that works and, therefore, there are still several days to conclude the 120-day pilot plan, but if everything follows its course of action, naturally we will project this measure to other parts of the country."

The background of both cases was made available to the Internal Revenue Service, to apply the procedures established in the Tax Code, if applicable.

Likewise, the transporters were summoned to the civil court for infringement of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Law and they risk fines ranging from CLP 143,187 to CLP 14,318,700 (USD 222.29 to 22,229).

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