Chilean fishing fleet ships. (Photo: Juan Pablo Figueroa Lasch/ICIJ)
Senators approve 20 year industrial fishing permits
Monday, November 26, 2012, 02:30 (GMT + 9)
As part of the discussion of the Fisheries Act, the Chilean senators approved the indication stating that industrial fishing permits will be temporary and will be valid for 20 years. This was one of the most controversial issues of the bill.
Other issues are pending, such as the procurement of fishing concessions because the Senate floor decided to suspend the extended session on Thursday. Discussions will resume on 27 and 28 November.
The Senate approved article 26 A of the agreement, which states that "those fisheries that are declared in full operation and a global catch quota is set, will be granted tradable fishing permits Class A to fishing permit holders, modifying these fishing authorizations so as to eliminate the resource subject to tradable fishing permits," La Tercera reported.
In addition, senators approved article 26 B related to the revocation of fishing permits, and the drafting of the article that the Chancellery made, indicating that aquatic resources are under the sovereignty of the State of Chile in inland waters, internal waters and territorial sea, and as well as its sovereign rights and jurisdiction in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the continental shelf, in accordance with the rules of international law and of this Act.
"With a different atmosphere, we expect that on Tuesday the general mood is the idea to vote as a package, advance and vote for issues that remain pending, but the most difficult issues have been resolved," said Economy Minister Pablo Longueira.
"The processing of the bill in the Senate, where there has been a more ideological viewpoint, was really different," he added.
Meanwhile, Senators Guido Girardi, Eugenio Tuma and Alejandro Navarro said that they would recur to the Constitutional Court (TC) and to international organizations if the Fisheries Act is approved.
"What we have is an agreement between the Executive and half the opposition senators, but those in the other half made a fierce condemnation of the law," noted Girardi.
"This standard is based on arguments that do not correspond to reality, creates a profound problem of exploitation, implies a huge unconditional business per year for large fishing firms and that is huge damage to the national heritage, it is a tailor made suit for big fishing companies," the legislator added.
Meanwhile, Navarro warned: "This is a mess and we are not available for a platform of an opposition government that does not consider a review of the Act if it becomes adopted," Diario Financiero reported.
Instead, Senator Juan Antonio Coloma said they will support this bill "because it is better than the previous two, and it is one of the laws passed after a lot of public consultation."
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