Deputy Jorge Ulloa was a member of the Fishing Commission who cast a negative vote. (Photo: YouTube/CongresoChile)
Deputies’ committee rejected Fisheries Act article
Friday, July 06, 2012, 03:40 (GMT + 9)
During the discussion of the General Fisheries Bill, the article setting a tender for the fraction of the industrial quota received six votes in favour and five against.
At the Fisheries Committee of the Lower House, MPs Sergio Bobadilla, Jorge Ulloa, Frank Sauerbaum, Marta Isasi, Cristián Campos and Fidel Espinoza voted against it.
Ulloa explained that he rejected the article because "the bids are a valuable asset in different fields but in the case of fishing they do not contribute to boost resource management because the examples in the case of Russia, where there was a tremendous speculation or in the case of Chile, have not been successful."
What Chile validated for the Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (ORP) "is the assignment taking into account the background," the legislator pointed out.
"Thus, I think that considering ORP’s issue and maintaining a logical and coherent position, I think the fishing tender is inconvenient," he argued.
Meanwhile, Isasi stressed: "Workers and organizations have indicated they do not agree about the bid and about the fact that the work depends on quotas, so we believe the project should be restructured," Diario Financiero reported.
Despite the rejection, the head of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca), Pablo Galilea, said the national government will reinstate the article when the project is discussed in the Finance Committee.
"It's a key article that opens the possibility for new players to join. We disagree with those calling for 100 per cent tender or stating 100 per cent should be recognized of the historical rights forever; it is a balanced project in line with sustainability," he stated.
Meanwhile, artisanal fishermen intend to meet the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, to discuss the Fisheries Act.
In Lo Rojas cove, Bío Bío Region, the leaders demanded the presence of the Minister of Economy, Pablo Longueira, to discuss the issue that has resulted in the complaint expressed by hundreds of artisanal fishermen rejecting the rules proposed by the Executive.
Marta Espinoza, a spokesperson for eight unions of artisanal fishermen of Lo Rojas cove, asked Piñera and Longueira to contact the leaders. She warned that if the authorities are not involved, the protest will resume.
"The President said that the Fisheries Act would receive advice and artisanal fishermen that go out to sea were directly going to be consulted but the government has never sat down to work," she protested.
This demand "is just a commitment taken by the president to the industry," explained the spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Nelson Estrada, president of the National Confederation of Artisanal Fishermen (Codepa), said that "the protests are held because fishermen are not satisfied about the current legislation," Radio Bio Bio reported.
However, in a column published in Diario de Aysén, Galilea wrote: "No one could objectively point out that the Act to be modified favours industrial or artisanal sectors. Quite the contrary, it is based on the recovery and sustainability of the resources where both sectors will be benefitted."
"We need to resolve the situation of overexploitation of resources or their collapse, resulting in the long term sustainability and achieving the right balance for the survival and development of artisanal and industrial fisheries," he stressed out.
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By Analia Murias