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Artisanal fishing vessels. (Photo: Stock File)

Parlatino approves first small-scale fishing model act

  (CHILE, 6/22/2017)

The Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (Parlatino) has created the first small-scale fishing model act in the world, which will serve as an example for countries to strengthen this key sector for food and nutrition security.

The act, passed during the latest general assembly of that body, is a legal frame of reference that the countries can use as a basis for developing their own national policies and laws to support millions of people who depend on artisanal fishing as their main livelihood, reported the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported.

According to FAO, more than 2.3 million people work in fisheries in the region and most of them do so on a small scale.

Each year, the fishing industry in Latin America and the Caribbean generates more than 11 million tonnes of products from catches in seas and inland waters but artisanal fishermen face serious constraints vis-à-vis the major operators in the sector.

"This act provides tools to recognize and protect access rights for small-scale fisheries," explained Armando Castaingdebat, president of the Parlatino Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

According to Alejandro Flores, FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer, "the guidelines and recommendations of the new act make it possible to strengthen the sector's sustainability and promote its contribution to the eradication of hunger and poverty."

The Model Act contains 10 chapters that refer to key issues for the development of the sector such as the fishing registry, the generation of information for decision-making and the rights and duties of those working in the sector.

The act specifically refers to the International Action Plan against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, disaster risk management and the adaptation of the sector to climate change.

In addition, it promotes the gender approach and the inclusion of fishermen and fishers in social protection systems with productive inclusion.

The new act was developed with technical support from FAO, Mexican cooperation (through Mesoamerica without Hunger), Spanish cooperation (through the Spain/FAO program), and the Parliamentary Front against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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