Giant squid, Dosidicus gigas. (Photo: Chamber of Deputies)
Senate approves trawling ban for giant squid
Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 22:00 (GMT + 9)
The Chamber of the Senate finally approved the motion by majority, in second constitutional procedure, which modifies the General Fisheries and Aquaculture Law in order to regulate giant squid catch, putting an end to trawling to catch this cephalopod.
The bill was approved by 27 votes in favour, 2 against and 2 abstentions, and the senators also agreed to set a deadline for indications on Monday, October 29.
In the opinion of derogatory parliamentarians, the proposal has biases of unconstitutionality, so they did not rule out going to the Constitutional Court.
In short, the legal text regulates the catch of the giant squid resource (Dosidicus gigas), allowing only the use of a rig called jigger (formed by a piece of lead whose lower part is constituted by a considerable number of hooks, without arrowheads) and hand-line gear. In addition, it proposes a sanction with a fine of 500 UTM (CLP 24 million/USD 35,190, approximately) and the confiscation of hydrobiological species and the products derived from them, to shipowners who violate this rule.
The bill is based on the fact that in recent years the giant squid fishery has replaced others that are in crisis, especially affecting artisanal fishermen, which, according to the respective registry, would be some 500,000 people, considering direct and indirect jobs.
Fishermen’s Cove of Guayacán and founding member of the National Coordination of the giant squid Pascual Aguilera described the general vote of the Senate "as a defeat to the bench of the seven families."
"This is a signal from Congress to begin to clean up doubts that may exist regarding the relationship of the fishing industry with politics. We believe that this is a correct signal, and that it gives us hope that, if this continues, we can also eliminate the Fisheries Law," Aguilera said.
Meanwhile, FENASPAR Chile president Hernán Cortés indicated that "fishing companies’ horrifying campaign, paralyzing investments and threatening massive layoffs, have gone into the void. Today the Senators have made it clear that the industry can no longer demand privileges," he said.
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