Chile’s Deputy Chamber gave the green light to the main rules of the proposed Fisheries Act. These include those relating to the agreement signed between the Minister of Economy and senators to establish fishing tender for 20 years, with possible renewal, for the industrial sector.

“We can say that the main provisions of this law have been passed,” stated the minister Pablo Longueira after becoming aware of the deputies’ decisions.

“This is a great law that sets the resource sustainability as the main objective,” he added.

Some items were sent to a Joint Commission, but the Economy Minister clarified that these are rules that the government admitted that could be improved, and they are not the most relevant ones, Diario Financiero reported.

With regard to the criticism about the tenders for 20 years for industrial fishers, Longueira emphasized that it is necessary not to forget that, in fact, “the permits for the industrial sector today are in perpetuity, they are indefinite.”

“The agreement with the Christian Democrats (DC) determined that they are no longer indefinite, they will have a deadline and if after that period the owner complies with the requirements of sustainability, they may be renewed, otherwise, they are obsolete,” he highlighted.

Senator Antonio Horvath stressed: “There were two voting sessions so that 1 per cent that is destined to SMEs for human consumption is set for all fisheries. There was consensus for small-scale pelagic fisheries, such as horse mackerel, sardines, anchovies, mackerel; and on Wednesday we will decide which other species will be risen.”

Moreover, “as to patent, it was increased from 3.3 per cent to 4.2 per cent of the commercial value of the species to ensure government revenues, thus avoiding the occurrence of a decline in these revenues due to the reduction in the capture amount,” said the senator.

Senator Fulvio Rossi believes: “What is really relevant is that it is focused on the sustainability of the resources and scientific committees are established to determine each resource quota.”

“The issue of the tender of 15 per cent was re-established in all events, leaving the collapsed fisheries outside,” added the senator.

While Senator Jaime Orpis appreciated the work done by the Joint Commission, since “a lot of progress was made and there were only a few issues related to patents, the royalty and some transitional rules remained pending because from the rest almost everything was passed.”

Meanwhile, the first vice president of the Lower House, Carlos Recondo, stated that “one of the reasons why it was necessary to enact this bill was the reality of the Chile fishing sector,” El Repuertero reported.

“All the fisheries, without exception, are in a state of dilapidation and some in sharp collapse. If we do not assume the focus of sustainability, there will be no fishing activity for the future,” he concluded.

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