Five companies, led by the Stengel, Sarquis, Santa Cruz, Bohorodzaner, Fosk, Angelini, Izquierdo and Norwegian capitals, are currently active in the cuttlefish industry through Pacific Blue, Pesquera Landes, Foodcorp and Alimar. and Orizon.
Indeed, they and other 90 companies – made up of firms of different sizes – are now threatened, according to their union representatives, by the legal changes they want to make to capture the cuttlefish, a resource that is 100% human consumption and whose extraction quota is 20% in the hands of the industrial sector, which fishes around 40 thousand tons per year, generating around 8,500 direct and indirect jobs.
A few weeks ago, the so-called Lei das Chocos was passed in Congress, a legal initiative that was presented for processing in 2014 by DC lawmakers and which, based on sustainability arguments, states that poteras and the hand line are the only ones fishing (formats) through which cuttlefish can be mined throughout the country. As a result, the regulation annulled trawling, a tool used by industry, but through medium-water networks, which despite dragging all the resources that are in its path, do not reach the bottom of the sea.
For this situation, the government announcement on the admission of an additive veto, which added as a fishing gear, the fence was added on Wednesday. The measure set fire to the prairie since it was rejected by both the artisanal world – which was satisfied with the law of shocks as it was – and by the industrialized world, whose workers began a strike on January 9 and They announced that they will be presented at La Currency during this day.
Despite the above, 20 artisanal seiner organizations supported the Government veto, indicating that it "did justice". This, given that the Cuttlefish Law applied fines of $ 25 million if this species were caught with another art, which could happen when you wanted to extract other resources through the fence.
Ciro Oyarzún, a biologist at the Department of Oceanography at the University of Concepción and a member of the Scientific Committee on demersal resources in the south-central region – which deals with the cuttlefish – criticized that the decision on the capture of the resource wants to be imposed with political and non-scientific criteria .
"This is a very bad project, the very genesis of the initiative is that a fishing resource is sought in a certain way. So here is a curious fact, because suddenly the Chamber of Deputies becomes a specialist in fishing and decides which is the technique of capturing a resource, which, according to current law, is a matter for Subpesca to determine, "he pointed out.
He also criticized that the measures that are being adopted do not achieve the sustainability objectives that are sought, since what should have been applied in the case of fishing care should tend to reduce the catch quotas for both artisanal sector, as well as industry, and also decrease the number of actors involved.
On the other hand, and regarding the veto that the Government will enter, stressed that the measure could be applied in industry, although gradually so that companies change their fishing gear. However, he questioned the quality of the cuttlefish with him.
"It is true that potera and the hand line are more environmentally friendly than trawling, but it is necessary to clarify that the medium water trawl, conceived even with windows of the fish and that used by the Chilean industry, is not what causes damage to the seabed, "he said. With that, he points out that it is true that with purse seine the product ends up being eaten and crushed, "then the question is, what quality will the cuttlefish be," he said.
Concepts of the dispute
- Potera: fishing tool that has a circle formed by hooks and used to extract squid.
- Fence: uses a net that reaches a medium depth and that when closed of one of its extremities captures the fishing.
- Hand line: usually nylon line at the end of which is placed a bait hook that is bitten by the prey.
- Medium-sized trawling: a network that trawls resources but does not reach the seabed.
Government insists on eliminating cuttlefish trawling
Contrary to what was expected and despite the fact that the government had already been against the Ley de Chocos that was processed in Congress, the executive eventually did not go to the Constitutional Court and on Wednesday announced that a veto will be introduced, in which he will keep the but will add the siege, including technical studies in this regard, as fishing equipment.
Craft fishermen require law enforcement approved
The protests of the artisanal fishermen that took several days were aggravated after the announcement of the veto that the government will enter.
This, since they require the Executive to enact the law that has already passed the Congress and that establishes that the potera and the line of hand are the only tools allowed to capture the cuttlefish.
Despite this, there are different positions depending on the area.
Industry criticizes government law and veto
From the industrial sector, they criticize that decisions are made on political and non-technical criteria.
They further say that none of the catching techniques being proposed serve the industry. In the case of the fence, they point out that the tool damages the resource and that the vessels do not have ice deposits, which will eventually result in the resource not being suitable for human consumption.