April 26, 2013

Chile presents new fisheries law



In order to ensure sustainability of fishery resources, Chile has presented a new fisheries law, taking into account the welfare of those depending on this economic activity.


Pablo Galilea, vice-minister of Fishing, announced that everybody wins with the new law - the environment, the fishermen, fisheries resources, small and medium enterprises, and the Chilean people.


"Chile is one of the top 10 world powers in fisheries and aquaculture. From the South of the American continent we export seafood to over 100 destinations. We are leaders in trout farming and the second largest producer of salmon in the world. Chile is also the most important provider of mussels from Latin America to the European market. But our work does not end with supply. Since 2010 we have completely overhauled our salmon production model and in 2013, a new Fisheries Law was enacted that will provide stability and sustainability to this sector. We aim to provide a range of high quality seafood products to European and emerging markets, with sustainable fisheries and aquaculture production at its core," he said.


With the new fisheries law, Chile continues the work started in 2010, when a package of measures was agreed to help restructure the aquaculture sector after it was hit by the ISA virus. Extensive cooperation and collaboration between the public and private sectors resulted in a radical change in Chilean legislation for aquaculture, aimed at food safety and the prevention of disease-related problems in the future. The government strictly inspects and takes action in the case of violations. Moreover, these measures have also had an extensive and favourable effect in terms of environmental impact.


"Growth ambitions for production and export of Chilean food products, including seafood, are based on the principle of sustainable development. Both public and private sectors in Chile are convinced that it is of vital importance to achieve a balance between growth and the protection of natural resources," said Galilea.


Legislation and trade agreements aim to achieve higher levels of sustainability and to stimulate corporate social responsibility. In terms of fisheries and aquaculture expansion, opportunities for industrial development and the conservation of small-scale fisheries go hand in hand.


A famous product from Chile is mussels. The annual production is around 220,000 tonnes. This sector employs more than 17,000 people, directly and indirectly, in the south of Chile. Recently the main Mussel Producers Association (AMICHILE), created the Patagonia Mussel brand, to highlight the distinctive attributes of the Chilean mussel.


The plants where the mussels are processed and packaged are located in Chiloé and in the surroundings of Puerto Montt. They rely on the most modern technology in the world to comply with the highest quality standards and sanitary regulations. Production capacity of the largest plants exceeds 160 tonnes of fresh mussels per day, and they employ more than 400 people at the height of the season.


María Eugenia Wagner, President of SalmonChile said: "We have a wide range of products that allows us to satisfy the most diverse needs of the international market. We export to over 60 countries around the world, including Japan, USA Dubai, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, Tahiti and Russia. The Chilean salmon industry operates to the highest standards of quality and labour practices, and adheres to strict environmental standards in order to deliver a product that represents the pride of the country. It is also a certified industry, with over 60% of the industry operating to GLOBAL GAP standard."