Unprecedented joint efforts for hake fishery sustainability in Chile

A national pioneering project designed to contribute to the sustainable management of the hake fishery was launched recently in Valparaiso.

The initiative is funded by the State Department of the United States and implemented by WWF Chile, in partnership with the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca), the Laboratory of Fisheries Technology (Tecpes) and the Law of the Sea Programme, both from the Catholic University of Valparaiso (PUCV).

The promoters of the project ‘Improvement of fisheries management in Chile: Using the Hake Fishery Recovery Plan as a framework for sustainable fishing’ intend to perform multiple studies, training to artisan fishermen and government officials.

Besides, they will recommend capture practices and technology that are environmentally friendly and allow a better economy for the artisanal sector.

Undersecretary of Fisheries Pablo Galilea stressed that the sustainability of fisheries resources is key to maintaining this activity in the long term, which is why the Government has implemented a profound change in the new Fisheries Act.

“So our responsibility is to develop tools and alliances with other players, as it is the case with WWF Chile and PUCV, which makes it possible to advance in the recovery of the fisheries state, especially those that are so important to coastal economies such as the common hake”, he added.

Galilea recalled that in 10 years there has been a fall by a third in the catch quota volume for hake.

“This project makes it possible to complement the work of the management plans as it is required by the new act,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo Catalan, Conservation Director of WWF Chile, pointed out: “This is an unprecedented event in Chile, in which the government, the academy and an international NGO are working together to provide solutions to the sustainability problem currently faced by the hake fishery, which is overexploited at present, with special consideration to the artisanal sector”.

Osvaldo Urrutia, director of the Law of the Sea Programme of PUCV, stressed that this project is “particularly important” because it is “an excellent opportunity to contribute concrete proposals and activities from the academy to help improve the management of one of the most important fishery resources for the country”.

Eduardo Quiroz, president of the Caleta Portales Union, also welcomed the initiative.

“We expect the resource recovery through these four lines presenting the project and for that reason they will have our support, as artisanal fishermen are fundamental to the common hake recovery,” added the official.

This initiative will be extended until April 2015 and foresees a budget of USD 316,000. Out of that total, Tecpes will provide USD 25,000 and WWF Chile, USD 41,000.

Source | http://www.fis.com