FAO helps Uruguay to enhance its fishing system

The Uruguayan government invested a total of USD 4.59 million between 2007 and 2013 to strengthen the national fisheries sector through the development of the Fisheries Management Project in Uruguay.

This initiative was launched by the National Aquatic Resources Directorate (Dinara), together with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

As reported by the FAO, some of the achievements of the initiative were:

.- Developing a strategy for the sustainable development of the sector;

.- Updating the knowledge on key fisheries resources;

.- Starting marine fish farming experiences;

.- Formulating a new regulatory framework for fisheries and aquaculture.

Uruguay has a coastline of over 700 kilometres on Rio de la Plata and the Atlantic Ocean, and up to the early 70s, the fishing activity was artisanal, focusing primarily on catching croaker and whiting on the coast, and hake in deeper waters.

During these years, industrial fishing diversified significantly and there were changes in the relative importance of the species being unloaded. In 2007, four species accounted for 70 per cent of landings: hake, croaker, squid and blue whiting.

On this occasion, the Government of Uruguay requested FAO assistance to modernize the institutional structure of Dinara and review the political, strategic and legal fishing framework. It also sought to update the knowledge on the main captured resources, adapt the characteristics of fishery products to international requirements and promote the development of aquaculture as a productive alternative, FAO explained.

The report notes that “there has been significant progress in the generation of knowledge about aquatic resources from Uruguay.” While the work focused on the main species captured, attention was also given “to generate knowledge about further new species to promote greater diversification of fisheries production.”

The project has also helped to spread the cultivation of fresh water species, such as catfish and silver smelt, and it has shown promising results in the early experiences in sole and forkbread marine culture.

In addition, the final report states that the monitoring of fishing fleets was strengthened with the improved satellite monitoring system of the fleet and the generation of real-time data.

Source: Analia Murias | http://www.fis.com

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