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Obligation to use satellite positioning in artisanal vessels extended

Artisanal fishing boat. (Photo: Stock File)

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Monday, February 02, 2015, 00:20 (GMT + 9)
Fishermen in the Aysen region expressed dissatisfaction with the approval of a bill extending the installation of a satellite positioning device in artisanal fisheries vessels over 12 meters, until August 2015.
The regulation, which was supposed to take effect on 9 February, provides new tools to identify vessels that do not have permits for fishing operations in the region.
Therefore, fishermen emphasize that the use of a satellite positioning device or GPS becomes a powerful tool for both the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service(Sernapesca) and the Chilean Navy, to prevent and eradicate illegal fishing.
"We are not satisfied with the extension of the use of satellite positioning for six months," said Misael Ruiz, president of the Regional Council of Organizations of Artisanal Fishermen of Aysen Fjord and Archipelagos (Corfapa).
"However, this is better than to extend it for 18 months, which was the original proposal by a group of parliamentarians," he admitted.
For fishermen, "The important thing is that the deadline must be observed and that there is no more room now for excuses to avoid using a tool that seeks to protect the resources of our region, whose monitoring prevents ‘pirate’ fleets from elsewhere in the country to fish in the area".
After Senate approval to the extension for the entry into force of the Act, artisanal vessels will be able to install the satellite devices until 9 August.
The project notes that the General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture amended in 2013 considered that 12-meter length or larger vessels shall have to install satellite-positioning devices to enable their faster and safer location. It also stresses, “the measure involves an additional expense to the cost of operating the ship, making it a burden that artisanal fishing vessel owners are hardly able to bear."
The extension was supported by a majority (18 votes in favour, 10 against and 2 abstentions) and as reported by the Senate, "some of the reasons mentioned during the discussion were economic problems to meet the exemption that would only be applied once".

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