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Southern hake ban awareness campaign begins

Southern hake, Merluccius australis. (Photo: Mazu)

Click on the flag for more information about ChileCHILE
Wednesday, August 05, 2015, 03:30 (GMT + 9)
The southern hake (Merluccius australis) ban awareness campaign has been officially launched in the Municipal Market of the town of Puerto Montt, with the aim of halting the resource capture, sale and consumption during the ban affecting the regions of Los Lagos to Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica.
The campaign 'Paremos El Merluzeo' (Let’s stop catching hake) is an administrative measure that extends throughout the month of August to protect the resource during its reproduction period.
The southern hake is one most consumed fish in southern Chile and was declared overexploited so it is running a serious risk of collapse or exhaustion.
The presentation of the campaign was attended by the coordinator of the South Fisheries Alliance Programme of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Juan Vilata; Lieutenant Colonel of Llanquihue Police Prefecture, Mauricio Santander; and representatives of artisanal fisheries and the regional director of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service(SERNAPESCA), Eduardo Aguilera.
SERNAPESCA officer stressed the commitment of this organization to "give effect to this measure that seeks the sustainability of the resource and also of artisanal fisheries".
Meanwhile, Vilata explained that the ban is a key tool that "should be accompanied by other actions, as the fulfillment of the quotas determined by the Scientific and Technical Committee, the elimination or reduction of discards, effective measures against illegal fishing and protection of key areas to the species, such as spawning grounds and juvenile feeding areas," Aqua reported.
In addition, he said that all this must be done "without losing sight of fishermen’s social issue and the role of trade and consumers."
On the other hand, Rodrigo Aguilar, representative of Fishermen’s National Confederation of Chile (CONAPACH) commented that the ban is the only month in the year when the resource has a break, and he said they are aware of the need to implement it to ensure the sustainability of the fishery.
Aguilera also recalled that, according to the Fisheries Act, they are entitled to seize catches and also transportation vehicles.
"We are basically focused not only on the sustainability of this resource, but also of artisanal fisheries and their jobs, therefore we are going be extremely strict in monitoring the activity during this month," he warned

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