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SalmonChile Urges Progress on a 'Short Agenda' to Resolve Regulatory and Permitting Obstacles in the Sector

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Thursday, July 11, 2024, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

The salmon world urged public-private sector actors to urgently advance a “short agenda” to boost the growth of the aquaculture industry, since otherwise the competitiveness and future of the sector is at stake.

Source: SalmonChile

Although the SalmonChile union entity recognizes that the future of the activity must be reviewed in the new Aquaculture Law - a project that the Executive plans to present during the first half of 2025 -, it warns of the need to work in parallel to unblock aspects regulatory and permitting requirements that allow greater growth in the activity. This will be one of the topics that the union will address this July 10 at the “Salmón Summit 2024”, an event attended by former president Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle; Ricardo Mewes, president of the Confederation of Production and Commerce (CPC); Rodrigo Yáñez, general secretary of Sofofa; Raphael Bergoeing, president of the National Evaluation and Productivity Commission (CNEP), among others.

In this context, Arturo Clément, president of SalmonChile, points out that in recent months they have proposed to different government authorities to move forward together on a “short agenda” to resolve regulatory and permit problems, which reflect a “series of restrictions that are coming.” not only of Subpesca, but also of the Environment.” Some examples in this matter have to do with the “delay in determining the regulations of the seabed law and the consequent operational problems for the producing companies, in addition to changes in criteria within days of planting that generate operational complexities and increased costs.”

“We have presented this short agenda to the Undersecretary of Fisheries (Julio Salas), which we are interested in advancing because we have too many administrative obstacles and permit issues that we need to improve,” he said.

However, representatives of the Executive have not confirmed their attendance at the event, despite the fact that the union assured that “everyone was invited” to discuss and lay the foundations for salmon farming by 2050. Regarding whether this is a sign about the interest of the Government in the salmon industry, Clément stated that "we have opened the avenues for dialogue, but I do not want to speculate whether they are going to come or not, I think they are the ones who have to give the answer."

In conversations with the Executive, the helmsman of SalmonChile explained that they have proposed a new schedule for the presentation of the Aquaculture Law, which is scheduled for next year, so it would not be enacted under the current mandate of Gabriel Boric. However, Clément maintained that with the agenda they proposed to the authorities, “perfectly, and without the need for a new law, we can solve many of the problems we have and generate more competitiveness and economic growth.”

“We raised it with the authority. The discussion of the aquaculture law is important, but much more important is to begin the discussion of this short agenda now. We have to do both things in parallel,” he said.

In September 2023, after the law that created the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Service (SBAP) was approved, Clément accused that the Government was trying to “suffocate” the industry through letters in which the Ministry of the Environment demanded that in When granting concessions, companies must comply with a management plan and that this economic activity must be “compatible” with the protection of the area.

Almost 10 months later, he assured that “we still feel that there are degrees of suffocation on the industry.” Clément warns that this is due to the “delays in regulations that should have been issued, and a series of obstacles that are coming from the environmental issue.”

While he noted that some regulations are moving slowly, such as the SBAP Act, “others are moving quite quickly.” “For example, Conaf is trying to draw up management plans before the regulations of the SBAP Law come out, as in the Kawésqar National Reserve,” he indicated. “We knew the draft, which we were never invited to discuss, and if that document were applied, Magallanes salmon farming would disappear, just like that. They propose that of all the concessions fulfilled in its first phase, none of them would be renewed. Therefore, within a period of 6 to 7 years, if these concessions are not renewed, salmon farming will disappear in Magallanes,” he explained.

Clément warns that this scenario is getting worse, considering that “in the last 10 years the average growth has been 1% per year.” “It is very likely that this year we will have a decrease for the first time in a long time, because everything is getting complicated for us with permits and the obstacles are limiting us.”

Source: SalmonChile (Translated from the original in Spanish)

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