Photo: Courtesy Revista Puerto
Government sanction some jiggers for not complying with the squid reprocessing
Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 06:00 (GMT + 9)
The Subsecretatría de Pesca notified two shipowners for partially breaching the commitment to reprocess part of the catches on land. There are two other ships that did not comply in their entirety and will be fined 23 million pesos. There are also ships whose compliance is conditional.
The Dirección Nacional de Coordinación y Fiscalización Pesquera began to notify the fines to a series of jigger boats for not complying with the commitment to reprocess part of the squid catches, or partially fulfilling it, in land-based refrigerators, as established by the permit from fishing when assigned.
Last year there were 39 boats of the national jigging fleet that assumed the commitment to reprocess a percentage of their catch, which varies between 10% and more than 20% according to each fishing permit, although two boats did not participate in the harvest. This fleet had catches of almost 90 thousand tons and the objective of reprocessing is to generate added value and promote employment among fish workers.
Photo: Revista Puerto
Until the 2019 season, the shipowners could justify compliance with this commitment by presenting a sales invoice for the squid for reprocessing for the domestic market.
The abundant squid harvest that was registered last year came with a novelty that excited the fish processing workers. The enforcement authority modified Resolution 6/2008, which established effective compliance with the commitment to reprocess a percentage of the total squid catch in land-based factories for shipowners with permits that established it.
The shipowners had a deadline to reprocess the 2020 catches until February 28, 2021 and inform the authorities of the traceability of those tons until March 30. After more than two months of the deadline and with all the information provided by the shipowners companies, the National Directorate began to screen and work out infractions to those companies that did not comply or did so partially.
According to what REVISTA PUERTO learned, there are two ships, whose names have not been made public, at least for now, that completely breached the reprocessing commitment. Both vessels were responsible for reprocessing between 10% and 20% of their catches and they have been fined 300,000 Fishing Units (FU), the maximum penalty established by the Federal Fisheries Law.
Each FU is equivalent to the price of a liter of diesel that is sold in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The value of the FU is updated in April and October of each year. In this case they are about 23 million pesos(aprox US$ 241,500).
The names of these vessels were not disclosed because it is a file that is processed in the Dirección Nacional de Coordinación y Fiscalización Pesquera and from that agency they had not yet issued the notification of the sanction.
These two non-compliant vessels will not only receive an economic sanction, but this also entails a preventive suspension, which, in a closed fishery context, possibly becomes effective at the beginning of the 2022 harvest.
Meanwhile, the other jigger could not prove the reprocessing of 17 of the 183 tons that at least should add value on land. In this case, 28 thousand FU were applied, about 2.2 million pesos.
"Last year, in the middle of the first wave of the covid, it was very difficult for the body of inspectors to be able to control the unloading of the jiggers vessels and the preparation of the complementary acts established by Resolution 299 for when the squid was unloaded to be reprocessed in refrigerators", Suarez acknowledged.
At the beginning of this year, the National Directorate sent a note to all holders of fishing permits with a commitment to reprocessing, asking them to give notice, 72 hours in advance, when they would send squid to reprocessing plants.
“70% of those forced to reprocess notified and we were able to verify by auditing both Mar del Plata port, Deseado Port and Madryn Port. Others did not warn and we have these inconsistencies ", remarks the National Director.
The Undersecretariat of Fisheries has a separate group of jiggers who have presented documentation that proves compliance, but it is conditioned to the evaluation of the authorities.
"The situation is not the same in all cases, but the common denominator is that some supporting documentation is missing", Suárez summarized.