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The National Society of Industries and the National Society of Artisanal Fishing of Peru (SONAPESCAL)

Fishing sector welcomes government announcement to combat illegal fishing by foreign vessels in national territory

Click on the flag for more information about Peru PERU
Monday, June 24, 2024, 02:00 (GMT + 9)

Given the numerous complaints from artisanal fishermen and the evidence that at least one Chinese vessel would have been fishing illegally within 200 maritime miles and then enter Peru to use its ports, the Ministry of Production (Produce) has announced that it will soon publish a regulatory reform to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

On May 19, news shocked the national fishing sector, revealing the excessive permissiveness with which PRODUCE sanctioned the Chinese vessel, the Tian Xiang, with the ridiculous sum of 250 soles for apparently having fished illegally in the Peruvian sea.

This case, along with other complaints spread by artisanal fishermen on social platforms such as Facebook and Tik Tok, as well as by organizations such as the National Society of Industries and the National Society of Artisanal Fishing of Peru (SONAPESCAL), appear to be the result of possible negligence by the previous efforts of the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE).

In 2023, various actors and experts on the subject alerted the country about the risks of massive entry and without adequate satellite control of the Asian fleet that fishes for squid near the 200-mile limit and then enters the ports of Peru to receive various services, including shipyard maintenance, changing crew and renewing certificates.

However, these alerts were not heeded because, according to SONAPESCAL, more than 150 ships entered the ports of Callao and Chimbote that year.

In response to this and in an effort to correct these deficiencies, the Minister of Production, Sergio Gonzales, has recently announced that his administration is working on an Emergency Decree (DU) to be more incisive in the control and supervision of activities. illegal fishing.

This fact has been welcomed by the actors who are part of the extractive sector of the squid fishery in Peru.

“We must recognize that after a long time, finally, PRODUCE, through the current management, has accepted the existence of a major problem related to the permissiveness that hundreds of foreign squid boats have enjoyed to enter our ports without adequate control,” indicated Elsa Vega, president of SONAPESCAL.

She added that they have been allowed to enter even when this flouts an existing norm that requires them to have a national ship monitoring system (SISESAT).

Finally, Vega pointed out that SONAPESCAL will be vigilant and attentive to PRODUCE's proposal, which they hope will serve to stop the operational support granted to it.

these fleets to enter Peru to use their services, despite being questioned for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

It should be noted that the proposed regulation aims to establish a new mechanism so that the Peruvian Government can report to international entities, such as the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO-PS), foreign vessels that infringe Peruvian jurisdiction. thus seeking an appropriate sanction, which could include the revocation of their fishing permits.

Likewise, this regulation will allocate 27.5 million soles for the acquisition of two new patrol boats, which will be added to the four acquired in 2021 and 2023.

For his part, Alfonso Miranda Eyzaguirre, president of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee of the National Society of Industries, stated that this announcement provides a positive signal for the national fishing sector and for the markets, which are vigilantly observing what Peru is going to do to reduce the risks of providing logistical and port facilities to ships involved in illegal fishing.

“This is a first step and we hope that this reform, and those that may be taken in the future, contribute to better control of the vessels that capture squid on the high seas, which severely impact the sustainability of the species and compete unfairly with our fleet. artisanal artisanal fleet,” said Miranda.

As recalled, during his visit to Piura, the Minister of Production indicated that the regulatory proposal is being socialized at the level of the ministries involved and that technological control is also being intensively promoted through vessel identification platforms, such as the Satellite Vessel Tracking System (SISESAT), the Navy's Aquatic Traffic Identification and Monitoring System (SIMTRAC) and the Fishing and Aquaculture Traceability System (SITRAPESCA).

In this regard, Miranda Eyzaguirre pointed out that, a few weeks after celebrating the International Day of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) and World Oceans Day, Peru has commitments to assume to ensure the sustainability of its resources. marine and equity in fishing activity.

“The regulatory reforms and the control of foreign fleets entering Peru represent a necessary advance and a fact that, according to actors in the sector, has been relegated for many years,” he concluded.

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