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Chile moves towards sustainable management of swordfish fishery

The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) approved the Chilean application to have status of Cooperating Non-Party. This action does not affect the operation of the national fleets on this resource.

Publicado: 02-may-2017

Valparaiso, 3 August: At the last Commission meeting of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) held in Mexico City between 25 and 28 July 2017, Chile was accepted as a Cooperating Non-Party of the organization. This status is valid for one year.

The Commission establishes two manners of participating: as a Member State, that is, with the right to vote and without the need to renew its status; and as Cooperating Non-Party, with the right to participate in the convention but not to vote. This status is valid for one year and it can be renewed.

Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Pablo Berazaluce, highlighted the significance of management aimed at sustainability of fish stocks based on the best scientific information available. He also acknowledged our responsibility and role as coastal State, as well as the need to cooperate in conformity with the international law.

“This is a new and important step for our country regarding the collaborative work for the sustainable management of fisheries resources distributed inside and outside our national jurisdictional waters as well as the control of foreign vessels operating in adjacent high seas”.

The authority pointed out that this action does not affect operations of national fleets on swordfish and other associated species to tuna. “Our country has high management and control standards of fishing operations, such as the use of satellite positioning systems on fishing vessels larger than 15m in length, the national scientific observer program, annual monitoring of highly migratory fisheries, among others. Therefore, our fleets will not face any new requirements”, said Berazaluce.

The Undersecretary informed that a dissemination process is being conducted along with swordfish fishermen to clarify doubts and share the scope of this measure through regional directorates.

Cooperation with the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission derives from the obligations undertaken by the State of Chile at the moment of joining the 1995 United Nations Fish Stock Agreement (also known as New York Agreement). Chile stated a definite commitment with regulations governing fisheries activities of highly migratory species on the high seas such as tuna and swordfish species managed by this organization.

CIAT was created in 1949 and its Convention was reformed in 2003, in conformity with the modern standards of the International Law of the Sea. Its area reaches from latitude 50° North to latitude 50° South, corresponding approximately to the southern limit of the Carlos Ibañez del Campo Region, and to longitude 150°. Regulated resources include tuna and tuna-like species such as swordfish. There are currently 21 Members including Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Canada, United States of America, Panama, China, France, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Japan, European Union, Costa Rica, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela and also Cooperating Non-Parties such as Bolivia, Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia, and from this year, Chile.