Congress approves bill promoting seaweed farming and restocking

[Chile] The Chamber of the House of Representatives, at its third constitutional procedure, unanimously approved the bill that encourages seaweed farming and restocking.

This initiative aims to promote seaweed farming and restocking through a system of state bonus grating, allowing the artisanal fisheries sector to start ventures that have a positive impact in terms of sustainability.

The project is part of the portfolio presented by the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA) and is added to the creation of the National Institute of Sustainable Development of Artisanal Fisheries and Small Scale Aquaculture (INDESPA), and the regularization of fishing coves.

“With this act we are not only taking an important step towards the restructuring and diversification of productive activities of the country’s artisanal fisheries sector but we are also incorporating measures in line with sustainable activities, helping to protect natural grasslands and increasing the available biomass of resources such as native seaweeds, having ecological and economic importance,” explained the head of SUBPESCA Legal Division, Paolo Trejo.

He added that this system “seeks primarily to offer bonuses for farming management areas, free access sectors that have a current seaweed management plan and small farmers who have seaweed farming within their technical report.”

Seaweed Farming and Restocking Policy in Chile considers a horizon of implementation and development of farmed products in a 10-year period in order to continue the development of beneficiaries in the medium term and turn this activity into a productive pole that is more powerful and sustainable without jeopardizing the coastline flora. The projection is to produce 322,000 tonnes that would reach up to USD 108 million at beach value.

In Chile, seaweed production comes mostly from the exploitation of natural grasslands artisanal fishermen carry out. There are now more than 800 species of native seaweeds inhabiting the country’s continental and insular coasts.

Despite its economic importance — in 2014 products were exported for about USD 300 million, an amount that is much higher than that of other fish species such as horse mackerel and hake – the activity has not been developed in terms to help reduce collection pressure on natural grasslands.

Therefore, “this bill will for the first time seek to recover the seaweed cover of natural banks of the Chilean territory, sustainably increasing domestic production and exports,” pointed out the head of SUBPESCA legal division.

 

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