Authorities, fishermen groups from Los Rios and NGO’s met in Valdivia to analyze the sustainability of fisheries and to define the lines of work to promote development and improvements in this area.
With the aim of creating a platform for dialogue and feedback among the players directly involved in small-scale fisheries and sustainability a seminar entitled " Sustainability of Artisanal Fisheries and Fishery Certification Opportunities in the province of Valdivia" was held in Valdivia. The event, funded by the Los Rios Regional Government, was organized by the Marine Conservation NGO and was part of the "Education in Training and Promotion of Citizenship in the Valdivia Province" .
Ricardo Alvarez, a marine biologist and researcher from the Marine Conservation NGO, welcomed the authorities, federations and fishermen unions. "This meeting permits us to analyze the regional situation, identify points of convergence and project collaboration among all involved players, where eco -labels can be a useful tool in the pursuit of sustainability and an added value for artisanal fisheries resources, "he said.
At the same time, Cristián Espinoza, Regional Director of Sernapesca, welcomed the players involved in small-scale fisheries in the region. "It's important to create a platform that will permit us to move towards with the sustainability of resources, meaning that it is not just a government issue, but an issue that concerns all of us, especially the fishermen who play a key role in raising awareness and show us the tools that will permit us to achieve certification of fishing resources in the future, "he said.
The seminar began with the presentation of Marine Conservation, whose members presented the current situation of artisanal fisheries in the areas of Valdivia and Corral from the study conducted as part of the project, to put into context the situation of fishing in terms of landing, management areas and organization.
"The idea was to show the results of the report we prepared in these communities and that is fairly representative of the region. We also had entities such as the Centre for Sustainable Fisheries Development CeDePesca, FIPASUR, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), WWF Chile, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which are developing different lines of work, all aimed at achieving sustainability of our fishing resources, " Ricardo Alvarez said.
One of the highlights of the activity was the participation of Layla Osman, a TNC expert in marine conservation who explained the work that TNC carries out in the area. "The Valdivia Marino Project aims at strengthening the model of management areas and at implementing it in some protection areas. To do this, TNC is working with fishermen unions, universities and the government. For now, the plan includes a work area located between the Rio Bueno and Chaihuín rivers and we are sure that we can improve the resources and increase productivity through a better estimate of catch quotas and applied scientific research. "
Finally, common work lines were planned such as increasing the level of information related to the condition of regional fisheries, to prepare an annual sustainability report, to promote certification that would permit to add value to products, to do more scientific research and to review the WWF Chile proposal of implementing fisheries recovery, a public private initiative to establish a financing mechanism shared among the state, the private sector and fishermen and aimed at the recovery of fisheries.