Chile works on a fishing coves regularization law for the Tarapacá region

The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, the Undersecretary of Fisheries, and the Ministry of National Assets have heard fishermen unions' concerns.
Experts from the Chilean government visited the Caramucho and Chanavaya coves.

Experts from the Chilean government visited the Caramucho and Chanavaya coves.

Photo: Sernapesca. 

The Government of Chile is working on the implementation of a specific law in six coves in the region of Tarapacá: Caramucho, Chanavaya, Los Verdes, Río Seco, Pisagua, and Chipana.

Before, experts visited the Caramucho and Chanavaya coves and met with fishermen's union representatives, who expressed their doubts and projections regarding their territories' regularization and development.

For this, the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca), the Undersecretary of Fisheries, and the Ministry of National Assets have created a working group. Also, some stakeholders like Serviu, the Directorate of Highways, Subdere, the Division of Promotion and Industry of the Regional Government, and the Tarapacá Development Corporation have been invited.

Regarding this initiative, Osvaldo Ardiles, the Minister of National Assets of Tarapacá, explained: "The aim of this implementation is precisely to regularize the ownership of the different allocations that the various unions have regarding these coves and to advance in the growth of those allocations if necessary."

In 2023, the Government proposed a new Fisheries Law for 2024 that prioritized the fishing activity development, equity in the sector, and social protection for artisanal fishermen and fisherwomen.

To get firsthand knowledge of the locals' reality

The professional of Sernapesca in charge of implementing the coves law, Jaime Montenegro, talked about his experience visiting this area: "We had the opportunity to visit the Chanavaya and Caramucho Coves, talk to the leaders of artisanal fishing to explain and tell us about the state they are in, to have the first impression of a work that will begin to be executed in the Tarapacá region that has to do with the regularization of these areas adjacent to artisanal fishing coves."

In addition, Exequiel Yáñez, president of the Union of Divers, Shellfish Gatherers, and Artisanal Fishermen of Chanavaya Cove, expressed his feelings about the future law: "I think it's very good that it is the first instance we have to start the coves law, many problems are solved, and thus we can continue to advance."

Moreover, Gonzalo Garrido, head of the Artisanal Fisheries Department of the Undersecretariat of Fisheries, added: "If there is no regularization of the space, we do not have basic services, we will hardly be able to do productive diversification.

Finally, Constanza Candia, head of the Territorial Management and Heritage Unit of the Ministry of National Assets, explained that "National Assets intends to transfer the administration of these lands to fishermen and others who inhabit the territories, establishing some exceptions that allow trying to expedite, such as expropriation in those coves that are located in private territories, where we can carry out an expropriation and then make the lands available to Sernapesca so that they are subsequently in favor of the fishermen's unions that have a management plan."

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