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wgt
04-17-2008, 08:30
ENVIRONMENT-VENEZUELA: Farewell, Trawl-Fishing
> By Humberto Márquez
>
> CARACAS, Apr 8 (IPS) - Trawl-fishing is on its way out in Venezuela, amid
> demonstrations by artisanal fisherfolk who support the new law as amended
> by President Hugo Chávez.
>
> "Trawling is killing off fish species. In our case, we fish with hooks,
> catch a ‘pargo’ (sea bream), try again, catch a ‘mero’ (grouper), and
> clean them as we go. We used to fill the boats in a single night, but for
> years now that hasn’t happened, and sometimes we come back empty-handed,"
> Manuel González told IPS.
>
> González is a veteran member of the Fishers’ Association of Río Caribe, a
> town on the Caribbean coast 550 kilometres northeast of Caracas.
>
> Groups of fisherfolk have been organising marches in the capital, some of
> them driving trucks carrying their boats, to show their support for the
> Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture, amended by Chávez in March by a
> decree-law banning trawl-fishing.
>
> Before the amendment, the previous law promulgated by Chávez in 2001 only
> prohibited trawling less than six miles (10 kilometres) from the mainland
> or less than 10 miles (16 kilometres) from island shores.
>
> But the amended law bans trawl-fishing in all Venezuelan waters, where
> González said "Italian and Spanish ships used to trawl, not only
> Venezuelan fishing vessels."
>
> At a march in Caracas last Thursday, Franklin Hernández of the Socialist
> Fishers’ Front in the state of Sucre, where Río Caribe is located, said
> that "we artisanal fisherfolk are the ones who really supply the country.
> There will be no shortage of fish, and we support the new law 100
> percent."
>
> After another demonstration in Puerto La Cruz, 300 kilometres east of
> Caracas, Adrián Carías, spokesman for the fisherfolk of Los Cocos, told
> IPS that "when this law comes into force we’ll start seeing better
> catches, and those who stand to gain are the people, because when there
> are lots of fish of all sorts, prices will come down."
>
> Agriculture Minister Elías Jaua said that "banning trawling will not cause
> shortages, because small-scale artisanal fisherfolk supply 70 percent of
> production, and industrial fishing 30 percent, but trawl-fishing provides
> only six percent of the total."
>
> However, statistics from the Industrial Trawl-Fishing Association (AVIPA)
> indicate that its members supply 70,000 tons of fish a year. According to
> the Agriculture Ministry, the total catch in Venezuela in 2007 was 267,000
> tons.
> "The cheapest fish species for the consumer are supplied by trawl-fishing,
> so closing down our activity will affect the availability of the product
> and people’s pocketbooks," AVIPA spokesman Damiano Mitrano told IPS.
>
> A total of 263 trawling vessels fish in Venezuelan waters, and they have
> not put out to sea since the law was decreed nearly a month ago. "The jobs
> of 6,500 people in the industry and some 26,000 indirect workers are at
> risk," said Luis Guilarte, port manager in the eastern city of Cumaná.
>
> The new law provides for a one-year transition period, until March 2009,
> for the trawling companies and their ships to change over to other
> activities.
>
> "It will be difficult, our hands are tied. Other activities that we could
> convert to are banned by international conventions or require more time,
> financial help and other support from the state," Medrano said.
>
> Gilberto Giménez, head of the Socialist Institute for Fisheries and
> Aquaculture (INSOPESCA), a state regulatory body, said he would issue
> provisional six-month licences to trawlers during the transition period.
>
> However, only a handful of trawling ships have been granted permits since
> the law was amended.
>
> "The reason for the new law is ecological. In Venezuela, trawlers damage
> over 68,000 square kilometres of seabed a year. The United Nations Food
> and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warns that if this continues, marine
> species will be wiped out by 2048," Giménez said.
>
> According to studies by the FAO, two-thirds of the fish stocks in the
> world’s oceans are overfished, and the ones facing the greatest threats
> are close to coastlines. The global fish catch has stagnated at between 85
> and 95 million tons a year over recent decades, a sign that marine
> reserves are overexploited.
>
> Jaua said that "the ban on industrial trawling was requested by artisanal
> fisherfolk, fish farmers, environmental groups and academics concerned
> with the preservation of marine and river resources, and it is in keeping
> with global trends."
>
> "Industrial trawlers have the opportunity to convert to other forms of
> fishing that are less environmentally aggressive. If they do not, the
> state can absorb about 700 workers in a new mixed fishing enterprise we
> are establishing with Cuba," which will include processing plants, he
> added.
>
> The new law stipulates that fishers must hand over five percent of their
> catch, free, to state and community institutions running nutrition
> programmes. Giving free fish to poor members of the community is a
> traditional custom among fisherfolk on the Caribbean shores of Venezuela.
>
> It also grants the state power to fix the prices of fish products along
> the entire sales and distribution chain. For more than 20 years, retail
> prices for the best fish species in Venezuela have been considerably
> higher than for beef.
>
> Sardines cost just over two dollars a kilo, and other economical kinds of
> fish cost between four and eight dollars, but sea bream or grouper is
> priced at above 20 dollars a kilo. (END/2008)

Osprey
04-17-2008, 09:50
Good for them! That's a really hard move to make, but in the end it will pay off. I know old mangrove farms in Mexico are teaching their fisherman about sustainable aquaculture, perhaps Venezuela will do the same? There have been good advances in it that keeps both the environment healthy and farmers with work

Sounder
04-17-2008, 11:34
Fantastic!

bfindley
04-17-2008, 11:55
This is OUTSTANDING! Hopefully Mexico and Venezuela will be examples for the rest of the developing (and some "developed") nations.

DevilDiver
04-17-2008, 12:40
This is a bold and insightful move and I hope other nations see the benifit to the conservation side of the fishing industry.
The fishing corporations see global fish stock as a "get it while you can" resource and only care about maxing out quota. It has been proven all across the globe these companies are unable to manage this resource with tragic effects for the fish populations and the economies of countries who depend on it for trade.

scubasamurai
04-17-2008, 13:45
wow the guy actually has a heart, be it not for us imperialistic country, at least he is helping the enviroment, oh wait doesn;t he do off shore oil drilling as well???

Beaucoupfishies
04-17-2008, 14:03
Amazing, I hope it inspires others. I agree with Devildiver that too many organizations keep up their habits because they feel if they slow down everyone else will take it all and they'll be left out. If everyone managed their catch better, everyone would get a fair catch.

Grizbear98
04-17-2008, 14:13
Trawling does nasty stuff to the bottom! I've had to do it for a class, I can't say that doing it commercially is good for the environment. And what's bad for the fish is bad for the rest of us! I hope other countries can follow suit.

DevilDiver
04-17-2008, 21:25
Deep Water Reefs???

Between 30 and 50 per cent of deep water reefs are under threat from fishing, oil and gas exploration, cable laying and waste disposal. Coral reefs are typically associated with shallow tropical climates, but are also found in water between 4C (39F) and 12C (54F).

This coral hosts a diverse range of creatures, including squat lobsters and giant anemone. More than 1,300 species of coral are known to exist in the dark water, up to 9,000ft (2,750m) under the surface.
The greatest threat to these reefs are deep-water fishing boats, which use nets to trawl the sea floor. A net held open behind the boats plows through the lifeforms, many of which have built up over 4,500 years.

Few people realize that we have such interesting, precious and dramatic habitats right on our doorstep. Some of these areas have yet to be explored, but even before we have had a chance to see their treasures, they are being bulldozed by deep-water trawling.

wookie
04-18-2008, 20:52
wow the guy actually has a heart, be it not for us imperialistic country, at least he is helping the enviroment, oh wait doesn;t he do off shore oil drilling as well???
Exactly how does offshore drilling destroy the environment? I mean besides providing the natural gas to heat and cool Florida homes, and the gasoline to power Florida SUV's, when Florida does nothing to develop their own resources. I have lots of Florida university grad students and graduates (mostly UMiami) who tell me that there can't be any diving in the Texas gulf because of all the oil spills. You're not one of those, are you?

DevilDiver
04-19-2008, 02:26
Deep Water Reefs???

Between 30 and 50 per cent of deep water reefs are under threat from fishing, oil and gas exploration, cable laying and waste disposal. Coral reefs are typically associated with shallow tropical climates, but are also found in water between 4C (39F) and 12C (54F).

This coral hosts a diverse range of creatures, including squat lobsters and giant anemone. More than 1,300 species of coral are known to exist in the dark water, up to 9,000ft (2,750m) under the surface.
The greatest threat to these reefs are deep-water fishing boats, which use nets to trawl the sea floor. A net held open behind the boats plows through the lifeforms, many of which have built up over 4,500 years.

Few people realize that we have such interesting, precious and dramatic habitats right on our doorstep. Some of these areas have yet to be explored, but even before we have had a chance to see their treasures, they are being bulldozed by deep-water trawling.

I wanted to explain this and some of my other post...........

This post was copied from an article and the meaning was to let people know there are actually deep water reefs and habitats and trawling as it is still practiced for the most part is very destructive to reefs and fishing/breeding stock in the worlds oceans.

(My confession)
I should say that I am involved in the manufacturing side of the food-service industry and two of the clients I represent are major seafood supliers........ Hypocrisy is my burden. It is a job and the sad part is I really have had issues with this over the past years but here I am.

One of the companies is a major clam supplier based on the east coast and with the knowledge of the operations and the deep water trawling this is one of the reasons I posted here......... The fleet they control owns the majority of the quota and trawls an area the size of Florida off the eastern seaboard of the US every year. You must realize after this process nothing is left, it takes everything...rocks, reef, fish, turtles, clams, everything leaving only scraped seabed.

The other Manufacture is one of the leading seafood suppliers to the world based out of Iceland. Since the collapse of the fishing stock over 10 years ago in their home waters they have been forced to expand their catch to sources across the globe.

There have been some major improvements and set backs from fish farming with species like Salmon, Shrimp and Tilapia (This is why you see Tilapia everywhere-because they can get it) but this has lots of issues as well. The truth is the worlds oceans have been over fished for years and if it wasn't for government subsidies the public could not afford to eat most fish. It cost more to catch than it can be sold for so the difference is made up by governments to support the industry.

Unfortunately developing countries depend on seafood as a major export so most of the manufactures are taking advantage of this and exploiting this resource because they have depleted everything else.

I know I come off at times heavy on the environmental side but really I just want to put out the information and hope that if that people see the true situation it will force companies to use better management and techniques with these resources. (I am not against seafood or the working people in the industry by any means)



"My hypocrisy knows no bounds"- Doc Holiday (Tombstone)

cutter77
04-19-2008, 02:28
Sounds like Hugo got something right.