The campaign has been launched with informational materials to explain the scope of the work of the scientific observer, a requirement of the shipowners to bring them on board and to cooperate with their tasks, and especially, the confidential of the collected data.
Since October the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture together with the Fisheries Development Institute are conducting an awareness campaign to artisanal fishermen, with regard to the new regulation of scientific observers and the obligation to bring them on board in some fishing trips selected in order to collect relevant data for a better livelihood of management measures to be applied in the different fisheries.
This obligation, which governed from a while ago for the industrial fishing, is now also being applied to the artisanal sector. As explained by the assistant secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Raul Sunico “the only way to manage the fisheries with a focus on ecosystem sustainability and is available to scientifically reliable data and broad coverage on the activities of fishing and its multiple interactions. The role of scientific observation programs for obtaining such information is recognized worldwide, they have become the backbone of the modern management systems. In our country this has been done since the decade of the 80 in the industrial fishing, and we’re missing some incorporate the artisanal sector, responsible for more than 50% of the catch.”
For its part Leonardo Nuñez, Executive Director of IFOP added that “this campaign that we launched is of great importance, since our observers are a fundamental work. It is very important to distinguish that they can only collect information for research purposes which is fully booked, not including the identification of ships or ship owners and may not be used for application of sanctions or fines.They are not regulatory, and it is much more important to them as new traveling companions, so it is vital that the owners give them facilities to develop its work in good condition, as required by the regulation”.
At present, the monitoring of the fishing activity is performed through observers/ace deployed on ships and boats, landing points and processing plants throughout the country. The 220 scientific observers operating in Chile are managed by the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP).
The regulation requires the fishing vessels and industrial craft that embark observers according to a program of random selection, established by the Subpesca and IFOP and communicated to the owners before the beginning of each month. For its part, the direction of the Maritime Territory must verify that the observers are in the staffing of the naves to authorize the zarpe.