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Saturday, February 23, 2019

APEC Chile 2019

Meeting on ocean conservation and the sustainable use of fishery resources begins

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Santiago. February 23, 2019.- The National Director of Chile’s National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca), Alicia Gallardo, inaugurated this morning the meeting of the APEC 2019 Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG). The event was attended by representatives of different Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies, with the objective of fostering international cooperation to combat illegal fishing and promoting the sustainable management of marine ecosystems and fisheries resources.

The three-day gathering will address different issues associated with marine conservation and the responsible use of fisheries resources, such as the fight against illegal fishing, management of waste and pollutants that affect marine ecosystems, and the control of marine protected areas (MPAs). 

The twenty-one economies that make up APEC represent more than 80% of global aquaculture production, and more than 65% of the world's fishing. In fact, nine of the top ten fish producers in the world, including Chile, are APEC members. Moreover, the consumption of fishery products in the Asia-Pacific region is 65% higher than the world average. 

Taking into account these figures, APEC’s member economies play a leading role at the international level and the decisions made by the forum have a significant impact on the global sustainability of fishing, the conservation of marine and coastal ecosystems, as well as the practices responsible for the protection of marine biodiversity and the trade in fish and shellfish.

This is why the meeting taking place from today at the Intercontinental Hotel in Santiago is important, and includes a delegation composed of representatives of Chile's Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture, National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service, Directorate General of Maritime Territory and the Merchant Marine, and Environment Ministry, among other government organizations. 

After the opening of the meeting - which was chaired by Patrick Moran, head of international affairs of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States, the National Director of Sernapesca, Alicia Gallardo, welcomed the different delegations on behalf of the government of President Sebastian Piñera and underlined the importance for the Chilean administration of the fight against illegal fishing, the promotion of small-scale fishing and the development of small-scale aquaculture, objectives that are pursued through the financing of projects and various regulatory changes. The latter includes the modernization of Sernapesca, the creation of the National Institute for Sustainable Development of Artisanal Fisheries and Small Scale Aquaculture (INDESPA), and regulatory laws for fishing wharfs and the bill known as the Seaweed Law, with respect to the promotion of the cultivation of these resources.

Representatives of the different APEC member economies highlighted Chile's commitment to combating illegal fishing, a problem that is common to most countries with fishing industries, and expressed interest in increasing collaboration with Chile.

The program for the rest of the day's activities includes presentations on experiences regarding the reuse of waste derived from artisan fishing activities and small-scale aquaculture, the promotion of trade in mercury-free products to reduce marine pollution, the results on studies of Harmful Algal Blooms (red tide), the impact of microplastics, management of marine waste, and combating illegal fishing, etc.

Source: Comunicaciones Sernapesca