Argentina announced this week the regulation of the Fisheries Law that allows for 15 years individual transferable catch quotas (ITQs) of common hake (Merluccius hubbsi) which is to become effective in 2010. The new system is also applicable to other three species: hoki (Macruronus magellanicus), Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) and southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis).
During the presentation of the legal implementation of the law, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said the main objective was to ensure “predictability” to companies and workers.
“Companies that are awarded the new quota system are required to strictly comply with the revenue service, Federal Administration of Public Income (AFIP), and the National Administration of Social Security (ANSES), plus negotiations for collective work agreements every two years”.
Companies that do not fulfil requirements can be sanctioned by the Federal Fisheries Council (CFP) going from fines to the definitive “loss of their fishing quota” added the Argentine president.
CFP will be responsible for determining the percentage of maximum allowed catch per species in an effort to avoid “monopolistic concentrations”.
Present at the ceremony in Casa Rosada (Government House) were provincial authorities from Buenos Aires, Tierra del Fuego, Rio Negro, Santa Cruz and Chubut. Representatives from unions, the seafood industry, fishing companies also participated together with Cabinet chief Aníbal Fernandez, Agriculture, Livestock, FGood and Fisheries minister Julian Dominguez; and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Under Secretary Norberto Yahuar.
Mrs. Kirchner recalled that the Fisheries Law was sanctioned in January 1998 but had not been regulated because “so many interests” were involved in lobbying. “We waited 12 years, but it has finally been done” she underlined.
In practical terms this means that the new system contemplated in the 1998 bill will become effective as of next year. (FIS/MP).-