The Argentine congress gave half sanction to a bill that modifies several articles of the Federal Fisheries Law making it mandatory for the incorporation of 30% of women and 1% of sexual diversity members to the fishing fleet crews.
The bill anticipates five years to reach the minimum percentage with ten-year fiscal incentives for those who comply and fines for those who don't. The bill sponsored by coalition lawmaker Nancy Gonzalez from Chubut, denominated Scheme to Promote and Participate Women and Diversities in the Fisheries Sector, was first tabled in 2019 and has the purpose of modifying Article 40 of Federal Fisheries Law 24.922.
The bill we are proposing pretends to guarantee access and advancement for women, travesties and trans in the fishing vessels. In reality, we are modifying part of the Fisheries Law where it outlines conditions for crew members, nationality, but there is no word about quotas for women, said the lawmaker on presenting the draft.
The bill as approved in the Senate incorporates items d and e, mandating that a minimum of 30% of crew members of fishing vessels must be women and 1% travesties, transsexuals and transgender, pointing out it is a minimum and not a maximum.
There is also a promotion scheme for complying with the bill, meaning fiscal benefits if the quota goal is 20% achieved in the first year, 60% completed by the third year and 100% in the fifth year. The bill includes a special item, 'crystal ceiling' which is geared to promote access for women and trans to all jobs and posts on board fishing vessels, particularly officers and captains. This will represent additional financial benefits for the companies.
Lawmaker Gonzalez pointed out that Argentina has a great number of women well prepared and certifies for these tasks but they are always at the end of the queue when contracting. She recalled that according to the International Maritime Organization, only 2% of women make up the maritime fleet members, and 92% of them in the cruise industry, which indicates a clear bias when it comes to gender and the posts women are capable of occupying
The bill in the Senate received 55 ayes and three abstentions. However, in the Lower House, an exhausting debate can be expected. The union of captains bitterly twitted that all Argentines have the right to obtain their certificates and fish, and it's not a matter of gender be it in fishing or merchant of fluvial options. You can't impose what is not banned, and much less on the private sector.
Business representatives from the fishing industry were also was critical, there's a country where authorities work in good understanding with the business sector and unions to improve the overall fishing industry, and a lady Senator presents a bill which threatens to throw overboard all this effort with no previous consultation. It's hard for Argentina to understand.
Apparently, the Lower House Committee on Maritime, Fluvial and Fishing interests advanced its plans to tone down the bill passed by the Senate, avoiding modifying the current legislation on crews, but promising fiscal incentives for those companies that promote contracting more women on the fishing vessels.