The request from indigenous peoples in the south of Chile and dozens of domestic and international NGO organizations banning salmon farming in nature-protected areas was again frozen in the Chilean congress and will have to wait for its consideration in the following legislature when the next government takes office.
The Kawesqar people and NGOs are demanding legislation impeding salmon farming in protected areas and a two-year timetable for those companies already installed and functioning to relocate in non protected areas.
The Chilean Lower House Fisheries, Aquaculture and Maritime Interests Committee decided to suspend deliberations since they still have to receive representatives from some twenty five interested parties involved in the controversy.
During the last session of the year, the Committee received the president of the Association of Salmon Farmers, Carlos Odebret, the Executive Director of the Salmon Council, Joanna Davidovich and the president of the Salmon Industry Association, Arturo Clement, all of which warned about the consequences of the legislation sponsored by NGOs and indigenous peoples.
The bill proposed by the environment groups calls for an end of salmon farming concessions in Nature protected areas, and stipulates a two year deadline for those already operating in nature conservation areas. It also imposes more strict rules for those farming companies while in the protected areas.
Committee member Jorge Brito, one of the drafters and sponsors of the bill said it was hard to understand the contradictory position of Chilean government which on the one hand admits the fragility of some ecosystems such is the case of austral Patagonia, and at the same time authorizes the functioning of an industry which degrades the environment, particularly marine ecosystems