Minister Alexandre de Moraes, of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), suspended the effectiveness of Law 12,557/2006, of Rio Grande do Sul, which gave the Federation of Fishermen of RS powers to regulate and supervise semi-professional and sport fishing in that state, including the charging of fees. The rapporteur accepted the arguments of the Presidency of the Republic, author of the action, who alleged that the legislation invaded the exclusive competence of the Union to legislate on fishing, in addition to having violated the Constitution by delegating typical activities of the State to a private entity.

The minister pointed out that the states can regulate the issue in a supplementary way, but they must respect the general rules established by the Union, which did not happen in the case. The direct action of unconstitutionality 3829 has been underway in the Supreme Court for 12 years. (click here to read the full decision)

Moraes also argued that the STF's jurisprudence defines that the charging of fees for issuing authorizations and licenses to exercise a certain activity, in this case the fisherman's license, could not have been delegated to legal entities governed by private law.

The minister also highlighted that the legislation left artisanal professional fishermen, who have fishing as their main means of subsistence, at a disadvantage compared to semi-professional and amateur fishermen, who could have superior equipment, as established in the contested law.

According to the magistrate, the Rio Grande do Sul law suffers from a defect of unconstitutionality, as the legal competence to manage the General Fishing Registry belongs to the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and it is not possible for the states to formulate a fishing policy or establish rules for the qualification and licensing of fishermen . The minister pointed out the existence of rules in this regard, since Decree-Law 221/1967, and later with federal laws 10.683/2003 and 11.959/2009.

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