Representatives of the fishing sector criticize restriction of activity in RS
Representatives of fishermen, the fish processing industry and municipalities in Santa Catarina protested Wednesday (14) against a state law in Rio Grande do Sul that prohibited fishing in a 12-mile extension of its coastal zone. During a public hearing at the Commission for Regional Development and Tourism (CDR), the debaters warned of the possibility of making the Santa Catarina fishing sector unfeasible due to the limitation imposed by Law 15.223/2018, of the neighboring state.
Rodrigo Silveira, director of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Itajai (SC), said that the ban on industrial fishing along the 12-mile coast of Rio Grande do Sul could cause thousands of people to become unemployed.
— The fishing sector generates employment for almost 25 thousand men, only on board. Most from Santa Catarina, but many from Rio Grande do Sul as well. We fear that many of these men will lose their jobs. Unemployment will hit not only the extractive sector, but industry as well. If extractives do not capture, the industry cannot benefit shrimp, hake, hake and other species,” he said.
According to him, the drafting of the law had the participation of a foreign non-governmental organization that induced the state government to make a mistaken assessment of the occurrence of damage to the marine ecosystem due to industrial fishing in the region.
Juliano Duarte Campos, mayor of Governador Celso Ramos, a city located in the metropolitan area of Florianópolis, highlighted the importance of fishing activities for the municipality. According to him, his city and its neighbors have a skilled workforce in the fishing sector.
— In Governador Celso Ramos, 80% of the population lives from fishing, whether artisanal or industrial. We were once considered one of the largest mussel and oyster producers in the country - he said.
The president of the Union of Workers in Fishing Companies of Santa Catarina (Sindipesca), José Henrique Pereira, accused the government of Rio Grande do Sul of acting in bad faith to get the law passed in the Legislative Assembly.
— The neighboring state used it in bad faith on the eve of the state election. Deputies had no other alternative: either they voted or they were not elected - he accused.
Speaking on behalf of the Secretariat of Aquaculture and Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, João Crescencio Aragão Marinho, presented data that reveal the great growth potential of the sector. According to him, for every 1 kg of fish that Brazil exports, the country imports another 9 kg of the same food. He criticized the lack of priority given by the federal government to the fishing sector in recent years.
— The sector responsible for the governance of public policies for fisheries and aquaculture in Brazil, in the last 4 years, went through 5 houses. It is unacceptable that a sector so necessary and important to have practically supported a dismantling. In 2015, you had the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture with 785 employees, and you transferred a secretary with 44 to the Map — he lamented.
Senator Dário Berger (MDB-SC), proponent of the public hearing, highlighted the importance of the fishing industry for his state. As informed, Santa Catarina is the largest producer of fish in Brazil, accounting for half of the national production. According to him, in the first half of 2018, total production in the state reached 64 tons, of which 42%, or 26 tons, came from artisanal fishing and 58%, or about 37 tons, came from industrial fishing.
Senator Jorginho Mello (PL-SC) informed that his party filed a direct action of unconstitutionality against Law 15.223/2018 in the Supreme Court (STF) yesterday.