Santa Catarina seeks solutions to make shrimp fishing viable

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On the eve of the beginning of the harvest, fishermen from Santa Catarina are concerned about the new rules for trawling in Rio Grande do Sul. Representatives of the fishing sector, the National Secretary of Aquaculture and Fisheries, Jorge Seif Junior, and the Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Ricardo de Gouvêa, were together this Thursday, 8th, to discuss the issue.

At the end of 2018, the State of Rio Grande do Sul passed a law prohibiting trawling for up to 12 nautical miles – until then, the approved distance was 3 nautical miles. According to fishermen, this rule restricts the capture of shrimp in the region.

“This issue interferes a lot in the life and economy of Santa Catarina. Rio Grande do Sul is legislating in areas that harm us a lot”, highlights the director of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Itajaí, Rodrigo Silveira.

From now on, the issue will be dealt with at the federal level. According to the national secretary of Fisheries, Jorge Seif Junior, there is a rapprochement with Rio Grande do Sul to reverse this situation. Otherwise, the Attorney General of the Union (AGU) will take the matter to the Federal Supreme Court (STF). “We want states to unite, but some issues cannot wait. The shrimp harvest starts in September and the shrimp won't wait, just as the fishermen's bills won't wait”, he explains.

The shrimp harvest lasts from September to February and there is an industrial fishing fleet in Santa Catarina that depends on this activity. “The State Government is attentive to the demands of the sector and we make our team available to go in search of a definitive solution”, declares the secretary of Agriculture, Ricardo de Gouvêa.

The National Secretariat works in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on the Rebyc Project to build management plans for shrimp fisheries.

FISHING LICENSE

One of the main demands of fishermen is the bureaucracy for the renewal of fishing licenses. According to Jorge Seif Junior, the National Secretariat of Aquaculture and Fisheries is working to build an automated system, where 80% of the issues will be resolved online.

Another novelty will be the creation of capture control systems, along the lines of Sis Mullet, adapted for other species.

STRENGTHENING OF FISHING AND MARICULTURE

The Secretariat of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development and its related companies – Epagri, Cidasc and Ceasa – work to strengthen and structure the fishing and mariculture sector in Santa Catarina. Among the actions planned are the structuring of production chains, product traceability and support for the creation of regulations that bring more security to the sector.

“Fishing plays a fundamental role in the economy of Santa Catarina, thousands of families are dedicated to this activity. The sector is undergoing major transformations and we want to contribute to the strengthening and organization of the production chain”, says Ricardo de Gouvêa.

In addition, the Department of Agriculture is working on eight projects to raise funds from the Federal Government in favor of strengthening fishing and aquaculture.

Some demands from Santa Catarina are already being dealt with by the Federal Government, such as actions to resume fish exports to the European Union, permission for the commercial cultivation of the macroalgae Kappaphycus alvarezzi on the coast of Santa Catarina as an economic alternative for mariculturers; the environmental monitoring of mariculture; regularization of fishermen's licenses and fishing licenses and the norms of the mollusc sanitary control program.

FISHING IN SANTA CATARINA

Santa Catarina has 7% of the Brazilian coast and 337 localities where artisanal fishing takes place, involving approximately 25 thousand people. The largest fishing pole in the country, the state also has 700 industrial fishing vessels and the sector generates around 10 thousand direct jobs.

Santa Catarina fish is also present on the international market. According to the Center for Socioeconomics and Agricultural Planning (Epagri/Cepa), the value of Santa Catarina's fish exports totaled US$ 26.7 million in 2018.

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