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Congress Approves Bill to Protect Fishing Industry During Natural Disasters

19 October 2015

CHILE - The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a bill which establishes permanent regulations to deal with the consequences of natural disasters in the fisheries sector.

The initiative, which was requested by parliamentarians from the Region of Coquimbo, works to protect the rights of fishermen and applies flexible rules in situations of loss and when fishermen are unable to operate vessels after natural disasters.

The standard is intended to address the special situation of those who suffer severe damage or total destruction of their ships and boats as a result of a natural disaster, as happened on 16 September in the Region of Coquimbo.

This will allow for the quick rebuilding of boats and also that their rights are not undermined by the failure to conduct operations.

The Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Luis Felipe Céspedes, said: "This bill, which was requested by the parliamentarians of the Coquimbo Region, is a complement to the efforts of the government in the productive recovery of the fisheries sector of the Coquimbo Region and will allow for the protection of the rights of those fishermen affected by the catastrophe in September."

The Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Raul Súnico, explained: "In the last five years the fishing industry has been hit by three major natural disasters in which hundreds of fishermen have lost their tools so this project will be a huge help to support recovery in the case of Coquimbo, but also creates permanent rules to address future situations of this kind."

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