The seminar “Management and Recovery Plans for Fisheries: An International Overview” featured presentations made by experts who shared their international experience in this matter. The conference is part of a joint effort made by Oceana, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), three non-government organizations that are working towards the implementation of measures for the management and recovery of the South Pacific hake, a fishery that has been overexploited and is at risk of disappearing.
“Today, 60% of fisheries in Chile are either depleted or overexploited, which is why we have to take effective measures to recover our fishery resources”, stated Liesbeth van der Meer, executive director of Oceana Chile. “Management plans and recovery programs are a key tool to achieve the sustainability of fisheries at a national level, which is why we need these plans to be implemented”, she added.
At the seminar, Patrick Sullivan, a researcher and professor at the Natural Resources Department of Cornell University presented the primary aspects for the production of recovery plans for fisheries. Raúl García, coordinator of the fisheries program at WWF Spain highlighted the lessons learned in the recovery programs of the European Union, presenting successful examples such as the Atlantic Bluefin tuna, while Jane Kritzer, director of the EDF center for the development, diagnosis and fishery solutions, presented specific examples of the recovery of fisheries that are important to the United States, after the enforcement of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act. Last, David Newman, public policy expert for the United States National Resources Defense Council made a presentation on management strategy evaluation for fisheries, using the Data-Limited Methods software.
“As an NGO coalition we are committed to contribute to the recovery of fisheries, and this seminar aims exactly at this purpose, by strengthening capacities regarding the use of the best fishery management strategies and tools, which were successfully developed and executed to revert the collapse or overexploitation of fishery resources at a global level, making these tools available to the people who today aim to recover fisheries”, said Valesca Montes, coordinator of the Fisheries Program of WWF Chile.
This is the first time that three non-government organizations come together to work on the management and recovery of the South Pacific hake. The agreement includes cooperation with the Under-Secretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca) and the National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca), two Chilean organizations that will support the work the coalition of NGO’s has been conducting with the Management Committee of the South Pacific hake, in addition to organizing workshops and seminars, providing suggestions for the management plan and a recovery program proposal.
“We are serious about the work we’re conducting, which is endorsed by the experience that each NGO of the coalition has in public and economic policy management, our work with communities, our scientific contributions, and the support of prestigious Chilean and foreign universities. We aim to recover the South Pacific hake, not only because of its economic significance, but also because it is part of the country’s cultural heritage”, stated Erica Cunningham, director of the EFD Océanos program in Chile.