Brazil Proposes Bigger Fishing Fleet to WTO

    Brazil will take to the World Trade Organization meeting, in Geneva, on the 13th, a proposal to expand developing countries’ sea fishing fleets, in order to promote their fishing industries.

    In an interview to the Brazilian National Radio, the Subsecretary of Aquiculture and Fishing, David Lourenço, said, “other countries, such as India, have this need, and it is necessary for Brazil to support this special treatment.”


    He recalled that fish stocks “are available to Brazil and, if not captured, will migrate, and other countries will catch them. And we are not able to catch everything allowed by international quotas.”


    Lourenço said that for the next years the program Pró-Frota Pesqueiro has approximately US$ 454 million (1.2 billion reais) to finance sea fishing vessels, although it is the country’s opinion that fisheries subsidies should be prohibited.


    To put an end to predatory lobstering in Northeast Brazil, earlier this year, the Brazilian government prohibited the use of gill nets (“caçoeiras”).


    This type of net catches lobsters of all sizes, as well as causing damage to the ocean floor. The fisherman will have until the end of April to replace their equipment.


    When the lobster season begins on May 1, the only legal form of catching them will be using “manzuás” (wooden traps which lobsters enter but are unable to escape).


    To help in the transition, the Special Secretariat of Aquiculture and Fishing will make credit lines available for the substitution of gill nets, thus making it possible to protect the crustacean fishing stock.


    According to the undersecretary of Planning of Aquiculture and Fishing, Davi Lourenço, along the coast of Ceará alone, the loans, made with resources from the Bank of the Northeast, will benefit approximately 1,500 fishmen.


    Lobstering employs around 100 thousand people throughout the Northeast. The crustacean is one of Brazil’s major fishing exports. Last year alone lobsters brought in revenues of US$ 20 million, 28% more than in 2003.


    The breeding season for lobsters – when lobstering is prohibited throughout the country – runs from January 1 to April 30. During these months, registered fishermen receive unemployment insurance.


    ABr

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