Positive Environmental Decision gets kickback from short sighted fishermen.

Conservation

DECISION OUTLAWS “TRAWLING”-   Please look it up.  IT “DESTROYS” THE OCEAN

The new Executive Decree No. 14 of November 20, 2023, which modified Executive Decree 13 of November 1, 2023 and regulates Law 204 of 2021, which regulates fishing and aquaculture in the Republic of Panama and dictates other provisions, has been the subject of criticism from local fishermen who yesterday protested in the vicinity of the Seafood Market.

Decree 14 that regulates the fishing law generates protests from fishermen
The protesters closed Eloy Alfaro Avenue, near the Seafood Market. Gustavo AA | The Star of Panama

The new Executive Decree No. 14 of November 20, 2023, which modified Executive Decree 13 of November 1, 2023 and regulates Law 204 of 2021, which regulates fishing and aquaculture in the Republic of Panama and dictates other provisions, has been the subject of criticism from local fishermen who yesterday protested in the vicinity of the Seafood Market.

Decree 14 modified article 17 of Executive Decree 13 of November 1, 2023 related to fisheries used for medium-scale and large-scale fishing, which was questioned by environmental sectors because it allowed the art of trawling.

However, according to the fishermen who demonstrated in front of the Seafood Market, the recent modification to the regulations of the fishing law eliminates cojinúa fishing.

For Santiago Escartín, from the Seafood Market Fishermen’s Association, with the new regulations released last week, from next January 2 none of the four boats dedicated to fishing this popular fish will be able to set sail.

He explained that before there were 18 boats and after the pandemic there were only four left, so it does not explain why they are left without legal protection, even though these boats have specific areas to fish for the species.

Meanwhile, Kelvin Gómez, from the National Council of the Fisheries Sector, stated that the measure of the Ministry of Agricultural Development directly affects them, since this species is widely consumed locally and its fishing is manual. “We are surprised why they removed it. They have only taken into account the opinion of environmentalists,” he said.

They demand decree

On November 23, lawyers Silvio Guerra and Juan Ramón Sevillano presented a contentious administrative lawsuit for annulment to declare Executive Decree No. 14 of November 20, 2023 illegal, for violating Law 6 of 2002, Law of Transparency and also for violating Law No. 204 of March 18, 2021.

Both jurists requested the immediate suspension of the rule issued by the Ministry of Agricultural Development, in order to avoid serious, obvious environmental damage that is difficult to repair, in addition to the manifest violation of the rights of the community.

According to the plaintiffs, the attacked executive decree encourages the destruction of the seabed, which protects all the coastal communities of the Republic of Panama and which also serves as a nursery for multiple marine species, which are food for the Panamanian population.

They also ensure that shrimp trawling will produce negative environmental impacts of quantitative or qualitative significance, generating direct, cumulative and synergistic impacts.

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