Bidders in first horse mackerel auction double expected number
2017-12-29 18:41:33   copyfrom:    hits:

Permits will be auctiones with validity for 20 years to fish 50,000 tonnes of horse mackerel (Photo: Stock File

Permits will be auctiones with validity for 20 years to fish 50,000 tonnes of horse mackerel. (Photo: Stock File)


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Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 01:00 (GMT + 9)


More than double the number of interested parties, compared to what the government had forecast, showed up to compete in the unprecedented tender for a significant volume of horse mackerel, one of the three main fisheries in the country, and which last year exported about USD 96 million.

A total of 58 actors from the sector, including industrialists, small businesses and artisanal fishermen submitted their proposals for this auction that is being held for the first time since the current Fisheries Act (2013), El Mercurio reported.

The "loot" in dispute consists of transferable licenses valid for 20 years for a total of 50,000 tonnes of horse mackerel, a volume valued -- according to the price of the product on the beach -- at USD 15 million, a figure that could vary upwards if the offers are competitive. The allocation will be performed between this Tuesday and Thursday.

"We have seen great interest from different actors in being able to enter the horse mackerel fishery throughout Chile. We have received more bids than we had thought, therefore, we consider that this auction has been satisfactory," says Pablo Berazaluce, Undersecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA).

This tender was activated because the horse mackerel fishery reached the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), that is to say, it is a resource that is healthy and exploited in a sustainable manner. An example of this is that Chile retained a 64.6 per cent participation in catches of this resource at the last January meeting of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), held in Australia. That percentage is equivalent to some 317,000 tonnes for this year while in 2018 it will rise to around 360,000 tonnes.

The ongoing auction corresponds to 15 per cent of the fraction of the industrial fishing companies, for this reason, a part of the interested parties are companies of that sector, says the head of SUBPESCA Division of Fishing Development, Alejandro Gertosio. The others are artisanal fishermen and small firms, he adds. Until last Friday, the Undersecretariat was reviewing whether the bids submitted by the interested parties were in order to follow the economic proposal opening phase.

Gertosio said that originally they expected that between 20 and 30 bidders made their offer, but eventually they were 58, of which about 50 would meet the requirements to continue in the race this week. Those interested make their offers in UTM per each ton.

The tender contemplates two large batches. One considers 40 per cent of the volume and smaller companies and industrialists can participate. The other 60 per cent is reserved exclusively for smaller companies, which worried the traditional industrialists, who asked that only 10 per cent of the resources should be auctioned to small actors.

The quotas obtained via tender are called Type B Fishing Tradable Licenses and are transferable rights with a validity of 20 years. That term was one of the factors that aroused the fishermen’s interest.

In the Biobío Region, 35,000 tonnes of horse mackerel will be tendered; in the northern zone, some 7,800 tonnes; while in the south and in the centre-north they will be 4,900 and 1,600 tonnes, respectively.

The schedule of the tender considers that on Tuesday the horse mackerel quotas of Regions III and IV will be allocated. On Wednesday the auction of the area between regions V and IX will take place.

Thursday, meanwhile, is the turn of regions II and XV, ending the process that same day with zones XIV and X.

Source: Marco Gutiérrez V. / El Mercurio

Click here to see the full news from El Mercurio (Spanish)

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