Fishermen propose allowing fishing for 6 more species in Mato Grosso

Fishermen propose allowing fishing for 6 more species in Mato Grosso
Fishermen propose allowing fishing for 6 more species in Mato Grosso
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Photo: TG Archive

A commission formed by fishermen presented to the government of Mato Grosso this Thursday (28), a proposal to make law 12.40434/24, known as Zero Transport, more flexible.

The legislation in force since January this year prohibits the fishing of 12 species of fish from the rivers of Mato Grosso until December 2028. The government’s argument is the need to restructure the fishing stock. They are: cachara, caparari, golden, jaú, matrinxã, Pinto/surubim, piraíba, piraputanga, pirarara, pirarucu, trairão and tucunaré.

Fishermen claim that these species are the most profitable and that by prohibiting them the government makes artisanal/professional activities in the state unfeasible.

The proposal presented calls for the following to be released from the list for fishing in the rivers of the Upper Paraguay basin (BAP): piraputanga and cachara; in the Araguaia region: tucunaré and trairão; and finally, in the Amazon basin, north of the state: matrinxã and pirarucu.

Fishing workers still accept that the government changes the law allowing amateur fisherman to remove 3 kg of fish from rivers plus one specimen of any species. They also agree to reduce the weekly quota for professional hake from 125 kg to 100 kg.

Another change would be the removal from the law of the article that provides for the payment, for three years, of compensation aid to professional/artisanal fishermen, since any aid takes away from workers the right to special retirement in accordance with rules pre-established by the INSS.

State deputy Wilson Santos (PSD), who since the arrival of the government’s message to the Legislative Assembly foreseeing the institution of “Zero transport” has taken a contrary position and defended free fishing, mediated the meeting between the category and the chief secretary of the House Civil, Fábio Garcia.

He recalled that the law is the target of three Direct Actions of Unconstitutionality in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) which next Tuesday (2), brings together representatives of the Federal Government, the State and the Legislative Assembly to try to reconcile the state regulations. .

He said that negotiation is a good way to avoid so much loss for fishermen if the STF decides to keep law 12.40434/24 in force.

“Since January, the STF has proposed negotiation between the parties. The rapporteur of the ADIs, minister André Mendonça, asked the state government to present a proposal for flexibility that would not prohibit all fishing in the state, which was done. Even so, the proposal needed to be improved. If the terms of this agreement are accepted by Governor Mauro Mendes, we will arrive in Brasília with a proposal for flexibility made by the fishermen. If not, it will be up to the STF to decide whether to maintain or overturn the law”, explained Wilson.

“I think we have made progress, as we are negotiating with the government. From 100% prohibition, the government reduced it to 14 species, in a first round of negotiations and then to 12. Now, the workers are asking for it to be reduced to just 6 and they also agree to reduce the quantity of weekly fish, from 125 kg to 100 kg . It is a huge step, especially regarding the social security issue when the original text of the proposal to pay financial aid to fishermen is requested to be removed. The best thing is for the law to be overturned, but if not, this agreement will reduce the losses. Let’s wait,” he added.

It was agreed that the chief secretary of the Civil House, Fabio Garcia, will meet with governor Mauro Mendes (União Brasil) next Monday (1st) in the morning to discuss the fishermen’s proposal, before the conciliation hearing at the STF on Tuesday (2), at 10am.

The meeting was attended by the president of the Fishermen’s Federation of Mato Grosso, Elza Bastos Pereira; the councilor for Santo Antônio de Leverger and president of the local fishing colony, Miguel José dos Santos; the councilor for Barão de Melgaço and representative of the fishing segment, Francisco da Silva; and the president of the Poconé colony, Moacyr Bento Ribeiro. In addition to the chief secretary of the Civil House, Fábio Garcia; state deputy Wilson Santos; and biologist Francisco Machado.

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Supreme Court

The “Zero Transport” law is the target of three Direct Unconstitutionality Actions (ADIs 7471, 7514 and 7590), proposed, respectively, by the Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the National Confederation of Fishermen and Aquaculturists (CNPA), and are under the report of minister André Mendonça.

The actions show that state legislation overrides the National Fisheries Law (11,959/2009) and disrespects Convention 169, of the International Labor Organization (ILO). This is because the original text authored by the Government of Mato Grosso, approved by the State Legislature, was written without riverside populations and native peoples being heard. Furthermore, the arguments used in the law have no scientific basis. In other words, they try to prove a decrease in fishing stocks in the state to guide the ban on fishing without being able to prove their thesis.

On April 2, at 10 am, the law will be discussed in a conciliation hearing scheduled by the minister reporting for the ADIs, André Mendonça, at the Federal Supreme Court (STF). The legislation had already been the subject of debate in the STF on January 25th. The Government of Mato Grosso, the Legislative Assembly of Mato Grosso and Federal government bodies opposed to the law participated: ICMBio, Attorney General’s Office (AGU), Attorney General’s Office (PGR), INSS and ministries of Fisheries and the Environment.

At the time, it was decided that the State would present a proposal to reformulate the law. The Government did so, through a Decree, maintaining the ban on fishing for only 12 native species in the rivers of Mato Grosso, from January 2024 to December 2028. They are: cachara, caparari, dorado, jaú, matrinxã, pintado/surubim , piraíba, piraputanga, pirarara, pirarucu, trairão and tucunaré.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Fishermen propose allowing fishing species Mato Grosso

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