Fishing Fleet Will Be Reduced, Some Boats Can Be Traded In For New Ones

Federal program offers chance to trade two old boats for one new one

By Ivan Bravo Lopez
As many as 30 fishing boats from Puerto Peñasco won’t sail into Cortez’s Sea to capture shrimp and other products from the sea.

The fishing fleet was reduced in numbers by the constant wear on the fishing boats and the risk of accidents that could occur because of damage caused by that wear.

To counter this situation with the fishing fleet, the shipbuilders of Puerto Peñasco have held meetings since last year with the Municipal Director of Fishing Issues, Tomas Espinoza Sesma, who said that since 2007 they have been in dialog with the CONAPESCA’s Commissioner and they are expecting the start of a new program, which will benefit this harbor’s fishermen.

“When we met last year at Hermosillo, in representation of the shipbuilders, the authorities from CONAPESCA were asked to reduce the size of the fleet to 30 units, those didn’t enter here to fish in Peñasco because of the wear on the fleet”, revealed Espinoza Sesma.

He also expressed that “as part of this reduction, CONAPESCA’s commissioner offered to dialog with the Secretary of CONAPESCA to see if the could get those 30 ships in the program, and up to now it seems that all 30 will be included and that would downsize the fleet – but we will receive in exchange a brand new fleet on a federal government program aimed to counter the reduction of the fishing fleet”.

Tomas Espinoza Sesma assured that this change in the size of the fishing fleet was due mainly to the existence of ships that were in bad condition and suffered from damages beyond repair, so it was a wise decision from the owners of the fleet to retire those boats. Now those same owners are expecting the conditions from CONAPESCA to see if it is possible to participate in the aforementioned federal program.

“The old boats will be replaced by new ones, but we must wait because the program has not started yet, and it is also necessary to hear what the ship owners have to say because we don’t know if they will find economical feasible to participate, because it seems that they will trade two small boats for a big new one, but they will also be indebted. So we don’t know yet if they will accept the terms,” indicated the director of fishing issues.

He also mentioned that the acquisition costs for the ships is still unknown, but one of the options for trading will be to exchange two small fishing boats for a new, larger, fully equipped ship .

“The cost of the ship is to high, I think that two small boats in exchange for a big one from the program, the ship owners don’t want to end up in debt, because those boats are their property and are already paid for, and giving those in trade for a new one that will not be 100 percent paid, with a debt to the federal government, it is difficult that such conditions are going to be accepted. But the decision belongs to the owners of the fleet which are economically solvent, and are the ones who will benefit the most from this program”, said Espinoza.

Finally, Espinoza said that to even acquire a ship from the program it would be necessary to look at the fishing laws, since the boats will process their products at the sea and it is necessary to see what regulations will be applied to the fishermen.

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