Relief for Chilean salmon industry after indigenous claim to 227,272 hectares is rejected

Editorial Staff

A Chilean indigenous community had applied for control of 227,272 hectares of Aysén region.

The Regional Commission for Coastal Border Use in Chile’s Aysén region, has voted against a request from the indigenous Pu Wapi community for the hand-over of significant stretches of the region’s coastal areas.

The community, comprising 27 members from 23 families in Guaitecas, had applied for the control of 227,272 hectares under the “Lafkenche Law.” This law allows indigenous communities to manage coastal marine spaces.

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The decision followed a period of intense discussion among various groups, including indigenous communities and aquaculture industries. During a meeting held at the Aysén Regional Government, 33 representatives voted on the Pu Wapi community’s request. The majority, 29 members, voted against, while only four supported it, according to local media reports.

The rejection was partly influenced by the concerns of Tomás Monge, SalmonChile AG’s territorial director. He raised issues about the intentions behind the request, the large size of the requested area, lack of proper dialogue and information, and technical inadequacies in the application.

The focus now shifts to a similar request, “ECMPO Islas Huichas,” covering 393,945 hectares, submitted by the Antunen Rain community, involving 11 individuals from 9 families. This application is still pending a decision.

To date, 24 such requests from indigenous communities across Chile have been granted, with average concessions of 8,420 hectares each. The latest two requests affecting the Aysen region represent a 37 fold increase on the average of all applications granted to date in Chile, according to the industry.


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