Panamanian Fishing Industry Flounders

Many fishermen have seen profits fall sharply with the withdrawal of the CAT export subsidies

Monday, July 26, 2010

On 31 October 2009 the export subsidy (known as CAT in Spanish) worth 10-15% of the added value of exports disappeared. Despite knowing far in advance that this would happen, many fishing companies are now for sale and exports of many products have suffered: for the first five months of 2010 relative to the same period in 2009, “shrimp is down 14.2%, shrimp larvae down 24.1% while fresh and filleted fish are down 47.1%”.

In addition to the withdrawal of the subsidy, from 15 July 2010 the use of large nets for tuna fishing has been banned. This ban was already in place for 35% of Panamanian waters and has now been extended to whole of the country’s ocean territory.

Mary Triny Zea told that, “the Panamanian fishing industry is made up of 8,000 small boats, 350 industrial boats, 32 boning and processing plants and employs approximately 29,300 people”.

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