VENEZUELA: President Chavez and subsidies to fisheries

President Chavez has expressed his dissatisfaction about the way the some in the fishing industry (fishermen, processors) are behaving after having received subsidies from the government.

In a statement on 28 May 2009, Mr. Chávez said the following (translated from Spanish):

“We are providing loans to artisanal fishermen, we have banned deep sea trawling, we have created a financial fund for fisheries. And now, to whom are selling fishermen their produce? There you see the real face of capitalism, capitalism is unforgiving, capitalism is a poison. And we all get hooked on it. “

It seems that what lead Mr. Chavez to make this scathing statement was the alleged disappearance of sardines at “La Gaviota”, a fish processing company in Cumaná (State of Sucre).

So, it seems that fishermen receiving help from the government are bound to deliver their catch to “La Gaviota”. By the way, this company was nationalised on 1 May 2009 (Labour’s day).

This brings to my mind a similar situation in Norway, where fishermen are bound to land catches within a certain geographical area, if they want to get catch quotas in that particular area. It is the so called “leveringsplikt”. I will come back on this “policy tool” in a separate post.

Here is a link to an article from the “Radio Nacional de Venezuela”:

And here is a link to a video on the nationalization of the company:

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