Jorge Cofré

General Information


President  - Crewmen and Special Vessels Union

President of the Punta Arenas Branch  - Special Vessels Crew and Officers union

President  - Fishing Crews Union

President  - Magallanes Fishermen Union

President  - Punta

President  - Punta Arenas Union of Crewmembers

Recent News  

The Uruguayan flagged longliner "Maya V" apprehended last Friday in Australian waters suspected of illegal fishing has 23 Chilean crewmen onboard, ten of which from Punta Arenas according to Jorge Cofré, president of the Crewmen and Special Vessels Union. "Monday night we were notified of the "Maya V" situation but no names were released.Anyhow we've been assured the whole crew is in excellent conditions and representatives from the company that contracted them have indicated they will be repatriated once the vessel arrives to the Australian port of Freemantle". Mr. Cofré added the union will be in permanent contact with Chilean diplomatic officials to closely follow the situation. "Once they arrive in Freemantle company representatives have promised to pay all arrears pending", said the union president. Besides the ten crewmen from Punta Arenas, the "Maya V" includes seven from Puerto Montt, 3 from Coihaique, 2 from Santiago and one from Concepción, added Mr. Cofré.

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Jorge Cofré president of the Punta Arenas branch of the Special Vessels Crew and Officers union ratified that the Australian government will not be pressing charges against any of the Chileans currently retained in Villawood, Sydney airport. Australian Migration will be responsible for embarking the Chilean crew members, seven of which from Punta Arenas, and the bookings have already been made in Lan Chile, added Mr. Cofré. Mr. Cofré praised the Chilean Foreign Office for its quick response to the situation and greater commitment, "this time", apparently influenced by a Chilean television investigative report showing the appalling conditions of Chilean crew members working in convenience flagged vessels, "mostly pirates". He doubted the company owner of the Taruman would be paying back salaries and other compensations before the Chileans leave Australia. Meantime the Australian Fisheries Management Authority announced it was pressing charges for illegal fishing against the Master and Fishing Master of the Taruman.When the vessel was boarded by Customs and Fisheries officers in early September she was found to be carrying 143 tons of poached Patagonian toothfish.

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A new decree which regulates foreign flagged factory vessels operating in high seas next to Chile's EEZ that call into Chilean ports was highlighted as "extremely positive" both at regional and national level by Jorge Cofré, president of the Fishing Crews Union in Punta Arenas. The new legislation drafted by the Fisheries Department and supported by Chile's fisheries industry limits indiscriminate access to Chilean ports of those vessels operating beyond the Chilean waters 200 miles, forcing them to abide by the same regulations that apply to Chilean fishing vessels mainly satellite positioning control, regular observers duties, catch volumes, etc. "This means foreign vessels will have to cooperate with Chile in the conservation of straddling and highly migrating species in adjacent high seas" indicated Mr. Cofré. From now on all vessels operating in the plus 200 area of Chile's EEZ that wish to take supplies in Chilean ports will have to abide by Chilean Fisheries legislation as well as those "obligations imposed by international conventions such as CCALMR" (Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources). "When entering Chilean port vessels will have to declare their catches and the country certification for those catches, all of which is a great advance in fisheries resources sustainability", added Mr. Cofré. Send this article to a friend

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