Calls for more effort in Chile to protect fisheries


Artisanal fishing boats in the Los Lagos region of Chile. (Photo courtesy of Fishing Undersecretariat)

In the 1990s, Chile’s fishing industry was riding high, hauling in up to seven million tons of fish a year. Since then, though, overfishing and ocean warming caused by intense El Niño weather patterns have taken a toll on landings. During 2005-15, the average annual catch had fallen to 3.1 million tons, and in 2016 registered just 1.5 million tons. Volumes rose slightly in the two subsequent years—to 1.9 million tons in 2017 and 2.12 million tons in 2018. That’s largely due to partial recovery of stocks of the industry’s mainstay species—Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens), which is mainly used in the production of fish oil and fishmeal for animal feed. But overall the picture remains grim. In April the Chilean Fishing Undersecretariat released figures showing that of the country’s 27 most important fisheries, 13 are overfished and five are depleted. Each fishery is determined by species type and... [Log in to read more]

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