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Manual CHILE Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Chile

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After Chilean scientists put in practice a major change in the stock assessment model, the most recent evaluations showed that: the status of the stock was barely at the limit reference point, and although the recruitment seemed to have not been impaired, the recovery process stalled since An external peer review ratified the results of the improved assessment model.

In , after obtaining the results of the direct assessment, scientists concluded that the stock remains in a state of fragility and vulnerability because of its low biomass and unstable age structure. In fact, biomass continued to decline, showing a negative variation of 8. During the last several years, FIP members have talked to authorities about the urgent need for a recovery management plan with clear goals, terms, and harvest rules.

In this regard, the latest amendment to the Chilean Fisheries Law aims primarily to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and, in consonance, substantive changes were incorporated into the management system. Changes included the creation of Scientific Committees and Management Committees, and the requirement to set management plans for fully exploited fisheries incorporating measures to recover them to sustainable levels.

The Management Committee for Hake held its first meeting in September , and agreed to work on eliminating illegal, unreported fishing. The under-reporting of landings coming from the small-scale sector is an important issue that remains unsolved.

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On the other hand, CeDePesca is requesting that the authorities address the social problems arising from the conservation measures, while reducing the incentives for illegal practices. On the other hand, a strong controversy surrounds the role of jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas as a predator of hake. Peer reviewers have accepted that jumbo squid should be taken into account as an extra source of natural mortality.

In addition, over the last 5 years, an artisanal fishery for jumbo squid has developed at the same time as hake has become scarcer, so now artisanal fishers are interested in conservation of the jumbo squid and have claimed exclusivity for this resource. Another important matter to be solved in order to get the MSC certification is to have a better understanding of the impacts on the ecosystem and to incorporate ecosystem data collection and analysis into the research plan.

This has started to be solved through the enforcement of the new rules about discards and bycatch. In , 1. In , 3. Regarding destination countries, the USA remains the largest customer, followed by Spain and other countries.

Fishery Improvement Project

A number of meetings were held with industry leaders, and the US supply chain encouraged a dialogue with the artisanal sector in order to smooth the way towards an MSC certification. After the full assessment started, the stock assessment results published in February and December estimated the stock was in significantly worse condition than previously thought. CeDePesca has been following up on this, encouraging TACs to be established strictly according to the scientific advice.

The first year the curtail was In May, the first draft of a management plan was starting to be discussed with stakeholders. One of the topics of discussion with regard to the management plan is the improvement of the control measures to avoid under-reporting in both sectors artisanal and industrial. As a background for these discussions, the Chilean Congress is discussing the new fisheries law and a discards regulation, in which very important topics are addressed, some of which were suggested by several improvement plans.

The discussion of the new fisheries law dominated the arena and no further advance for the FIP was possible. Nevertheless, recruitment seems not to have been impaired. However, as recovery had stalled, IFOP recommended that the TAC should be around 26, tonnes to have a reasonable recovery expectation in the middle term, so the new TAC was still over the scientific recommendation.

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The Chilean National Congress finally passed the new fisheries law in which significant improvements became binding:. A workplan was drafted and the approval was postponed until March, after some legal issues related with the law were resolved by the Constitutional Court and summer vacations ended. As a result of the meeting, it was clear that:. The main points were:. According to the last IFOP report, it would be necessary to reduce fishing mortality by 50 percent to have reasonable levels of certainty on recovery of the stock.

It was highlighted that all these topics must be included in the Management Plan, including practical measures to address the Ecosystem Approach. Several of them are already at initial stages of implementation. The meeting also discussed progress on other fishery improvements, including the discards program and the progress of the management plan, in particular what should be the acceptable risk level as part of the decision rules. Rules regarding the confirmation of Scientific Committees were approved and a call for nominees issued.

In August, the fishery suspended its MSC full assessment until the new Fisheries Law is fully operative and management and research improvements show results. However, the FIP participants reaffirmed their commitment to the project. The goal of the workshop was to identify issues with the management system and to encourage fishers to participate in the process of forming the committee that will draft the Management Plan. More than 60 fishers participated in the workshop. The goal of the workshop was to present the selection process for members of the Management Committee. In May, the Government launched a mitigation program for artisanal fishers affected by the reduction of the TAC for Chilean common hake.

This result indicates a degree of underreported landings in several artisanal inlets, where most of the domestic consumption is centered. Also in July, the process of election of representatives of the private sector artisanal sector, industrial and processing plants to the Management Committee for Hake was completed.

The primary purpose and mission of the committee is the development of a management plan aimed at rebuilding the fishery.

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The purpose was to get a better understanding of the domestic supply chain and the probable illegal circuits for the commercialization of hake. CeDePesca also provided some information on illegal trade. Also in March, IFOP conducted a workshop to disseminate the outcomes of the annual scientific survey conducted in The workshop was attended by nine exhibitors who gave several lectures on the relative importance of bycatch species, reproductive dynamics of the hake stock, estimates of biomass, abundance, spatial distribution of the stock, estimating the size composition, age and sex ratio of the stock, characterization of the spatial distribution of eggs and larvae, and oceanographic conditions associated with the spatial distribution of this species.

In addition, a new meeting took place between CeDePesca and the Seafood Trade Association, to discuss possible ways of collaboration to reduce the illegal trading of hake. The feasibility of developing partnerships with artisanal fisheries sectors, wholesalers and retailers was also discussed, with the goal of creating some kind of domestic market recognition for responsible behavior.


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The aim of the study was to determine the marketing system of seafood in these establishments that are an important part of the domestic marketing network that has experienced strong growth in recent years and has become a destination for the sale of illegal fishing. The purpose was to get a better understanding of the domestic supply chain and the probable illegal circuits for commercialization of hake.

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A large crowd of homeowners buy seafood in these establishments, and it was possible to detect many cases where there is a lack of knowledge among the general public as well as among the tenants, regarding the origin of the fish and seafood that is being sold and bought. Also, it was observed that there are many suppliers of the VII and VIII Regions, areas that are estimated to concentrate the highest percentage of illegal fishing.

In June, a working group was formed to address the illegal entry of hake into the Valparaiso region.


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In July, IFOP begun the new scientific research campaign, whose overall objective is to assess the hake stock through hydroacoustic methods. Also in July, the Management Committee for Hake met and the main topics addressed were the budget control and the importance of structuring a plan of social support -which must be covered by the management plan and the recovery program. Actions were also agreed in order to combat illegal fishing and to attain the urgent strengthening of the enforcement program. In August, the legal rule requiring artisanal fishing boats ranging in length from 15 to 18 meters to install a vessel monitoring system came into effect.

The measure aims at combating illegal fishing, ensuring the safety of fishers at sea, ensuring the protection of the most vulnerable fishers operating within the first nautical mile, and ensuring the sustainable use of fishery resources. Those who do not comply with the requirement will not get permission to sail. The estimates are consistent with previous studies on the cost and revenue structure of the artisanal fishery and with in situ observation of these practices.

Also in December, the TAC for the hake fishery was set at 23, tonnes for , in accordance with the range advised by the Scientific Committee and the recommendations from the Management Committee for Hake. The TAC has been kept at the level. In consequence, field visits to the fishing communities of Coquimbo and Tongoy Guanakeros took place. CeDePesca warned about the danger of leaving fisheries under no regulatory framework, as well as the uncertainty that would arise while new legislation is discussed, particularly for resources that are overexploited as is the case of hake.

The Management Plan is available here. Activities include further analyzing the underreporting phenomenon in the IV and VIII Regions, and a stronger effort to attain management changes aimed to minimize this practice in order for the fishery to recover. In May, fieldwork has continued in fishing communities of the VIII Region in order to gain a better understanding of the fishing activity of the artisanal fleet targeting hake.

A meeting with FIP partners also took place to discuss progress and ways in which the FIP may collaborate with authorities and fishers to achieve better market conditions that encourage the abandonment of underreporting. Skip to main content. Countries, economies and regions Select a country, economy or region to find embassies, country briefs, economic fact sheets, trade agreements, aid programs, information on sanctions and more.

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