and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
DE LA PÊCHE PAR PAYS
des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture
LA PESCA POR PAISES
de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación
REPUBLIC OF CHILE
GENERAL ECONOMIC DATA
756 280 km²
Shelf (until 200 m):
000 km² approx.
5 300 km approx.
at purchasers' value (1998):1
72 949 million
consumption per inhabitant, (1998):
3 218 million
tonnes liveweight equivalent
for direct human consumption
for animal feed and other purposes
Gross Value of Fisheries Output (1995):
US$ 37 million
1 673 million
AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FISHING AND AQUACULTURE SECTOR
Chile occupies an important place in world fisheries being the third
country of the globe, for what concerns landings of fishing products,
after China and Peru. The development of this sector is based on the
effort of the private sector and the existence of a regulatory line,
the General Law of Fisheries and Aquaculture, which main goal is the
adequate conservation of the hydro-biological resources. During 1998
this sector registered a landing of 2 745 378 tons.
Industrial fishing sector. Is constituted by the industrial fishing
vessels and its owners, who have to be registered in the National Industrial
Fisheries Register in order to have the rights described in the fishing
authorizations of the Fisheries Sub-Secretary. It must be pointed out
that during 1998 an important number of substitutions and transference
was registered which shows a variation in the number of vessels ready
to operate. That is why during 1998 the number of industrial vessels,
landing during 1998, reached 494 vessels, from a total of 596 registered
vessels, which, all together, accumulate a hold capacity equivalent
to 198 976 m2 and to 168 461 gross register tons.
fisheries sector. Is constituted by the artisanal fisheries and their
vessels, that must be registered in the Artisanal Fisheries National
Register in order to develop their extractive activities. During 1998
this sector registered landings of 622 626 tons, including the collect
of seaweeds, with a total of 13 825 artisanal vessels, that is, vessels
with a length up to 18 m and up to 50 tons of gross register.
fishing sector. In 1998 there were 823 aquaculture centres, which collected,
during that year, 361 430 tons, destined to direct consumption or to
raw material; they can be divided as follows: 71,9 per cent fishes;
9,2 per cent molluscs and 18,9 per cent seaweeds. This sector has grown
at an annual tax of 18,4% from 1994 to 1998.
The total landings during 1998 reached 3,8 million tons, which is about
39 per cent lower than the landing observed during 1997 and about 47,9
per cent inferior to the mean of the period 94-97. This decrease is
directly related to the decrease in the catches of Chilean jack mackerel
and anchoveta (Peruvian anchovy) which are the major part of the national
capture. In the case of the Chilean jack mackerel the catch started
to diminish in 1997 as a consequence of the over-exploitation in the
years 94, 95 and 96, when landings were greater than the mean of the
previous years. The fishing of anchoveta was affected in 1998 by the
climatic changes of the phenomenon el Niño.
Fishes represent 87,9 per cent of the total 1998 landings being the
remaining 7,0 per cent of seaweeds, 2,9 per cent of molluscs, 1,1 per
cent of crustaceans and 1,2 per cent of other resources.
The industrial sector (captures and aquaculture) represented 83,7 per
cent of the total landings with 3,2 million tons, formed, in its majority
by pelagic resources, of which the Chilean jack mackerel (Trachurus
murphyi), anchoveta (Peruvian anchovy) (Engraulis ringens) and Chilean
sprat (Clupea bentincki) represent 55,5 per cent, 18,0 per cent and
10,9 per cent respectively.
The main demersal resources which influenced the total number of landings
were Chilean hake, (Merluccius gayi) and New Zealand hake ( Merluccius
General line. In Chile, this sector has been characterized for being
one with bigger dynamics and importance of the national fishing sector,
and for having reached a high development which began in the 80's, mainly
based in the culture of salmonoids and, at a lower level, molluscs,
clams and seaweeds.
It develops mainly in national marine spaces of public use, that can
be accessed through a legal term "the aquaculture concession".
Even so, it takes place in scales that go from a subsistence economy
to an enterprise economy aiming the industrial production.
The 823 aquaculture centres operating during 1998 for the direct consumption
or for the elaboration of products, collected 361 430 tons, distributed
as follows: 71,9 per cent fishes; 9,2 per cent molluscs and 18, per
Collects and production. During 1998, the aquaculture sector reached
levels of about 361,4 thousand tons, which is 3,6 per cent lower than
in 1997 and about 32,7 per cent above the average of the period 1994-1997;
in general, the aquaculture sector increased at an annual tax of 18,4
per cent from 1994 to 1998. The decrease in the global levels of the
catches is due to the strong decrease of Gracilaria spp, because of
the low prices at the beach. The decrease of the collect of this species
is so big that it does not allow the understanding of the increase in
the catches of fishes (4,8 per cent) and the strong increase of the
molluscs (37,5 per cent) relative to 1997. The main item is related
to fishes, which amount to 71,8 per cent of the total capture.
The exports of the aquaculture sector show a progressive increase concerning
its participation within the total fishing exports of the country. The
last numbers, in august, show that this sector contributed with more
than US$ 535 millions, which represents 46,5 per cent of the total exported.
The imports of fishing products during 1998, reached US$ 37 millions
and represent a volume of about 27 800 tons.
Fishing exports 1994-98. During the period 1994-1998, the value of the
national fishing exports presented a net increase of 22,5 per cent,
from US$ 1 366 millions in 1994 to US$ 1 673 millions in 1998. Such
an increase in value is due to an increase in the prices; in reality,
the prices increased about 110,5 per cent, which can be verified by
the fact that in 1994 the medium price was US$ 852,8/ton, while in 1998
it reached a value of US$ 1 795,5/ton. For what concerns the evolution
of the exported quantities, it presented a deficit, during the same
period, decreasing about 41,8 per cent, from 1,6 millions of tons in
1994 to only 932 thousand tons in 1998.
These results were partially conditioned by the evolution of the exports
of fish meal and oil, which strongly influenced both the increase of
the prices and the deficit of the exports; while 1994 is among one of
the periods of bigger pelagic species landings, 1998 showed all the
natural effects of a long period of prohibition and a deteriorated state
of the pelagic fisheries, which is the basis for the production and
exports of the national industry. Another element which is determinant
in the global result of this period was the increase of the lines with
a greater aggregated value like the freezing lines and the chilled ones
(mainly oriented to the salmonoid resources). The strong increase of
the exports compensated the decrease of the prices.
During the 5-year period, the exports of the artisanal sector represented
about 20 per cent of the total exports, reaching a value of US$ 324
The evolution presented by the several economical groups in terms of
values during the 5-year period 1994-1998 shows that the group APEC
(without NAFTA) were the leaders of such groups; undoubtedly, it must
also be stressed out even if its status of main market does not recognize
bigger competitors within the rest of the groups, its participation
since 1995 started decreasing, once it can be observed that while in
that year they had about 51,3 per cent, in 1998 it only reached 46,1
per cent. In absolute terms, within this period this group had an annual
growth tax of about 2 per cent, increasing from US$ 700 millions to
US$ 771 millions.
The groups NAFTA and U.E. were in second and third places, after APEC.
In effect, while in the period 1994-1995, U.E. occupied the second place,
after 1996 the group NAFTA managed to overcome it and from that date
the difference in favour of this last group increased, managing, during
1998 to maintain a difference of 8.5 percentile points ahead U.E. This
can also be verified comparing the annual mean growth taxes of both
groups; while U.E. had about 0.9 per cent (the lowest of all the groups),
the group NAFTA reached about 12.8 per cent.
On the other hand, the group MERCOSUR, had the biggest annual mean growth
tax in that period (26.6 per cent), even if its participation within
the total was always under 5 per cent, it has to be stressed out that
it was the group with less number of countries, being Brazil and Argentina
those who participate more in our exports; it is then more important
to point out this group because of the growth levels reached than for
its contribution within the total exports.
The group Other countries that joins the rest of the non-associated
countries to some economical group, maintained its participation of
about 10 per cent during that period, reaching an annual mean growth
tax of about 5.9 per cent.
Observing now the behaviour of these groups in terms of exported volume,
their generalized decrease is obvious, except for MERCOSUR, which shows,
not only an increase in value, but also an annual growth tax in volume
of 21.6 per cent, which breaks the tendency shown by the rest of the
groups, showing decreases in their volumes of 9.9 per cent for the group
APEC, 7.9 per cent for NAFTA, 23.4 per cent for U.E. and 12.7 per cent
for Other countries.
Economic role of the fishing industry
Chile occupies the 3rd place of the landings in the world, after China
and Peru. This fishing sector is the third exporting sector of the country,
after the mining and forest sectors and represents 11 per cent of the
external sales, around US$ 1 700 millions.
Situation of the national fishing industry
The Chilean jack mackerel fisheries is the basis of the fishing sector
industry in the central and south zones of the country representing,
sometimes, half of the national catches. Because of the climatic phenomena
of El Niño current and the over fishing of this resource during
the period 1994-1995, where the catches reached more than 4 000 million
tons, a remarkable decrease of the biomass of this resource was verified.
The Government applied successive prohibitions during the years 1998-1999,
which reduced dramatically the fisheries and the enterprise activity
was strongly affected. In this scenario and aiming to solve this crisis
the Government implemented a modification to the current Fishing Law
in order to apply a global fishing quota for Chilean jack mackerel of
800 thousand tons for the year 2000, which is considered an indispensable
number to avoid the over exploitation of this species, and that could
be recovered in 3 years. At the present moment, the project is being
discussed at the Senate of the Republic.
The fishing activity in Chile has an enormous future potential. It is
the third exporting sector of the country and represents 11 per cent
of the external sales, about 1 700 million US dollars, which is a number
that is expected to triplicate at a medium term with an adequate administration
of the resources, improvement in the production, incorporation of the
aggregated value to the products and commercialization.
The national fishing is a highly regulated sector of the economy. In
the extractive sector, individual transferable quotas have been applied
with success in new fisheries, like the Patagonian tooth fish (Dissostichus
eleginoides), and in fisheries that are being recovered like the Pleuroncodes
monodon and the Cervimunida johni. The adjudication of property rights
has been done by public auctions.
The access to fisheries in full exploitation is restricted through the
control of the fleet holds capacity. In the pelagic fisheries, the freezing
of the fleet did not have the expected results, and that is how the
Chilean jack mackerel fishery had a drastic decrease in the last years.
In order to guarantee the sustainability of the fisheries activity,
the Government of Chile proposed a reform to the 1991 Aquaculture and
Fisheries Law that tries to establish a new way to regulate the main
fisheries in the country. It offers individual fishing licences, which
are transferable, indefinite, and able to be transferred or rented,
for the fisheries declared in "Regime of Full Exploitation",
that is, those that reach such a level of exploitation that, with the
capture of the authorized extractive units, there will be no species
production in excess nor over capacity of the fishing fleet. This is
the major modification of the Fishing Law ever implemented, once it
tries to establish a new form of regulation for the main fisheries in
the country, leaving the decision of the size of the fishing fleet to
the private sector.
Undoubtedly, aquaculture offers the country a high development potential,
because of the favourable natural conditions they have and the sector's
administration policy which considers fishing and aquaculture as complementary
activities. The salmonoids culture maintains a high growth potential,
not only concerning the future catches of the authorized centres but
also concerning the projections, the important number of centres which
are not yet operating in regions X and XI. If they eventually start
working, the Chilean salmon culture can largely exceed the present production.
This fact undoubtedly shows the possibility for the country to maintain
the second place as a world producer of salmonoids, connecting to the
market conditions in the future, with a scenario where not only Chile
has an important offer but where also participate countries like Norway,
Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States with its offer of chinnok
salmon from Alaska.
If there will be an extension of the sector, it is necessary to consider
the importance of aggregating value to the products. This becomes clear
observing the increase of the exports of products like filets, filets
without spines, pieces, "steaks", hamburgers, smoked, salted,
among others. This development, is due not only to the need of giving
a greater value to the exports, but also to the entry, in the sector,
of high technology processing factories which can process such products,
according to the most restricted norms of quality.
The Sub-secretary of Fisheries has the responsibility of the national
main fisheries, pelagic and demersal fishes, crustaceans and bentonic
fishes. For that, funds reaching 1.7 millions of US dollars were assigned
by the official budget Law. This important task is under a contract
with the Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP).
The Fondo de Investigación Pesquera (FIP) which depends on the
Ministry of Economy finances the researches in order to adopt measures
of fishing administration. The research annual plans are attributed
by public application. The fisheries and aquaculture enterprises have
the option to pay previously their fishing and aquaculture patents to
the FIP. In 1998 US$ 3.3 millions were collected.
The Fondo de Fomento al Desarrollo Científico (FONDEF) and Tecnológico
del Conicyt (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica
y Tecnológica) and the Fondo de Innovación y Desarrollo
(FDI) of the CORFO (Corporación de Fomento de la Producción)
finance technological development projects in all the sectors. During
1999 an ammount of US$ 8 millions was financed to the projects of the
fishing sector, most of them in the aquaculture sector.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
The Government of Chile under signed the following International Agreements
regarding the fishing sector:
for the Regulation for the catch of Whales, adopted in December,
2 of 1946.
to the Convention for the Regulation for the catch of Whales in
Agreement on the Release of Licences for the Exploitation of the
Richness of the South Pacific, adopted in 1954.
Second Protocol of the Convention about of the Prohibition of the
Fisheries with Large Floating gillnets in the South Pacific, adopted
for the Protection of the Antarctic Marine Living Resources, adopted
for the Conservation and Administration of the Marine and Coastal
Areas of the Southeast Pacific, adopted in 1989.
for the United Nations on the Rights of the Sea, CONVEMAR and their
of Understanding on the Fishing Co-operation between the Government
of the Republic of Chile and the Government of the People's Republic
of China, subscribed in 1995.
of Understanding between the Sub-Secretary of Fisheries and the
Japanese Fishing Agency, signed in 1992.
on Technical Co-operation between the Government of Japan and the
Government of Chile, 1978.
of Scientific and Technical Collaboration between the Instituto
de Fomento Pesquero and the Instituto del Mar of Perú, subscribed
the multilateral domain, the Government of Chile participates in a regular
way in the meetings of the FAO Fishing Committee, of the Permanent Commission
of the South Pacific, CPPS, of the Commission for the Conservation of
the Antarctic Marine Living Resources, with the National Marine Fisheries
Service of USA, and in the Commission of the Continental Fisheries for
Latin America, FAO.
of Fisheries: http://www.subpesca.cl
de Fomento Pesquero: http://www.ifop.cl
Nacional de Pesca: http://www.sernapesca.cl
Nacional de Pesca :email: [email protected],
de Productores de Ostras y Ostiones: email : [email protected]
de Productores de Salmón y Trucha de Chile, email: : [email protected]