Replaces: Arabic version (2005), Spanish version (2005), French version (2005), Chinese version (2005)
The Fisheries and Aquaculture Law defines aquaculture as an organized human activity aiming at the production of living aquatic resources [u.t.] ("actividad que tiene por objeto la producción de recursos hidrobiológicos organizada por el hombre") .
Aquaculture may be experimental when the activity aims at the production of living aquatic resources for scientific purpose, technological development or teaching. The definition of experimental aquaculture does not encompass the maintenance of resources for public display with demonstrative or recreational purposes .
Chile has recently (2010) joined the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Chile is also a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), but has not yet ratified the Biosafety Protocol.
From a regional perspective, the 1997 Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement and its side agreements (Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (CCAEC) and Canada-Chile Agreement on Labour Cooperation (CCALC) are worth mentioning. Indeed, the CCFTA deals with investment in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, whereas the goal of the CCAEC is to ensure that both countries enforce environmental laws, such as those governing water, air, toxic substances and wildlife, to provide for high levels of environmental protection.
Furthermore, Chile and Greece have signed a Framework Agreement on economic, scientific and technical cooperation (1994). Agriculture (including agro-industry and aquaculture), and forestry were identified as areas of possible cooperation.
Other bi- or multilateral agreements that do not expressly mention aquaculture but could be relevant for the latter are:
An authorization or concession is not required for aquaculture activities carried out entirely on private property, even when inland or marine waters are used, provided they are used in accordance with the respective regulations.
Only individuals of Chilean nationality or foreigners with permanent residence in the country, and Chilean legal entities, established in accordance with Chilean law, may apply for aquaculture concessions and/or authorizations. The concession or authorization confers the right to set up an aquaculture activity in a specific area and may concern either a single species or a group of species.
Operators of nurseries and slaughterhouses also need to obtain an authorization pursuant to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Law. In addition they need to fulfill certain sanitary and environmental requisites and observe some practices for disease control and environmental protection. The 2005 amendment (Law No. 20.091) to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Law has introduced the concept of nurseries and slaughterhouses in Article 90 (bis). The law only refers to an “authorization” to operate these types of facilities without giving additional details. The environmental requisites are provided for in articles 86 and 87 of the law which are applicable to aquaculture facilities as well as to nurseries and slaughterhouses. Therefore, no specific procedures have been introduced.
The cultivation and import of genetically modified living aquatic resources are now subject to the prior authorization of the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries (Law No.38.547 of 2006 amending the Fisheries and Aquaculture Law). A sanitary study is required, which must include an environmental impact assessment. The procedures will be defined by a decree of the Minister of Economy.
Aquaculture concessions are granted by the Ministry of Defense and confer the right to use and benefit from State property (marine beaches; public coastal areas; water-column and sea-bed lots; navigable rivers and lakes for vessels over 100 gross tons) for an indefinite period of time by allowing the concessionaire to establish an aquaculture facility.
Aquaculture authorizations are granted by the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries and confer an indefinite right to use and benefit, for aquaculture purposes, from the streams and water bodies that are not under the authority of the Ministry of Defense and are classified as suitable for aquaculture development.
Applications for aquaculture concessions and authorizations have to be filed with the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries. Applicants must provide a technical project, together with the supporting documentation required by the regulations. Subject to a technical report drafted by the National Service for Fisheries, the Sub Secretariat shall verify the absence of a prior concession or authorization affecting the same area, as well as the compliance with the conditions set forth by the law. In particular, the approval of an application is subject to the compliance of the project with the requirements established by the Ministry of Economy, such as the environmental measures to be taken to ensure that the development of aquaculture facilities does not exceed the carrying capacity limits of each waterbody, or the maximum size of aquaculture areas. Concerning the former, the Environmental Regulation on Aquaculture (Reglamento Ambiental para Acuicultura) (2001) requires the preparation of a study, the CPS (Preliminary Characterization of Site – Caracterización Preliminar de Sitio), for the determination of the physical, biological and chemical parameters and variables of the project area. The CPS must be lodged with the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries by those applying for a concession or authorization to conduct aquaculture in water-column and sea-bed lots (sectores de agua y fondo). The content of the CPS and the methodology for its preparation are established by the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries in Resolution (Subpesca) No. 404 of 2003. The resolution also establishes that the aquaculture facility should provide “environmental information” (información ambiental), including the system of production and the projected annual productions.
According to the General Law on the Environement (Ley sobre Bases Generales del Medio Ambiente) (1994), the conduct of aquaculture is also subject to an EIA. Therefore, authorizations and concessions (considered as sectoral environmental permits) are issued through the EIA System (Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental) (see § on EIA below).
When processing an application, the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries must either issue the authorization or, within 30 days, refer the documentation concerning concession applications to the Sub-Secretariat for Marine Affairs, under the Ministry of National Defense, for final decision to be taken within the following 90 days. After obtaining the concession or authorization, the applicant has 45 days to publish the resolution in the Official Bulletin. Article 80, as amended in 2005, establishes that the aquaculture authorization/concession should indicate if it is subject to Article 80 bis or 80 ter (see paragraph on management of titles below). The applicant also has three months to request the actual delivery of the authorization/concession (entrega material) to the Maritime Authority. The official delivery of the authorization/concession is performed once the fee for the concession or authorization is paid in accordance with Article 84.
The Fisheries and Aquaculture Law provides for the payment of an annual fee for aquaculture concession or authorizations holders (Article 84). This fee corresponds to two tax units per hectare. In case of units of less than one hectare the fee will be decreased accordingly. For a period of three years from the publication of the granting resolution in the Official Gazette, concession or authorization holders operating in an area of 50 hectares or less are exempted from paying the fee, provided they have not been granted additional concessions or authorizations.
Management of titles:
Concession and authorization holders have the right to carry out works to improve the structures of the aquaculture facilities subject to an authorization of the competent authority. As a general rule, both are under an obligation to ensure the conservation of the ecological balance of the concerned area.
Concession and authorization holders may apply for modifications of the scope to include one or more additional species to the the Sub-Secretariat for Marine Affairs and the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries respectively.
All aquaculture concessions and authorizations, as well as any subsequent modifications thereto, must be entered in the National Aquaculture Register before starting operations. The Register is kept by the National Service for Fisheries. Procedures are regulated by Decree No. 499 of 1994 establishing the National Aquaculture Register Regulations (Reglamento del Registro Nacional de Acuicultura )
As a general rule, the authorization or concession holder should commence the aquaculture activity within a year from the official delivery of the title. The concession or authorization holder may interrupt operations for a period of two consecutive years, with a possible extension up to 4 years.
In addition, a concession or authorization may be transferred or leased with the prior permission of the Sub-Secretariat of Marine Affairs or Sub-Secretariat of Fisheries:
However, following the 2005 amendment to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Law, applicants may choose to be subject to a special regime by paying a fee upon filing the application (Article 77). The special regime established under Article 80 bis gives the applicant the right to:
The granting of permits for the use of water is regulated by the Water Code, which recognizes three kinds of water use: continuous (24 hours a day), discontinuous and alternated (shared among two or more users). The competent authority is the General Department for Water, Ministry of Public Works. No specific reference is made to the use of water for aquaculture purposes.
The General Law on the Environment establishes a National System of Wild Protected Areas, which includes marine parks and reserves. Likewise, the creation of private wild protected areas shall be encouraged. Any waterbody (sea, lakes, rivers, lagoons, marshes, etc.) and beach situated in a protected area is considered as part of that area.
The EIA System is administered by the Regional or National Environmental Commission. Applications are to be filed with either the Regional Commission or the Executive Board of the National Commission, depending on whether the environmental impact is located in one or more regions. Upon approval of an EIA Study or Declaration, an environmental permit will be granted
The Regulation on the EIA System (Reglamento del Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental) (1997), as modified in 2001, includes authorizations and concessions to conduct aquaculture among sectoral environmental permits (permisos sectorales ambientales), i.e. issued by the authority responsible for the aquaculture sector as opposed to the environmental authority. Should such authorization or concession not be issued within the deadline for the approval or denial of the EIA Study or Declaration, the competent Environmental Commission shall require the responsible authority (i.e. the Ministry of Economy for aquaculture authorizations and the Ministry of National Defense for aquaculture concessions) to do so within the following 30 days: silence means approval.
When a project or activity that is subject to the EIA System is also likely to cause one of the impacts listed below, an Environmental Impact Study is required. Otherwise, an Environmental Impact Declaration shall suffice.
The competent Commission must approve or reject the Study within 120 days from the application (deferrable for 60 additional days under specific conditions): silence means approval. However, a temporary authorization to commence the project or activity may be issued upon subscription of an insurance policy covering the environmental damage risk. To ensure community participation in the decision-making process, the Commission shall publish in the Official Gazette an abstract of the Study, within 10 days from the application. Within the following 60 days, civic associations and natural persons may express their opinion thereon.
The Environmental Impact Declaration shall contain at least the following: type of project or activity; description of the project or activity to be carried out or of the modifications to be introduced; indication of the necessary elements to determine whether the environmental impact is in keeping with the relevant legislation and does not require an Environmental Impact Study; and description of the environmental obligations voluntarily taken up by the project manager.
The competent Commission must approve or reject the Declaration within 60 days from the application (deferrable for 30 additional days under specific conditions): silence from the administration means approval.
Every month, the National and Regional Environmental Commissions publish, in the Official Gazette and in a national or regional periodical publication, a list of all the Declarations and Studies that have been presented during the previous month, indicating the name of the applicant, the project location and the type of activity. For both Studies and Declarations, all the administrations participating in the EIA process approve the final technical report, to be drafted by the competent Commission.
Concerning the discharge of wastewater, the General Law on the Environment establishes that the Rules determining the maximum quantity of contaminants allowed in the effluents (Normas de Emisión) shall be issued by the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency (Ministerio Secretería General de la Presidencia). The Rules, drafted by the National Commission for the Environment (Comisión Nacional de Medio Ambiente – CONAMA), set specific quantities for the discharge of contaminated water into areas suitable for aquaculture (see § on access to land and water above). Moreover, Title IV of the Regulation for the Control of Water Contamination (Reglamento para el Control de la Contaminación Acuática) (1992) provides that any establishment producing waste to be discharged into national waters (contamination deriving from terrestrial sources as opposed to waste originated by ships and vessels) shall apply for an authorization to the General Department for the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (Dirección General del Territorio Marítimo y de Marina Mercante).
According to Decree Nº 397 that modifies Decree No.320 that approved the Environmental Regulation for aquaculture (Decreto Nº 397 - Modifica Decreto Nº 320 de 2001, que aprobó el Reglamento ambiental para la acuicultura) (19 November 2008) every aquaculture establishment has to adopt measures that prevent the dumping of solid and liquid wastes originating from aquaculture activities, including fish blood and fluids, chemical substances, mud and in general any material or substance of any origin that may affect the sea bed, water column, beaches .
The introduction of species that have already been authorized is subject to the communication of the following information to the Sub Secretariat of Fisheries, at least 30 days before the introduction in the country:
The first introduction of a species in the country is subject to the authorization of the Sub Secretariat, to be issued or denied within 60 days from the application. Applications must provide the following information:
The Regulation also establishes the procedures and conditions for the transport of live species within the country. The transport of high risk material is subject to the authorization of the National Service for Fisheries.
Lastly, the export of Chilean products is only subject to the quality standards imposed by the country of destination.
As mentioned above (see § on fish movement), health certificates are required for both first import and introduction of authorized living aquatic species in the country. The Regulations also address the characteristics of the Isolation Unit and the procedures to be followed when complementary certificates or studies are required, before the first import of a specimen.
As stated by the Regulation, the Sub-Secretariat for Fisheries shall draft a classification of high risk diseases, on a yearly basis, according to the following criteria: virulence, percentage of infected specimens, spread, or economic impact on the country. For each species (fish, molluscs and crustaceans), two lists are drafted – List 1 contains the diseases that are subject to compulsory declaration to OIE (International Animal Health Organization - Office International des Epizooties), those that have been detected in the country for the first time, or those with limited distribution; List 2 includes the remaining diseases that are considered important by the OIE, or those showing a wide geographical spread over the national territory.
The said Regulation describes the procedure to be followed in case of a disease outbreak of unknown origin or in case of legitimate suspicion concerning one of the diseases included in List 1. The Director of the aquaculture facility notifies the disease outbreak to the National Service for Fisheries, that takes one or more of the following measure, until the suspicion is officially confirmed or refuted:
Given the importance of the salmon farming industry in the country, some specific regulations and voluntary norms have been agreed within the industry and between the industry and the government (the National Fisheries Service- SERNAPESCA). Examples of these include:
The production, conservation, sale, import/export of veterinary drugs, as well as the use of experimental drugs are covered by the Regulation on Veterinary Drugs (Reglamento de Productos Farmacéuticos de Uso Exclusivamente Veterinario) (1995), implementing the Animal Health and Protection Law ( Ley de Sanidad y Protección Animal) (1963) and the Agriculture and Livestock Service Law (Ley sobre el Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero) (1989). Furthermore, the Biosecurity Regulation (Normas Generales de Bioseguridad para los Productos Farmaceúticos Biotecnológicos que Contienen Organismos Geneticamente Modificados) (1999) provides additional measures for the registration, testing, production, import, prescription and sale of veterinary products containing GMOs. There is no specific reference with respect to the use of drugs for aquaculture purposes, in any of the above mentioned regulations.
Several resolutions establish limitations or prohibitions for drugs containing specific substances, such as Ketamine or Nitrofuran derivatives. However, such drugs are not specific to aquaculture.
Furthermore, several Rules (Normas Técnicas) prescribe standards for the detection of microorganisms and bacteria in aquatic products in general.Resolution No. 1.462/1999 (Resolución que fija los Límites Máximos de Residuos de Medicamentos Veterinarios en Alimentos destinados al Consumo Humano), issued by the Ministry of Health and implementing the Food Safety Regulation, establishes the maximum quantity of veterinary drugs residues to be found in food intended for human consumption, including all fish and fishery products.
Aquaculture is not mentioned in the Foreign Investment Statute (Estatuto de la Inversión Extranjera) (1974).
Agreement on the Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment (Convenio para la Protección del Medio Marino y la Zona Costera del Pacífico Sudeste) (1981) (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile)
Agreement on the Measures of Surveillance and Control on the Maritime Zones of Signatory Countries (Convenio sobre las Medidas de Vigilancia y Control de las Zonas Marítimas de los Países Signatarios) (1954) (Ecuador; Peru and Chile)
Agriculture and Livestock Service Law (Ley sobre el Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero)
Animal Protection and Health Law (Decreto con Fuerza de Ley (RRA) No. 16 sobre Sanidad y Protección Animal) (1963). (Copy not available)
Biosecurity Regulation Biosecurity Regulation (Normas Generales de Bioseguridad para los Productos Farmaceúticos Biotecnológicos que Contienen Organismos Geneticamente Modificados) (1999)
Regulation on Veterinary Drugs Regulation on Veterinary Drugs (Reglamento de Productos Farmacéuticos de Uso Exclusivamente Veterinario) (1995)
Resolución que establece condición de Venta para Productos Farmacéuticos de Uso Veterinario que contienen Ketamina (1999)
Resolución que prohíbe el Uso de Productos Farmacéuticos de Uso Veterinario que contengan Sustancias Derivadas de Nitrofuranos y 5-Nitroimidazoles (1998)
Fisheries Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Chile and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain (1977)
Framework Agreement between the Government of the Hellenic Republic and the Government of the Republic of Chile on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation (1994)
General Law for Fisheries and Aquaculture (Ley General de Pesca y Acuicultura) (1989, as amended)
Environmental Regulation on Aquaculture (Reglamento Ambiental para Acuicultura) (2001)
Regulation on Measures for the Protection, Control and Eradication of High Risk Diseases of Living Aquatic Species (Reglamento de Medidas de Protección, Control y Erradicación de Enfermedades de Alto Riesgo para las Especies Hidrobiologicas) (2001)
Regulation on Health Control for the Introduction of Food and Organic Products to be used for Aquaculture Purposes (Reglamento de Control Sanitario en la Internación de Alimentos y Productos Biológicos de Uso en la Acuicultura) (Underway – copy not available)
Regulation on Certification and other Health Requirements for the Import of Living Aquatic Species (Reglamento de Certificación y otros Requisitos Sanitarios Exigibles para la Importación de Especies Hidrobiologicas) (2001)
Regulation on Concessions and Authorizations for Aquaculture Regulation on Concessions and Authorizations for Aquaculture (Reglamento de Concesiones y Autorizaciones de Acuicultura) (1993, as amended)
Regulation on Introduction of First Import Species (Reglamento de Internación de Especies de Primera Importación) (1995)
Resolution establishing Specific Conditions for the Complementary Certification concerning the Import of Living Aquatic Species (Resolución que fija Condiciones Especificas de la Certificación Complementaria para la Importación de Especies Hidrobiológicas) (2001)
General Law for the Environment (Ley sobre Bases Generales del Medio Ambiente) (1994)
Regulation on the Environmental Impact Assessment System (Reglamento del Sistema de Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental) (1997, as amended)
Rule establishing the Quantity of Contaminants allowed in Effluents to be Discharged in Superficial Marine and Inland Waters (Norma de Emisión para la Regulación de Contaminantes Asociados a las Descargas de Residuos Líquidos a Aguas Marinas y Continentales Superficiales) (2000)
Foreign Investment Statute (Estatuto de la Inversión Extranjera) (1974)
Regulation for the Control of Water Contamination (Reglamento para el Control de la Contaminación Acuática) (1992)
Regulation on Fisheries Activities (Decreto que reglamenta Actividades Pesqueras) (1980)
Regulation on Food Safety (Reglamento Sanitario de los Alimentos) (1996, as amended)
Normas Técnicas NCh (Norma Chilena) 2659 y NCh 2671 para la Determinación de Microorganismos en Productos Hidrobiológicos (2002). (Copy not available)
Normas Técnicas NCh 2658, NCh 2675 y NCh 2676 que establecen los Requisitos de Productos Alimenticios y Actividades Ambientales (detección de bacterias en el agua y en los productos hidrobiológicos) (2002). (Copy not available)
Resolución que fija los Límites Máximos de Residuos de Medicamentos Veterinarios en Alimentos destinados al Consumo Humano (1999)
Resolución que establece Referencias de Limites Máximos De Residuos de Medicamentos Veterinarios, para definir el Periodo de Resguardo de Productos Farmacéuticos de Uso Exclusivamente Veterinario (1999)
Water Code Water Code (Código de Aguas) (1981, as amended)
NCh 1.333 (Decreto No. 867 del Ministerio de Obras Publicas) que establece los Requisitos de Calidad del Agua para Diferentes Usos (agua potable, bebida para animales, riego, recreación y estética, y vida acuática) (1978). (Copy not available)
Sub Secretariat for Fisheries (Subsecreteria de Pesca – SubPesca)
National Service for Fisheries (Servicio Nacional de Pesca – SerNaPesca)
National Commission for the Environment (Comisión Nacional de Medio Ambiente – Ministerio Secretaría General de la Presidencia)
General Department for the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine (Dirección General del Territorio Marítimo y de Marina Mercante)
Ministry of National Defense (Ministerio de Defensa Nacional)
Ministry of Economy (Ministerio de Economía)