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Asesor del Despacho Vice-ministerial de Pesquería
Ministerio de la Producción
Calle Uno Oeste No. 060, San Isidro
Lima 27
Tel: +51 1 2243334/4753218
Fax: +51 1 2242950
E-Mail: [email protected]


This paper is designed to provide an overview of major shared fish stocks, and their fisheries, in the South Eastern Pacific-SEP. The paper was prepared for presentation at the Norway-FAO Expert Consultation on the Management of Shared Fish Stocks. It will attempt to review the status of those small pelagic fish stocks, which can be classified as shared stocks, according to the definitions used by FAO, and others. In so doing, the paper will describe the main biological aspects of the stocks, their legal status, and will describe the efforts of Peru and Chile, as the most important fishing countries in the Region sharing these resources, to integrate their studies on the resources. Finally, the paper will attempt to outline the scope and magnitude of the future relevant cooperative resource management issues in the South Eastern Pacific Region.


According to Munro’s discussion paper, prepared for the Norway-FAO Expert Consultation, "shared fish stocks" can be defined to include the following:

Fish resources crossing the EEZ boundary of one coastal State into the EEZ(s) of one, or more, other coastal States - transboundary stocks.

Highly migratory fish stocks, which, due to their highly migratory nature, are to be found, both within the coastal State EEZ and the adjacent high seas

All other fish stocks (with the exception of anadromous/catadromous stocks) that are to be found, both within the coastal State EEZ and the adjacent high seas - straddling stocks

Fish stocks to be found exclusively in the high seas

The Norway-FAO Expert Consultation is to focus its attention on categories (a) and © stocks, i.e. transboundary and straddling fish stocks.

We also take note of John Caddy (1997) definition of transboundary stocks, which, as Munro points out, can be extended, with minor modification, to cover straddling stocks:

A group of commercially exploitable organisms, distributed over, or migrating across, the maritime boundary between two or more national jurisdictions, or the maritime boundary of a national jurisdiction and the adjacent high seas, whose exploitation can only be managed effectively by cooperation between the States concerned ----


Recent reports on the fishing activities in the Pacific South Eastern countries show that there are several species, which can be classified as, transboundary fish stocks, in that they are to be found in two or more EEZs (Annex I).

Of these species, some will have to be managed strictly within the Southeast Pacific Region, while others are, and will be, regulated by International Organizations, the jurisdiction of which extend well beyond the Southeast Pacific. An example is provided by the main tuna fish species in the Region, which are regulated by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).

Since the Norway-FAO Expert Consultation will not be considering highly migratory stocks, the relevant shared fish stocks of the South East Pacific are the pelagic resources, shared by two or more countries. These are: Jack Mackerel (Trachurus picturatus murphy), Anchovy (Engraulis ringens), Sardine (Sardinops sagax), Giant or Jumbo flying squid (Dosidicus gigas) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius). Some of the resources, as well as being shared by two or more coastal states in the SEP Region, also extend in to the high seas, adjacent to the coastal state EEZs.


Jack Mackerel (Trachurus picturatus murphy)

This is a migratory pelagic species, which moves in large schools, of similar size, along the coast, and beyond the 200 nautical mile outward boundary of the EEZs. The fish, which can grow to a length of 70 cm, finds it habitat in the ocean front, consisting of cold coastal and subtropical surface waters. The fish can also be found, however, in waters as deep as 300 m. The fish approach the coast during the summer, as well as in other seasons during warm years.

The fish can achieve maturity, when they have grown to 21 cm in length; although the average length upon achieving maturity is 31 cm. Spawning occurs during the months of October and November. The minimum allowed catch size is 31 cm.

Anchovy (Engraulis ringens)

The species is to be found from Punta Aguja, in Peru (5° 50´S) to Lota, in Chile (37° 04´S. L.). It is a pelagic, and mostly coastal, species (within 50 nautical mile), although it is occasionally found beyond 100 nautical miles, particularly during winter. The species move in large schools in waters of up to 50 m. in depth that are associated with temperature (14.5 °C and 21°C) and water salinity levels of 34.5 and 35.1 PSU. On rare occasions, weather-ocean alterations will drive the anchovies into deeper waters (more than 70 m.). Under normal environmental conditions, the fish can achieve first sexual maturity upon attaining a length of 9 to 10 cm, that is to say when they are near one year- old. On average, maturity is achieved at length 12 cm. The fish can live from three to five years, and can grow to a length of 18 to 20 cm.

The fish spawn throughout the year, although the primary spawning season occurs between August and October. There is a secondary spawning period between February and March. The beginning and the end of the spawning period greatly depends on both weather conditions and the maritime region. The Peruvian anchovy spawns at 6°S, mostly in the areas of Chicama-Chimbote, Huacho-Callao and Tambo de Mora-Pisco, close to the coast.

There are two large stocks: One in the northern-central area of Peru (Punta Pariñas-San Juan), and the other in southern Peru and northern Chile (where we can find two sub-populations: one distributed between Atico and Antofagasta, and the other between Antofagasta and Valdivia).

The Peruvian anchovy mostly feed on plankton. They are, in turn, predated upon by guano and island birds, the seals, along with other species such as tuna, the Eastern Pacific bonito and whales. The minimum allowable catch size is 12 cm, and a 13 mm or ½ inch mesh size is used for fishing purposes.

Sardine (Sardinops sagax)

This is a pelagic species that moves in schools, and which moves between the coastline and the 200 miles limit. During the day, it can swim into deep waters, up to 80 m. in depth. The fish can live for more than 10 years, and can reach a length of over 33 cm. The species is associated with temperatures that fluctuate between 14° and 25°C and salinity levels ranging from 34,8 to 35,3 UPS. Its growth, weight and fat content may by affected by environmental changes

The species has a high fertility rate, reaching sexual maturity when it is 2 years old approximately (15 - 20 cm). It spawns in the open sea, and does so more intensively under ocean changes associated with the “El Niño” phenomenon.

There are two areas where the stocks occur: off the northern-central coast of Peru, and the other off the coast of southern Peru-northern Chile. Another stock is to be found in the area surrounding the Galapagos Islands, off Ecuador.

Jumbo Squid[97] (Dosidicus gigas)

This is an oceanic and neritic species, which is to be found up to a depth of 500 m. It is the most abundant and largest of the South American pelagic species. The adults are found in water temperatures of between 26 and 28°C to lower temperatures, which are to be found in nearshore waters, near the surface, both during the day and night. In the Gulf of California a single stock has been identified, composed of several cohorts. Its seasonal migrations have been described by Ehrhard et al. (in press), which is similar to those of other ommastrephids. The cohorts grow at different rates, depending on the environmental conditions at the time of hatching. All recruit to the fishery around May of each year. The fish in the Northern Hemisphere stocks normally live for about one year. After spawning, the mortality rate is high. The species feeds on larvae of pelagic fishes, such as lantern fishes, sardines, mackerels and sauries, and on crustaceans. Cannibalism is very common. The species is, in turn, predated upon by swordfish, sharks, porpoises and other mammals.

Exploratory fishing for this species was started in the early seventies in several areas along the Pacific coast of America. While the operations by Japanese vessels off Chile were discontinued because of insufficient landings, Mexican catches increased from 14 t in 1974 to over 19 000 t in 1980. The Mexican harvests subsequently declined to about 10 000 t in 1981 (FAO, 1983), and to even lower levels in the 1982-83 fishing season. Through a joint venture scheme, most of those catches have been taken by Japanese jigger boats, and by Mexican shrimpers that switch to squid fishing during the closed season for shrimp fishing. The best catches are experienced during summer time, but the season has gradually expanded, so that fishing now occurs throughout the year. Jigging operations are enhanced during the night by light attraction. Sports fishing for the species off the southern Californian coast has a quite limited importance. This squid is mostly used as bait, although some of it is used for human consumption in dried form. In Chile, small amounts are marketed canned. A market for frozen filets has recently been developed in the western USA. Total catches reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 134 773 t. The countries reporting the largest catches were Mexico (57 985 t) and Peru (54 652 t).

Swordfish[98] (Xiphias gladius)

This is a resource, which supports large fisheries in all oceans of the world. A significant amount of the Pacific catch is taken incidentally in longline fisheries, targeting tunas. Recent landings have averaged around 34 000 metric tons. Japan, Taiwan (Province of China) and the United States account for about 70 percent of current reported production, with Mexico, Ecuador and Chile providing the remainder. In the eastern Pacific, swordfish are primarily harvested through the use of longlines, driftnets and hand-held harpoons.

The status of swordfish in the Pacific is not clear. Assessment studies often produce conflicting results. The most recent assessment studies suggest that swordfish comprise a single, continuous stock throughout the Pacific, with areas of high and low abundance. Genetic evidence indicates swordfish off the western coast of the Americas mix with fish from the central and western North Pacific. A second theory suggests the possibility of the existence of three or more stocks based on areas of high abundance, with fish then spread evenly over areas of low abundance.

Both theories indicate that the Pacific stock(s) of swordfish are relatively healthy, and they are being exploited at levels below maximum sustained yield. However, recent fishery statistics are not available, which means that the conclusions about the healthy state of the resource(s) are based upon out of date data.

Both the management, and current assessments, of the resource(s) are based on old and incomplete data. New assessments, using updated and standardized fishery statistics, are needed to determine stock condition and to validate current estimates of maximum sustainable yields. International standards for this purpose are currently being developed.


At present, these stocks are managed on a country by country basis in the SEP. Peru and Chile, the chief fishing countries in the Region, have sets of regulations for their respective shares of the fisheries. A brief description of the state of the fisheries, and the regulations follows:

In Peru, according to its General Fisheries Law, the purpose of management is to regulate fishing activities in order to promote the continued development of the fisheries as a source of staple food, employment and income. The goal is to ensure a reasonable exploitation of the natural resources, to optimize the economic benefits from the fisheries, as well as to conserve the environment and biodiversity.

The State, according to the type of fishing ground and the state of the exploited resource, shall establish a system of regulations, which harmonizes the principle of protection and conservation of fishing resources in the long term, with the attainment of the maximum economic and social benefits.

The regulations referred to shall include, if applicable: access regulations, total allowable catch, restrictions on fleet capacity, fishing and closed seasons, minimum size of the species, prohibited or reserve zones, appropriate fishing techniques, equipment and fishing systems. As well, the regulations stipulate the necessary monitoring, control and surveillance procedures.

The provisions adopted by the State to ensure the conservation and rational exploitation of fishery resources shall be applied to resources, beyond the 200 nautical mile boundary, that migrate towards the from the 200 mile zone to the adjacent waters, or that move from these adjacent water towards the coast in search of food, or for reproduction or breeding purposes.

Peru is eager to enter into agreements and international treaties with other countries, for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the provisions of the General Law of Fisheries, and the strengthening the principles of responsible fishing.

Jack Mackerel

In Peru, artisanal and industrial fleets catch jack mackerel. The first one uses small boats, which operate in areas near the base ports. Industrial fleet uses purse seine nets, and vessels referred to as "bolicheras", which have a hold capacity greater than 30 tons. Some of the vessels have refrigeration system on board (RSW). These vessels capture jack mackerel as a bycatch, since normally they are targeting sardine or anchovy resources.

From 1990-2000, the harvests averaged 200 thousand tons. From 1995 to 1998, however, the harvests were up to 300 thousand tons, due to a greater availability of the resource and an increase in the fishing effort of the boats with RSW, which are dedicated to fishing this species. The main management regulations refer to minimum mesh size (38 mm or 1½ inch.) and minimum harvesting size (31 cm length).


Anchovy harvest, which sustained the Peruvian pelagic fishery during the decade of 60', declined drastically in 1972, and stayed at low levels for more than ten years. Harvest increased after the El Niño 1982-83, and reached a maximum level of 9.7 million tons in 1994, a level which was the highest since the collapse of the fishery in 1971 - 1972. Harvest fell after the El Niño of 1997-98, but this decline was followed by a rapid recovery in 1999 and 2000.

The species has been declared as fully exploited. The main fisheries management measures are: Total Allowable Catch, minimum harvesting size and reproductive close seasons.


Analysis of historical time series data of sardine catch and seawater temperature, indicate that variations in catch yields are correlated with shifts between cold and warm periods. In warm periods, the sardine catch yields increase, while anchovy catch yields decline.

Globally, the populations of sardine and anchovy have displayed large fluctuations in their abundance in all regions in which they both coexist and have generally been fished heavily. Frequently, the anchovy population was abundant, when the sardine population was low or declined and vice versa. These joint population shifts, referred to as “Regime Shifts", are associated with shifts from warm environmental periods, to cold ones, and back again.

In Chile, under the General Law of fisheries and Aquaculture, the Ministry can by executive decree, in each fishing ground, independent of the access system to which it is subject, establish one or more prohibitions or measures for managing aquatic living resources. The Ministry’s decisions would usually be based on a technical report from the Undersecretariat, consultations with the appropriate Zonal Fisheries Council, and other reports.

Various management measures are applied in Chile: closed seasons for specific species in specific fishing grounds. The closures shall be applied seeking due concordance with the policies applied by neighbouring countries. Prohibitions, temporary or permanent, of catches of species protected by international agreements, which Chile has signed. Setting annual catch quotas by species in a specific fishing ground. Declaration of specific, delimited grounds that shall be called Marine Parks, intended to conserve ecological units of scientific interest and to safeguard areas that assure the maintenance and diversity of living aquatic species, as well as grounds associated with their habitat.

Also, in every fishing ground, independent of the access system to which it is subject, the Undersecretariat, can by decree, based on a technical report from the appropriate Zonal Fisheries Council, establish one or more of the following prohibitions or measures for managing living aquatic resources: Set minimum harvesting sizes by species in a specific area and their tolerance margins. In no case shall the minimum size be smaller than the critical size. Set dimensions and characteristics of fishing gear and devices. It is forbidden to carry out extractive fishing activities in violation of the provisions in these regulations. Harvesting activities are prohibited with gear, devices and other fishing implements that adversely affect the bottom of the sea in the territorial sea within an area of one marine mile, measured from the baselines from the northern limit of Chile to the 41° 28,6' latitude south, or within the Inland Sea, as the regulations determine, except for the one-marine-mile strip of sea measured from the low tide line of the continental coast and around the islands.

Since 2001, the main fisheries in Chile have been subject to TACs. In February 2001, the system of Maximum Limit of Capture was established, within the framework of Law 19.713.

Jack Mackerel

The jack mackerel resource is heavily exploited in all regions of Chile between Regions I and X and in particular, Regions III, III-IV, V-IX and X.

The total landings of jack mackerel in 2001, were 1,64 million t marking an increase of a 32.7 percent over the landings for 2000. The landings accounted for 39.9 percent of the total Chilean landings.


The resource was declared to be fully exploited in all Regions between I and X. The landings of anchovy for 2001, were 734 600 t, which were 56,8 percent below the 2000 landings. The 2001 landings accounted for 17,6 percent of total Chilean landings for that year. Most of the landings, 598 300 t, took place in Regions I and II, representing 81,5 percent of the total landings of anchovy. The Regions I and II landings were 50.2 percent below the 2000 landings.


The total landings of sardine in 2001, reached 13 200 t, a level which was 77,4 percent below the 2000 landings. Sardines only account for a minor part of total pelagic landings (0.4 percent). 81.1 percent of the landings occurred in Regions I and II. These landings were 77,8 percent below the 2000 level. Regions III and IV registered landings of 1 200 t, which was 20.4 percent above the 2000 landings.

Of the TACs for Regions III and IV, the industrial sector accounted for 32,1 percent, (1 961 t), while the artisanal sector accounted for 41.8 percent (1 277 t).



A working Party on Marine and Fresh Water Products, convened in August 1978 under the auspices of CAPMAD-SELA, with experts from Ecuador, Peru and Chile to consider a joint study of the pelagic resources in the East Pacific Ocean. The working party set out the terms of reference for an investigation referred to as an “Assessment of Sardine, Jack Mackerel and Horse Mackerel Resources in the East Pacific Ocean". An agreement between the International Development Bank (BID) and the Permanent Secretariat of SELA, acting on behalf of the three international governments concerned, was signed in 1981.

The work commenced in October 1982, with courses on acoustic stock estimation and populations dynamics, designed to standardize methodology and data reporting. Field studies and data analysis culminated with a plenary session in Lima in June 1984. The plenary session produced a final comprehensive report. A short version of the report was published. The short version addressed the main problems in management of the pelagic resources in the South Eastern Pacific Ocean, and presented the principal results of this three nation cooperative study.

It can be remarked that this was the first time that such a coordinated study had been undertaken by three nations spanning the South American Pacific coastline, from about 1° N to 30°S.

The report presents a fairly broad description of the oceanographic features and circulatory pattern of the area investigated, in recognition of the fact that climate and oceanographic conditions drive the biological production systems along the relevant coastline. The report also presents a synopsis of all contemporary knowledge on the three species; sardine (Sardinops sagax); Jack Mackerel (Trachurus murphyi) and Mackerel (Scomber japonicus). Some of the vital parameters of the resources are included, such as total biomass and its distribution, and patterns of entry into the fishery. These parameters represent some of the central elements of a real-time management system.

Great emphasis was placed on Synoptic acoustic surveys of the relevant coast line. One distinct contribution of this project was completion of a software package for the analysis of acoustic signals, regardless of whether they originated from analog or digital integrators.

A part of the report was devoted to the population dynamics of the three species in question, with special emphasis on mortality rates, natural as well as fishing, yield calculation and some first approximate estimates of safe minimum spawning biomass levels. Finally, a flow chart was presented with algorithms, which will enable any manager to achieve the established goals, by adjusting fishing time throughout the season.

Thus, the basic structure of a real-time management system was produced, and was seen as the main contribution of the SELA/BID investigations towards a first attempt to create a unified management system, which has appeared in the open literature.

One significant observation that was added, namely that the decision making process was based only on biological evidence. In real life, of course, management decision making must take into account economic, social and political objectives formulated by the respective national governments.


The CPPS countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile) have to administer some of the world’s biggest fishing grounds, and have adopted effective measures to promote the long-term sustainability of the living marine resources in the Region. Due to the fact that these countries have a special interest in ensuring that the measures applied on the adjacent high seas are no less strict, than those applied in the zones under their jurisdiction, the four countries signed an agreement called the “Framework Agreement for the Conservation of Living Marine Resources on the High Seas of The Southeast Pacific", or 'Galapagos Agreement'.

The stated objective of the Agreement is the conservation of living marine resources in the high seas zones of the Southeast Pacific, with special reference to straddling and highly migratory fish populations. Although the Agreement applies to the high seas, the Agreement is, at the present time, not open to signature by non-coastal States.

The Agreement applies "exclusively" to the high seas of the Southeast Pacific. The relevant high seas area is bordered by the outer limits of the coastal States’ national jurisdiction zones and a line following the 120-west meridian longitude, from the latitude of 500 north to the latitude of 600 south. It does not apply to the zones under national jurisdiction corresponding to oceanic islands belonging to any of the coastal States, but is does include the areas of high seas surrounding and adjacent to these oceanic islands, within the limits described.

The Agreement applies to straddling and highly migratory fish stocks. Particular species will have to be identified as being of "high-priority" at the first Meeting of the Parties.

An organization is to be set up under the Agreement, consisting of the following: a Commission, charged with adopting the necessary decisions for the fulfillment of the Agreement’s provisions; a Scientific-Technical Committee to serve as an advisory body for the Commission on these matters; a Secretariat, along with any other subsidiary bodies that the States Parties or the Commission decide to establish, in support of the Agreement’s implementation.

Currently the Agreement has not yet entered into force, but it does represent an important step towards establishing an effective framework for the conservation of the living marine resources of the South Eastern Pacific Ocean.


Peru and Chile, needing to know more about the major resources, which they share, have established regional co-operation at the scientific level. Under this cooperative arrangement, IFOP and IMARPE organized regional workshops on the joint assessment of sardine and anchovy stocks of Southern Peru and Northern Chile, The latest assessment took place in November 1999. IFOP is Chile’s Fisheries Research and Development Institute. IMARPE is Peru’s Marine Resources Research Institute.

These workshops were attended by senior scientists and resource managers from both countries. In some workshop there was representation from industry as well.

The following reproduces the findings of the latest workshop in 1999, and describes the state of the resources and the fisheries at that time. The state of the resources is much the same today.


The fishing industries off southern Peru and northern Chile are supported by small pelagic species like sardine and anchovy. This area is one of the most productive marine areas of the world, and is located within the FAO Statistical Fishing Area N° 87. The Peru-Chile fishing area owes its high productivity to a system of oceanic currents known as the Humboldt Current, which is associated with an upwelling of nutrient rich waters. These stocks are harvested by vessels from Peru and Chile, within their own respective EEZs. The harvested fish are then sent to their respective fishmeal processing plants in the two countries.

In the fishing areas of each country, anchovies are confined to areas within 20 nautical miles of the coast, while sardines are frequently found from 20 to 80 nautical miles off the coast.

At present Peru and Chile are implementing, on an independent basis, fisheries policies to manage their living resources. The management policies are largely biologically based. Since 1992, however, the two countries agreed to conduct joint investigations of shared stocks of sardine and anchovies. The results of the last Workshop, held in 1999, enables us to review the development of these fisheries.

Sardine Fishery

The sardine resource is distributed between the latitudes 15°S (South of the Peru) and 24°S (North of Chile), and is considered to be a single stock. This stock, along with the anchovy stock, supports the main fisheries of both countries in this area. The sardine landings in both countries increased until 1985, as did the total landings in each country. After 1985 the landings decreased sharply until 1997. There was a slight increase in landings in 1998 and 1999.

During the last 5 years, the annual volumes of harvest of sardines have fluctuated in the south of Peru between 254 000 t. and 44 000 t. The peak was reached in 1997, and the trough in 1998. In the north of Chile, on the other hand, the smaller trough occurred in 1997, with 4 000 t, and the peak was reached in 1999, with 306 000 t. An important fraction of this harvest consists of small fish, mainly in the first semester of every year.

Anchovy Fishery

In 1996-1999 period, remarkable environmental changes occurred in the coasts of Peru and Chile, such as the "El Niño" of 1997-98, and "La Niña" in 1996 and 1999. Both affected the population of anchovies, and the anchovy harvests in the region.

In 1997, in the South of Peru recorded the largest landing of anchoveta in the last 25 years, landings which exceeded one million t. In 1996, on the other hand, the region recorded one of the smallest landings of anchoveta over the last fifteen years.

In the North of Chile, the 1997 catch was one of the greatest on record, whereas the 1998 catch was one of the smallest in 10 years.

The fishing administration in the south of Peru has not instituted close seasons, since August of 1997. Chile, however, regularly establishes recruitment and reproductive time closed seasons. During the period 1996 - 1998, the length of the closed season was increased from 37 to 147 days per year.

Analysis of geographical distribution of captures of anchovy by purse seiners fleet in the south of Peru, indicates that, in 1997, the largest percentage of the catch was taken between Ilo and the Southern end, whereas in 1996 and 1999 the distribution of the harvests was more widespread, the reverse of what occurred during "El Niño" 1997-98.

In the North zone of Chile, in 1997, changes in the distribution of anchovy were detected. The resource was found to be concentrated in an area within the 20 nautical miles of the coast. In 1998, Peruvian and Chilean fleets fished with 20 nautical miles of the coast. Along the rest of the coast, there was a noted absence of fish shoals.

The hydroacoustic cruises off the north of Chile in 1998, recorded a change in the distribution of the resource, similar to that which occurred in Peru. The shoals of fish were located between 20-m. and 45 m. levels in July 1997.

The biomass estimates of anchovy in 1996-1999, based on the acoustic method, show an important increase of biomass in the south of Peru between April 1997 - July 1998, and in the north of Chile between November of 1996 and January of 1998. After that period, the biomass in both countries steadily declined, and remained at these lower levels, until April of 1999 (fig. 5). The increase of the biomass in the South region of Peru, reached a maximum of 1,5 million t. in April 1997. This change was probably related to the migratory movement of the stock, from north-center of Peru towards the South zone of the Peruvian coast.

The fishing effort indicators showed an increase in fishing effort during the years 1984-1999, reaching maximum levels in 1995 and 1997, Fishing effort has declined over the last few years. The standardized index of catch per trip reached a maximum in 1985, and then declined until 1991. Since 1991 the index stabilized at levels between 40-70 t/v, with the minimum occurring in 1998.


(World Bank Discussion Paper No. 329; by Exequiel Gonzalez, Max Aguero)

With regards to these fisheries, this important analysis tests the hypothesis that appropriate joint management of transboundary fish stocks can help avoid to over exploitation of these resources, while increasing rents and other benefits. The study focuses on the industrial pelagic fisheries of northern Chile and southern Peru, and presents various quantitative models for identifying industry characteristics and for calculating benefits from the fisheries. From this study, we can draw several conclusions about the benefits to be gained from several alterantive joint management schemes.

The conceptual framework of the Agüero and Gonzales analysis can be summarized as follows:

Model specification

A mathematical programming model is employed to estimate the order of magnitude of the potential benefits for Chile and Peru, from different management alternatives. The basic components of the model are:

The transboundary stock (Spanish sardine and anchovy)
The fishing industry (fleet and processing plants)
The socioeconomic and technological setting.

The dynamic elements of the model used are as follows:

The population dynamics function (state equation)
The behavioral objective function of the industry

A set of coefficients and parameters describing the characteristics of the market variables, technology, socioeconomic behavior and institutional parameters.

Five alternative management scenarios are analyzed. The first three represent possible management policies that each country could follow in the absence of cooperation. The last two represent potential management options that could be undertaken by the two countries cooperatively.

In the absence of cooperative agreements, the fishery management alternatives are: fishing under open access conditions, a unilateral search for a maximum sustainable yield, and unilateral maximization of net benefits from fishing.

All three scenarios assume that each country has access to a fixed fraction of the entire transboundary shared fish stock. This assumption reflects the fact that a boundary between the two countries is enforced for political reasons.

Given the existence of cooperative agreements, the management alternatives are: joint maximization of net benefits recognizing the existence of a national boundary, and joint maximization of net benefits in a common fishing zone.

Main Conclusions

This study sets out to determine the net benefits that would be generated under alternative management strategies for the sardine and anchovy shared fish stocks and to evaluate the socioeconomic impact of these management alternatives. The authors conclude that:

The net benefits generated in the absence of a cooperative agreement are smaller than those generated when a cooperative agreement is in existence.

With cooperative agreement, the optimal level of joint exploitation of the fishery yields higher net benefits when the two countries agree upon a common fishing zone, than when they maintain separate national zones.

Regardless of whether there is, or is not, a cooperative agreement, a management strategy that seeks to maximize net social benefits yields higher benefits to society than does a management strategy designed to maximize the fishery's physical yield.

The first analysis shows the socioeconomic impact of different management strategies in the absence of cooperation. The main conclusion is that management intervention is better than no intervention.

It is also concluded that the total net benefits from the Chile-Peru fishing area, under a management policies seeking to maximize unilaterally physical yield, net social benefits will be greater than those arising from open access fisheries. It is also concluded that total fishing effort and fishing fleet size will be reduced in the country undertaking an active management policy.

A management policy seeking to maximize physical yield will yield significantly lower net benefits to society than will a policy seeking to maximize net social benefits.

The study emphasized the impact that one country, following a policy of open access, would have upon the other country, if the other country was following an active resource management policy. If the country following an active management policy unilaterally reduced harvest rates, there would be an increase in the shared fish stock. The country remaining under open access would take advantage of this increase in fish stock, increasing its fishing effort and harvest rates, and would end up better off compared with its original open-access bioeconomic equilibrium. The country following the active management policy would achieve smaller benefits than it had expected. In terms of harvest rates, the country following the active management policy would be worse off than if it had followed a policy of open-access.

These results show that, despite the secondary effects not considered by unilateral management policy interventions, and according to resource economics theory, the management policy seeking to maximize net social benefits is clearly superior both to the policy seeking to maximize physical yield and to the policy of no intervention at all.

A comparative analysis shows that, the cooperative management, while maintaining national fishing zones, leads to greater benefits, than even the best management strategy in the absence of cooperation.

Although unilateral maximization in the absence of cooperation has a positive economic impact in terms of total net benefits for the CPFA, it leads the country remaining under open-access conditions exiting from the fishery. This would not occur under joint maximization under a cooperative agreement, and the maintenance of national fishing zones. Furthermore, the implementation of a unilateral maximization strategy, leads to the same result as a bargaining situation, in which one of the countries involved has all the negotiating power, thereby making it potentially unfeasible politically.

A comparison of the two management strategies that seek to maximize net benefits jointly under a cooperative agreement shows that establishing a common fishing zone (CFZ) yields superior results to establishing, and maintaining national fishing zones MAXJ. This is true even though establishing a CFZ would lead to a lower stock size, less fishing effort or a smaller fleet.

The fundamental question to be answered in this analysis is whether the difference between the points on the bargaining frontier for the two management alternatives, MAXJ and CFZ, and the threat points (open-access status quo) is sufficiently large to motivate the two countries to attempt to negotiate an agreement. Results from running both scenarios show that both management strategies would yield better results than the open-access status quo. Furthermore, joint maximization management policy may have a higher probability of being adopted under CFZ than under MAXJ.

The results also show the socioeconomic impact of the cross-effects of implementing the two management alternatives under a cooperative agreement. The differences between the countries' fleets, in terms of bioeconomic efficiency would lead to different results for the two countries, when moving from MAXJ to CFZ. Under these circumstances, each country would attempt to move toward the management alternative that appears most favorable to it.

Finally, authors summarize the results for the five management strategies modeled as follows:


Although the results of Agüero and Gonzales paper show cooperative management is the best strategy for the two countries, the authors will probably have to revise their estimates in light of changes, which have occurred in the fisheries during the last few years. Data presented at the last IMARPE-IFOP workshop indicate a decline in biomass levels. This is particularly true in the case of sardines

This conclusion arises from the analysis of small pelagic fisheries of anchovy and sardine found in the area South Peru and North Chile[99] presented at the last meeting of the Working Group.

Sardine fishery

A fishing index for this fishery, based on catch landings and fishing effort, shows a fishery that was developing between 1974 to 1985 years, and which then went through a period of steady decline until 1999. In 1999 slight upward growth was noted. The landings reached a minimum level of 22 000 t and 4 000 t in 1996 and 1997 respectively. The figure for 1997 represents an all time low.

Stock indices, total biomass by age, the spawning biomass and recruitment are parameters that characterize the stock situation. The results of the sequential population analysis (SAP) show that the abundance of the sardine increased from 1974 to 1980 and that after 1980, the stock experienced a steady decline.

Exploitation indexes show the variation of the intensity of the fishing and its effect on the stock (Fglobal). These indexes, based upon total fishing mortality and age of the fish (Fc), show the high level of resource exploitation. The fact that Fc increased, while the landings and biomass and effort increased is explained by the density dependence relationship between catchability and resource abundance.

Although there has been evidence of a slight improvement in recruitment in last years, recovery of the sardine stock in the medium term will require a favorable environment and a precautionary management policy.

Anchovy fishery

Annual pattern of catch and fishing effort indicates that fishing activity between 1984 and 1999 has been cyclical, with an increasing tendency occurring in period 1984-94, where maximums in 1986, 1989, 1994 and 1997 achieved, followed by declines in the last years due to unfavorable environmental conditions. The interannual pattern of anchovy catches in the two countries shows a high degree of correlation.

Of Anchovy recruitment increased steadily until 1995, with three maximums occurring in 1987, 1993 and 1995, with levels greater than 4,5 million tons. These strong year classes made the recovery of the stock possible, after the "El Niño" 1982/83. The strong recruitment increased the level of abundance of the stock. In period 1996-99, recruitment declined with levels being below average.However, it must be noted that estimates based upon Sequential Analysis of Population (ASP) are, in general, unreliable for the last year.

Variations in the average biomass of anchovy stock are correlated with the recruitment to the fishery. During the period 1984-1993, the average biomass of the stock showed an increasing trend, and reached a maximum level in 1993 of 14.9 million tonnes.

The spawning biomass showed an increasing trend from 1984 to 1996. It increased strongly in 1993 and 1996, due to the strong year classes of 1991, 1992 and 1995. The increase of the spawning biomass led to a stabilization of anchovy stock. During the period 1997-1999 the spawning stock declined sharply in 1999, the spawning biomass was only 1 million tonnes, which can be compared with the 1993 maximum of 14.9 million tonnes.

The main conclusion of the analysis undertaken was that in 1999 the fishing mortality rate was high, which indicates that the stock was still being heavily exploited. Nonetheless, the biological indicators, and the evolution of the ecosystem, show that the conditions for the recovery of the anchoveta biomass in the short term are favorable.


The Humboldt Current Large Ecosystem Project

The Humboldt current ecosystem is recognized as one of the major upwelling systems of the world. The Humboldt current system is predominantly an equatorial flow of cold, low salinity water, with complex flows and counter-flows, out to 1,000 km from the Peru-Chile coast. The Humboldt Current LME is considered to be a highly productive ecosystem. The upwelling, which occurs in this region is almost exclusively responsible for the ecosystem’s productivity.

Peru and Chile, the countries bordering this LME, are aware of the necessity of establishing close regional co-operation. In response to this need, a regional workshop for the joint stock assessment of sardine and anchovy for Southern Peru and Northern Chile was organized by IFOP and IMARPE in November 1999. IFOP is Chile’s Fisheries Research and Development Institute, while IMARPE is Peru’s Marine Research Institute.

Recently the project: "Integrated Management of the Great Marine Ecosystem of the Current of Humboldt”, was approved. The project will be executed by IMARPE, and IFOP of Chile, and it will be financed by GEF. The United Nations for Industrial Development (ONUDI) will participate in the project, furthermore, the project will have the scientific support of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The general aim of this project is to foster national and regional efforts leading towards the integrated management and sustainable use of Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

The specific objectives of the project are:

Establishment of a mechanism for Regional Cooperation.

Improvement of the state of the knowledge on the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem.

Development of a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis - TDA.

Development of a Strategic Action Program - SAP to deal with the deficiencies of management, and to provide protection against the threats, both of which are essential for a sustainable management of the Ecosystem, and

Development of the institutional capacities required for the integrated management of the Ecosystems.


This brief review of various aspects of joint investigations of key transboundary fishery resources in Southeastern Pacific Region, leads to a very clear conclusion, namely that there is a strong political will among the Regional countries to collaborate in establishing a management framework, which will allow them to exploitate of shared resources on a sustainable basis. Emphasis is given to the necessity improving knowledge of the factors, which impact those resources and its fisheries, and of the particular marine environment in which these resources inhabit. Also to be included in the joint research, are the economic and political implications of sharing those resources. It remains necessary to develop suitable institutional capacity in the region to confront the challenges. One example is provided by the need to do extensive work in harmonizing future policies and fishing legislation. The development of an effective management system that will enable the countries to move from the monospecific level to ecosystem level, must be done with the participation and consensus of all stakeholders, and must be done within the framework of Convention on the Law of the Sea It is necessary that the future fisheries management system be based on a more solid scientific base, and on the mutual interest of stakeholders of countries involved. In order to achieve this objective, and in order for the objective to be sustainable, it is necessary that all of the participants see the cooperative regime to be fair and equitable. This is a critically important task facing the Region of the Southeastern Pacific.




Argentinidae Family


Bathylagidae Famil


Bramide Family

Brama japonica


Gonostomatidae Family


Alepocephalidae Family





Cypselurus heterurus (R)

Pez Volador

Flying Fish

Exocoetus volitans

Pez Volador

Flying Fish

Hirundichtys spp

Pez Volador

Flying Fish


Scomberessocidae Family

Scomberesox saurus scombroides



Scombridae Family

Scomber japonicus


Horse Mackerel


Carangidae Family


Green Jack

Caranx spp.


Decapterus sp.

Jurel Fino, Jurelillo

Shortfin scad

Elagatis bipinnulata

Cola Amarilla

Seriola peruana


Seriola rivoliana


Trachurus murphy


Southern Jack Ma


Coryphaenidae Family


Dorado o Perico

Mahi Mahi


Gempylidae Family

Gempylus serpens

Caballa culebra

Snake Mackerel

Lepidocybum flavobrunneum



Ruvetus pretiosus

Pez aceitoso

Escolars, Oilfishes

Thyrsites atun

Sierra Sur


Trichiuridae Family

Lepidopus caudatus

Basurero negro

Lepidopus xantusi



Nomeidae Family




Cetorhinidae Family

Cetorhinus maximus

Tiburón Canasta


Carcharhinidae Family

Carcharhinus falciformis

Cazón o Tiburón

Carcharhinus galapagensis


Carcharhinus limbatus


Carcharhinus longimanus


Galeocerdo cuvieri

Tiburón Tigre

Tiger Shark

Proinace glauca



Chelonía mydas

Tortuga carey


Argonautidae Family

Argonauta cornuta


“Pota o calamar gigante”

Dosidicus gigas

Symplectoteuthis oualaniesis

“Jibia o Pota Cárdena”

Nototodarus sp.

Todarodes filippovae

“Calamar Pota”
“Jibia antártica”

Symplectoteuthis luminosa

“Pota luminosa”

Ommastrephes Bartrami

“Pota saltadora”



Aristedae Family

Benthesicymus tanneri

Gennadas scutatus


Sergestidae Family

Sergestes phorcus


Pasiphaeidae Family Pasiphaea Magna Pasiphaea americana


Oplophoridae Family

Systellapsis cristata

Acanthephyra curtirostris


Pandalidae Family

Plesionika martia


Ariesteidae Family

Benthesicymus tannen

Gennadas scutatus


Hidromedusas or Malaguas



[97] Information from: FAO/SIDP Species Identification Sheet: Dosidicus gigas (
[98] Fisheries Resources Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Center (
[99] 6° Workshop Report of Working Group on small pelagic fisheries. IMARPE - IFOP.
[100] Doc. 006/04-98-SGC/CPPS.P.Alta Mar.- Segunda Reunión del grupo de Trabajo de Evaluación y Ordenación Pesquera en el Pacifico Sudeste y de Especies Transzonales y Altamente Migratorias. (Callao-Perú, abril 1998)

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