An Appraisal of the Chilean Fisheries Sector

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Chile is one of the major players in the world fishing scene. But during the past fifty years, Chile has had to face issues of over-investment, sharp declines in catch levels, disputes among stakeholders, fleet downsizing, and aquaculture diseases, among others. This report describes the challenging and complex learning process that the Chilean fisheries and aquaculture sector has undergone and the evolution of its policies and management systems. Governance of the industrial, artisanal and aquaculture industries has followed different paths of policy development and current management reflects the particular pressures confronting each segment of the sector. And policy evolution continues, with a range of initiatives underway to meet the current challenges. The Chilean state has been one of the main forces behind these developments, laying the foundation for a strong and robust fisheries and aquaculture sector.

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International co-operation and agreements

Chile is an active member in many of the international forums and agreements governing fisheries and the oceans. Indeed, Chile was in the vanguard of the movement to extend the EEZ out to 200 nautical miles. Chile is one of the original signatories of the 1952 Declaration of Santiago on Maritime Zone (‘Declaración de Santiago sobre Zona Marítima’), in which Chile, Peru and Equador proclaimed their exclusive sovereignty and jurisdiction over their coastal waters ‘... up to a minimum distance of 200 miles’ from their coastlines, including the corresponding seabed and its subsoil. This declaration proclaimed the right to impede an irrational exploitation of the natural resources, which might jeopardize their existence, integrity and conservation, negatively affecting local populations that possess in those waters and land irreplaceable sources of livelihood and economic wealth that are vital to them. To implement this agreement, the three countries created the Permanent Commission of the South Pacific, CPPS, an international juridical body with full capacities to undertake agreements, etc. In 1979, Colombia joined the CCPS. In 1982, the rest of the world followed with the UNCLOS agreement establishing the 200 miles EEZs on a worldwide basis.

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