Chilean authorities report rise in 2017 catch through August
Chile’s National Fishery Services (Sernapesca) said that seafood landings and volumes have increased through August 2017, growing 16 percent over last year’s catch to reach a total of 2.4 million tons, driven by increases in pelagic resources.
Sernapesca’s recent figures were published in national Chilean daily El Mercurio, and measured activity for both wild catches and aquaculture from January to August of this year. The authority’s tally found that Chile’s artisan fishing sector was responsible for 42 percent of the total production figure. The industrial fishing sector accounted for 31 percent and fisheries a total of 27 percent of total production.
Both the artisan and industrial sector posted growth in the first eight months of 2017. The former grew 25 percent over 2016 and reported a catch of just over one million tons. The industrial sector grew at the same pace – 25 percent – and reported catching 740,175 tons worth of seafood through August 2017.
Authorities signaled that the increase is mainly due to recoveries in the catch of pelagic resources, particularly anchovies and common sardines from the Biobio and Tarapacá regions. The catch of anchovies has recovered over 2017, the report said, growing 110 percent over 2016 to reach 300,691 tons through August. Sardines also registered a 153 percent jump through August 2017, but the report did not breakdown the total catch volume.
Aquaculture activities in Chilean fisheries did not grow however, and posted a slight, 0.3 percent decrease to 663,280 tons in the reported period, but was less accentuated than the global 2.74 percent decrease globally in aquaculture, according to the report.
Within the aquaculture sector there were increases in production. Coho salmon production grew 56 percent to reach 26,829 tons as did mussels, which saw an increase of 13 percent to reach 274,681 tons through August 2017.
In a related note, Sernapesca also announced that as of 15 October, a biological ban on harvesting or consuming sea urchins is now in effect. The sea urchin is popular among Chilean consumers and also exported to Japan, Italy, the United States, Taiwan and China. The measure will last until 15 January, except for the Los Lagos and Aysen regions, both major aquaculture hubs, until 15 March.