Publication Date

April 2016


Courtney Fullilove


Romance Studies


English (United States)


Rapidly declining fish stocks have plagued Chile’s fishing industry over recent decades. In response, the Chilean government has limited the fishing capacity of the industry in an attempt to conserve marine species for future use. This approach is a common response of maritime countries around the world to the global phenomenon of diminishing fisheries. While the goal of restricting fishing capacity is to conserve species and protect the fishing industry, there are often overlooked social consequences in that the burden of limiting the total catch falls disproportionately on small, or artisanal, fishers. While much literature has focused on the social consequences of fisheries management globally, little research has focused on Chile in particular. Since Chile’s management structure differs from the common management structure by legally defining artisanal and industrial fishers, it may offer insight into how better to protect small fishers under the current management regime. This paper examines the social consequences of fisheries management in Chile, and makes a comparison with France, another maritime country with a similar legislative framework, but which has not legally defined artisanal and industrial fishers. An analysis of fisheries regulations and the responses of small fishers reveals that, despite its legal distinction, Chile faces the same problems as many other maritime countries of disenfranchised artisanal fishers and continuing fishery decline. Furthermore, the combination of the industrial dominance of the fishing industry and the legal rights afforded to the small fishers of Chile has resulted in a transformation of the small fishing sector to more closely resemble the industrial fishing sector. This may undermine the conservational aims of fisheries legislation. If negative social and environmental consequences are seen in Chile, the paradigm of social protection, this would suggest that the global model of limiting fishing capacity to deal with declining fish stocks is not working effectively and should be reconsidered.



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