Global, Regional and National Perspectives
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Nigel Bankes, Irene Dahl and David L. VanderZwaag
Chapter 9: Three pillars for sustainable marine aquaculture: the evolving regulatory framework in Chile
Marine aquaculture in Chile has been a rising star. Only 40 years ago, aquaculture was non-existent as a commercial industry in the South American country. Today, Chile is the second largest salmon producer in the world behind Norway and the largest producer of rainbow trout; the fourth largest bivalve producer; and has diversified into promising new sectors such as seaweed and abalone farming. Aquaculture is an important national economic driver. In 2012, for the first time, the export of aquaculture products exceeded that of wild fish products in volume and almost tripled its value. Salmon alone is currently the third export commodity of the country, with main markets including Japan, the United States and Brazil. It is also a significant driver for rural development. Although aquaculture takes place in 11 of the 15 administrative regions of Chile, it is concentrated in two areas along the coast. The northern area (regions III and IV) is the main producer of scallops and abalone but also produces an important volume of seaweed and lesser volumes of oysters. The southern area (regions IX–XII) is the salmon producing area of the country. Main products are Atlantic and Coho salmon and rainbow trout. Region X also has a significant production of mussels, and a lower production of abalone, oysters and seaweed. The impressive growth of the seafood farming industry, generally, and of the salmon farming industry, in particular, has been possible due to a number of factors: the appropriate growing climate in the southern regions of the country, the favourable investment and economic environment, a stable government and the availability of a trained labour force, to name a few. Among those factors, the regulatory framework was pivotal in the rapid expansion of the industry.
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