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Chile and Argentina under the microscope: the problem of overfishing in Latin America

From 1961 to 2015 the overexploitation of marine species has gone from 10% to 33.1%, which represents a setback for the goal of zero overfishing by 2030

Chile and Argentina under the microscope: the problem of overfishing in Latin America

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently published a biennial report on The State of World Fisheries and Agriculture, which warns about the great danger that represents today the overfishing in the world, especially on the coasts of Chile and Argentina.

"Since 1961, the annual global growth of fish consumption has doubled the demographic growth, showing that the fishing sector is fundamental to reach FAO's goal of a world without hunger or malnutrition," says FAO Director, José Graziano da Silva. However, this growth must be within parameters of sustainability that ensure the balance between aquaculture and care for the environment, because in 2015 33.1% of fish stocks were considered overexploited.

Leer en español: Chile y Argentina bajo la lupa: el problema de la sobrepesca en América Latina

However, this growth must be within the parameters of sustainability that ensure the balance between aquaculture and environmental care, since in 2015 33.1% of fish stocks were considered over-exploited.

The Latin American case

Manuel Barange, director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Resources Division of FAO, has warned the sensitive position in Chile and Argentina since they are only behind the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in matters of overexploitation of fishing catch.

In addition, Barange has pointed out the difference that exists between developed countries, where fishery policies of sustainability actually work; and the situation of developing countries, where there is an increase in overfishing due to lack of resources and high market competitiveness.

Although Asia is the largest producer of edible fish in the world, with China in the lead, in Latin America this industry represents an important part of its capital, which has led to the excessive exploitation of both fish caught and farmed fish.

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Challenges for the future

One of FAO's clearest goals in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) is to end the overexploitation of edible marine resources. However, despite the efforts of these organizations, excessive exploitation has increased in recent years, especially in developing countries.

Due to the strict sustainability policies that exist in developed countries that have forced to reduce their fishing industry, the demand for food has been inclined to import or obtain fishing licenses in other areas. This necessarily meant a shift in the focus of production that puts developing countries at imminent risk, including those in Latin America.

In the same way, the introduction of new technologies for fishing offers a bittersweet perspective, since they can increase production and efficiency; but with the risk of increasing excessive fishing, endangering environmental sustainability.

That is why it is important that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, which seeks to offer a transformative approach that includes all nations, be taken into account in production and the fishing industry.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Ovalle

Translated from "Chile y Argentina bajo la lupa: el problema de la sobrepesca en América Latina"

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