February 9, 2007


Chile's fishing industry threatened by climate change



Chile's fishing industry, one of the world's largest fishmeal producers, will have to adapt to changing world climate conditions, El Mercurio newspaper reported Thursday (Feb 8).


Jack mackerel and anchovies, the basic components in Chilean-made fishmeal, likely will migrate from local shores in search of cooler waters, the newspaper reported citing a UN report.


The salmon farming industry, located off the country's southern shores, could also be hurt by climate changes, which likely will alter the Pacific Ocean's salinity, local meteorologist Jorge Carrasco told the newspaper.


Yearly, Chile exports around US$4 billion worth of fishmeal, fresh and frozen salmon and trout, fish oil and other fishing products.


Chile's fishing industry has dealt with species migrations before, especially during the El Nino occurrences in the 1990s. Also in the 1990s, the government enforced seasonal fishing bans as many of the commercially viable species were over-exploited.