Profile updated on 17 March 2019

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Merluccius gayi gayi

SPECIES NAME(s)

South Pacific hake, merluza común

Several research studies have been conducted on the stock structure of South Pacific hake. (Payá et al. 1997) using morphological characteristics, genetics, parasitology and latitudinal comparisons about the average length of sexual maturity identified a unique stock in Chile; and (Galleguillos et al. 2000), supported this conclusion analysing polymorphic loci of distinct localities along Chile. (George-Nascimento 1996) and (Oliva and Ballón 2002) in turn consider the existence of two stocks according to morphology and parasitology of the species in Puerto Montt and Coquimbo. Finally and more recently (Vidal et al. 2012) using mitochondrial DNA presented a division in three genetic stocks: in Perú, Valparaíso-Coquimbo and Corral. 

The Fisheries Development Institute (Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, IFOP), using the results obtained by (Tascheri et al. 2013) applying length composition and relative abundance data, corroborate the scenario that considers that mixing of the individuals is enough to assume a unique stock to assess along fishery management units for the following regions: Comquimbo, Valparaíso, O'Higgins, Maule, Ñuble, Biobío, Araucanía and Los Ríos (IFOP, 2013).


ANALYSIS

Strengths
  • The recent General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture established clear rules for setting Management Commissions and Management Plans, stated that the minimum goal for every fishery is to achieve maximum sustainable yield (MSY), and makes mandatory an observer program to address discarding, which is not allowed. 
  • A management plan has been approved in 2016.
  • A bycatch reduction plan has been approved in 2017.
  • A partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has been reached in 2017 to evaluate the stock assessment process and the management strategy.
  • The Scientific and Technical Committee composed of scientific and management experts and institutes discuss the status of the stock to advise the Minister. Reference points have been redefined as a consequence.
  • A biological closure is established to protect the spawning season from 1st to 30th September.
  • Trawling is banned within five miles offshore, an area reserved for artisanal fishing. An observers program is in place with the aim to estimate and mitigate discards.
  • A national plan to reduce the bycatch of seabirds in longline fisheries is in place.
Weaknesses
  • The stock is in a collapsed state, and the resource is overexploited as per the last stock assessment report (2018). 
  • Uncertainties in the assessment include the natural mortality due to predation by jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas, which may be particularly important given the stock’s precarious condition. This trophic interaction was thought to be an important factor possibly hindering the recovery of the stock, although it is possible that IUU fishing is responsible for part of the mortality attributed to predation by squid.
  • Some members of the Management Committee (CCT-RDZCS) have raised concerns regarding the evaluation and efficiency of the harvest control rule.
  • Catch limits have been set within the range of scientific recommendations but at the upper end, despite the stock condition.
  • Bycatch levels by the industrial fleet and underreported landings by the artisanal fleet are issues named by the Scientific and Technical Committee that should be addressed in future fishing seasons under a Special Control Plan.
  • The industrial fishery uses bottom trawls and no specific research is conducted on the impact on the sea floor.
  • There are signs of non-compliance with the discarding ban.
  • There is no systematic information but there are recorded interactions with protected species such as skates, sea lions and seabirds.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

8.5

Fishers Compliance:

< 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

< 6

Future Health:

< 6


RECOMMENDATIONS

RETAILERS & SUPPLY CHAIN
  • Engage with managers and fishers to fully implement the current, agreed management plan.  
  • Improve the regulatory compliance of the fishery to eliminate all IUU fishing, especially unreported landings by the artisanal fleet.
  • Implement measures to reduce fish and ETP bycatch and further identify and address environmental impacts, including impacts on the seabed.

FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Chilean Chile IV-X Artisanal - Artisanal Chile Bottom-set longlines
Set gillnets (anchored)
Chile IV-X Industrial - Industrial Chile Bottom trawls
Midwater trawls

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 1 March 2019

Strengths
  • The recent General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture established clear rules for setting Management Commissions and Management Plans, stated that the minimum goal for every fishery is to achieve maximum sustainable yield (MSY), and makes mandatory an observer program to address discarding, which is not allowed. 
  • A management plan has been approved in 2016.
  • A bycatch reduction plan has been approved in 2017.
  • A partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has been reached in 2017 to evaluate the stock assessment process and the management strategy.
  • The Scientific and Technical Committee composed of scientific and management experts and institutes discuss the status of the stock to advise the Minister. Reference points have been redefined as a consequence.
  • A biological closure is established to protect the spawning season from 1st to 30th September.
  • Trawling is banned within five miles offshore, an area reserved for artisanal fishing. An observers program is in place with the aim to estimate and mitigate discards.
  • A national plan to reduce the bycatch of seabirds in longline fisheries is in place.
Weaknesses
  • The stock is in a collapsed state, and the resource is overexploited as per the last stock assessment report (2018). 
  • Uncertainties in the assessment include the natural mortality due to predation by jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas, which may be particularly important given the stock’s precarious condition. This trophic interaction was thought to be an important factor possibly hindering the recovery of the stock, although it is possible that IUU fishing is responsible for part of the mortality attributed to predation by squid.
  • Some members of the Management Committee (CCT-RDZCS) have raised concerns regarding the evaluation and efficiency of the harvest control rule.
  • Catch limits have been set within the range of scientific recommendations but at the upper end, despite the stock condition.
  • Bycatch levels by the industrial fleet and underreported landings by the artisanal fleet are issues named by the Scientific and Technical Committee that should be addressed in future fishing seasons under a Special Control Plan.
  • The industrial fishery uses bottom trawls and no specific research is conducted on the impact on the sea floor.
  • There are signs of non-compliance with the discarding ban.
  • There is no systematic information but there are recorded interactions with protected species such as skates, sea lions and seabirds.
RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 24 September 2018

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain
  • Engage with managers and fishers to fully implement the current, agreed management plan.  
  • Improve the regulatory compliance of the fishery to eliminate all IUU fishing, especially unreported landings by the artisanal fleet.
  • Implement measures to reduce fish and ETP bycatch and further identify and address environmental impacts, including impacts on the seabed.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 1 March 2019

Stock assessment is conducted annually by IFOP (Instituto de Fomento Pesquero; Institute for Fisheries Development). The most recent IFOP’s stock assessment reports are currently available only upon request (here). The assessment model is a statistical catch-at-age model in ADMB incorporating the following sources of information (years included in last assessment are provided in brackets):

  • Data from the trawl fishery 
    • Catches/landings: 1940-2016
    • Age structure: 1968-2016
    • Weight-at-age: 1968-2016
    • Log books: 1983-2016
  • Assessment surveys
    • Biomass estimates for several years
    • Age structure for several years
    • Weight-at-age for several years
    • CPUE of squid for several years

Catch data are officially recognized as distorted due to high levels of bycatch of the industrial fishery and nonreporting from the artisanal fishery (CCT-RDZCS 2017) (IFOP 2018). Two exploitation scenarios were modeled in 2018. In both of them the exploitation pattern from trawl fishing is assumed to be representative for the whole fishery, but there are differences in the catch data used in the model. In the first one (Case 1) catch data is obtained from official catch records from SERNAPESCA . In the second one (Case 2), official catch records from SERNAPESCA are used for years 1940-1979, whereas catches for the period 1980-2016 are obtained from Arancibia et al., 2017 who standardized catches for that period taking into account bycatch and unreported fishing. Stock assessment assumes a constant value of M=0.33 (IFOP 2018).

The impact of including the corrected catch series for 1980-2016 can be summarized in 1) higher abundance to explain higher catches, 2) higher recruitment, 3) higher fishing mortality and 4) reduced natural mortality due to jumbo squid (IFOP 2018).

Uncertainties in the assessment may be related to the lack of sexual dimorphism in the model and to predation mortality by jumbo flying squid Dosidicus gigas (IFOP 2018)

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 1 March 2019

Official scientific advice was previously provided annually by IFOP. But under the New General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA 2017) the Scientific and Technical Committee for Demersal Resources of the South-Center Region (Comité Científico Técnico de Recursos Demersales de la Zona Centro-Sur, CCT-RDZCS) – gathering IFOP, INAPESCA, SUBPESCA and several experts from Chilean universities – was created to give scientific support to management decisions (Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Reconstrucción (MEFR) 2007). Based on IFOP and INPESCA reports, the CCT-RDZCS annually recommends an Acceptable Biological Catch (Captura Biológicamente Aceptable, CBA) range based on the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) approach, where the lower value of the range is 20% below the upper (Subpesca 2015)

The advised acceptable biological catch range for 2018 was 20,000-25,000 tonnes, following the rule of the management plan that states a F=75%*Fmsy when the resource is considered overexploited, as it is the case. However, the decision was controversial as some members of the CCT-RDZS argued that such level of F would be too high to meet the objective of rebuilding the biomass to Bmsy in 7 years counted from the implementation of the management plan. It was also pointed out that the 75%Fmsy rule doesn’t consider unreported and illegal catches that are especially relevant in the artisanal fishery (up to 3-4 times the reported catches); and that as long as illegal and unreported catches are not controlled for, the advice provided by the CCT-RDZS will have limited effectiveness (CCT-RDZCS 2017). Some members of the CCT-RDZCS recommended adopting a more conservative scenario with F=60%*Fmsy but this was not approved (CCT-RDZCS 2017).

In 2017, the advice was also was between 20,000 and 25,000 tonnes but with a formal recommendation of adopting the lower value of the range (20,000 tonnes) (CCT-RDZCS 2016). This recommendation however was not explicit in the 2018 advice (CCT-RDZCS 2017).

In 2013 the CCT-RDZCS advocated the implementation of further management measures such as spatial-temporal closures to protect recruitment and spawning; and advertised the “dangerously high” fishing mortalities in regions VI, VII and VIII (CCT-RDZCS 2013).

The most recent estimation of the reference points for South Pacific hake are (IFOP 2018):

  • SSBMSY = 40% of SSB0. In 2018 this was estimated at 239,000 tonnes (Case 1) or 328,000 tonnes (Case 2).
  • SSBlim = 20% SSB0. In 2018 it was calculated as 119,500 tonnes (Case 1) or 164,000 tonnes (Case 2).
  • FMSY = F 40%SBPR at F=0. In 2018 it was estimated as 0.19/year under both Cases.

The virgin spawning biomass (SSB0) estimate is thus between 597,500 (Case 1) and 820,000 tonnes (Case 2).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 1 March 2019

According to Case 1 from the stock assessment model (IFOP 2018), total and spawning biomass in 2017 were 356,000 tonnes and 142,000 tonnes respectively.  Results from Case 2 indicate that total and spawning biomass in 2017 were 424,000 tonnes and 174,000 tonnes respectively.  The reproductive potential of the stock in 2017 was estimated in 24% of SSB0 in Case 1 and 21% in Case 2, with a probability of  21% and 37% (respectively) that the stock is below the limit value of 20%SSB0 (IFOP 2018). According to these values and the updated reference points, the CCT-RDZS classified the resource as overexploited (CCT-RDZCS 2017)

Biomass in 2017 (as estimated from acoustic surveys) was estimated in 301,330 tonnes (266,919-335,741) which represents an increase of ~24%  as compared to 2016 (242,920 tonnes); this increase is mostly related to somatic growth of the individuals as abundance decreased ~10% between 2016 and 2017 (CCT-RDZCS 2017).

In general, catches in 2017 decreased both in the industrial and artisanal fishery as compared to 2016. The CCT-RDZS reported a low percentage of juvenile fish (CCT-RDZCS 2017).

Discards of South Pacific hake are considered low in the artisanal fishery (which however support large levels of unreported catches), and vary among 3-25% in the industrial fishery (Subpesca 2017).

Chile IV-X Artisanal

According to (IFOP 2016) South Pacific hake is discarded when individuals present a lower quality due to predation by lions. Total estimated discard in 2014 was 128,7 tons (IFOP 2016).

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 1 March 2019

Management is conducted by SUBPESCA through the Management Committee. Decisions are taken based on scientific advice provided by CCT-RDZCS and IFOP. In 2015, Subpesca formally adopted new definitions of reference points for the stock (Subpesca 2015), in accordance with the recommendations of IFOP and INAPESCA (CCT-RDZCS 2014) and based on MSY targets as foreseen under the LGPA. Reference points for South Pacific hake are shown under the Scientific advise section.  

A management plan was approved in April 2016 (Subpesca 2016). The main objective of the management plan is to maintain the fishery of South Pacific hake at sustainable levels from a biological, ecological, social and economic point of view. The plan is based on applying fishing mortalities between 60% and 75% of FMSY that recover the stock to above SSBlim (20%SSB0) within five years (i.e. from collapsed to overexploited state), and then fishing mortalities between 75% and 100% of FMSY that recover the stock to above SSBmsy (40%B0) in seven years counted from 2016 (i.e. from overexploited to fully-exploited state). Fishing mortality levels to be applied however need approval by vote within CCT-RDZCS (Subpesca 2015). Additional targets of the management plan are to establish an effective control system of landings that cover at least 80% of the operations, and a plan to reduce bycatch of main and ETP species (see Bycatch sections).

The fishery is regulated by TACs since 1982, and the TAC is split between artisanal and industrial fisheries since 1992 (FAO, 2013), which get 40% and 60% of the share respectively. The industrial fraction is assigned separately for the periods January-July and August-December. Part of the artisanal quota is reserved for bycatch. The TAC for 2018 adopted the higher end of the range advised by the CCT-RDZS, which based the decision on the rules of the management plan (F=0.75*Fmsy). The shares of the 2018 TAC are as follows (Subpesca 2017):

  • Industrial fishery: 14,760 tonnes
    • January-July: 11,070 tonnes
    • August-December: 3,690 tonnes
  • Artisanal fishery: 9,840 tonnes
    • Targeted fishery: 9,810 tonnes
    • Bycatch: 30 tonnes
  • Research: 150 tonnes
  • Unexpected situations: 250 tonnes

Additional management measures are in use: e.g. the use of a juvenile escape device was established in 2005 for the industrial fleet, gear regulations (mesh size of 100mm for trawl vessels targeting South Pacific hake and of 120mm for fisheries targeting species other than South Pacific hake; and size of the gear (Subpesca 2015), control and inspection plans, observation programs. No minimum landing size is set, although individuals below the “reference” size of 37 cm are frequent in landings (CCT-RDZCS 2015).

From 2011, to protect the species during spawning season, a biological closure was defined from the 1st to 30th September, from the north of region IV to parallel 41º28,6' LS (Subpesca 2011). In 2012, the proportion of allowed bycatch of South Pacific hake in total catches of crustacean fisheries by fishing trip, within the temporal closure, was reduced from 10% to 1% (MEFT 2012); for trawls, gillnets and longline fisheries, the allowed proportion was 5% (Subpesca 2011). However a new law for discards, established in 2012 (MEFT 2012) and the Plan for the Reduction of Bycatch and Incidental Catch in the artisanal and industrial fishery of South Pacific Hake (approved in 2017) defines control measures and sanctions for the fleets and discarding is not allowed except for damaged individuals and under situations related to security at sea. In those cases, discards must be reported. It also allows discarding of the target species under the conditions provided in Art 7B of the General Law of Fisheries and Aquaculture (SUBPESCA 2017). No new fishing licenses are allowed.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 1 March 2019

Historically, reported landings only occasionally exceeded TACs, and have not done so since 2000. In 2016 and 2017, reported landings were 9-13% below the set TACs. However, official landing records provided by SERNAPESCA are likely underestimating real catch. A recent report estimated that the real catches of South Pacific hake in Chile doubled the reported catches for the period 1980-2015 (Arancibia et al. 2017)

Unreported landings and discards must be accounted for according to IFOP and CCT-RDZS (CCT-RDZCS 2017) in order to reliably estimate fishing mortality rates and adequately determine stock status, as was done in the last stock assessment analysis (IFOP 2018) (Case 2).

The “Plan for the Reduction of Bycatch and Incidental Catch in the artisanal and industrial fishery of South Pacific Hake” implements the obligation to install onboard cameras to monitor discarding activities from 2018 for the industrial fleet and 2020 for the artisanal fleet. The plan also incorporates the obligation to carry on board observers in all fishing vessels (artisanal and industrial) by the end of 2018.

There is very good compliance with regulations on the size and characteristics of the fishing gears (IFOP 2018).

In January 2019, a new law that strengthens the inspection body in Chile (SERNAPESCA) was published (MEFT 2019).

Chile IV-X Artisanal

The nonreporting of landings coming from the small-scale sector is an important issue that remains to be solved. (Arancibia et al. 2017) reported that in the artisanal fleet catches were 3 to 4 times the official landing records. A study conducted by CEDEPESCA suggested that in 2015 and 2016 the minimum total under-reported catch in the artisanal fishery in the VI, VII and VIII Region was around 25,000 metric tonnes. Nonreporting was somehow incentivized by the reduction in fishing opportunities (TACs), as hake is the only livelihood for many families in certain regions of Chile. CEDEPESCA together with SERNAPESCA are making efforts to fight illegal fishing and trying to reinforce controls in order to avoid illegal operations such as transshipment at sea from regulated larger boats to less regulated smaller boats, and illegal trade through uncontrolled trucks (CEDEPESCA, 2017).

There is some discarding in the artisanal fishery but the magnitude is lower than in the industrial fishery and does not represent a critical concern at the moment (IFOP 2018).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 1 March 2019

Chile is a member of the Agreement of the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels and as such it is committed to achieve and maintain a favorable conservation status of albatrosses and petrels. The list of species to which the agreement applies includes 22 species of albatross and 9 species of petrels (ACAP 2018).  

Chile IV-X Artisanal

Last updated on 1 March 2019

There is no systematic information about potential interactions of the artisanal fisheries with Endangered, Threatened or Protected (ETP) species. Since 2004 gillnets are the main fishing gear used by the artisanal fleet in Chile (IFOP 2015). There are only a few studies investigating bycatch of this fleet. (IFOP 2016) reported interaction with the yellownose skate (Zearaja chilensis; Vulnerable (Kyne et al. 2007)).  This species has a seasonal ban between December and March each year (http://www.subpesca.cl/portal/616/w3-article-840.html) and it is currently considered an overexploited resource. Along with Dipturus trachyderma, it is under fishery-specific bycatch quotas (Subpesca 2014) (Subpesca 2015). There is no information on the interaction of gillnet fisheries and ETP seabirds. In 2008, the National plan to reduce the bycatch of seabirds in longline fisheries (Subpesca 2007) was approved by the Ministry of Economy, Development and Reconstruction (Subpesca 2008). However, the artisanal fishery is since 2004 conducted mostly with gillnets (IFOP 2018)

Other Species

Last updated on 1 March 2019

In 2012 the Government of Chile promulgated the Bycatch Law (MEFT 2012) which established a program of research projects aimed at investigating the bycatch in the main Chilean fisheries in order to eventually design and implement Bycatch Reduction Plans for those fisheries. Those research programs would rely on fisheries observers on board and data provided directly by the vessels. The South Pacific hake fishery was amongst the first to join the program and included both the industrial and the artisanal fisheries. Results from this program (IFOP 2016) were used to elaborate the “Plan for the Reduction of Bycatch and Incidental Catch in the artisanal and industrial fishery of South Pacific Hake” (Subpesca 2017). This Plan bans any type of discard of main species (including the target species) except if it is allowed according to the conditions established by article 7B of the General Law for Fisheries and Aquaculture. In those cases the individuals need to be sorted by species, biomass estimated, and discarded with methods compatible with the capacity of detection and quantification of on-board cameras (which are mandatory under the mentioned Plan). Discards and incidental catch must be reported to the authorities. 

Chile IV-X Artisanal

Last updated on 1 March 2019

According to (IFOP 2016) retained catch represented 93-98% of the catch in the gillnet fishery and therefore unretained catch was 2-7%. Among the unretained catch, South Pacific hake is discarded when it presents low quality due to sea lion predation (see Current status section) and the list of bycatch species comprises a total of 19 species (2 Chondrichthyes, 10 Osteichthyes, 6 Crustaceans and 1 Mollusc). Another study (Queirolo et al. 2014) reported a total of 25 different species as bycatch in the gillnet fishery (10 Osteichthyes, 2 Chondrichthyes, 2 Cephalopods, one Gastropod, 5 Crustaceans, 2 Echinoderms, 1 Cnidarium, 1 Tunicate) being the South Pacific hake the most abundant species (97% of biomass) followed by the red squat lobster (Pleuroncodes monodon) and the crab Cancer porteri. (Sepúlveda et al. 2007) reported that 71.4% of the fishing trips interacted with sea lions. 

HABITAT

Last updated on 1 March 2019

There is a very good knowledge of the bottom habitats along the Chilean coast especially where the main national fisheries take place. The information is available in the Final Report of the Project “Characterization of the seabed between the III and X Regions” (Melo et al. 2007). Among other information, the Report includes: 

  • An exhaustive review of previous works addressing many aspects of the bottom habitats of the Chilean continental shelf
  • A list of descriptors of the abiotic and biotic characteristics of the seabed
  • A characterization of the seabed using the descriptors described in the Report
  • Maps with bathymetry, salinity, oxygen and bottom habitats
  • Maps with granulometry and organic matter content
  • Information on the presence of corals at each sampling station
  • Information on the presence of fish and macrobenthos at each sampling station
  • Description of the bentho-demersal community including predator-prey relationships and an ecotrophic model

In Chile, there are five marine reserves: La Rinconada in Region II, Isla Chañaral in Region III, Isla Choros-Damas in Region IV, Putemún and Pullinque in Region X. The main objective of these reserves is to conserve natural banks of northern scallop Argopecten purpuratus, Chilean oyster Tiostrea chilensis and giant mussel Choromytilus chorus among others and also to protect aquatic vertebrates such as dolphins and penguins (Ministerio del Medio Ambiente (MMA) 2008), spawning areas and productive zones. Additionally, four Marine Parks are declared in order to protect units of ecological interest, and associated diversity and habitats (Subpesca 2004).

Also, since the enactment of the General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture in 1991 (SUBPESCA 2017), a Reserve Zone for Artisanal Fishing has been established by law. It extends over 5 nautical miles measured from the coast from Region I to 41º28,6’S (located in the first third of Region X) and from south of 41°28,6’ up to 5 nm west of the straight baselines. This regulation is also in force around the oceanic islands and in inland waters. This measure, besides justifying the development and promotion of the artisanal fishing activity, prevents the industrial fleet from entering the coastal zone to carry out extractive fishing operations. It has also become a conservation measure for the bulk of fishery resources that spawn near the coast and inland waters.

Chile IV-X Artisanal

Last updated on 1 March 2019

There is no information on the impact of gillnets on bottom habitats, but it is supposed to be low (CEDEPESCA 2014). 

ECOSYSTEM

Last updated on 1 March 2019

A number of studies described the ecosystem and trophic relationship of the bentho-demersal community of central and southern Chile (Cubillos et al. 2003)(Neira and Arancibia 2007). M. gayi gayi exhibits a key trophic role in the ecosystem of Central Chile, with consistent predation on small pelagic fish (mainly common sardine Strangomera bentiincki, myctophid fish and crustaceans). In turn M. gayi gayi is an important prey for sea lions (Otaria flavenscens) and jumbo squid (Dosidicus gigas). Moreover M. gayi gayi is highly cannibalistic, preying on juveniles age 0-2 years (Gatica et al. 2015)

However, the most complete analysis of the whole ecosystem and habitats is the Final Report of the Project “Characterization of the seabed between the III and X Regions” (Melo et al. 2007). It includes a detailed analysis of the prey-predator relationships and an ecotrophic model using Ecopath. The model concluded that M. gayi gayi was the dominant species of the bentho-demersal community and was estimated to have the highest trophic level of all the marine resources in the Chilean continental shelf (Melo et al. 2007). This information suggests that the South Pacific hake is a keystone species in the bentho-demersal ecosystem of central and southern Chile, and therefore its removal is likely to have profound consequences. Specifically the Ecopath model predicted positive trophic impacts by M. gayi gayi on seabirds, jumbo squid and macrobenthos; and a negative impact on conger eels, palm ruff (Seriolella violacea), the southern rays bream (Brama australis), the Patagonian grenadier (Macruronus magellanicus), the South Pacific hake (cannibalism), the squat lobster (Cervimunida johni) and the bigeye flounder (Hippoglossina macrops).

At present the management of the South Pacific Hake (through the Management Plan) is not following an ecosystem approach. Actually, the need for such an approach is highlighted in the Management Plan and other studies as a future need that will complement the current Management measures (Gomez et al. 2017) (Subpesca 2016).

The recently approved Bycatch Reduction Plan may help to protect the whole bentho-demersal ecosystem as this fishery (specially the industrial component) is characterized for a high bycatch diversity with high trophic fluxes and high biomass (Melo et al. 2007). Besides, the analysis of the impact of jumbo squid on Chilean hake in the stock assessment (IFOP 2018) is a good example on how to take into account food web-mediated mechanisms to explain stock fluctuations (Gomez et al. 2017).

FishSource Scores

Last updated on 23 March 2019

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There is a Management Plan in place since 2016, which considers a rediced fishing mortality (60% of Fmsy) when the stock is in collapsed state (Subpesca, 2016). Such a measure however requires a vote by CCT-RDZCS members. Several members expressed concern that the reduction was not large enough, given the extent of illegal fishing and the lack of any signs of recovery from the stock, and the Committee acknowledged that a further reduction may be required as illegal fishing creates uncertainty as to how the stock will respond (Subpesca, 2015a, CCT-RDZCS, 2017).

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is 8.5.

This measures the Set TAC as a percentage of the Average advised catch.

The Set TAC is 24.6 ('000 t). The Average advised catch is 22.5 ('000 t) .

The underlying Set TAC/Average advised catch for this index is 109%.

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

Reported landings have historically been below the set TACs, but unreported catches are officially recognized as the main concern in the artisanal sector, with unreporting being estimated in 3-4 times the reported catches (Arancibia et al., 2017). Discarding is not allowed (Law 20657/2013) but it doesn't seem to be a big issue in the artisanal fishery.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

The stock is considered to be in an overexploited state, and has previously been in a collapsed state during 2005-2016 (IFOP, 2018, CCT-RDZCS, 2017). However, the CCT-RDZCS recognized that the lack of precise information on discards and unreporting prevents a proper determination of stock status (CCT-RDZCS, 2017).

As calculated for 2018 data.

The score is < 6.

The stock is considered to be collapsed and no indications of improvement have been detected, and the proportion of juveniles in 2017 was found to be specially low (CCT-CDRZS, 2017). Fishing mortality is likely to be higher than estimated due to unreported landings and discarding (Tascheri et al., 2015; CCT-RDZCS, 2017).

ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS

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Bycatch Subscores

There is no systematic information of the bycatch of this fishery. However some scientific publications and official reports evaluated the bycatch of ETP and main species (IFOP 2016) (Queirolo et al. 2014)(Sepúlveda et al. 2007) providing some reliable information on both the type and amount of bycatch. Information of interaction with seabirds is however not available. Overal the information is insufficient to allow impact on ETP and main bycatch species to be determined.

There is a Plan for the Reduction of Bycatch in place since 2017 (Subpesca 2017), and discarding is banned. However, it is officially recognized that compliance to this regulations is low (IFOP 2016). There is a Plan to manage the interactions of longlines with sea birds (Subpesca 2007), but since 2004 this fishery is mostly conducted with gillnets.

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Habitat Subscores

There is no information on the impact of gillnets on bottom habitats, but it is supposed to be low (CEDEPESCA 2014)

There is a very good knowledge of the bottom habitats along the Chilean coast (Melo et al. 2007). Information includes: bottom types, oceanographic features, maps of corals, etc…

There are  some marine protected areas in the areas with this fishery operates and a seasonal fishing ban in September each year, but it unknown if these measures represent any protection for bottom habitats becasue the impact of gillnets on bottom habitats is uknown. Compliance with these measures is also unknown.

×

Ecosystem Subscores

Available, information is not enough to fully understand the impact of this fishery but allows some inference given the key role of the South Pacific hake in the ecosystem

There is a good understanding of the ecosystem functioning of the bentho-demersal community in Chilean waters (Cubillos et al. 2003)(Gatica et al. 2015)(Melo et al. 2007)(Neira and Arancibia 2007) including predator-prey relationships. ECOPATH models have been used to describe the ecosystem (Melo et al. 2007).

Available information suggest that the South Pacific Hake is a keystone species in the bentho-demersal ecosystem of central and southern Chile (Neira and Arancibia 2007)(Cubillos et al. 2003), and therefore its removal is likely to have profound consequences on the whole ecosystem.

At present the management of the South Pacific Hake (through the Management Plan) is not following an ecosystem approach although predation by jumbo squid is considered in the assessment (IFOP 2018). Actually, the need for such an approach is highlighted in the Management Plan and other studies as a future need that will complement the current Management measures (Gomez et al. 2017)(Subpesca 2016).

To see data for biomass, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for catch and tac, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for fishing mortality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for recruitment, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.
DATA NOTES
  • The results shown here for SSB, F and respective reference points corresponds to the average between Cases 1 and 2 in the assessment results as the authors express no preference for either of the two modeled scenarios. 
  • Catch data for recent years are available from the official website of SERNAPESCA, whereas older data was obtained from different reports (IFOP, 2018 ;IFOP, 2016 ;IFOP, 2013)
  • The Scientific and Technical Committee recommended an Acceptable Biological Catch between 20,000 and 25,000 tons for 2016 (CCT-RDZCS, 2017). As no preference was shown for either end of the range for 2018, the mean point was used to compute score. Advised TACs shown are IFOP’s up to 2014 and CCT-RDZCS’s thereafter. 
  • Reported landings have been below TACs but score about fishers compliance has been determined qualitatively given the reported extent of IUU fishing especially in the artisanal fishery.
  • The status of the stock has been scored qualitatively as assessment scientists recognize that the stock status is difficult to determine due to the high levels of IUU fishing.
  • Although F in 2017 was estimated at below FMSY, a qualitative score for future health of the stock has been determined based on available information and uncertainty in the F estimate due to IUU fishing.

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits

Arancibia, H., Roa, R., Neira, S., Niklitschek, E., Barros, M. 2010. Evaluación de estratégias de recuperación en la pesquería de merluza común, Informe final proyecto FIP 2009-22, Universidade de Concépcion, 341 pp.http://www.fip.cl/Archivos/Hitos/Informes/INFORME%20HITO%20FINAL164Adjunto1.pdf

BirdLife, 2013. Fifth Meeting of the Seabird Bycatch Working Group - Seabird mortality in the Chilean demersal Haketrawl fishery and the effect of bird-scaring lines as a mitigation measure. SBWG5 Doc 39, BirdLife International, La Rochelle, France, 1 - 3 May 2013. http://www.acap.aq/index.php/en/documents/working-groups/cat_view/128-english/59-working-groups/60-seabird-bycatch-working-group/417-seabird-bycatch-wg-meeting-5

BirdLife International (BI), 2012a. Larus dominicanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3 [Accessed 26 January 2015]http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22694329/0

BirdLife International (BI), 2012b. Ardenna creatopus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3 [Accessed 26 January 2015]http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22698195/0

BirdLife International (BI), 2012c. Pelecanus thagus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3 [Accessed 26 January 2015]http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22697619/0

BirdLife International (BI), 2014. Thalassarche melanophris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3 [Accessed 26 January 2015]http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22698375/0

Campagna, C. 2014. Otaria bryonia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3 [Accessed 26 January 2015]http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/41665/0

Comité Científico Técnico de Recursos Demersales de la Zona Centro-Sur (CCT-RDZCS), 2014. Adjunta informe técnico IT 01/2014 del Comité Científico Técnico de Recursos Demersales de la Zona Centro-Sur (CCT-RDZCS). Valparaíso, 03 diciembre 2014, 6pp.http://www.subpesca.cl/institucional/602/articles-86441_documento.pdf

Comité Científico Técnico de Recursos Demersales de la Zona Centro-Sur (CCT-RDZCS), 2015. Adjunta informe técnico IT 02/2015 del Comité Científico Técnico de Recursos Demersales de la Zona Centro-Sur (CCT-RDZCS). Valparaíso, 16 diciembre 2015, 7pp. http://www.subpesca.cl/institucional/602/articles-91754_documento.pdf

Escuela de Ciencias del Mar (ECM), 2009. Informe final: Caracterización de las redes de enmalle en la pesquería artesanal de merluza común, Proyecto FIP Nº 2009-23, Consejo de Investigación Pesquera, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, 174 pp.http://www.fip.cl/Archivos/Documentacion/Noticias/Informe%20Final%20FIP%202009-23.pdf

General Law on Fisheries and Aquaculture (Ley General de Pesca y Acuicultura) [Accessed 09 January 2014] (in Spanish)http://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=30265

Ibáñez, C. M. 2013. El impacto ecológico del calamar Dosidicus gigas sobre poblaciones de merluzas en el Océano Pacífico (Ecological impact of Dosidicus gigas over hake populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean), Sociedad Malacológica de Chile (SMACH), Amici Molluscarum 21(1): 7-16https://www.google.com

IFOP, 2010b. Convénio “Investigacíon y evaluacíon de estratégias de explotacíon sustentables 2011, de las principales pesquerías Chilenas. Actividad 2: Peces demersales: Merluza común 2011. Informe Final. December 2010. 190 pp.Informe_Final_Estatus_M_comun_2011.pdf

IFOP, 2010. Convenio “Investigación del estatus e evaluación de esttategias de explotación sustentables 2011, de las principales pesquerías Chilenas”, Actividad 2: Peces demersales, Merluza común 2011: Informe Final. Instituto de Fomento pesquero (IFOP). December 2010. 190 pp.Informe_Final_Estatus_M_comun_2011.pdf

IFOP, 2012. Segundo Informe: Convenio “estatus y posibilidades de explotación biológicamenteIFOP_2012_CTP_2013_merluza_comun_octubre.pdf

Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP), 2010a. Informe Final Investigación del estatus y evaluación de estrategias de explotación sustentables en merluza común, 2010. SUBPESCA/Enero 2010.IFOP_Informe_Final_estatus_CTP_2010_MERL_COM.pdf

Instituto de Fomento Pesquero (IFOP), 2013. Segundo Informe - Final. Convenio II: Estatus y posibilidades de explotación biológicamente sustentables de los principales recursos pesqueros nacionales 2014, Proyecto 2.9: Inbvestigación del estatus e posibilidades de explotación biológicamente sustentables en Merluza común, año 2014, Subsecretaria de Economia, Septiembre 2013, 122 pp.Estatus_y_posibilidades_explotaci_n_sustentable_Merluza_comun_2014_sep_2013.pdf

IUCN. 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Zeraja chilensis). Version 2009. 2. Link accessed on November 21st, 2009.http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/63147/0

Kyne ,P.M., Lamilla, J., Licandeo, R.R., Jimena San Martín, M., Stehmann, M.F.W., McCormack, C. 2007. Zearaja chilensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3 [Accessed 26 January 2015]http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/63147/0

Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Reconstrucción (MEFR), 2007. Crea Comité Científico para la Pesquería de Merluza común. Subsecretaria de Pesca, Resolución Exenta nº. 997, 30 Marzo 2007, 3pp.http://www.subpesca.cl/normativa/605/articles-11665_documento.pdf

Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Turismo (MEFT), 2012. Modifica Decreto Exento nº 20 de 2011, del Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Turismo. Subsecretaria de Pesca, Decreto Exento nº. 810, 09 Agosto 2012, 2pp.http://www.subpesca.cl/normativa/605/articles-5139_documento.pdf

Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Turismo (MEFT), 2013. Subsecretaria de Pesca y Aquicultura, Establece cuota anal de captura para unidades de pesquería de recursos demersales que indica sometidas a licencias transables de pesca, año 2014. Decreto exento nº 1410. Santiago, 24 Diciembre 2013, 5 pp.http://www.subpesca.cl/normativa/605/articles-82133_documento.pdf

Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Turismo (MEFT), 2014. Establece cuotas anuales de captura para unidades de pesquería de recursos demersales que indica sometidas a licencias transables de pesca, año 2015. Subsecretaría de Pesca y Aquicultura, Decreto exento nº 958. Santiago, 22 Diciembre 2014, 5 pp. http://www.subpesca.cl/normativa/605/articles-86515_documento.pdf

Ministerio de Economia, Fomento y Turismo (MEFT), 2015. Establece cuotas anuales de captura para unidades de pesquería de recursos demersales que indica sometidas a licencias transables de pesca, año 2016. Subsecretaría de Pesca y Aquicultura, Decreto exento nº1186. Santiago, 22 Diciembre 2015, 4 pphttp://www.subpesca.cl/institucional/602/articles-91851_documento.pdf

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References

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