Fishing in Chile

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Fishing boats in Quellón, Chiloé with Corcovado volcano in the background

Fishing in Chile is a major industry with a total catch of 4,442,877 tons of fish in 2006.[1] Due to the Humboldt Current, the Chilean Sea is considered among the most productive marine ecosystems in the world as well as the largest upwelling system. Artisan fishing is practised all over Chile's 6,435 km long coastline and combines industrial techniques with pre-Hispanic traditions. Recreational fishing tourism in southern Chile's rivers has recently gained worldwide fame attracting actors such as Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Costner.[2]

Fishing began in Chile with the introduction of salmon species into the country at the end of the 19th century — with great success since the salmon didn't encounter any large enemies or predators in Chile's cold and temperate waters. Subsequently the state, first as a social policy and then to promote aquaculture, played an active role in creating fish farms that released into rivers various species like rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout; and anadromous species such as silver salmon, king salmon, and Atlantic salmon. As a result, a number of species have adapted well to the new environment.[3][4]

There are no reliable statistics of the pastimes of Chileans, but it is believed that fishing is the third or fourth most popular hobby. Simple and low-cost fishing gear is the most popular. The most popular bait used includes earthworms, fresh-water crab, shrimp, snails, small fish, and white beans.[5] The more complex fishing gear has gained in popularity with imported rods and reels running less than 5,000 Chilean pesos, and fly fishing gear selling for less than 50,000 Chilean pesos. Fly fishing is the fastest growing sector in sport fishing in Chile. Tourists have come to know Chile as the destination for salmon fishing. The increase in tour guides for tourist fishing has been explosive — from only a few fishing lodges in the 1990s, to over a dozen new lodges in the new century. Lawmakers and participants in sport fishing are working together to make new laws to help regulate the fishing tourism industry and ensure its longevity.

Freshwater sport fishing mainly occurs from Region V of Valparaíso to the south of Chile, being particularly successful and rich in freshwater species from Region IX of Araucanía to Region XII of Magallanes and Antártica Chilena, and tourism development is mainly concentrated in the Araucanía.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chilean National Fisheries Service
  2. ^ Hollywood looks to take refuge in southern Chile
  3. ^ National Aquaculture Legislation Overview: Chile FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture, Rome. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  4. ^ Country profile: Chile FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture, Rome. Retrieved 10 February 2013. Translation
  5. ^ Pesca deportiva en Chile, Retrieved January 15, 2009.