Victory | May 17, 2021
Chile’s Environmental Court Reinforces Need for Science-Based Fisheries Management Following Legal Challenge by Oceana
Chile’s Environmental Court ruled in favor of Oceana and allies by confirming Subpesca’s (the government’s fisheries agency) increase of the fisheries quota for southern hake in 2019 was illegal. Oceana argued that Subpesca lacked proper scientific evidence to justify the increased quota for southern hake – a species overexploited since 2013. Chile’s 2013 Fisheries Law requires scientific committees to establish quotas based on scientific recommendations. This was the first time that the Environmental Court oversaw a fisheries case and challenged a decision made by the Ministry of the Economy. The ruling sets an important precedent that fishing quotas must follow the recommendations of scientific technical committees.