Victory | January 4, 2024
New Law in Chile will Protect Kelp Forests and 50 Other Seafloor Species
Chile’s Congress passed the Benthic Law, which will improve the management of kelp – a key ecosystem for marine life and an important resource for artisanal fishers. Currently, kelp is often harvested illegally and there is little official information about its conservation status. The new law specifies proper techniques and tools for kelp collectors, including the regulation of the “barreteo” method – harvesting kelp from the base. The law also covers more than 50 commercial species that live on the seafloor such as sea urchins, crabs, and clams. The law establishes rules to determine which species and areas should be protected and where recovery plans must be put in place. Oceana campaigned for these changes to benefit Chile’s kelp forests, the numerous species that inhabit these unique ecosystems, and the 16,000+ artisanal fishers who rely on these areas for their livelihoods.