Report of the International Whaling Commission (1994)


Since 1974, species of small cetaceans, fur seals, sea lions, sea birds and to some extent sea otters, have been taken deliberately each year for bait in the Chilean artisanal fishery for centolla, southern king crab (Lithodes santolla) and centollon, false king crab (Paralomis granulosd). We describe the socio-economic context of this fishery and we review official fishery statistics and unpublished data in order to estimate the magnitude of this direct take between 1980 and 1992. We find that the need for bait in the crab fishery has continually decreased from a peak value of 950 tonnes in 1986 to a minimum of 450 tonnes in 1992. In recent years, three new trends are contributing to alleviate mortality pressure on marine mammals in Magellanes; a change in fisheries legislation, an increased diversification of the artisanal fishery and an increasing public awareness of the values of marine wildlife.