Chilean fishery of brown algae includes species belonging to the genus Lessonia, Durvillaea, and Macrocystis, which can be found along the coast, ranging latitudes from 18° to 55°S. The exploitation of these seaweeds is done mainly in the Northern coast because the environmental conditions of this region decrease initial production costs. Brown algae are exploited from natural populations and exported to international markets as row material, source of alginates, widely utilized in diverse manufacturing processes and industries. International demand for Chilean kelps has produced sustained increase in harvest during the last decade, reaching more than 390,000 dry tons/year. This chapter approaches the most relevant aspects of the brown seaweed fishery in Chile which covers a wide range of the Southeast Pacific coast, considering the number of commercial species, its abundance and distribution, knowledge achieved on their ecology and biology regarding management, and conservation of these resources, and finally, provides tools for stakeholders and policy makers directed to sustainable management of natural kelp beds occurring in the cold temperate seas.
Part of the book: Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Modern World