Following campaigning by ocean advocacy group Oceana and local communities, Chile’s Congress recently passed what’s called the “Benthic Law” that will help preserve the country’s offshore kelp forests.
Kelp forests, key ecosystems for marine life and an important resource for artisanal fishers, have been facing some serious threats like illegal harvesting, according to Oceana.
This new law aims to help: it specifies proper techniques and tools for kelp collectors, cracking down on illegal harvesting.
And it’s not just about the kelp, according to Oceana:
“The new law also covers over 50 species living on the seafloor, including sea urchins, crabs and clams. Plus, it sets rules around which areas need protection and where recovery plans are needed.”
Consequently, Oceana says:
“This is a win for Chile’s ocean wildlife, a win for artisanal fishers who rely on these areas for their livelihoods, and a major win for Chile’s kelp forests.”