Latin American fish production has expanded significantly in recent
years. Unfortunately, as management systems in the three major Latin American
fish producing countries have not developed at the same pace, all three countries
now experience problems of overfishing and industrial overcapitalisation. This
article examines the distinctive national fisheries development programmes that
have led to this ‘tragedy of the oceans’. By comparing and contrasting the
Peruvian, Chilean and Mexican management styles, it offers a critical assessment
regarding the likely direction of future Latin American fisheries policy.