Co-Designing Solutions for Chilean Fisheries

Round 3

Our last trip to Chile was to conduct three multi-stakeholder co-design workshops, in three of our partner caletas (fishing coves); El Quisco, Jaiberos de San Antonio and Duao. Co-design is a collaborative process where a wide set of stakeholders are brought together to ideate on solutions for a given set of issues. Our issue: an overfished hake fishery, high levels of IUU, and limited development options for fishers Our aim: to co-design ideas which would support the fishers and associated stakeholders in creating opportunities which would instigate development and support moving the fishery towards sustainability

The artisanal hake fishing is conducted in artisanal boats ranging a from 8 to 12 meters long.

Fishers go out at 4am and return at approximately 2pm, sometimes with their nets full, sometimes with their hands empty, and always with a net to fix.

Saint Peter is their protector. Each caleta proudly shows their local version of this saint, who will hopefully help fill the nets and bring everyone home safely after each trip.

El Quisco, Jaiberos de San Antonio and Duao are small to medium sized calderas in the center southern part of the Chilean coastline, with 25 to 100 active members in each. These syndicates catch mainly hake, with few options for diversification including confer, crag, and Giant Squid.

As part of a Design and Demo phase of our Fishery Development Model, and along with local partners Centro de Investigacion (ECOS), we ran a series of co-design workshops in each of these 3 caletas (fishing coves) during October. Our team travelled from different locations around the globe to be reunited for these events. Aim: to refine ideas originally drafted by fishers in a previous session back in August.

El Quisco

The El Quisco syndicate is 1 hour away from Santiago and 40 minutes away from Valparaiso.

Their syndicate is not big, but has a decent infrastructure and is full of history, as it is located on a beautiful bay. It is also home to a summer resort famous for hosting historical representations of art and culture.

Francisco is the enthusiastic leader of this syndicate. He himself sells fresh catch each weekend right next to the syndicate pier.

The fishmongers know what they are doing. They clean and filet each fish, and customers go home with a big smile (and a big fish!). The fishers in El Quisco are known for their skilled handling of the fish and the associated high quality.

Co-Design Meeting

During our co-design meeting with this caleta, we had a full agenda which included mapping the hake system, prototyping, business canvas developments.

Prototyping requires plasticine, pipe cleaners, balloons and many many items of every color imaginable! We had four work tables with four different ideas and an inspiring group of people including fishers, NGO representatives, a journalist, government reps, a chef, market vendors and many more.

Prototyping really does bring out the best in groups! Building (and playing) is fun and uses a different part of the brain.

Creativity is enhanced

People are engaged

Ideas are developed

After working in small groups, we each shared the discussions and insights gained during the prototyping phase to the entire assembly, including our youngest co-design member!

Jaiberos de San Antonio

German, the leader of this syndicate, was energetic when telling the story of their syndicate.

Their caleta is surrounded by big industry and the most important commercial port in Chile.

Mapping out the hake system brought some fascinating information to the surface of our discussion, including that sea lions are a daily battle for hake fishers.

The prototyping session gave free reign to their ideas.

Once again with many colors

High levels of creativity and concentration

And great discussions.

Discussions over lunch were pretty intense too; we discuss fish while eating fish!


The summer resort of Duao is located 3 hours south of Santiago.

The syndicate has a beautiful view of the bay.

We were delighted by the amount and diversity of stakeholders that arrived for the workshop the night before. A big barbecue was the perfect excuse to share visions and strengthen relationships between attendees.

Expectations were high, but that is what we hope for and encourage!

Our creative agitators were a hit.

The stakeholders made a good argument for cooperation.

Time for action: the session was full of emotion, surprise and gratitude for participants from Chile and abroad.

Mapping the hake system uncovered some intricacies. Prototyping once again brought some really detailed conversations, some laughs, and some arguments.

As well as some beautiful creations

And a few headaches when the tape just wouldn’t stick!

Thank you to El Quisco, Jaiberos de San Antonio, and Duao for opening their syndicates doors for such great working sessions, we will work hard to move forward such a brilliant set of ideas.

Thank you to our partners ECOS!

Claudio, for your insights and input, always ace!

And thank you for the great translation services from the amazing Millka and Margarita.

We’re looking forward to the next round of co-design! Stay tuned