Peru Lowers Quota for Anchovy Fishing as Stocks Fall

Peru’s government has drastically lowered the quota for anchovy fishing as stocks of the fish have declined, a high-level official said.

Production Minister Gladys Triveño said the government has authorized a quota of 810,000 tons of anchovy for the fishing season between November 2012 and January 2013. The quota is 68 percent lower than during the same period last year, state news agency Andina reported.

The government lowered the quota following a report by Peru’s Sea Institute,  Imarpe, that said the anchovy biomass has fallen to 5.3 million tons, when it should be at least 6.0 million tons to ensure sustainable fishing.

The biomass has fallen to a point where Triveño said the government should really be prohibiting all anchovy fishing  during that period.

“Technically, we should have said zero quota,” she said.

Triveño added that, “It is possible that we will have to close the season in some regions of the country to protect the growth of anchovy… and guarantee that this problem doesn’t continue for much longer.”

Investigative journalists on the IDL Reporteros team, led by Gustavo Gorriti, have published a series of reports in the past year on overfishing and the corruption surrounding poorly audited fish landings and undeclared catches by some of the industry’s leading companies in this billion-dollar industry.     

In May this year, world-renowned biologist Patricia Majluf resigned as Vice-minister of Fisheries because of her “deep discrepancies” with the way the Ministry of Production was managing the fisheries industry.

Although anchovy is sold for human consumption and as a hig-protein content in nutrition programs, most of the anchovy fishing in Peru is used to produce fish meal, which is a major export for compound animal feeds and fertilizers.  Peru is the world’s top producer of fish meal and its waters are home to the world’s largest anchovy stock.

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  1. deborah sletten says:

    No doubt fukashima may have had a role in their decline also. Here in the usa pacific coastal fisheries are reporting high levels of radiation in ocean fishes.

    • Blaming Fukashima, rather than decades of overfishing, and global polluting of our oceans seems like a cop-out to me. Fish stocks have been in decline for years. The fact that nobody picked up on the logic that, once over-fished populations collapse they will be out of a job, surprises me to no end. Greed and a sense of invisibility, is at fault. Not part per trillion radiation making its way across the globe. More radiation was released during Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl, etc with no reported impact on aquatic life. Please do not take away from the fact that we as a civilization are to blame.

  2. When I lived in peru with my family in the 60’s,dad was the accountant/comptroller for the baker bros, fishmeal many the smell of burning fishmeal was a stench,but for our family it was the smell of $$.I had being informed the anchoveta had no longer been fished as the humboldt current no longer existed!!

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