FISHERY COUNTRY PROFILE

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FID/CP/PER
Rev. 2
FAOLOGO
November 2003

PROFIL DE LA PÊCHE PAR PAYS

Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture

RESUMEN INFORMATIVO SOBRE
LA PESCA POR PAISES

Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación

 

REPUBLIC OF PERU

 

GENERAL ECONOMIC DATA

Land Area:

1 285 216 km2

Continental shelf (up to 200 m):

87 200 km2

Length of coastline:

3 080 km

Population (2001):

26 362 000

GDP at market prices (2002)

$ US 56 900 million

GDP per capita (2002):

$ US 2 050

Agriculture’s share of GDP (2002):
Fishery’s share of GDP (2002):

7.9%
25% of agriculture’s share of GDP

FISHERIES DATA
Commodity balance (2001)

 

Production

Imports

Exports

Total

Per caput supply

‘000 tonnes live weight equivalent

Kg/annum

Fish for direct human consumption

7 995.5

42.868

316.9

564.0

21.4

Fish for animal feed and other purposes

7 208.0

-

2 259.0

 

-

 

Estimated employment

125 000 persons

(i) Primary sector:

Fisheries:

Aquaculture:

 

70 000

10 000

(ii) Secondary sector:

Processing:

Related activities:

 

25 000

20 000

Gross value of fisheries output (Estimated nominal value of landings 2001):

 

Trade (2002):

Value of Imports:

Value of Exports:

 

$ US 24.410 million

$ US 1 066.654 million

 
STRUCTURE OF THE FISHERIES SECTOR

Overview of the Fisheries Sector
Peru’s fisheries sector is a key component of the country’s economy. It is the second highest generator of foreign currency after mining, accounting for 1,124 million dollars in exports in 2001. The sector’s traditional importance has been sustained mainly by the marine pelagic resources found in Peru’s territorial waters, such as anchovy, sardine, horse mackerel and chub mackerel, which have contributed to the growth and development of one of the world’s major fishery activities. Over the historical period of development of industrial fisheries (1950 – 2001), over 274 million tonnes were harvested, 209 million tonnes of which were anchovy. More recently (1970 – 2001), Peru accounted for about 8 percent of the world catch in marine waters.

Growth was slow in the early days of industrial fisheries (the fifties). In the sixties, catches of anchovy alone quadrupled from 3.5 million tonnes to 12 million tonnes. However, in the early seventies, excessively high catches due to over-capacity of both fleet and factories plus the effects of El Niño in 1972-73 caused the fishery to collapse. It was only in the nineties that it became clear that this fishery had recovered as catches reached levels similar to those of the sixties. The El Niño event of 1997-98 once again put the anchovy fishery at risk and in 1998 catches fell to 1,200,000 tonnes. But this time, in contrast to 1972-73, the fishery recovered quickly and, in 1999, anchovy catches rose to 6.6 million tonnes. However, the industry experienced economic problems due to its financial indebtedness and low prices for fishmeal and fish oil, Peru’s main fishery exports. Recent years have seen a substantial increase in anchovy catches to 9.6 million tonnes in 2000 and 6.4 million tonnes in 2001.

The second most important fishing activity is the trawl fishery, with hake the main species. This fishery began in the mid-sixties, with landings subsequently increasing mainly due to the use of factory vessels. In 1978, more than 300 thousand tonnes were harvested, of which 150,000 tonnes were caught by the purse seine fleet - a level of fishing that placed the hake stock in difficulty in the years that followed. Ten years later, the catch amounted to 79,000 tonnes and, in 1996 a catch of 235,000 tonnes was obtained. Subsequently, catches fell to 32,000 tonnes in 1999, rising to 125,000 tonnes in 2001. The difficult situation of the hake stock has led to a recovery programme consisting mainly of management measures designed to relieve fishing pressure and redirect the fleet to other fisheries.

The resources sustaining the small-scale or artisanal, coastal fishery are diverse, comprising some 220 species. Of these, fish account for about 80 percent, invertebrates for 17 percent, algae for two per cent and other resources for one percent. About 180 coasting vessels are involved in this fishery off the Peruvian coast, with their catches earmarked mainly for direct human consumption. About 750,000 tonnes were taken in 2001.

Other fisheries are expanding through the diversification of traditional catch and processing techniques, which may require specialised vessels, especially where giant squid or “pota”, tuna and deep-sea cod are concerned. Other potential resources, such as deep-water red crayfish and king or giant crab, have been identified and could sustain new fisheries in the future.

Inland fisheries are carried out mainly in rivers in the Amazon region and in Lake Titicaca. In 2001, they accounted for more than 40,000 tonnes of fish, 20,000 tonnes of which were marketed fresh and the remainder as cured products.


In 2001, inland and marine aquaculture activities accounted for 9,400 tonnes. The main species were trout (47.3 percent); Peruvian scallop (41,6 %); crayfish (7,8%) and tilapia (2,4%). Other species were Algae, Boquichico (Prochilodus nigricans), Giant Malaysian prawn, “gamitana” (Colossoma macropomum), Pacific Oysters, Red Pacu, Silverside, Carp and Turbot.

Marine Sub-Sector
Data on catches and landings (2001)

SPECIES

TOTAL (TMB)

GRAND TOTAL

7 955 960

I. TOTAL FISH

7 823 088

A. Pelagics

7 492 653

Anchovy

6 358 217

Other species

1 134 436

B. Demersal

142 335

Hake

125 065

Others

17 270

C. Coastal

51 725

D. Other Fish

136 375

II. OTHER GROUPS

132 865

Crustaceans

8 376

Molluscs

116 877

Echinoderms

2 114

Algae

5 505


Image: PICS/table1.jpg

(Translator’s note: The translation of the title and headings of the above table are as follows:

TOTAL LANDINGS OF MARINE RESOURCES BY PORT 2001
PORT     GMT   %)

Fishing vessels
The Peruvian fishing fleet is divided into two groups, the large-scale group, where individual hold capacity exceeds 32.4 cu. m. (about 30 metric tonnes) and the small-scale or artisanal group, where hold capacity is below that limit. 

The large-scale fleet comprises the industrial pelagic purse seiners and the coastal trawlers. The purse seine fleet currently comprises 627 vessels with hold capacities ranging from 34 to 870 cu. m. each, 87 per cent of which is licensed to fish for anchovy and sardine, horse mackerel and chub mackerel. The total hold capacity of this fleet is about 142,500 cu.m. A further 36 wooden purse seiners, called “Vikings”, with hold capacities of up to 110 cu.m., are licensed to fish for anchovy and sardine. This fleet’s hold capacity is 2,180 cu.m.

The Industrial fleet (fishing for direct domestic consumption) comprises a total of 108 fishing vessels together providing a hold capacity of 15,000 cu.m. Sixty per cent of these are trawlers, licensed to fish for hake, horse mackerel, chub mackerel and crayfish, but 95 per cent of their catch is hake. This fleet has a hold capacity of a little more than 8,000 cu.m. In addition, there are 22 multi-purpose vessels (using surface and bottom longlines, purse seines, trawls and traps), licensed to fish for various hydro-biological resources, including dolphinfish and shark. This segment of the fleet has a total hold capacity of 2,000 cu.m. 

The small scale or artisanal fleet comprises an estimated 6 300 vessels, 65 per cent of which uses oars or sails and 35 per cent engines. Ninety nine per cent of these vessels are wooden, with the remaining one per cent made of fibreglass. The main gear used are driftnets (40 per cent); “cordel a la pinta” (21 per cent); purse seines (15 per cent); shellfish extractors (5 per cent) and other gear (19 per cent), the most common of which are surface longlines and seines (“chinchorros”). 

Current fishery legislation allows vessels flying foreign flags to operate in Peruvian waters, but they must apply for fishing and navigation licences, pay for fishing rights and comply with the legal requirements of the Fishery Management Plans. The main species caught by these vessels is giant squid or “pota” (Dossidicus gigas).

Main resources
Peru uses part of its wide diversity of species which include 736 marine fish species. Geographically, there is more diversity in the north than in the south. Only 80 (11 per cent) of these species contribute significantly to industrial fisheries and are used for human consumption.

About 40 species of mollusc are caught, representing five per cent of the 870 known species. About 23 different crustaceans are also caught, accounting for 7 per cent of the 320 or so known species.

Peruvian waters form part of the anti-cyclonic movement of the eastern part of the Southern Pacific Ocean and are characterised by slow-moving surface currents. This creates a complex system of water flows and water masses, with seasonal variations associated with the south-eastern trade winds which are light in summer and strong in winter. Abnormal variations, referred to as "El Niño", also occur mainly during abnormally hot periods, bringing large-scale changes to the Southern Pacific’s oceanic and atmospheric system.

The marine fishery is centred mainly on the species which live near the coast (pelagics and neritics), generally to depths of no more than 100 fathoms. The most commercially important fish families are: ENGRAULIDS ("anchovy" Engraulis ringens), CLUPEIDS ("sardine" Sardinops sagax), CARANJIDS ("horse mackerel" Trachurus picturatus), SCOMBRIDS ("chub mackerel" Scomber japonicus), MERLUCIDS ("hake" Merluccius gayi peruanus), SCIAENIDS ("lornas" Sciaena spp.) and SERRANIDS ("cabrillas" Paralabrax spp.). The major mollusc species are "choro" (
Aulacomya ater), chocolate rock shell (Thais chocolata), "bi-valve clam" (Semele solida), "Peruvian scallop" (Argopecten purpuratus), "chanque" (Concholepas concholepas), "macha clam" (Mesodesma donacium) and squid (Loligo gahi). Crustaceans include crayfish, shrimp and various king and swimming crabs.

Fishing grounds
Although anchovy (Engraulis ringens) is found in the area between 03°30’ S and 37°00’ S, mainly within 100 nautical miles of the coast, the largest concentrations are distributed between 04°00’ S and 16°00’ S. Sardine (Sardinops sagax) is found in an area between 01°39’ N and 37°00’ S, within 200 nautical miles of the coast. Horse mackerel is found in an area extending from Ecuador (01°38’ N) to southern Chile (55° S), whereas chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) is distributed in an area extending from Manta and the Galápagos Islands (Ecuador) to south of Darwin Bay (45° S) (Chile). In Peru, both species are found within the same latitudinal band off the coast, within territorial waters and in the high seas. Hake (Merluccius gayi) is found in shallow waters and at depths of more than 500 m, in an area extending from the extreme north of Peru (00°30’ S) to 13° 56’ S (Chirichigno, 1974). “Pota” (Dossidicus gigas) is widely distributed in the Eastern Pacific, from the Gulf of California (36°N) down to 47° S.

The purse seine fishing fleet operates mainly in the area from Paita (6°30´) to the southern maritime limit. The major ports are Chimbote, Pisco, Supe, Callao and Ilo. The trawler fleet operates preferably north of 6° south latitude, in the area where the continental shelf is widest. 

There is another large-scale fleet comprising wooden vessels with hold capacities of between 32.6 and 110 cu.m. These vessels operate in areas close to their ports of origin in the north-central part of the coastline, i.e. Santa Rosa, San José and Parachique. This type of vessel is sturdily built, which allows it to operate in shallow parts of the coast. This fleet is made up of about 223 vessels providing some 10,827 cu.m. of hold capacity.

Fishing Communities

All fishermen, but especially the small-scale ones, are organised into guilds, trade unions, maritime associations and other organisations. Out of an estimated 300 organisations, 68 per cent are associations, 17 percent are trade unions and 10 per cent are guilds. Despite the importance of small-scale fishing for food production, the small-scale fishermen are among the 54 per cent of persons living below the poverty line, receiving little in the way of healthcare and education. The average monthly income of a small-scale fisherman is estimated at US$115. It is hoped that the introduction of new resource exploitation and management concepts will make the activity more stable and worthwhile, and that the organizations will be strengthened through the establishment of small enterprises aimed at improving the fishermen’s social and economic conditions.  

Inland Sub-Sector
In the Amazon region

Peru’s Amazon region is characterised by its geographical and biological heterogeneity. The region covers an area of 778,449 Km2, accounting for 61% of the total area of the country. The diversity of species (some 726) in this region’s rivers is thought to be greater than that of other catchment areas. Only 70 of these are fished commercially for human consumption and 420 species are used for ornamental purposes.

Fishing is one of the oldest activities in the region, providing food and generating employment. It is estimated that fishing provides an annual economic return of about 200 million dollars. An estimated 11.3 million ornamental fish were exported in 1999 by 24 commercial aquaria for a total value of US$ 1.11 million. 

In 2001, catches in inland waters totalled 40 418 tonnes, with 18 235 tonnes caught in Loreto Department and 11 144 in Ucayali Department.  

In the Sierra

Most of the fishing in the Peruvian Sierra takes place in Lake Titicaca, where native species are targeted, including: Ispi (genus Orestias), a species with pelagic habits that is also caught in the shoreline waters in the breeding season; carachi (Orestias agassi), for which driftnets and other local gear are used; bogue (Orestias pentlandii), highly valued commercially for its quality and size, caught in areas of medium depth with a type of trawl net called a “bolsa”; and “Suche” and “Mauri”, types of catfish, also caught throughout the lake, but currently in decline, apparently due to over-fishing and low fecundity levels. An indefinite close season has now been placed on “Suche”, Bogue and “Mauri” throughout Puno Department. 

An annual close season is imposed between January and March to protect “Ispi” during the breeding season. However, greater protection is needed for this species as it is increasingly preyed upon by trout. 

Other important resources in the Sierra, and particularly in Lake Titicaca, are the introduced species, trout and Argentine silverside (Odonthestes bonariensis) or (Basilichthys bonariensis). Silverside is a pelagic species found at between 10 and 50 m depth. It is fished in two areas: the open lake, where the activity takes place throughout the year, and the shoreline area, where larger size specimens are fished. It is caught using driftnets. 

Silverside are also managed in the Apurímac, Cusco and Puno lagoons, where minimum sizes and fishing seasons have been prescribed to take account of the breeding season. 

Trout is the species best suited to the lake conditions. It is found, together with Ispi, its prey, in the open, deep zone of the lake and is caught with driftnets, mainly at the river mouths. The only regulatory measure for this species is a close season which comes into effect every year during the breeding season and which is currently in force throughout Peru’s area of jurisdiction until 30 September 2003. 

On the Coast
The Changallo shrimp fishery takes place mainly in rivers in the south and centre of the country, especially in Arequipa. The species is protected by an annual close season at the height of the breeding season which usually coincides with the summer months. Harvesting is allowed only with the use of certain gear and fishing methods, and prescribed minimum sizes must be complied with.  

Fishing vessels

The fishing vessels working in the Amazon region may be classified into four groups based on the type of fishing for which they are used: large-scale vessels for commercial and regional use; small-scale vessels for local use; small boats for subsistence fishing; and sport fishing vessels. Other vessels are also used to catch ornamental fish. 

Those used for large-scale commercial fishing are 21 metres in length on average, are fitted with isothermal boxes measuring between 10 and 30 cu.m. and account for 15 per cent of the fish caught in the Amazon Region. The vessels used for small-scale fishing are smaller than the former, measuring up to 15 metres in length with isothermal boxes of between 3 and 10 cu.m.

The vessels used for subsistence fishing are dugout canoes or small boats. It is estimated that there are 42,000 such vessels harvesting about 75 per cent of the annual catch in the Amazon region. Ornamental fish are caught using small motor or rowing boats.

Current statistics show that there are 19 large-scale commercial vessels with a total isothermal box capacity of 405.39 cu.m. and 126 small-scale vessels with a total isothermal box capacity of 351.37 cu.m. 

The main resources, accounting for more than 55 per cent of landings in the Peruvian Amazon region are “boquichico” (Prochilodus nigricans), “llambina” (Potamorhina altaamazonica), “palometa” (Mylossoma spp.), “maparate” (Hypophthalmus spp.), “ractacara” (Curimatus spp.), “yahuarachi” (Potamorhina latior) and “yulilla”. However, the species with a greater commercial value are “paiche” (Arapaima gigas), “gamitana” (Colossoma macropomum), “tunucare” (Cichla monoculus), “acarahuazu” (Astronotus ocellatus), dolphinfish, “doncella” (Pseudo platystama sp.), “cunchimama (Paulicea lutkeni) and “paco” (Piaractus brachypomus). The main areas fished in Lake Titicaca are the shoreline areas for native species and the pelagic and shoreline zone for silverside. The vessels involved here are small and use mainly gillnets. Annual catches of native species (“ispi”, “carachi” (Orestias spp.) and bogue)), and introductions (Peruvian silverside and trout) are estimated at 5.7 thousand tonnes.

Changallo shrimp is fished in some rivers in the Sierra and on the coast, giving an estimated annual harvest in 2001 of 280 tonnes. 

Fishing communities

There are large numbers of small-scale fishing communities in the Sierra and Amazon Region, some of which jointly manage the hydro-biological resources. On Lake Titicaca and in the Amazonian swamps, in particular, small-scale fishing communities manage the access to the resources for subsistence as well as commercial purposes.

Aquaculture sub-sector

Aquaculture is currently being developed in Peru, with attention focusing on farmed crayfish, trout and Peruvian scallop, some of which is exported. Although this activity has progressed in recent years, it has not yet achieved its full potential. In 2001 production reached 8 700 tonnes. Of this, Peruvian scallop accounted for 2 600 tonnes, crayfish for 4 300 tonnes, trout for 1 600 tonnes and other resources, including tilapia, for 200 tonnes. 

USE OF THE CATCHES 
Post-catch use
In 2001, 7.2 million tonnes were landed for processing into fishmeal and fish oil, of which anchovy accounted for 88.1 per cent, and other species for 11.9 per cent. Some 174,900 tonnes were used for canning, whereas 54,500 and 359,600 tonnes were used for curing and fresh consumption respectively. 

Fishmeal and fish oil production amounted to 1.635 million tonnes and 302,900 tonnes respectively. Canned, frozen and cured products accounted for 81,600, 83,600 and 26,400 tonnes respectively.

Fishery markets

In 2001, non-traditional fishery exports accounted for 3 per cent of total exports and 9.5 per cent of non-traditional exports – an increase of 11.2 per cent compared with 2000. 

Non-traditional fishery exports amounted to 206.8 million dollars in 2001, up by 11.2 per cent and 9.1 per cent compared with 2000 and 1999 respectively. 

According to Peruvian Customs data, exports of fish fillets amounted to 61.4 million dollars, up by 171.8 per cent on 1999, due to the increase in shipments of frozen hake fillets. The major market in 2001 was Europe, with Germany in the lead, accounting for a 33.8 per cent share of the market, with exports totalling 20.6 million dollars, followed by Poland, France, Spain and Italy.

Exports of molluscs at that time were down, falling for two consecutive years by 7.7 per cent and 12.8 per cent. This was mainly due to a decline in shipments of two products, “locos” or abalone and Peruvian scallop, despite an increase in exports of “pota” (
Dossidicus gigas). The major markets for Peruvian molluscs are Japan, Spain, Italy, France and the United States which, together, accounted for 79.2 per cent of Peruvian exports in 2001. 

Exports of frozen fish showed a slight fall of 0.1 million dollars in 2001. Frozen hake exports also fell from 1.9 to 0.7 million dollars that same year.

Canned fish exports have been stable for the past three years (39, 41.6 and 39.5 million dollars in 1999, 2000 and 2001 respectively), with canned horse mackerel, chub mackerel, tuna and anchovy worthy of special mention. 

Exports of ornamental fish also rose significantly in the past three years from 2.2 to 9.8 million dollars.

The domestic market accounted for a total of 661,000 tonnes in 2001, with products for direct human consumption (fresh, canned, frozen and cured) accounting for 437,000 tonnes and those for indirect human consumption accounting for 224,000 tonnes. Of the latter, raw fish oil accounted for 132,000 tonnes and fishmeal for only 92,000 tonnes. These figures show that domestic sales of products for direct human consumption rose compared with the past three years, whilst products for indirect human consumption fell by almost 38 per cent compared to the previous year. 

SITUATION IN THE FISHERY SECTOR
 Fisheries’ economic role in the national economy

Peru’s fishery industry is important economically, not only in terms of the foreign currency and jobs that it generates, but also in terms of the volume produced, especially fishmeal and fish oil, and other frozen, canned and cured products for direct human consumption. However, it must be noted that the fishery sector’s share of GDP depends to a certain degree on variations in the availability of marine hydro-biological resources.

Although fisheries’ share of GDP in the last ten years has remained between 0.5 and 0.7 per cent, their greatest contributions have been the amount of foreign currency brought in through exports and the number of jobs created. The share of fish processing rose to 1.3 per cent (2001) and 1.8 per cent (1994), with amounts totalling 1,773 million and 1,731 million new soles (at constant 1994 prices), respectively.

Foreign currency earned from fishery exports rose to US$ 1,124 million in 2001. If we take into account the classification of exports by traditional and non-traditional products, we find that traditional products (fishmeal and fish oil) accounted for 926.5 million and non-traditional (canned, frozen, cured and other products) for 197.5 million. 

Supply and demand

Estimated per capita fish consumption in Peru in 2001 was 21.4kg (including products from inland fishing) – higher than that of red meat (beef, sheep meat, pork and goat meat), estimated at 10.5 kg, but lower than that of poultry, put at 24.1 kg.

Trade
In the period January to December 2001, exports amounted to 1122.7 million dollars FOB – a decline of 17.9 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively compared to the same period in 2000. This was due to a drop in commercial transactions for traditional products which together fell by 19.5 per cent. 

Food Security
The fishery sector contributes significantly to the national population’s food supply and, through exports, to the international market. Taking into account only the fresh fish, shellfish and other species channelled to the domestic market, about 440,000 tonnes were used for direct human consumption in 2001 –a rise of 10 per cent compared to the previous year.

The project entitled “Promotion of Fish Consumption in support of the Food Security Programme” (Project TCP/PER/2802) helped set up a system, developed by the Fishery Technological Institute, for on-board handling, transport and distribution of fresh, top quality anchovy for consumption and processing into high value added products. 

Employment

Fisheries make a significant contribution to employment given the number of persons working in the sector. Estimates for 2001 put the number of persons working in the harvesting side at 70,000 and the number involved in processing at 25,000. It is estimated that aquaculture provides jobs for 10,000 persons and that 20,000 persons are involved in fishery related activities. 

FISHERY SECTOR: SITUATION AND TRENDS

The development of Peru’s fishery sector is related to the availability of fishery resources, catch levels, production and exports, as well as to El Niño events. 

In the coming seasons it is hoped that anchovy catches will match their historic average. It is also hoped that catches of pota ((Dossidicus gigas), the main resource used for freezing, will remain stable or, possibly, rise. The export situation will also depend on the Asian market and on the catch level of those countries’ fleets.

Efforts are currently underway to assist the recovery of the hake stock by reducing the catch per unit effort and the fishing area. The Management Regulation for this species prescribes measures to reverse the situation of overfishing and to allow for recovery. In the meantime, a fall in frozen hake production and exports is inevitable and little raw material will be available for drying and salting. Other matters that the fishery sector needs to tackle are market access for bi-valve molluscs and the recovery of farmed crayfish production through improved white spot virus management and increased per hectare productivity, especially through intensive farming. With regard to sardine, horse mackerel and chub mackerel, it is hoped that a slight recovery will be achieved, especially for the latter two, so that more raw material will be available for frozen and canned products, given the current policy to earmark these resources for direct human consumption alone. The increased use of anchovy in the canning industry is expected to help other species recover. 

It is also hoped to improve the supply of tuna to local factories for the local market (worthwhile and competitive) and for export. Other items such as ornamental fish exports are likely to increase. With regard to aquaculture, it is hoped that new projects and investments will help boost exports.

FISHERY SECTOR DEVELOPMENT
Obstacles
A characteristic of Peru’s industrial fishery sector is the wide variability in the availability of the hydro-biological resources it uses, due to the climatic changes in the natural cycles, such as when the cold coastal upwelling predominates or when the warm El Niño events occur. Likewise, market conditions for the major products, fishmeal and oil, are also very variable. In view of this, investing is a risky business for fishery entrepreneurs seeking to enter the sector or improve their position in terms of fishery infrastructure, i.e. fleet and factories. To be competitive, they must have adequate operating capacity to be able to harvest or process at times when the hydro-biological resources are most readily available and abundant.

Activity in the fishery sector has increased over the past ten years, due to the recovery of the biological resources, especially anchovy, and the greater availability of external funding. Both these factors led to the growth of many fishery businesses, based on greater indebtedness. However, despite a certain level of over-capitalisation, the catch levels obtained until 1997, rising fishmeal prices and capital availability allowed the sector to pay interest and refinance debts.  

Since late 1997 and throughout 1998, the Peruvian economy has sustained the major impact of El Niño and the international financial recession. Even though all the other economic sectors were also feeling the crunch in one way or another, the most affected was the fishmeal and fish oil producing sector, due to the scarcity of the marine resources and the uncertainty about the intensity and impact of El Niño. This resulted in higher interest rates and credit restrictions for the fishery sector - a situation made all the more acute in October 1997 by the recession in Asia. 

Development strategy
Anchovy catch levels have recovered since 1999, although catches of sardine and horse mackerel have remained low. Hake began its recovery after an extended close season was imposed following a long period of over-fishing.

With regard to market prospects, prices of fishery products have increased and it is hoped that in 2000 fishmeal prices will stabilise and start a steady rise. The private sector has also proposed implementing a fishing effort reduction programme with the aim of achieving greater efficiency and lower cost per tonne caught, reducing liabilities and improving the debt/capital ratio, thereby strengthening relations with the financial organisations. 

In future, fluctuations due to the natural variability of marine resources, especially when they are in a natural declining phase, must be taken into account and fishing intensity must be reduced in order to maintain a reasonable degree of cost-effectiveness. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that the country’s economic model framework, which encourages free enterprise, and the need for technological improvements to fleet and factories in order to keep the industry competitive, may lead to an increase in fishing capacity. This is a complex situation in view of the existing technical difficulties in determining the appropriate harvesting and processing capacities and in prescribing the framework for regulating access to ensure the long-term sustainability of fishery activities.

Development projects

The fisheries policy, contained in the 2001-2006 Action Plan, called for the strengthening of the sector, one of the national economy’s major components. In an effort to achieve this, the following objectives have been given priority: introduce new fisheries into the global market system with the aim of promoting their industrial development; increase domestic per caput fish consumption; modernise small-scale fishing and raise fishermen’s quality of life; promote aquaculture; and strengthen institutional management.

Research

Peru’s Instituto del Mar (Sea Institute) and the Instituto Tecnológico Pesquero (Fishery Technological Institute) are responsible for scientific and technological research, respectively. The former is in charge of scientific research into living marine and inland water resources, ecological factors, oceanography and limnology, and aquatic environment quality. Its main activity is to lay the scientific groundwork for fishery resource management.

The Technological Institute conducts research into the processing and conservation of hydro-biological resources.  

The role, in relation to fisheries, of the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana, IIAP (Peruvian Amazonia Research Institute), located in the town of Iquitos, is to conduct scientific research aimed at developing this important region.

Education and Promotion

The work of the Centro de Entrenamiento Pesquero (Fisheries Training Centre) at Paita is to develop training programmes for small-scale fishermen.

The work of the Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Pesquero – FONDEPES (Fisheries Development National Fund) is to promote, support and implement measures designed to develop small-scale fisheries and their basic infrastructure, and to develop and implement important aquaculture promotion measures.