HK Summit: Peru corruption in the spotlight
By Christine Blank, SeafoodSource contributing editor
30 August, 2012
The challenge of developing sustainable fisheries in corrupt government models will be one of the topics covered at the International Seafood Summit in Hong Kong, 6 to 8 September.
At the “Evolving Policies for New Horizons – Keynote Plenary Panel” on 7 September, Dr. Patricia Majluf will talk about her recent experience as vice minister of fisheries for the Ministry of Production in Peru. The South American nation is home to the world’s second largest fishery infamous for overfishing of anchoveta and other fish that is diverted into the fishmeal market. The Center for Public Integrity found that at least 630,000 metric tons of anchoveta have been unaccounted for in Peru over the last two years.
Majluf, who is now director of the Center of Environmental Sustainability at Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, found out first-hand about the difficulties of dealing with Peruvian fisheries and government when she began her term as vice minister of fisheries around three months ago. “I am a known fisheries conservationist, so I had guys with pickets protesting me a month before I took charge. The moment I stepped foot in the office, groups were coming into the Ministry every day, complaining about different issues,” Majluf said.
Most of the complaints were from fishermen and groups who wanted legal reforms that were “judicially undoable”, Majluf said. Because of political corruption in the Ministry of Production, the changes that Majluf had hoped to make to the Peruvian fishing system were not established mostly because I had to leave too quickly,- in two months. Too little time to do anything solid," she said. “The estimate is that about 70 percent a year of the catch allegedly is going for human consumption is going into illegal fishmeal, equivalent to about half a million tons of fish,” Majluf said.
However, Majluf is optimistic that new rules put into place by the new vice minister of fisheries, Gladys Triveño, will lead to changes in the Peruvian system. Under new regulations, smaller fishing boats, in part responsible for illegal fishing, are grouped in with the country’s industrial fishing fleet, which requires them to be a part of the quota system. “Currently, there are around 16,000 total artisanal fishing boats and over 1,200 registered in the fishing quota system,” Majluf said.
30 August, 2012