Peru eyes aquaculture to drive economic development
Aquaculture could become an engine of development for Peru, offering a significant positive impact in economically disadvantaged areas, Peruvian Minister of Production José Salardi said recently.
"I am convinced of this activity’s potential, I have seen it in the various regions that I’ve visited in the mountains and the jungle areas of the country. I believe that it may be the future of the country's fishing," Salardi said, according to government news agency Andina.
Salaradi said the state has undertaken “very aggressive efforts” to promote aquaculture nationwide, including a PEN 30 million (USD 8.3 million, EUR 7.0 million) investment by the Loreto regional government to install aquaculture and livestock farms in the Alto Amazonas Province to the benefit of 1,100 local producers, with the regional government negotiating a bank loan of PEN 1.5 billion (USD 415 million, EUR 349 million) to support the development of high-impact projects.
With USD 3 billion (EUR 2.5 billion) in annual exports, the fishing sector already weighs heavily in the national gross domestic product and in the creation of direct and indirect jobs, Salardi noted.
"Fishing has made it possible to cushion the economic impact of the [COVID-19] pandemic, with a very positive first season of anchovy capture, and we hope that the second season will follow the same line," he said.
The Production Ministry (PRODUCE) kicked off the anchovy fishing season earlier this month for the north-central region and established a capture limit of 2.78 million metric tons (MT). The last north-central region anchovy fishing season came to a close on 15 August with what industry experts considered a successful season, approaching 100 percent of the 2.41 million MT capture limit established.
Salardi said in addition to growing the country’s seafood sector through aquaculture, the fight against illegal and informal fishing is a priority for the government.
"Between now and July , we want to reduce informality by 30 percentage points and we have a plan for it to be eradicated by 2022." He said that the government is also working on measures to reduce regulatory costs, streamline procedures, and implement more friendly processes for the fishing sector.
The government’s focus also includes artisanal fishing, with government working on landing sites for fishers to better develop their activities while also permitting fishing seasons with a scientific approach so as to preserve resources, Salardi noted. The minister also highlighted the sanitary protocols observed for fishing crews to be able to perform their tasks at sea without setbacks while safeguarding their health.
Besides working to ensure the wellbeing of Peru’s fishers during the COVID-19 health and economic pandemic, there are valuable lessons to be learned during these trying times, NGO Future of Fish previously told SeafoodSource.
Photo courtesy of Andina