CALAMASUR seeks sustainable management of squid in South America

Published on
February 16, 2018

A new industry group, the Committee for the Sustainable Management of the Southern Pacific Jumbo Flying Squid (CALAMASUR), has formed to work toward sustainable production in one of the world’s most significant squid-fishing regions.

The Humboldt squid (Dosidicus gigas) fishery, located off the western coast of South America is the single most important squid fishery in the world, accounting for over 30 percent of global squid volumes, according to the FAO.

The group includes Peruvian, Chilean and Ecuadorian representatives of the artisanal and industrial fishing, processing sector, and from academia. It was formed out of a workshop that took place 22 and 23 January in Lima, Peru. 

Following the meeting, the group sent a position statement to delegates at the South Pacific Regional Fishery Management Organization requesting key policy changes, asking for better compliance and regulatory enforcement in international waters, as well as the creation of a squid scientific working group, according to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, which has assisted in the organization of the group.

“Chile and Peru alone caught almost 67 percent of the total volume in 2014, so the group believes a consensus of this nature by the principal squid fishing nations in the region will lead to more sustainable squid production in a fishery that provides livelihoods to fishing communities along the coasts of all three countries,” SFP said in a press release.

Newly appointed CALAMASUR President Alfonso Miranda said the group highest initial priority would be to fight illegal fishing, including violations of the exclusive economic zones of Chile, Peru, and Ecuador.

"There is an absence of regulation that ensures the sustainability of ... squid in international waters of the South Pacific,” Miranda said. “Also, the control of fishing players in international waters and the operation of foreign-flagged fishing vessels in jurisdictional waters is inadequate, facilitating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing." 

Pascual Aguilera, president of the Coordinadora Nacional de Jibieros, a Chilean squid fishing trade group, said the CALAMASUR represented an important step forward for the industry.

“It is not a secret that ocean resources are agonizing and dwindling every day,” Aguilera said. “Countries have not made all the needed efforts to ensure the present and future health of the giant squid, a resource that expand along international waters, and the sea is not an inexhaustible source of resources. For this reason, CALAMASUR is so important. We have got together to work alongside each other to ensure the livelihoods of many fishing communities along the Pacific coast of South America that depend on this resource, and to keep contributing to food security at the global level.” 

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