Peruvian entities move to shore up sustainability of jumbo squid fishery

Capecal and Imparpe executives signing their partnership agreement.

The Peruvian Chamber for Jumbo Flying Squid (Capecal) has signed an inter-institutional agreement with the Peruvian Sea Institute (Imarpe) for the promotion and sustainable development of the country’s jumbo squid fishery, while also promoting research of the species via the participation of artisanal fishers.

Peru is responsible for about 500,000 metric tons (MT) a year of the total 900,000 MT jumbo squid landed from the Pacific Ocean and the chamber’s mission is to promote the sustainability of the species, ensuring it remains a resource for future generations, Capecal President Gerardo Carrera said in a press release.

“Jumbo squid is the fishing resource that provides the most work in our country’s fishing and aquaculture sector, supporting artisanal fishing and the frozen industry. In this fishing resource [alone], about 90,000 people are employed between [fishing] boats and [processing] plants,” Carrera said in a press release.

During the signing of the agreement, Capecal executives issued a warning regarding the “voracity” of foreign fleets, particularly from China, and reiterated their request to the government for permanent monitoring and protection of the jumbo squid resource. According to the Global Fishing Watch satellite-monitoring platform, 615 foreign vessels were detected in 2021 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru, of which 584 were Chinese. The Chinese fishing fleet – estimated at 15,000 vessels by the Overseas Development Institute – is by far the largest in the world, and China is the country with the worst rating for contribution to illegal fishing in a 2019 Global Initiative report.

Last year, Capecal created a jig fishery improvement project with WWF Peru that looks to address sustainability issues in the jumbo flying squid, one of the world’s largest artisanal fisheries.

Capecal, which was established with support from the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), brings together a group of 17 Peruvian fishing firms that represent more than 60 percent of the value of exports from the jumbo flying squid fishery. It is an independent industry association that promotes the conservation and management of jumbo flying squid in Peru and supports the Peru jumbo flying squid fishery improvement project through political advocacy, funding, and implementation. Capecal’s founding companies include Pacific Freezing Company, Sabanamar Pacífico, Océano Seafood, Peruvian Sea Food, Transmarina del Perú, Refrigerados Fisholg e hijos, Marfrío Perú, Coinrefri, Produmar, Perupez, Seafrost, Fernández, Altamar Foods, Dexim, Sakana, Peru Frost, and Proanco.

SFP is a marine-conservation organization that was founded in 2006, with the mission of leveraging the power of seafood buyers and retailers in every part of the seafood supply chain to rebuild depleted fish stocks, reduce the environmental impacts of fishing and fish farming, address social issues in fishing, and advance economic opportunities for fishers and their communities.

Imarpe is a technical agency within Peru’s Ministry of Production that advises the state on marine-conservation issues.

Photo courtesy of Capecal


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