Facing COVID-19 and sea "anomalies," Peru’s SNI calls for government action

Published on
May 19, 2020

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee of Peru’s National Society of Industries (SNI) has called on the government to take action to help Peruvian fishing firms better respond to problems brought on by recent anomalies.

On one hand, the government ban on the fishing of hake has been lifted –and the marine resource has shown a remarkable recovery in biomass – "but oceanographic anomalies for much of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 have not permitted efficient capture because the resource has moved away to deeper seas," SNI Fisheries and Aquaculture Committee President Carlos Milanovitch said.

"Today, this is aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic that keeps this industry semi-paralyzed, where it must operate at higher costs due to the demands of the new protocols that must be applied to its processing tasks,” he added.

As such, the SNI official requested the government return to fishing firms the 5 percent drawback on total export value, saying this is “a necessary incentive for companies to continue operating despite the shortage of fishery resources due to serious oceanographic anomalies.”

Adding to the issues, Milanovitch added, is the fact that Asian fleets are allowed to operate within Peruvian waters without any oversight from local authorities, and are “preying” on jumbo squid resources.

“These ships enter Peruvian ports to resupply and make repairs without the Peruvian authorities having any control over their catches in Peruvian waters," he said.

That doesn’t happen in Chile, as authorities there require fleets fishing in the country’s waters install satellite equipment for surveillance in order to track fleets and their captures.

In this regard, he asked Minister of Production Rocío Barrios to require Asian fleets to install satellite surveillance equipment in order to operate in Peruvian seas.

Some 200,000 people work in Peru’s fishing sector. Main export markets for the country’s fish products are China, Spain, South Korea, and Japan, with the primary products being squid, prawns, fish fillets, and scallops.

Photo courtesy of Christian Vinces/Shutterstock 

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