Total fish catch in CY 2013 is also expected to drop significantly to 5 MMT. A reduced biomass as a result of over fishing is the cause of a lower production and exports.
Peru’s fishing industry is tightly controlled by the government. In an effort to reduce over-fishing and enhance the sustainability of Peruvian fisheries, the government has established fishing quotas. At the beginning it was 8.5 MMT per year but it was reduced to 5 MMT.
Currently, the Government of Peru (GOP) has established individual fishing quotas per boat and individual processing licensing per plant. Additionally, the GOP has set fishing bans. However, these measures have not been enough to prevent the reduction of biomass.
The single most important reason for the biomass reduction is that the government allows small boats of up to 10 MT to fish year round within five miles from the coast. This fish, which is supposed to be exclusively for direct human consumption, ends up in fishmeal plants. Though the five mile area is not important in terms of total fish presence, but it is where most reproduction occurs.
Peru produces two types of fishmeal: Fair Average Quality (FAQ), with protein content between 62 and 65 per cent, which is dried by direct heat, and Prime, which is indirectly dried by steam and has a protein content of 66-67 per cent.
International fishmeal prices in 2012 remained high. The price of Prime meal averaged $1,330 per MT compared to $700 a few years ago.
There are 90 fishmeal plants currently working in Peru. Total processing capacity is 7,500 MT per hour; about four times more than they are allowed to catch.
Consumption for 2012 was forecast at about 15,000 MT. Local consumption is expected to remain low and even decrease due to high international prices and increased demand from foreign aquaculture industries.
Fishmeal exports totaled $1.8 billion in 2012 at an average export price of $1,330 per MT. Fishmeal is Peru’s fourth largest export, after gold, copper, and oil.
Peru’s fishmeal exports for 2013 are forecast at 980,000 MT. China continued to be the leading export market for Peruvian fishmeal with 50 per cent of the market share in 2012. Other important markets are Germany (14 per cent) and Japan (nine per cent).
Fish Oil Production to Decrease
Fish oil production in 2012 was 305,000 MT. Production is forecast at 300,000 MT in 2013. Oil extraction is directly related to water temperatures and can vary significantly from year to year. Under normal weather conditions the oil extraction rate should be around eight to 10 per cent, but can drop to as low as 1 percent in unusually warm waters.
In 2012, Denmark, Belgium and Chile were the major importers of Peru’s fish oil, accounting for 60 per cent of total exports.
Domestic consumption will remain low due to increasing fish oil demand in other countries, especially as a feed ingredient for a growing aquaculture industry.