Don't hold the anchovies: Study shows Peruvian fish worth more as food than as feed

Nov 13, 2013

The true potential of Peruvian anchovy lies not in fishmeal but as food for people and as part of the ocean food web, according to Canadian and Peruvian researchers.

The Peruvian anchovy is the world's biggest fishery resource, with annual landings of five to 10-million metric tons. It generates up to one-third of the world's fishmeal supply. But a new study reveals the bulk of the revenue and employment comes from producing the seafood for human consumption.

"Anchovy accounts for upwards of 80 per cent of Peruvian landings by weight, but it's only responsible for 31 per cent of the sector's revenue," says Villy Christensen, a professor in the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. "It hasn't lived up to its true economic value because almost all of it is ground up for low-value fish oil or fishmeal."

Christensen and colleagues at the Centre for Environmental Sustainability (CSA) at Cayetano Heredia University in Peru calculated the economic impact of anchovy and other Peruvian fisheries. They found that artisanal fishers, wholesalers, markets and restaurants generated US$2.4 billion per year, or 69 per cent of total revenue.

Meanwhile, the fishmeal industry generated only $1.1 billion, or 31 per cent of revenue. Similarly, of all the jobs supported by fishing in Peru, more than 80 per cent were part of the seafood industry. Details are published in the current issue of the journal Marine Policy.

"Current Peruvian regulations only allow anchovy caught by artisanal or small boats to be used for human consumption, forcing the majority of the landings to be exported as fishmeal," says Patricia Majluf, CSA Director and the project's Peruvian lead.

"There are far more economic and security benefits to Peru to channel fisheries for ," adds Majluf, who launched a campaign in 2006 to encourage Peruvian chefs to incorporate anchovy on their menus. "We need to reform our laws to allow anchovy fishery to reach its full economic potential."

Explore further: Peru cracks down on junk food in schools

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The fisherman is a predator like any other

Jul 02, 2007

For Peru fishing is a prime source of foreign exchange, second only to mining. The country’s anchovy fishing fleet, which seeks the Peruvian anchovy Engraulis ringens, is the world’s largest single-species fishery, with ...

Action needed to keep fish on the menu in 2050

Apr 23, 2012

The latest study suggests we may still be able to eat as much fish as we do today 40 years from now. But for that to happen, we'll have to change our ways, say scientists.

Recommended for you

Japan lawmakers demand continued whaling

13 hours ago

Japanese lawmakers on Wednesday demanded the government redesign its "research" whaling programme to circumvent an international court ruling that described the programme as a commercial hunt dressed up as ...

EU must take urgent action on invasive species

17 hours ago

The EU must take urgent action to halt the spread of invasive species that are threatening native plants and animals across Europe, according to a scientist from Queen's University Belfast.

User comments : 0

More news stories

More vets turn to prosthetics to help legless pets

A 9-month-old boxer pup named Duncan barreled down a beach in Oregon, running full tilt on soft sand into YouTube history and showing more than 4 million viewers that he can revel in a good romp despite lacking ...

Revealing camouflaged bacteria

A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogen Salmonella within the cells. The so cal ...

New clinical trial launched for advance lung cancer

Cancer Research UK is partnering with pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer to create a pioneering clinical trial for patients with advanced lung cancer – marking a new era of research into personalised medicines ...

'Chief Yahoo' David Filo returns to board

Yahoo announced the nomination of three new board members, including company co-founder David Filo, who earned the nickname and formal job title of "Chief Yahoo."