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Santiago de la Puente Jerí: “It would be prudent not to open the season now and wait for the anchovy to grow”

Santiago de la Puente Jerí: “It would be prudent not to open the season now and wait for the anchovy to grow”

For the first time in nine years, it was announced that there will not be a first season of industrial fishing. In this context, Santiago de la Puente, a Peruvian researcher specializing in fisheries, puts cool cloths and points out that, although the anchovy is not about to disappearYes, it is worrisome that there is excessive fishing of juveniles, as it could affect artisanal fishing.

—Should the Ministry of Production authorize the first fishing season?

I think it would be prudent not to open the fishing season right now and wait a bit for the anchovy to continue growing. A short fishing season could be established, with a lower quota, in a month and a half or two, when the anchovy that it is youthful has grown and, suddenly, the industry can get something out of it.

—Should provisions be made for the workers who depend on this sector?

Not only to the fishermen, but measures to the entire chain that generates employment and income. The industrial fishing It is giant in Peru. There are about 20,000 direct jobs and, apart from that, you have the people from the services that clean the fishing companies, there are thousands of jobs that will be affected. So, I do believe that it is necessary to start thinking about what is going to be done.

—The National Fisheries Society (SNP) points out that they have not put themselves in the scenario that there is no season.

I found it quite surprising, because one has to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, and The boy It is the worst thing that can happen to anchovy. So, there is a moment when it is evident that the industry wants to fish, because it has to pay bills. There are, suddenly, even purchase and sale agreements with your clients. It is very hard for them not to have income for six months. I do think there will be pressure to fish.

  Produce owner, Raúl Pérez-Reyes, confirmed that there will be no first anchovy fishing season.  Photo: composition LR

Produce owner, Raúl Pérez-Reyes, confirmed that there will be no first anchovy fishing season. Photo: composition LR

—Is exploratory fishing the best way to measure the condition of the anchovy stock for industrial fishing?

It is not the best method. The best are the cruises that we do with eggs and larvae, and the hydroacoustic cruises. We do between one and two per season and that is something that sets us apart from the rest of the world. And that’s because we are a country where we have few things that we control, but scientific and fishing information is something we pride ourselves on. The anchovy is the most widely used example in all textbooks globally on how to mismanage a fishery because of the collapse it had in the 1970s. And from the 1990s onwards, Peruvian fisheries management has improved. But we keep getting cited as the ones that collapsed the anchovy. I think there is a very strong incentive from the entire scientific group that works at Imarpe not to be that scientist who messes up. Exploratory fishing helps you retrieve additional information.

—The micro-vedas or the precautionary closures become effective, many times, hours later…

Yes of course. And in those hours she continues fishing. That is a reality. That is something that can be improved. There are even technological solutions to that. There are fisheries that have, both in Siberia and in the European seas, boats that have cameras that point directly at the nets or the hoppers and, automatically, there are already algorithms that measure the size of the fish you are catching.

—Could the anchoveta disappear as happened with the sardine?

The Peruvian sea has suffered what are called regime changes. So, there is a regime that is positive for anchovy and there is a regime that is negative for sardines. The collapse of the anchovy, for example, is always attributed to El Niño in 1972, which was very strong and prevented the population from recovering. He made the anchovy It sticks a lot to the coast, very dense shoals are made that were highly fishable. Then, for about five or six years, Peru fished a lot of juvenile anchovies and that meant that they did not recover; at the same time, the environment was changing and this favored the development or colonization of those spaces by other organisms and it just coincides that the amount of oxygen in the system changes and many things that favor the sardines a lot. So, the population of sardine grew a lot. (…) I don’t think we are at a time where we are witnessing signs of regime change.

—Can juvenile fishing harm artisanal fishing?

It is a problem because artisanal fishing captures what the juveniles eat, so the longer it is caught, the more impact it will have on artisanal fishing. That is something we have to consider. Artisanal fishing is important for our food and exports in the sector and all the jobs it generates throughout the production chain.

Source: Larepublica

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