Peru closes anchovy season with unfulfilled quota
Peru's Ministry of Production (Produce) has announced the closure of the country's second anchovy season on Saturday, 13 January, covering both anchovy and white anchovy species.
Peru had authorized a maximum catch quota of 1,682,000 tons of anchovy for the second fishing season in the country's north-central zone.
According to Peru's Minister of Production, Ana María Choquehuanca, the quota was based on data showing an "unfavourable" impact of the El Niño phenomenon on the anchovy fishery.
75% of Peru's anchovy quota landed
According to The Marine Ingredients Organisation IFFO, almost 75% of the anchovy quota for the second season has been landed - this, despite the season starting earlier than usual.
The second season was opened in October 2023, which resulted in higher catches during November which IFFO said "contributed substantially to the overall surge in raw material usage".
Larger catches were also reported in Chile and the North Atlantic region, IFFO confirmed.
Season closed to protect anchovy during spawning period
Produce took the decision to close the season to protect the species during its spawning period, the Ministry said.
Under the Peruvian regulations, anchovy catches must be landed within 24 hours of the season's close, while all processing must be carried out within 48 hours after the end of the season.
Produce said that Peru's Sea Institute (IMARPE) will continue to carry out monitoring and follow-up of the anchovy and white anchovy's main biological, population and fishing indicators in preparation for future fishing seasons.
In January last year, Peru's second anchovy season of 2022-2023 was closed early after fishermen reported significant by-catch of anchovy juveniles. In summer 2023, Peruvian authorities were forced to cancel the first anchovy season of 2023-2024 following exploratory fishing expeditions which found large numbers of small and juvenile fish.
The resultant shortage of Peruvian anchovy, a crucial feed ingredient which the IFFO estimates accounts for 15-20% of the global annual production of fish meal and fish oil on any given year, put aquaculture feed producers under pressure in 2023.