According to the statistics division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, seven countries accrued nearly 50% of global fish catch; one of wish is Peru with 6.3% of the total in 2013. It also produces nearly 20% of fish-meal production in the world, followed by Chile (12%) and Thailand (11%).
Despite the global significance of the Peruvian fish catching in the world, Commercial fishing in Peru represents a small fraction of its GDP, below 1% which can be up to 2% if fish-meal and fish-oil production are included.
Commercial fishing is split in maritime and continental fishing for statistical purposes. Maritime fishing is also divided into fish catch for Direct Human Consumption (fresh, cured, frozen or canned fish) and Indirect Human Consumption (for industrial purposes such as fish-meal and fish-oil). Continental fishing, although represents a small fraction in total Peruvian fishing production, has increased its relevance in the last years, going from 0.5% in 2001 up to 1.6% in 2014 of total metric tons. This sub-sector comprises fish catch in rivers, lakes, lagoons and aquafarming.
In terms of scale, the survey conducted by the National Institute for Statistics – INEI and the Ministry of Production in 2012 shows that traditional and small-scale fishing has grown in more than 50% in the last 20 years. These fishermen are mainly located in the north of Peru and focus basically in fishing mackerel, anchovy, liza, whitecap, sole, octopus, among other.
Large-scale fishing or industrial fishing, on the other hand, has remained rather steady, fluctuating according to climate and fishing conditions. This segment focuses mainly in anchovy catch for fish-meal and fish-oil production. However, mackerel and hake are also catch for Direct Human Consumption. (click here for more detailed information – in Spanish only).
Aquaculture activities in Peru have experienced a dramatic growth in the last decade, with an average annual growth rate of 20%. The main species within this sub-sector are Pacific white shrimp, Peruvian scallops, rainbow trout and tilapia. Some other species from the Amazon basin such as Pacu and paiche have also been tested in aquafarming projects with good results, although still in small volumes. Click here for a full report on aquaculture in Peru (Spanish only).
In 2014, warm oceanic currents had a negative impact in the reproductive cycle of anchovy, leading to lower catching in the first fishing season and a full suspension of activities in the second. As a result, catch of anchovy was 52.6% less than in 2013, and other species followed a similar situation, leading to a decline in the fishing sector of 41.1% in 2014. The Ministry of Production publishes monthly statistics for the fishing sector which can be seen here (Spanish only).