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The giant squid (Dosidicus gigas) generates direct and indirect employment for some 100,000 people in the country

Giant squid exports expected to grow 20% this year

Click on the flag for more information about Peru PERU
Thursday, October 17, 2019, 22:50 (GMT + 9)

Peruvian exports of products made from the giant squid or 'pota' (Dosidicus gigas) are expected to increase by 20% in 2019, said the chairman of the Committee for the Sustainable Management of the South Pacific Giant Squid (Calamasur), Alfonso Miranda.

Miranda said that Peruvian exports of these products amounted to USD 622 million in 2018 and stressed that the capture of the giant squid and its value chain generate direct and indirect employment for some 100,000 people in the country.

"It is the fishing resource that generates more work in Peru," he affirmed.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 3,770,000 tonnes of squid are caught annually in the world.

“Peru exports approximately 14% of squid worldwide, while Chile reaches 4% and China 22% - much of which the Asian country catches in the South Pacific off Peruvian, Chilean and Ecuadorian coasts,” said Miranda.

Chinese fishing fleet satellital location. (Photo: Stoc Ffile)

He also warned that "more than 300 Chinese ships use Peruvian ports to provide supplies, fuel, repairs, use of shipyards and logistics in general, which makes it easier for them to operate on the South American coasts."

Therefore, Miranda said that distant water ships must be “strictly monitored by satellite devices”, on-board observers and strict transshipment regulations.

Chinese squid jigging vessels operating in the Pacific. (Photo: Stock File)

Peru decreased its giant squid catches in the South Pacific from 533,000 tons in 2008 to less than 295,000 tons, while China increased them from 79,000 to 296,000 tons in South American waters in the same period. Recently Calamasur participated in the second workshop on squid and in the 7th Meeting of the Scientific Committee of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFO). 

At the meeting, Miranda said that while significant progress has been made regarding the evaluation, genetic and population studies of the giant squid, other aspects, such as the improvement of the quantity and quality of fishing data and the collection of biological samples should be addressed.

Chinese jigging boat in a Peruvian shipyard. (Photo: Stock File)

“The possibility of applying catch limits and fishing effort should be studied further, as well as the temporary and spatial closure in the area under the jurisdiction of the SPRFMO, taking into account the characteristics of the artisanal fleets of the countries riverside that interact in those spaces", he said.

The group was represented by its president, the Peruvian Alfonso Miranda Eyzaguirre; the representative of the fishermen of Chile, Pascual Aguilera Sarmiento; the delegate of the Chilean artisanal sector, Rubén Rojas and the scientific advisor of the institution, Dr. Geoff Tingley (fisheries technician director at Sustainable Fisheries Partnership).


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