PERU : Peruvian fishing companies expect that El Niño Phenomenon has no greater impact on anchovy catch this year, which would allow this important activity to recover after a difficult 2016.
National Fisheries Society (SNP) president Elena Conterno said Tuesday in an interview with Reuters that the warming of the Pacific waters generated by the climate phenomenon is occurring 30 metres from the surface, while the anchovy, a fish of cold water, could descend to about 100 metres deep.
"We see this year as being better than the previous one, we consider that water warming is superficial and now we see an interesting cooling process and an increase of winds that are key," said Conterno. "We will await the arrival of the research survey in April to evaluate the scenario," she added.
Anchovy capture is key not only for the fishing sector but also in the country's primary manufacturing activity, which is the world's largest fishmeal producer.
The executive also expects temperatures to decline towards the end of April or May, when the new fishing season will start in the northern-central area of the Peruvian sea, where the largest number of anchovy is concentrated.
Conterno refrained herself from making fishing forecasts for this year, but the Central Bank on Friday had estimated that this year Peru will catch 3.62 million tonnes of anchovy, one million tonnes less than its previous estimate because El Niño could affect spawning and growth of this resource.
Anchovy catch in Peru has been reduced from 4.75 million tonnes in 2013. Last year, fishing fell to about 2.7 million tonnes due to the premature closure of the first fishing season due to the presence of juvenile species.
"It has been difficult years, companies have made great efforts to reduce their costs and raise their expenses for environmental care," said Conterno, who explained that in the last decade the fishing firms have invested USD 500 million in environmental protection.