Formalization of the Peruvian artisanal fleet is required to ensure compliance with the first Conservation and Management Measure for jumbo flying squid, adopted earlier this year by the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) 

More than 20 major buyers of jumbo flying squid in the United States and Europe sent a letter to retired General Walter Martos, president of the Peruvian Council of Ministers, calling for urgent completion of the formalization of the Peruvian artisanal fleet. In the letter, the signatories, all members of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) Global Squid Supply Chain Roundtable (SR), note that this task is not only required for compliance with commitments by the SPRFMO, but also to advance sustainability of the fishery and directly benefit thousands of Peruvian families whose livelihoods depend directly on the harvesting of jumbo flying squid. Click here for the English version of the letter and here or the Spanish version. A Spanish language version of this press release is here.  

The letter demonstrates support from international buyers that are concerned with the sustainability and legality of the fisheries for reforms by the Peruvian government to achieve a 100-percent legal and regulated artisanal fleet by January 2021. Additionally, the letter warns that failure to regulate the fleet would risk Peruvian products being classified as illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) in destination markets that have sustainability requirements. 

The SPRFMO’s Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for jumbo flying squid in international waters, which will take effect in January 2021, sets new requirements for fishing vessels, including not just the Peruvian artisanal fleet but also the distant water fleets (DWFs) that fish in the area. These DWFs have been come under scrutiny in recent years for improper fishing practices. 

The signatories to the letter include Altamar Foods Corporation, Aqua Star Smart Seafood, Beaver Street Fisheries Inc., Congalsa, Export Packers, Fesba Seafood Products, Fisherman’s Pride, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Giant Eagle, GlobalPez, Grupo Nueva Pescanova, Hilton Seafood UK, Lund’s Fisheries, PanaPesca, Quirch Foods, Santa Monica Seafood, Seafresh Group, Seattle Fish Co. & Gourmet Provisions, Sysco France, and True World Foods. All companies currently participate in SFP’s Global Squid SR. 

Facts and figures:

  • Peru is the leading world producer of jumbo flying squid, accounting for 49 percent of world capture between 2013 and 2017, a total of 900,000 tonnes per year.
  • The jumbo flying squid fishery is the most important artisanal fishery in Peru, based on catch volume, employment levels, and fishery exports. Within the fishery, 100 percent of capture is by artisanal vessels.
  • The fishery employs about 31,200 people for harvesting the resource and 12,000  people for processing frozen products.
  • Revenues from frozen product exports totaled USD 849 million in 2019.
  • In 2019, 42 million kilograms of jumbo flying squid were consumed in Peru, representing 10 percent of per capita seafood consumption and an important contribution to Peruvian food security.