One of Latin America’s star economic performers has been Peru, but a slump in the country’s mineral exports and anchovy production last year caused a drag on its economy. CCTV’s Dan Collyns reported from Lima.
Anchovy shortage may leave Peru fishing for more sustainable stocksOne of Latin America's star economic performers has been Peru, but a slump in the country's mineral exports and anchovy production last year caused a drag on its economy. CCTV's Dan Collyns reported from Lima.
Peru’s income from minerals, which represent 60 percent of Peru’s export revenues, were down in 2014. This was in part due to a lower price of copper, and by November, the economy almost came to a halt.
While the South American country leads copper production, it produces more anchovies than any other nation in the world. But anchovy production was also down in 2014 — a decline of nearly 70 percent in November.
“In Peru, the fishing industry is very important for our economy. In first place we have the largest anchovy fishing industry in the world. In second place it provides employment to around 200,000 people,” President of Peru’s National Fishing Society Elena Conterno said.
Peru usually produces around 30 percent of the global supply of fishmeal, which uses anchovies. Last year, warm coastal ocean currents pushed anchovies further out to sea or into deeper waters.
Peru’s drop in production pushed up the global price of fishmeal and cut Peru’s earnings by around half — equivalent to 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
Experts expect anchovy stocks to recover for 2015 but unpredictable weather conditions — which scientists say could be linked to climate change — mean Peru will find it hard to maintain its top spot in the global fishmeal industry.
Experts say overfishing is part of the problems and that the industry needs to be more sustainably managed. Peru’s economy grew at around 2.5 percent last year, less than half of its average growth over the past decade.