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The majority of fish caught in Peru is converted into fishmeal to feed fish like salmon or for animal feed

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Peru's vanishing fish stocks 'devastated' by corruption and growing fishmeal demand

Ecologist

26th January, 2012

Soaring global demand for fishmeal primarily for animal feed or fish farms, including salmon, is wrecking havoc on the once abundant fish stocks of the southern Pacific

The fish stocks of the southern Pacific and in particular Peru are being plundered by widespread cheating and overfishing, according to a new investigation.

Peru is the world’s second largest fishing nation after China, with the majority of its catch converted into fishmeal, a feed for farmed fish and pigs. More than a million tons a year exported mostly to Asia, in a trade worth $1.6 billion.

An Ecologist investigation in 2008 linked fishmeal produced in Peru to salmon farms in Scotland - highlighting a host of unreported environmental and social costs linked to the industry.

The fishmeal industry says environmental impacts are now being improved in Peru. The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation told the Ecologist that its members were building a waste water treatment facility and new pipeline in the port of Chimbote, where the Ecologist investigation focused, to safely discharge water offshore.


The new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) uncovered rampant fraud, with many fishing companies cheating their quotas and leaving species like anchoveta and jack mackerel severely overfished.

The findings fit into a larger picture of overfishing and scant control in the southern Pacific, say the ICIJ, driven in part by Asian and European fleets that have depleted other oceans and now head south to waters off Peru and Chile.

You can watch the investigation by the Ecologist Film Unit below or read the original investigation, 'How our growing appetite for salmon is devastating coastal communities in Peru'.

 

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INVESTIGATION
How our growing appetite for salmon is devastating coastal communities in Peru
The coast of Peru is being blighted by an industry sprung up to satisfy the West’s voracious appetite for salmon – marine life, human health and whole ecosystems are paying the price.
NEWS
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tackles farmed salmon feed controversy
Channel 4 series will look at ecological cost of producing millions of tonnes of fishmeal for Scottish salmon farms - first revealed by the Ecologist back in 2008
NEWS
Supermarkets misleading consumers over 'sustainably sourced' seafood
Claims such as 'responsibly farmed' are being used to boost supermarket sales but do not always mean an environmentally-friendly fish product
GREEN LIVING
To farm or to fish - does aquaculture have the answer?
Our oceans are suffering from chronic overfishing - but are fish farms any better for the environment? Matilda Lee weighs up the piscine pros and cons in the battle to save world stocks from collapse.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Fishing and the environment: why the two are inextricably linked
Anglers may set out to hunt fish - for fun or food - but they are also some of greatest protectors of aquatic environments, argues Robert MacDougall-Davis

 

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