Who's eating the fish?

PERUVIANS catch 11.6 million metric tonnes (MT) of fish annually but consume only 3 kg - 16 per cent of the amount recommended by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) - per head. Measures to develop freshwater fishing aim more towards generating profits, exports and employment, rather than improving the people's diet.

Most of the fish caught in Peru is turned into fishmeal and exported; only 185,000 tonnes is consumed locally. The country's waterways and varied ecology makes its industrial fish farming potential a veritable Fort K"'. Industrial fish farming in the lake, with a potential of 50,000 t"", per annum, already produces upto 100 kg of fish per cubic metre annually. "We have to develop seafishing and fish farms, optimise catches and intensify smallscale fishing," says fishery expert Alejandro Bermejo. Suitable species are being identified for farming in Lake Titicaca, the Pacico and the Amazon regions.