Sustainability in the Peruvian fishing industry is a strategic and relevant element, so strengthening existing programs for monitoring and researching marine species and creating new alliances to develop and innovate this industry is necessary for the current context.
In this search for innovation in fisheries management, the latest onboard electronic monitoring system for artisanal spinel vessels that catch the Mahi-mahi resource was created within the framework of the National Innovation Program for Fisheries and Aquaculture (PNIPA, by its acronym in Spanish). This project aims to collect relevant information on the fishery, such as catch sizes and interaction with bycatch, to provide stock assessments and future research information.
The main benefits of this new program include:
The strengthening of scientific monitoring of the Mahi-mahi resource and the fishery.
The generation of reliable information for decision-making.
The articulation of different stakeholders involved: artisanal fishing communities, the government, and the private sector.
Support among the stakeholders is essential to achieve compliance. We will coordinate with the fishing communities involved in the project and begin implementing monitoring cameras on artisanal fishing vessels in San Jose in Lambayeque and Matarani in Arequipa communities; this equipment will be fitted with artificial intelligence to collect biological and fishing data.
A team of observers will also collect information to contrast both sources and reduce sampling error during the pilot stage. In parallel, a procedure for data collection, processing, and analysis will be developed to evaluate scalability and determine the future coverage required in the national fleet for obtaining quality data to assess the Mahi-mahi population.
This initiative will help the sustainability of the species by generating the necessary data for research and informed decision making, which helps to ensure the responsible management of the fishery and the long-term supply of its products in the national and international market. It will also allow for good progress in the FIP by having specific information on the use of the resource at levels corresponding to the maximum sustainable output.
Diego Solé, Fisheries Officer for WWF-Peru's Fisheries Improvement Projects, hopes that this initiative will contribute to the sustainability of the resource by supporting data collection for researchers and by monitoring and caring for the rest of the ecosystem's components:"The spinel fishery interacts with protected and endangered species such as sea turtles, marine mammals and some species of sharks. We hope that the private sector will continue to participate, seeing this initiative as a novel, economic and constantly developing option, adaptable to different fisheries and realities".
Source: WWF Peru.