Peruvian anchovy fishing season authorised to commence

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | Pham Hung
Getty | Pham Hung

Related tags omega-3 Fish oil

The Peruvian Ministry of Production has authorised the start of the second anchovy fishing season to commence at midnight (00.00 October 26 local time).

The Ministerio de Producción has published a ministerial resolution​ authorising the commencement of the fishing of anchovy (Engraulis ringens) and white anchovy (Anchoa nasus) resource, with a quota of 1.682 million tons, following exploratory fishing which started on October 21.

This news will come as a relief to the industry after the first fishing season of the year, in June 2023, was cancelled after the El Niño weather event increased sea surface temperatures and impacted anchovy distribution, causing a high population of juvenile anchovies in the Peruvian fisheries, leading to concerns around the sustainability of the biomass if fishing was allowed at that time. 

GOED (Global organisation for EPA and DHA omega-3) informs that the removal of that key supply of raw material pushed up production costs and ingredient manufacturers have needed to increase their sales prices, creating a chain of price increases that have started reaching consumers.  

Omega-3 oil sources 

Algae oil​: Oil obtained from any of several species of single cell organisms 

Calanus oil:​ Oil extracted from calanus, the common name for several species in a genus of small crustaceans 

Common refined oil:​ Crude oil from Peruvian anchoveta and other anchovy species that has been further processed or refined; this is often blended with sardine and/or mackerel oils as well. 

Cod liver oil:​ Oil extracted from the liver of the Atlantic cod and other European cod species 

Concentrates:​ Oil obtained by chemical modification to increase the level of EPA and/or DHA in the resulting oil. Concentration is defined as the amount of EPA+DHA contained in the oil, expressed as a percentage of the mass 

Green-lipped mussel oil:​ Oil obtained from green-lipped mussel, a mollusk 

Hoki oil:​ Refined oil extracted from hoki (blue grenadier) 

Krill oil:​ Virgin oil extracted from Antarctic krill 

Menhaden oil:​  Crude or refined oil extracted from Gulf menhaden or Atlantic menhaden 

Miscellaneous pet food oil:​ Oil obtained from various sources, often partially refined, used specifically for pet foods

Pollock oil:​  Refined or concentrated oil extracted from the liver of Alaska pollock 

Salmon oil:​ Virgin or refined oil from any of several species of salmon 

Squid oil:​ Refined or concentrated oil from any of several species of squid 

Tuna oil:​  Refined oil extracted from commercially caught species of tuna 

GOED's newly published annual ingredient market report​ notes that “it is possible that these price increases at the point of sale, during a generally inflationary period, may affect the demand, although it is too early to estimate the magnitude of this effect.”  

However, it states it is important to remember the cancellation of the fishing season was caused by a "short-term climatic phenomenon", and that production “should return to normal levels”. 

The marine ingredients organisation IFFO believes the industry was well positioned to deal with and rebound from the cancelled fishing season.

IFFO’s Market Research Director, Dr Enrico Bachis, told NutraIngredients: "We welcome the start of the Peruvian fishing anchovy season in the North centre of the country: the Peruvian Fish oil provides two thirds of the crude fish oil omega-3 worldwide.

"In a normal year, Peru’s supplies are enough to meet the global demand, but this year’s lower production will be managed thanks to the stocks which buyers had put aside.

"The industry is fully aware that on average every 5 years El Niño will hit South America and anchovy catches. They prepared in advance for this to happen. 2024 will hopefully see a classical post-El Niño rebound in catches and production of fish oil, allowing buyers to replenish their dwindling stocks."

GOED releases consumer insights report

GOED has released its first online search trends report​ providing insights into consumer attitudes and perceptions across the globe.

Introducing the first-of-its-kind report, Chris Gearheart, GOED’s Director of Member Communications and Engagement, informs that consumer interest in omega-3s has increased steadily since 2009 by more than 50%, adding that this is “fantastic news for us as an industry”. 

Internet search data reveals peaks in consumer interest across the global market and the report matches these peaks with correlating relavent events. 

The report reveals that the ‘absolute peak’ in interest in omega-3 happened in March 2023. 

“That was the month that featured the omega-3 category’s most co-ordinated global marketing campaign to date,” Gearheart explains. 

“It involved more than 130 news stories, posts and content from GOED members, and organic social content across the globe.” 

Similarly, the US has long been the largest omega-3 market in terms of demand and value but in 2013/14 there was a notable decline in sales and consumer interest. 

In 2015, GOED co-ordinated industry partners in a marketing and educational programme in the US which Gearheart was pleased to reveal coincided with a strong growth in the market.  

Of course, there are more consumer interest impactors beyond marketing campaigns.  

In fact, Gearheart notes that interestingly the Peruvian market, which has been relatively flat for the last five years, witnessed a notable spike in interest in September 2021, which coincided with a standardised exam question regarding the health benefits of omega-3.   

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