Patricia Majluf is a native of Peru, an expert on fisheries and anchoveta (a fish in the anchovy family), and a senior scientist at Oceana Peru. The Peruvian anchoveta reduction fishery is the largest single-species fishery on the planet. Each year, 6 million to 10 million metric tons of anchoveta are extracted from the Humboldt Current Ecosystem, a narrow strip of ocean off Peru that is one of the largest and most productive marine ecosystems in the world thanks to coastal currents and winds that move deep, cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface.
Anchoveta are the cornerstone of the Humboldt ecosystem’s productivity, and the massive fishery affects the ecosystem’s resilience. About 98 percent of the catch is used to produce fish oil and fish meal, which are primarily used in animal feed, but this indirect consumption of fish is a less-efficient source of protein than fish consumed directly.
Majluf’s Pew fellowship project sought to create market incentives to redirect the industry toward producing fish for human consumption, with products of greater value than fish meal and oil. If anchoveta fisheries can earn more per ton of catch, then the total allowable catch could be reduced without affecting revenue. Majluf’s project aimed to scale up the successful “Anchoveta Week” initiative to North America. The original initiative worked with Peruvian chefs and restaurants to create anchoveta dishes and recipes that appealed to the public and led to increased direct consumption of the fish in Peru as well as industry investment in canning and freezing anchoveta. By engaging the Peruvian fishing and processing industries, activist chefs, and the international sustainable seafood movement.
Majluf developed a market for anchoveta in North America as a step to increase the international demand for anchoveta food products. As the value of anchoveta increases through human consumption, the change in market dynamics should facilitate movement of the fishery toward sustainability.
To learn more about Majluf, visit https://oceana.org/people-partners/patricia-majluf-2/