Coping Strategies to Deal with Environmental Variability and Extreme Climatic Events in the Peruvian Anchovy Fishery
The Peruvian anchovy fishery is the largest worldwide in terms of catches. The fishery started during the mid 1950s, and since then it has been highly dependent on natural stock fluctuations, due to the sensitivity of anchovy stocks to ocean-climate variability. The main driver of anchovy stock variability is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and three extreme ENSO warm events were recorded in 1972–1973, 1983–1984 and 1997–1998. This study investigates the evolution of coping strategies developed by the anchovy fisheries to deal with climate variability and extreme ENSO events. Results showed eight coping strategies to reduce impacts on the fishery. These included: decentralized installation of anchovy processing factories; simultaneous ownership of fishing fleet and processing factories; use of low-cost unloading facilities; opportunistic utilization of invading fish populations; low cost intensive monitoring; rapid flexible management; reduction of fishmeal price uncertainty through controlled production based on market demand; and decoupling of fishmeal prices from those of other protein-rich feed substitutes like soybean. This research shows that there are concrete lessons to be learned from successful adaptations to cope with climate change-related extreme climatic events that impact the supply of natural resources. The lessons can contribute to improved policies for coping with climate change in the commercial fishery sector.
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