UCL News


UCL in the News: Worrying trend in Peru fish exports

22 June 2007

Ornamental fish exports in Peru have been the subject of a recent study, and a worrying trend towards the export of species biologically unsuited to heavy exploitation has been identified.

Publishing their results in the most recent issue of the journal Environmental Conservation, Marie-Annick Moreau [UCL Anthropology] and Oliver Coomes of McGill University examined the ornamental fish export trade in Peru for 2001 and found an increasing trend towards exporting large species with low fecundity (eg stingrays and Silver arowanas) and small, geographically restricted species (eg Apistogramma species) for new Asian and European markets. …

According to the authors: "Our study points to an important resurgence in the trade, with growing emphasis on the capture for export of high-value species that are vulnerable to heavy exploitation.

"Such trends, coupled with economic importance of the trade for fisherfolk, many of whom count among the rural poor, pose significant challenges for species conservation, similar to those faced for other aquatic biological resources that are harvested artisanally." …

Heok Hee Ng, 'Practical Fishkeeping'