Peru's government loosens restrictions on industrial fishing

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru is opening up more coastal waters to industrial fishing vessels to help them catch cold-water anchovy, used to make fishmeal, as waters have warmed, President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s government said on Friday.

Industrial boats in Peru, the world’s biggest fishmeal producer, will soon be able to haul in anchovy closer to shore, starting at 5 miles (8 km) from the coast instead of 10 miles (16 km), the government said in the official gazette El Peruano.

The government of former president Ollanta Humala had limited the 10 miles (16 km) closest to the shore to artisinal fishing to protect reproduction areas and encourage more of the anchovy, rich in protein and omega fatty acids, to be eaten in Peru instead of ground up as animal feed for export.

Kuczynski’s production minister said that rule did not increase anchovy consumption in Peru and the warming of coastal waters was hurting the local fishmeal industry because it was driving away cold-water fish.

Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Will Dunham