Peru’s fishmeal giants accused of market control

Report says Hayduk, Tasa, Diamante and Exalmar control more than 70% of the market.

A new report by Peruvian news outlet Ojo Publico accuses Peru’s fishmeal giants of market control, and claims the companies pay less than $5 (€4.30) in fishing rights levies for every metric ton of anchovy they harvest.

The document said although 402 companies officially exported fishmeal in 2016, only four -- Hayduk, Tasa, Diamante and Exalmar -- hold more than 70 percent of the market.

Currently, the levy fishmeal producers have to pay is 0.25 percent of fishmeal exports value, based on a formula calculated in 2006.

The current management system will have to be evaluated next year.

“That will be an opportunity to revise what [companies] pay, which at the moment is insufficient,” said Patricia Majluf, ex-minister of fisheries in Peru.

However, Elena Conterno, president of the National Society of Fisheries (SNP), said companies pay a “reasonable price” to the government for their fishing rights.

“We hired Ernst & Young in 2014 because there’s this myth that we pay too little, but they concluded that the fishing sector pays 48 percent of its operational profit, it’s not minor,” Conterno said. “Fishing rights is only part of what we pay, but we also have to pay satellite surveillance, and monitoring and control programs.”

Conterno added fishing rights is only 25 percent of what companies are required to pay, and that the concentration of the fishmeal market is not the result of consolidation or the quota system, and that it was there before it was implemented. 

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