Peru's anchovy fishing and fishmeal industries are being shaken by a growing scandal over the alleged inflation of the country's anchovy quota.
The La Republica newspaper published separate recordings of evidence, part of an official investigation into charges that higher quotas had been fixed allegedly to favor the fishmeal industry and its suppliers.
As many as 15 employees at Peru's Marine Institute (Imarpe) including scientific chief Renato Guevara Carrasco are reportedly under investigation in relation to the alleged manipulation of data that led to the overstatement of biomass and quotas.
The newspaper's website published a follow up report on Monday revealing that fishing companies knew that quotas were "incorrect."
Allegations have been brought into even sharper focus by a decision in mid-January to cut Peru's second north central zone anchovy season short with only 36 percent of the 2.78 million metric tons harvested because of the abundance of juvenile fish.
The quota was set on the basis of a biomass of 8.3 million metric tons, which, according to reports, Imarpe officials knew was too high.
Details of the scandal started to seep out after Peru's government suddenly announced measures to reorganize and modernize Imarpe.