Peruvian Ceviche

Peruvian Ceviche

This FIP has been suspended as of January 2017 because of financial constraints.  If you are interested in helping restart this FIP, please contact Carmen Guerrero

Fishery Improvement Project

Last update: October 2016

Main species:

Fine flounder (Paralichthys adspersus)
Corvina drum (Cilus gilberti)
Peruvian grunt (Anisotremus scapularis)

FIP Stage according to CASS progress table: 3, FIP is encouraging improvements.

Fishery Location: FAO Area 87.  Peruvian coastal waters.

FIP Coordination:

If you would like more information about the FIP or if you wish to support it, please contact Julissa Melo.

FIP Participants:

Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería (SNP – Peruvian fishing industry association)

CeDePesca (technical support)

Sustainability information

Currently unavailable in

Date Publicly Announced: April 2016

Current Improvement Recommendations:

  • To better understand the fishery by creating a map of stakeholders and by characterizing the value chain.
  • To analyze the fishery’s strengths and weaknesses against a fishery sustainability standard.
  • To devise ways of addressing the main obstacles to sustainability.


Different species of flatfish, seabasses and grunts have a strong demand in the Peruvian local market, as these are used to prepare traditional dishes such as cebiche (or ceviche) among others. Locals and tourists consume these dishes year round; although an analysis of landings shows there is certain seasonality for each species. This is why sometimes some restaurants replace these iconic species for other similar species without letting the customers know.

Regarding the fishery’s characteristics, these species are fished in coastal waters and are the main target of several artisanal fisheries throughout the Peruvian coast; these fisheries in turn, provide livelihood for thousands of families in Peru. However, there is little knowledge regarding the fishery’s current sustainability status, although some data and anecdotic information seem to point towards a decline in availability and size.

In 2015, CeDePesca and the Peruvian National Society of Fisheries (SNP) signed a Framework Collaboration Agreement to formalize their ongoing relationship.  This agreement called for joint efforts in areas such as research and capacity-building oriented towards achieving the sustainability of Peruvian fisheries. In early 2016, the SNP and CeDePesca started talks to define a long-term Fishery Improvement Project that would be aimed at this multi-specific fishery whose main market is the domestic market and whose sustainability is paramount to the Peruvian idiosyncrasy.

Key problems/issues:

Currently, the main issues regarding sustainability of this fishery are:

  • There is little knowledge regarding the fishery’s value chain.
  • The information regarding the fishery’s complete species composition is incomplete.
  • No analysis has been made regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the fishery as pertaining to its sustainability.

A more detailed panorama will emerge after the first stage of this FIP is completed and this section will be updated accordingly.

FIP Objectives:

The objectives of this FIP’s first stage are the following:

  • To create a stakeholders map.
  • To characterize the fishery’s value chain.
  • To conduct a gap analysis of the fishery against the MSC standard.
  • To identify new partners for the FIP’s next stages.
  • To design an ad-hoc Action Plan.
  • To present the results among stakeholders and receive feedback to improve the Plan.

Progress Update


March-June 2016

On March 29th, CeDePesca and the Peruvian National Society of Fisheries (Sociedad Nacional de Pesquería – SNP) signed Specific Agreement N°1 setting the basis for the implementation of the first stage of this FIP.

On April 2nd, the FIP was publicly announced to Peruvian stakeholders and the international media.  CeDePesca started work during this month, requesting information to national authorities at the Ministry of Production (PRODUCE) and at the Peruvian Fisheries Research Institute (IMARPE) and conducting a review of other data available in the scientific literature and gray literature.  PRODUCE and IMARPE released data in conformity to Peruvian Transparency Law:  PRODUCE provided monthly catches per species per landing point during the period 2000-2015; while IMARPE provided information related to fishing gears, fishing zones per species, among other data.  It should be noted that IMARPE was unable to provide information related to several biological characteristics of the species, their distribution patterns or associated fishing effort, because currently it does not exist.

In April and May, CeDePesca started conducting field trips to the main landing points that were identified by analyzing PRODUCE and IMARPE’s data.  In particular, CeDePesca visited Pimentel and Salaverry (for Peruvian grunt); and Chorrillos, and Ancón in Lima (for Fine flounder).  Fishing markets in Pimentel and Salaverry in the central zone, and in Ilo in the south, were also visited in order to continue characterization of the value chain.

In May, the SNP launched the media campaign “Salvemos al cebiche” in the context of the Cebiche National Day in Peru.  Several media outlets were visited to talk about the FIP and its goals, and on the potential risks that are being faced by this multi-specific fishery.

In June, CeDePesca continued with the characterization of the value chain by interviewing middlemen and by visiting managers at iconic seafood and fusion restaurants in the area.  Also in June, a meeting was held with Mr. Javier Vargas, founder of the Peruvian Marine Restaurant Association (Asociación de Restauradores Marinos y Afines del Perú – ARMAP), to discuss this project.

July – September 2016

In July, CeDePesca participated from the workshop “Economic Development of the fishing, aquaculture and tourism sector in the Region of Lima” organized by the Fisheries Chapter of the Peruvian Engineer’s College.  At this meeting, CeDePesca presented the advances of the FIP as part of the dissemination activities.  Afterwards, the Artisanal Fishers Association for Direct Human Consumption of the fishing community of Carquín expressed their interest in becoming part of the FIP.  On the other hand, a meeting with SNP’s Communications Director took place to further strengthen the alliance between CeDePesca and the SNP.

In August and September, given the lack of data related to biological features of the target and non-target species impacted by this fishery, CeDePesca conducted a Productivity and Susceptibility Analysis to assess their risk status.

Also, a meeting with the General Office of Coastguards took place, where the need of further coordinating activities between this office and the Regional Offices of the Ministry of Production (DIREPRO) was discussed in relation with artisanal fisheries.

October 2016

In October, CeDePesca was invited to the workshop “Selective artisanal fishing: Importance, reality and modernization proposals” that was organized by the National Association of Artisanal Fishing Businesses in Peru (ANEPAP).  During this workshop, CeDePesca presented the advances of the FIP, and received comments that confirm the existence of a seriously damaging practice in the grunt fishery, as is fishing with explosives, as well as the lack of control regarding landings of juvenile fish.

On the other hand, CeDePesca participated of the workshop “Working with Fishers to Reduce Bycatch of Sea Turtles” organized by IMARPE and the National Service for Forests and Wildlife (SERFOR) among other entities.  During this meeting, information was received on the potential impact of gillnets on sea turtles and suggestions were made to avoid their entanglement.