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Artisanal fishers in ancon reinvented themselves by creating products with fish leather and bio-fertilizers

  • On June 6, the tannery workshop and training in the production of biofertilizers with fish residues ended. More than 20 artisanal fishers affected by the oil spill participated.

In the context of the oil spill that occurred a year ago off the coast of Ventanilla, hundreds of artisanal fishers from the Ancon community saw their economic livelihoods affected. In this sense, the organization Conciencia Marina, with the support of the conservation organization WWF Peru, the Fishing Technological Innovation Center of Callao (CITE) and CITECCAL, designed workshops to train fishermen and fisherwomen in alternative productive activities, through the application of circular economy principles, so that they can generate additional economic income and mitigate the impacts caused after this ecological tragedy.

Gustavo Vega, director of Conciencia Marina, referred to the tannery workshop as an opportunity to strengthen knowledge and skills to make fish leather items for sale through a collective venture. "We want fishermen to consolidate a collective company dedicated to fish leather goods as an economic alternative that benefits many local families," he explained.

The fishers learned to use machines to sew, create patterns and make items such as purses, bags, among others. Soon, they will integrate more people from the community, reinforce the operation of the machines, and launch their products for the first time during the celebration of the Fisherman's Day in their town.

On the other hand, Aaron Cánepa, Markets and Fisheries officer for WWF Peru, pointed out that the biofertilizer production workshop with fish waste is a great entrepreneurial opportunity given the scarcity, accessibility or high cost of conventional fertilizers. He also mentioned that it is an innovative practice - that had permanent technical assistance - in which fish waste was used as the main raw material.

“In this space, they were trained from the selection of the raw material, the process of grinding, mixing, homogenization, incubation and storage. This activity, in addition to providing an economic and social benefit, reduces the environmental impact of the waste generated in the fishing activity,” he said.

While the oil spill directly affected the coastal marine ecosystem and the species that inhabit it, the fishing activities on which many fishermen's organizations depend were also affected. From WWF Peru, we seek to promote spaces and opportunities so they can continue to develop within the sector, especially during crisis.