Big size Horse mackerel caught off Ilo (South Peru)

Jorge Sanchez Díaz, a fisherman aboard an artisanal vessel “Locumba III”, become surprised due to the catch of 3 tons of very big Jack mackerel at South Peru  (Ilo). Perhaps for some it is just one more piece of news; however, it turns out that this pelagic species, whose minimum allowable catch size is 31 centimeters in total length, currently has an average size of 60 centimeters each.

Sanchez Díaz, today October 6, said that he caught 3 tons of huge “margaritos”, specimens that would have an age of 10 years, according to the studies carried out by Teobaldo Dioses on the “Age and growth of the Horse Mackerel Trachurus murphyi in Peru” ( 2013).

Who explains the income of the horse mackerel “margaritos”?

While it is true, this pelagic species is characterized by its wide distribution from Chile to Ecuador in the Southeast Pacific and from South America to New Zealand and Tasmania Island (Australia) to the west. The presence of “margaritos” in the southern zone of Peru, coincides with the approach of the Oceanic Waters called Subtropical Surface Waters (SSW), which apparently led to the arrival of these resources in this part of Peru.

Consulting fishing experts and reviewing the available bibliography, the conclusion is reached that these horse mackerel “margaritos” are approximately 10 years old and possibly were born in 2010-2011, precisely when the presence of this resource was abundant in Peru (280,000 tons).

Perhaps this information is not so relevant for artisanal fisherman; however, jack mackerel big sizes only are caught near New Zealand o very far from Chile.  Generally, jack mackerel is a food for “poor” people, but today will be highly required as a banquet in popular tables, due to its high nutritional value.

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