Chilean squid king enriches product categories to increase revenue, squid production quality both low, processed products become popular
Ms. Claudia Salazar, sales director of Pesquera Villa Alegre, the largest squid fishing and marketing company in Chile, said that the company plans to diversify its product range to include sea urchin, cod and octopus in the future, mainly to compensate for the losses caused by the low squid catch in Peru.
Ms. Salazar, who is known as the "Queen of Chilean squid" in the market, told the reporters that the company has already started selling octopus and it is very popular. The next step will be to add sea urchin and cod to the list of products to be sold.
Normally, the squid season in northern Peru is from March to July/August. This year, however, the fishing is progressing very slowly and the production is low due to the rising sea temperature. Therefore, the squid sold by the company are usually caught in the southern waters, where the water temperature is low.
Ms. Salazar said: "We hope that from April onwards, the northern waters will have an increase in catches, but the actual situation is anyone's guess. This year, the total allowable catch in the south is 200,000 tons in zones 12-15, while the southern waters are mainly purse-seined, which is not as good as the northern hook-and-line in terms of squid quality. So the products are mostly processed products and the raw materials are usually exported to processing plants in Mexico or China for processing." Last year, Chile's squid fishery was affected by a severe El Nino.
Pesquera Villa Alegre's processing plant can have a capacity of 300-350 tons in a single day, although the total production also depends on the amount of catch.
At the same time, the recent El Niño-like phenomenon in Peruvian waters has caused a considerable impact on the capture fishery, including squid, leading to a sharp increase in prices, with squid fillets rising to around US$2,000 per ton from US$1,800 at the end of last year.
At present, the Chinese market for squid demand is very strong, but Chinese ocean-going fishing vessels to Peru and Chile and other waters fishing still can not meet the strong market demand.