Trout in Peru

Trout production, which takes place in lakes and rivers in the Andes Mountains, is responsible for one quarter of Peru’s total aquaculture production. Production has shown a tremendous growth of almost tenfold in less than twelve years, from 5,475 tonnes in 2005 to 56,958 tonnes in 2017, with the potential to grow even further under the right conditions (Oxford Business Group, 2017). The main trout producers are large-scale enterprises, but hundreds of small unregistered farmers also exist. There are currently only two large companies that are exporting trout, with export volumes that are less than 5 percent of the national production. Other farmers and companies solely produce for the domestic market. Peru still doesn’t have a massive farming and production capacity like Chile or Turkey.

Moreover, Chile is much more advanced regarding processing. Nevertheless, as Peru is producing smaller quantities they are more flexible towards customers’ requirements than their Chilean and Turkish counterparts. For example, butterfly cut fillets (pin bones out) or mixed containers are hard to find in Chile and/or Turkey, but Peru can do it. The majority of production occurs on Lake Titicaca, which borders with Bolivia. Due to the immense surface of Lake Titicaca, illegal trade of trout occurs between Peru and Bolivia as the Health Department of Peru is much more demanding than their Bolivian colleagues. In addition, social protest are emerging against aquaculture activities on the lake in regard to environmental and visual pollution negatively affecting tourism, which have led to revoking trout farming concessions on the lake in 2015.

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Sourcing news

Trout production and export statistics

Species wise production

Source: 2013 to 2015 data comes from the FAO (2018), 2017 data comes from the Ministry of Production of Peru (2018).

Trout was introduced to Peru in the 1930’s and has thrived in Andean lakes and rivers. Both rainbow trout and steelhead trout are cultured in Peru. Genetically there is no difference between rainbow and steelhead trout, which are both the

species ‘Oncorhynchus mykiss’. Steelhead trout grows out in saltwater and in a later stage in life returns to fresh water to spawn, while rainbow trout spends its entire live in fresh water. Commercially, these species are branded as two different products. This page focuses on the rainbow trout only.

Trout production continues to show a steady growth curve. The Peruvian government is set on reducing the country's dependence on its national fishery and has turned its focus to aquaculture. In March 2016 the Peruvian government issued a new General Law on Aquaculture, which aims to further stimulate, guide, and regulate sustainable aquaculture. Trout production is therefore expected to increase the coming years. For production to expand on Lake Titicaca however, producers need to find a way to balance their own interest with the interest of the tourism and the environmental conservation sector.

Region wise production 2017 (tonnes)

Source: Ministry of Production of Peru, Aquaculture Department (2018)

Trout culture is scattered throughout 17 regions, most of them located in the mountainous area of the Andes. The majority of the trout production takes place Puno, Junín and Hauncavélica. A total of 2,284 farmers and 4,750 ha were registered for trout production in 2016, but as a lot of unregistered farmers are also active, the real number is

expected to be much higher. The majority of farmers engaged in trout farming operate on a minor scale. Puno, adjacent to Lake Titicaca, is by far the largest production area in both production volume and area. However, further expansion on the lake could be met with opposition.

Export markets

Source: Trade Map (2018), International Trade Centre,

The majority of the trout production is used for domestic consumption, less than 5% is exported. According to Trademap, total export volume reached 2,580 MT in 2017 with a value of 25.15 million US$. Export markets of Peruvian trout are quite dynamic. While there were hardly

any exports in 2011, the EU (Germany) and Norway were the primary buyers the following two years. In 2014 and 2015 however, the United States became the largest importer, who has been the principal customer of trout from Peru before 2011. In 2016 the United States has been surpassed by Russia in terms of quantity, but not in export value. China, who had been the third largest buyer in 2015, did not import any trout in 2016. In 2017 the United States and Canada took the top spot again in terms of volume. This dynamic market can be explained by the fact that the producers engaged in exports are quite flexible and have the ability to react to relative price changes. This enables them to switch to more profitable markets and opportunities.

Chile and Turkey are important competitors for the Russian market, and Peru export volumes currently only add a fraction to Russian trout imports. Overall exports are expected to increase in the coming years as a result of the government’s new Law on Aquaculture. Besides stimulating aquaculture production, the export of aquaculture products is high on the agenda.

Export product in 2017 (tonnes)

Source: Trade Map (2018), International Trade Centre,

Compared to 2016 data, export of fresh and frozen fillets increased by 200 tonnes each, while frozen trout decreased by 200 tonnes. Frozen whole fish is mostly exported to Russia, China and Japan. Fresh and frozen fillets mostly go the United States, Canadian and Japanese market.


Last updated: 01/10/2018

  • Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)

    # Farms 2
    # Hatcheries 1
    # Feed mills 1
    # Factories 1

Supply Chain

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Risk assessment

Environmental risks

  • Loss of biodiversity. As aquaculture in Peru is growing, the number of ponds and cages is increasing the deterioration of the natural surroundings. Even in Puno, tourism is starting to claim that aquaculture is a threat for the open sights of Lake Titicaca.
  • Water pollution. The Peruvian institutions control the pollution of the water quite intensively but the smaller farmers are particularly difficult to control. Especially in Lake Titicaca, it is obvious that aquaculture is a threat for its crystal waters, even for tourism.
  • Entry of diseases and waste from upstream villages (especially in Lake Titicaca).
  • Erosion.

Social risks

  • Workers safety and rights in production plants and farms.
  • Oligopoly by some big companies keeping local purchase prices low which depresses the local communities.
  • Informality, corruption by part of governmental institutions, lack of association.
  • Neighborhood conflicts.

Quality and supply chain risks

  • Lack of production plants in all trout farming areas.
  • Slow governmental process at all stages (documents, permits, export certificates, etc).
  • Lack of international certifications like GlobalG.A.P., ASC, BRC and IFS.

Species in Peru

Click on the species and find out more about the species in Peru