Presentation at the Marine Sustainability Conference -SNP by Dr. Renato Salvatteci

Future of fishery productivity in the Humboldt Current: A paleoceanographic perspective.

New publication online: Zooplankton mortality effects on the plankton community of the northern Humboldt Current System

Interactions of the plankton communitiy in the Northern Humboldt Current system.

Sensitivity of a regional biogeochemical model

We used a computer simulation, or „model“ of the eastern tropical South Pacific ocean to understand such effect. In our models we changed the mortality of zooplankton, microscopic organisms in the water, to mimic fish predation off Peru’s coast. This is possible because small pelagic fish, such as anchovies and sardines, feed on these plankton. When there are a lot of fish, you can expect that the abundance of their prey, for example large zooplankton, is low and vice versa. This can have a top-down effect on their food webs, so on smaller zooplankton and phytoplankton.

The top predator in our model was large zooplankton, which is the main prey of anchovies. When we simulated low fish predation in our models (low mortality of zooplankton and, therefore, high abundance of large zooplankton), it had a large effect on the food web. This means that if there are less fish, large zooplankton can thrive. Because there is more larger zooplankton, their prey, small zooplankton and phytoplankton, decrease as more of them are eaten. When the opposite scenario was simulated, so more fish present and therefore fewer large zooplankton, the response was opposite, but weaker. As more large zooplankton were eaten, the smaller plankton increased.

Our study provides a first insight into how fluctuations of small pelagic fish could affect the plankton community of the NHCS. Our approach of changing zooplankton mortality allows us to understand the response of the system without the need of including a fish model. This reduces complexity and uncertainties in the model.

For further information please contact:

Mariana Hill- Cruz
GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
Düsternbrooker Weg 20
24105 Kiel
Tel. +49 431 600-4270


Original publication:

Zooplankton mortality effects on the plankton community of the northern Humboldt Current System: sensitivity of a regional biogeochemical model

Mariana Hill Cruz1, Iris Kriest1, Yonss Saranga José1, Rainer Kiko2, Helena Hauss1,3, and Andreas Oschlies1,3

Virtual conference - a successful experiment

More than half of the conference´s participants from peru and Germany smiling for the virtual group picture

Although the preparation for a virtual format with a “real conference feel” was a challenge in itself, everything turned out well organized and smoothly running after some start-up difficulties on the first day to find one's way around in the virtual conference world.

The virtual meeting with around 50 attendees every day during the week of 15th to 19th February 2021 was a success for the project and appreciated by the majority of German and Peruvian partners. Gather therefore will be used for upcoming meetings and workshops to ensure a continuously productive and collaborative third year of the project.

Thank you to all the speakers, listeners, question-askers and organizers for making this conference a fruitful and enjoyable event.

See you soon!

New short film about Peruvian fisheries and their economic network

Latest project clip now available on Youtube

Find the movie on our youtube channel in a Spanish, English and German version:


For further information please contact:

Dr. Frederike Tirre

Center for Ocean and Society

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Neufeldtstraße 10
24118 Kiel

New paths for Humboldt Tipping project meetings and communication- a virtual conference in gathertown

Conference space in gathertown where participants can move around and interact with eachother

Humboldt Tipping internal conference held in a virtual format

Due to the different time zones of the participants, the conference will take place across a whole week with two-hour time slots every day.

We expect around 40 participants from the Peruvian and German partners, as well as the project agency DLR and the advisory board during the sessions. Besides the exciting experiment of holding a virtual conference, we are very much looking forward to “seeing” everyone and plan future collaborations and further proceedings!

Humboldt Tipping invites to participate in a survey on the effects of COVID-19 in marine and coastal areas of Peru

Research on the effects of COVID-19 among actors linked to marine and coastal areas in the regions of Piura and Ica

These tools are being used to investigate the impacts of the pandemic on family units, communities dedicated to fishing and tourism, and institutions linked to the management of marine resources and on the resources themselves.

The research will explore the current and long-term effects of the pandemic on marine and coastal activities and their users with the main aim of reflecting on vulnerabilities and needs in times of crisis. The information will allow to propose the future development of adaptation strategies and more effective, fair and contextualised responses to crisis situations. The results will be shared in reports that will be publicly available.

How to participate in the survey: If you are an actor linked to the marine and coastal environment and you wish to participate in the study, please fill in the following form and we will send you the survey according to your profile:

This work is conducted by Lotta Kluger, María Garteizgogeascoa, Isabel Gonzales and Leslie Odar, as part of the Humboldt Tipping research project.

If you have any questions about the study, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Lotta Kluger ( or María Garteizgogeascoa (

New Humboldt Tipping short clip on youtube

Different players in the food web of the upwelling system of the Humboldt current.

Using scientific models to understand ecosystem changes in the Humboldt Current

Scientists want to understand the changes in marine ecosystems which the future will bring. They are testing these future scenarios not in the actual ocean, but with computer models. These models can be used to simulate the mentioned changes and can help in developing suitable adaptation measures. This way, scientists can work hand in hand with local fishers, communities and other professionals to help protect and sustainably use the ecosystem in the future. 


Finde the movie on our youtube channel in a Spanish, English and German version:


For further information please contact:

Dr. Frederike Tirre

Center for Ocean and Society

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Neufeldtstraße 10
24118 Kiel

Networks – more than the sum of their parts

Fishers targeting different marine species is a typical example for human-nature interactions that may be described through a network analytical approach. If we do not only consider fisher-fish interactions, but also include fish-fish and fisher-fisher connections in the network conceptualization, we arrive at a social-ecological network. (Figure credits: constructed by Lotta Clara Kluger)

Understanding the complex interlinkages between humans and nature

In this work, we look at how social and natural scientists have used a particular tool – network analysis – to explore and understand social-ecological systems. Network analysis is the study of a system represented as its discrete members: individuals or groups of people, biological species, or ecosystem patches. The network emerges when the interactions among these entities are identified and illustrated. Interactions can be, for example, collaboration, exchange of information or money, selling of a resource such as a fish, active movement of animals, or passive transport of pollen. Many scientists use network structures to understand how interactions shape system dynamics and processes to identify key actors or vulnerable points.

Network analysis has been used in a wide range of settings, though – it seems – each researcher uses their own vocabulary to describe the different network parts. However, using consistent language helps to communicate, to compare, and to join efforts. This is why we wanted to systematize the existing research according to how authors conceptualized networks to describe human-nature interactions. Were only humans considered, only ecosystem parts, or both? Based on the degree to which both realms (society and nature) are integrated in the analysis, we propose three categories of social-ecological networks: From Type I, networks looking at only one realm (society or nature), to Type III, integrating actors from both realms (society and nature) and all interactions therein. Our results show that there are many different ways of constructing a network describing a social-ecological system, but that increasing complexity (Type III networks) imposes methodological challenges. Selection of the appropriate network type should be based on the question at hand. Our aim was to provide a broad overview that should help to discuss benefits and drawbacks of the different means of conceptualizing a social-ecological network. Thus, a research team wanting to construct a social-ecological network for their particular setting can draw from our experience and find guidance in the jungle of terminology and concepts.

The original publication:

Kluger LC, Gorris P, Kochalski S, Müller MS, Romagnoni G (in press). Studying human-nature relationships through a network lens: A systematic review. People and Nature DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10136

Plain language summaries in German, English and Spanish you can find here:

For further information please contact:

Dr. Lotta Kluger

Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) 
WG Ressource Management
Fahrenheitstr. 6
28359 Bremen
Tel. +49 421 238 00-42


On the move: The role of mobility and migration as a coping strategy for resource users after abrupt environmental disturbance

Artisanal fishing boats in Sechura during data gathering for this publication. Image: Lotta C. Kluger

The empirical example of the Coastal El Niño 2017

 With a particular emphasis on the province of Sechura, this work attempts to shed light on how and why migration flows differ for fishers and scallop farmers and to explore future pathways in the context of post-disturbance recovery. About one year after the disturbance event, the small-scale fishery operated almost on a regular scale, while the aquaculture sector still struggled towards pre-El Niño conditions, reflected, for example, in a higher percentage of persons engaging in other economic activities within and outside the region. 

The results of this study demonstrate the importance of human movement and translocal social networks emerging in moments of crisis and should be considered for future development of long-term management strategies incorporating increasing interconnectedness of places on different scales in the face of future disturbance events. Understanding adaptation strategies of resource users in this particular social-ecological setting will further serve to inform other coastal systems prone to (re-occurring) environmental change by highlighting the diversity of socio-economic and natural drivers that can stipulate mobility and affect adaptive capacity of resource users.

For more Information please contact:

Dr. Lotta Kuger

Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) 
WG Ressource Management
Fahrenheitstr. 6
28359 Bremen
Tel. +49 421 238 00-42

The publication can be found here.


Health crisis and small-scale fishing: infrastructure, outbreaks and vectors

Progression of COVID-19 infections in Pisco and Sechura from April 1 to May 2, 2020. Source: DIRESA Ica, DIRESA Piura. Own elaboration.

A representative case is that of DPA José Olaya Balandra in the district of San Andrés, the main landing and collection center for Pisco and the supply point for the Villa María del Triunfo and Ventanilla Fishing Terminals in Lima. At the beginning of April, four middlemen from San Andrés tested positive for COVID-19. According to the count of the cases, the infections were reported in the Villa María del Triunfo Fishing Terminal. It is worth noting that, a month after this episode, San Andrés has the highest number of infections in the province: 41 cases out of a total of 111.

As a preventive measure, four DPAs in Pisco5 were closed for the whole month of April; six DPAs6 in Arequipa frequented by traders from San Andrés were closed for a week; and the Villa María Terminal was closed for fifteen days for the disinfection of infrastructure and the implementation of protocols for the prevention of COVID-19. As a result, the supply of hydrobiological resources to the city of Lima was interrupted for two weeks, but even after the service was restarted, the volumes of sales have not recovered.

Supply of hydrobiological resources in the Wholesale Market of Villa María del Triunfo (kg/day, April 2018-2020). Source: PRODUCE7.Own elaboration.

In Pisco, the necessary closure of the DPAs, accompanied by operations to prevent unloading in areas that are not allowed, has paralyzed the activity of thousands of fishermen, longshoremen, marketers, transporters and processors, who have not been receiving income for a month. In Sechura, where the DPAs are still operating, but the health services have demonstrated their precariousness, the fishermen have voluntarily suspended their work to avoid contamination. Although DPA José Olaya is awaiting its next reopening, a sector of the population is opposed to it for fear that it will become a focus of infection.

At the beginning of April, SANIPES published a guide detailing the measures to be implemented in the fishing infrastructure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the guide does not consider clear actions with respect to the transport units, whose agents have greater mobility and are the point of contact between fishing towns and areas of agglomeration such as the fishing terminals. It is necessary that the DPAs have measures that guarantee the sanitary conditions of their users, this is more urgent in remote areas where access is complicated and health services are precarious or non-existent.

Sanitary conditions in and between transport units should be regulated and contact between traders and transporters should be moderated. This requires that control measures be extended beyond the margins of the fishing infrastructure and static trade agents. It is recommended, for example:

  • Establish strict distance measures between chambers and restrict the movement of traders and transporters both inside the DPAs and Fishing Terminals, and in the parking lots and surroundings where commercial activity usually spreads.
  • Control the temperature of transporters and merchants when entering the DPAs and fishing terminals.
  • Carry out COVID-19 screening campaigns aimed at traders and transporters in the DPAs and fishing terminals. This should include not only resident merchants but also visitors who could be carriers.
  • Promote the use of bank transfers per application for transactions between merchants/transporter and merchants in the wholesale and retail markets, and thus avoid hand-to-hand contact and handling of money.
  • Encourage the participation of members of artisanal fishers' organizations in monitoring and surveillance activities in the fishing infrastructures they manage.

Looking back at the first collaborative field work phase of WP7 & 5 in Peru

Part of the team in Laguna Grande (Independencia Bay) in November 2019. Picture taken by Coyote (Luis Delgado from IMARPE) who very kindly inform us about the Bay with great enthusiasm.

Notes from the field: Looking into the Future, adaptive strategies and governance.

In addition, the team also conducted qualitative research to characterize the marine-costal governance regime of the areas. The selection of the field sites was based on previous German-Peruvian collaborative projects and the importance of artisanal fisheries, aquaculture and tourism activities taking place. More specifically, a central workshop was held in Lima aiming at identifying the social perceptions on how the Northern Current Upwelling System could look like in 20 years in the context of changing environmental and socio-economic factors such as pollution, coastal use and population, social organization and environmental variability. In addition, for the resulting images about the future, challenges and conflicts among and for the different spheres (public policy, research, civil society) were explored. Finally, the participatory process was used also to explore different understandings of the sustainability of the MSES (Marine Socio-Ecological Systems). 

Once in the regions (the Bays of Sechura and Independencia), the team aimed at exploring the imagined futures in Lima at a regional scale to more specifically assess how marine and coastal activities have been (and are being) threatened by environmental and socio-economic drivers in recent years. Furthermore, the adaptive capacity of the communities to changes was also explored.

The results of the research will be available in April through a report that will be published online and diffused throughout the communities. The team wants to gratefully thank all the participants who very kindly collaborated with us and is looking forward to build on this work in the following fieldwork phases about to come. 


Humboldt Tipping participating at 35th Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) Anniversary gathering in Florida

Alonso del Solar at the 35th Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) Anniversary gathering in front of his scientific Poster. Image: Alonso del Solar

Ecological and socio-economic tipping points of coastal areas within the Northern Humboldt current System

He also works on questions related to fisheries and aquaculture activities affecting ecosystem structure, maturity and resilience in coastal bay areas of the Northern Humboldt current System, such as Sechura and Independencia. In both bays, upwelling has led to a very productive multi-species and multi-gear artisanal fishery and to the development of more recent marine aquaculture endeavours, mainly scallops.

Alonso´s study approach includes reconstructing and updating EwE models of both bays, and use ecosystem indices to compare them, to simulate temporal and spatial scenarios, and to explore relevant tipping-point configurations. Furthermore, he will couple EwE models with socio-economic models and fishers network analysis to evaluate management strategies in the context of tipping points.

Even though the data is still underway, he was able to present and discuss the main questions and ideas related to his PhD thesis and to the Humboldt-Tipping Project itself to an interested community of conference attendees and organizers. 

For more information, please contact:

Alonso del Solar






Celebrating the 250ties birthday of Alexander von Humboldt at Goethe Institut in Lima

Alexander von Humboldt vor Chimborazo, detail lithograph of Carl Wild after Painting of Karl J. Begas.

Following an invitation of the German Embassy in Lima

While Guevara focused on the description of the Peruvian ecosystem and how Humboldt got to know and measure the water temperatures, Wolff discussed questions related to the scientific work and societal impact that von Humboldt had during his times and beyond, reflecting on hypothetical recommendations that he would give to young scientists if he would still be alive.

A remarkable audience consisting of students, IMARPE colleagues, ambassadors, members of the Goethe Institute and many other interested people had shown up to enjoy this two hours event reflected in a lively discussion afterwards. It became quite evident that Alexander von Humboldt and his remarkable scientific work continues to be of great interest to many Peruvians and those working around Peruvian coasts.

In the morning of the next day, an homage for Alexander von Humboldt was celebrated through a visit and reception at the research vessel 'Humboldt' in Callao. The German Ambassador and his group, Prof. Matthias Wolff and the IMARPE director  Dr. Renato Guevara and his staff participated. Besides several presentations given by the captain, the IMARPE director and the ambassador, a medal was handed over to the IMARPE director by the ambassador in memory of Alexander von Humboldt and the fruitful collaboration in marine research between Germany and Peru over the past decades. The Humboldt Tipping Project was mentioned as an important current collaboration project.

Start of the new research project on investigating tipping-points in Peru

Kick-off meeting in Lima (from left to right): Javier Gaviola (President of the administrative board of IMARPE), Jörn Schmidt (Coordinator Humboldt-Tipping, Kiel University), Javier Atkins (Viceminister for Fischeries and Aquaculture) and Cornelia Andersohn (Project Agency Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR).

International kick-off meeting together with the Peruvian partners in Lima from March 19 to 21

The main goal of the project is to assess the risk of decreases in marine ecosystem productivity as a tipping point for the interlinked ecological, economic and social systems of the Northern Humboldt Upwelling System (HUS). One focus of the project is the pelagic, off-shore system supplying the industrial Peruvian anchoveta fishery and its regional and global repercussions through export to international markets. The second focus are coastal and insular (Galapagos) systems, where artisanal fisheries, aquaculture and ecotourism are key maritime activities for provision of livelihoods. The project will improve the understanding of feedbacks between ecological, social and economic dynamics in the HUS with input from different user groups. The transdisciplinary project will integrate scientific approaches with local and traditional knowledge to improve the implementation of research results.

Kickoff Humboldt Tipping Project in Kiel and Lima

German partners at the pre-kickoff meeting of the Humboldt Tipping Project in Kiel. Photo: F.Tirre

At the Beginning of March the German project partners of the Humboldt-Tipping project came together in Kiel for a small pre-kick-off meeting

The aim of the Humboldt-Tipping-Project is to investigate shifts in the productivity of the marine ecosystem in the northern Humboldt Upwelling System (HUS) and the resulting social and economic impacts. One focus of the project is the pelagic, off-shore system supplying the industrial Peruvian anchoveta fishery and its regional and global repercussions through export to international markets. The second focus are coastal (Piura and Pisco) and insular (Galapagos) systems, where artisanal fisheries, aquaculture and ecotourism are key maritime activities for provision of livelihoods. The project aims to improve the understanding of feedbacks between ecological, social and economic dynamics in the HUS with input from a broad variety of stakeholders.