Peru’s ‘worst ecological disaster’ slams small-scale fishing

FILE - Fisherman Walter de la Cruz sits on the shore of the oil-stained Cavero Beach, unable to fish after a spill in the Ventanilla district of Callao, Peru, Jan. 21, 2022. De la Cruz, 60, is one of more than 2,500 fishermen whose livelihoods have been cast into doubt as a result of a large crude-oil spill by the Spanish-owned Repsol oil refinery on Jan. 15. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

FILE - Fisherman Kiefer Taboada shows a handful of mollusks coated with oil waste from an oil spill caused by the waves from an eruption of an undersea volcano in the South Pacific nation of Tonga, at Culebras Beach in the Ventanilla district of Callao, Peru, Feb. 24, 2022. Fishermen in the Peruvian capital say they are struggling to maintain the traditional industry and are seeing their livelihoods in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File)

CIUDAD PACHACUTEC, Perú — Walter de la Cruz scrambled down a large sand dune in the fog to reach a rock overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where he has fished for three decades. He cast a hook into the waters off Peru’s coast several times, with no luck. One attempt yielded a piece of plastic stained with oil.