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Image: Revista Puerto / FIS

Squid Shows Positive Signs in the South Patagonian Stock - INIDEP

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Thursday, February 29, 2024, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

The INIDEP research vessel half completed the campaign due to bad weather and the evacuation of a crew member, but found a resource that had proven elusive in recent years. The 65 vessels that are operating recorded average daily yields of 28 tons.

Early yesterday, the research vessel “Eduardo Holmberg” arrived at the port of Mar del Plata after more than twenty days of squid evaluation campaign in the area delimited between the parallels of 48º and 51º South where it evaluated the concentrations of the South Patagonian stock.

Source: Stockfile FIS

The good news is that after a couple of years where the resource had not been found and the harvest in the area by the commercial fleet had provided poor catches, the scientific survey allowed us to harbor certain hopes for this season.

“The preliminary data we received is encouraging. The South Patagonian stock was found between 49º and 51º South, in the hauls planned in the campaign that ran from south to north,” revealed Marcela Ivanovic, when asked by this medium.

The head of the INIDEP Cephalopod Fisheries Program stressed that although there is no definitive certainty of the abundance of the mollusk in the distribution area, and more information is required, “these are encouraging data,” she remarked.

The campaign lasted a couple of days longer than planned because there were prolonged periods of bad weather and then the ship had to enter Comodoro Rivadavia to disembark a crew member affected by a health problem.

Although the 87 planned hauls could not be completed, expectations for the results are high at INIDEP.

“It was very important to have been able to carry out the campaign. It allows us to have an overview of what the fleet may encounter. It left in a timely manner although we had bad luck with the bad weather and the entrance to Comodoro... several days were lost but even with those difficulties it was possible to corroborate the presence of the South Patagonian stock," explained the head of the Program.


Source: Stockfile FIS

Ivanovic specified that “immature specimens were still captured but they could already be fished by the commercial fleet if they wanted to since the entire management unit south of 44º South has been open since January 12,” the researcher said.

Squid unloadings until February 20 recorded 46,308 tons, an increase of 15% compared to the beginning of last year's harvest. But in the breakdown of catches by type of fleet, it is observed that jigger boats register a decrease of 3%. They landed 36,813 tons when in 2023 they had added 37,865 tons.

<-- Source: Stockfile FIS

The trawler fleet shows positive numbers. Deep-sea freshers contributed 2,224 tons, an increase of 1,014%, since last year they had only unloaded 201 tons, while freezers captured 7,231 tons, a 220% increase.

The INIDEP Cephalopod Fisheries Program has already delivered two technical reports with the evolution of the harvest, which are awaiting the formation of the Federal Fisheries Council so that they can be processed. The first until week 4 of the season (January 28) and the second until week 7 of the harvest (February 16).

“The overall average daily catch of the 65 jigger boats is 28 tons; very similar to the average returns for the years 2022 and 2023,” Ivanovic summarized. The fleet has continued fishing on the intermediate shelf, between 44º South and 47º South, although it has now migrated a little towards the south and east.

“Most of the catches correspond to the summer spawning stock, in any case they have been declining in recent days as is logical for this time of year. At the same time, Fisheries Research Assistants on board jigging vessels began to report the presence of the South Patagonian stock while catches increased. That is good news since there were no significant abundances of this stock in recent years,” Ivanovic stressed.

Source: Stockfile FIS

In that sense, she assured that “squid is an annual resource and every year it gives surprises. Sometimes they are good and other times not so much. The success of the reproductive cycle, the growth of paralarvae, etc., are linked to environmental factors. "So far we have indications that it will be a good year for the South Patagonian stock."

After almost a year without sailing, the Holmberg was able to complete the campaign without major problems. The ship arrives at the Naval Base with two of the three air compressors out of service, according to a source on board. This happened towards the end of the journey and prevented the last casts from being made.

Author: Roberto Garrone | Revista Puerto  (Translated from the original in Spanish)

[email protected]


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