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Photo: MercoPress

Argentina prepared to end the Illex squid season for conservation reasons

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 01:00 (GMT + 9)

The squid industry in Argentina is surprised and expectant since the Federal Fisheries Council, CFP, (Act CFP 6/2024) has temporarily ordered all jiggers back to the harbors, given a report from INIDEP, in which the research center in Mar del Plata discovered a notorious lack of small, young squid, SS and S, in the area's biomass.

Things are so serious that it is very possible that CFP, might consider the Illex Argentinius squid season definitively over for this season, apparently during a meeting scheduled for the next days.

However the squid industry is arguing that during the same season a year ago, the best catches took place during May and June, but this year research is showing a surprising diversity in the size of the cephalopods

In effect during 2023 a difficult start recovered with catches north of parallel 42, and following the end of May with some of the largest catches, some of the best since 2014.

But surprisingly this season research showed a scarcity of small, young squid, S and SS, while catches, abundant of M and L squid vanished at the end of May, despite an initial promising season. Furthermore as northern fishing areas were opened, catches dropped to a few tons per day, insufficient to justify fuel and other costs.

Thus the temporary suspension of the season with the possibility of a new research cruise to check on possible squid 'banks' further out into sea, but Argentine industry believes the most possible outcome is the final closure of the current season.

Photo: Camara de Buques Poteros Argentinos – C.A.P.A.

So far, in the absence of some June numbers, the current catch is approximately, unofficially, 136,000 tons, 10% less than last year's 153,268 tons, but with some good spots:

  • A substantial increase in prices compared to 2023
  • Overall larger income because of a larger exported volume
  • The jigger fleet reduced catches 34%, (134.027 tons in 2023, against 106.000 tons this year
  • The industrial fishing fleet (trawlers) increased catches by 14%.

Photo: Camara de Buques Poteros Argentinos – C.A.P.A.

Regarding exports, in 2024 so far, overseas sales reached 121.436 tons (90% of catches), a 106% increase over the previous year, Main markets, China, South Korea, Singapore, Spain and Thailand, which make up 65% of all exports:

Finally the Pescare site points out that the Chamber of Argentine jiggers, CAPA, signed an agreement for the certification of the Illex Argentinus squid in international shows, “which should help the produce access to more demanding and competitive markets, with an impact on prices of the produce and volumes”

Source: MercoPress

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