Pot traps used to cath octopus. (Photo: Lia Russo)
After a two-month ban, octopus fishery reopens
Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 02:40 (GMT + 9)
The Council of Rural and Maritime Environment of Xunta de Galicia authorized fishing for octopus. After two months of being prohibited the capture of this cephalopod, the fishery will reopen with changes in the use of pot traps.
The Council also established the beginning of the velvet crab, lobster, little snook and patulate seasons.
All these resources can be caught until the end of 2012, with the exception of lobster, for which a closure will begin on 29 September.
After a long meeting held last week at the headquarters of the Provincial Federation of Fishermen Associations, in the presence of the Secretary General of Marine Affairs, Juan Maneiro, the regional government and the industry agreed that the gears can be at sea during the week, but on Friday they will have to be taken back to the shore.
The agreement also involves a change in working hours, which over the coming months will be from 6.00 to 17.00.
The vessels must have to respect the maximum quotas included in the fishing plan, which are 30 kg per crew member per day, and further 30 kg per boat.
Meanwhile, the octopus status is still unknown in Galician waters.
The first few days after the opening of the closure are usually good in terms of catches, but the price reached by the octopus at auction will have to be monitored as well as the fact whether the situation continues, the newspaper Faro de Vigo reported.
However, the pot trap fishers recognize that the summer months are not the best for the cephalopod, since it is when this species is "thinner".
In addition, the deposits of Pontevedra agreed some changes to the area in which the pot traps should be collected, which are now extended to cover from Cape Silleiro up to Corrubedo.
That is to say, the entire Arousa estuary is covered, where its northern limit was exempt before because the limit was farther south, in the area known as Con de Aguieira.
With this new provision, the fleets from Ribeira, Palmeira and Aguiño have part of their work platform in Arousa estuary and are forced to take the pot traps to the land during the weekend.
These sectors were not enthusiastic about this initiative, so their representatives requested a meeting with Galician authorities.
In Galicia over 800 tonnes of squid were caught for about EUR 5 million between January and 30 April, 2012.
Out of the total, the markets of A Coruña captured nearly 134 tonnes of octopus, those from Burela captured 109 tonnes, and those from Ribeira caught 96 tonnes.
With respect to 2011, the economic value of this resource between January and May rose, changing from an average price of EUR 5.13 per kg in 2011 to EUR 6.29 per kg in 2012.
According to the Fisheries Technology Platform of the Council, in July last year 38,865 kilograms of octopus were sold in the market in Vigo, a figure that dropped significantly in the following months.
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By Analia Murias