Patagonian toothfish, Dissostichus eleginoides. (Photo: Stock File)
New association aims to ensure Patagonian toothfish sustainability
Monday, October 14, 2013, 00:20 (GMT + 9)
In Punta Arenas the presentation of the Association of Operators of Magellan Sea Bass (Aobac), an organization created to protect and ensure responsible fishing of Patagonian toothfish or Chilean sea bass (Dissostichus eleginoides) in waters of that region, took place.
The members of the new association would like this resource to last long and not just a couple of years, emphasized Eduardo Infante and Enrique Gutierrez, Aobac president and vice president, respectively, Radio Polar reported.
For that reason, Aobac is committed to assisting the sector authorities in the research of the fishery resource and jointly fund fishing research and the fish tagging programme conducted by the Fishery Studies Centre (Cepes).
The Patagonian toothfish is exported mainly to Asian countries - China, Hong Kong and Singapore, where the main buyers are, and also to the United States.
The partner and founders companies of Aobac are Global Pesca, PescaChile, Pesca Cisne, Antarctic Sea Fisheries and Blue Ocean.
On the other hand, the new entity said that shipments of Patagonian toothfish abroad amount to about USD 50 million per year, according to El Pengüino.
Infante stressed that the group's main concern is the sustainability of the resource, "but also the representation of the interests of the industry."
"In this regard, a very important part for us is training our staff because we increasingly have difficulty finding enough qualified people," added the official.
He also stressed the importance of the fact that the toothfish management is conducted in a coordinated manner with the collaboration of several countries, as it is a migratory resource.
According to statistics from the Undersecretariat of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Subpesca), the toothfish landings reached 2,121 tonnes through August of 2013, 21.8 per cent less than in the first eight months of 2012 (2,713 tonnes).
- Fish landings drop in the first eight months
By Analia Murias