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Illex squid. (Photo: Maxpel)

Squid season records better catches and prices

Click on the flag for more information about Argentina ARGENTINA
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 00:20 (GMT + 9)

Until April 4, a total of 85,474 tonnes of Illex argentinus squid had been landed in Argentine ports, of which 42,590 tonnes were unloaded in Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires).

In second place was Puerto Deseado (Santa Cruz), with 27,958 tonnes, and in the third one was Puerto Madryn (Chubut) with 14,494 tonnes.

The jigger vessels contributed most of the catches, with 76,707 tonnes while the trawlers landed 8,214 tonnes, according to data from the Undersecretariat of Fisheries.

These landings represent an increase of 15 per cent over last year, a result that has been aided by the settlement of January’s season in advance.

Historically, the Illex squid season began on February 1, but the settlement of the current season 20 days in advance allowed the fleet to obtain good yields and compete in better conditions with the squid that since the end of 2017 has been caught by the foreign fleet at the limit of the exclusive economic zone.

In addition, earlier this month, the Federal Fisheries Council (CFP) authorized, in response to a request from the Chamber of Fishing and Freezer Shipowners of Argentina (CAPA), the capture of squid north of the 44° parallel South, outside the Argentine-Uruguayan Common Fishing Zone, as of April 4.

With this authorization it is expected to have the information to evaluate the behaviour of the ships that are directed to that zone in search of the northern Patagonian subpopulation from Buenos Aires (SBNP).

It should be noted that since 2014, the National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP) has not carried out research surveys on mollusks so that the jiggers start the season without knowing what kind of situation they will encounter.

The 2018 season is benefitting from better prices than those last year, around USD 3,300 per ton of whole squid, and USD 5,300 per tonne of pod.

Regarding sizes, "70 per cent of the catches are S size and 30 per cent M," said CAPA president Eduardo Román.

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