Unloaded illex squid blocks in poybags (Photo: Revista Puerto)
Squid: There was great spawning and oceanographic conditions that helped
Friday, June 26, 2020, 07:00 (GMT + 9)
Marcela Ivanovic, head of the INIDEP Cephalopod Program, gave a review of a historic season, with landings that already exceed 60% of last year's catches and which remains oscillating in the 25th week of harvest.
The year 2020 will be remembered for the Covid-19 pandemic but in the fishing industry it will be remembered as the year in which the squid showed an unusual overabundance, sustained in a stock such as the North Patagonian Province of Buenos Aires, which had rarely shown such a contribution before. Marcela Ivanovic has no greater certainty than the other actors in the fishery to explain the miracle of the squid in 2020, but contributes scientific knowledge and comparative data to measure what this harvest represents in the history of the harvest. fishery.
"The last successful cycle of the North Management Unit had been in 2005," says the researcher in dialogue with REVISTA PUERTO. "That year 57 thousand tons were captured. So far in 2020, until June 20, 66 thousand were caught and the season has not yet ended, "he says.
In week 25 of the harvest there are 40 boats fishing an average of between 10 and 15 tons per day, with some nights, of some boats, with 20 tons. The fleet fishes between 42 ° S and 43 ° S and 59 ° W and 61 ° W.
The unusual phenomenon of abundance for Ivanovic has a logical explanation: "I think there was a good spawning last year, that just 4,000 tons were caught, and oceanographic conditions were recorded that first helped the hatching of the larvae and then the growth of juveniles ”.
Squid unloading from jigger ship (Photo: Stockfile)
With the northern catches, the total landed has reached 155,000 tons, one of the highest numbers in recent years. "Most of the captures of the Buenos Aires Norpatagónico stock were recorded in the quadrants of the external platform, between 40 ° S and 43 ° S and 56 ° W and 59 ° W. In this period, the catches of the largest specimens were recorded, most of them M and L, 284 millimeters long and 487 grams in weight, on average towards the end of May, "said the scientist.
The peak of yields in that area, according to the monitoring that the Program carries out every year on the national fleet, was recorded between weeks 14 and 17 when about 65 boats caught on average between 29 and 39 tons of squid per day .
Photo Diego Izquierdo / Revista Puerto
"Now the CPUE is oscillating and they are capturing specimens of 220 millimeters of mantle and 200 grams of weight," Ivanovic said, while anticipating that they are waiting for the catch per unit of effort to continue to be reduced to begin evaluating the end of the season. for the jigging fleet with the aim of guaranteeing the escape of specimens with a view to harvest 2021. The next meeting of the Squid Monitoring Commission has not yet been dated.
«This year we were not able to carry out the evaluation campaign of the Sudpatagónico Stock in February. On the other hand, due to the magnitude of the catches of the Summer Spawning Stock that have been registered in January-February of recent years, we have proposed to carry out a campaign in December to assess the abundance of this stock ", explained the Chief of the Program.
Before that date, other opportunities to have fresh data on what happens on the high seas with squid appear on the campaign agenda. The global hake campaign will be launched next month and juvenile records will be taken in the distribution area of the southern management unit.
Author: Roberto Garone / Revista Puerto