Argentina cuts drastically toothfish catches; Argentine fish exports increase 18%. Good shrimp catches in South Atlantic.
The Argentine Federal Fisheries Council established a maximum authorized catch of 2,500 tons for Patagonian toothfish, a 40% drastic cut over the 4,800 tons of last year. The decision follows recommendations from an INIDEP report (Argentina's Fisheries Research Institute) which describes the toothfish situation in Argentine waters as "highly endangered". The matter was addressed by the Fisheries Council with representatives of the fisheries industry this week. INIDEP's report titled "Abundance and catch potential estimates for toothfish (Dissostichus Eleginoides) in the Southwestern Atlantic" is based on a long term virgin reproductive biomass target of 30%, with a juvenile catch rate of 27%, which should help to a viable and sustainable recovery of the fishery. The report which confirms a significant drop in the reproductive biomass of toothfish worked on three possible catch options considered "biologically acceptable" for the 2004 season, 2,196, 2,980 and 3,264 tons. Private sector representatives accepted the recommendations from a conservation point of view but also pointed out that "it's not an isolated matter", since toothfish is also caught in Chilean and Malvinas waters. "The current decision restricting catches must assess and address the whole area otherwise this will have a unilateral negative impact for Argentine longliners", said private sector sources which also requested the establishment of a transparent quota system.
Argentine fish exports increase 18%. Argentine exports of fresh and processed, marine and fresh-water fish during the first half of 2004 increased 18% compared to the same period last year. Between January and June 2004, Argentina exported 186,398 tons of fisheries produce valued 253 million US dollars, 21% above the 210 million US dollars of the first half of 2003. Argentina's main clients were Spain, with 29,478 tons valued 50.9 million US dollars; Brazil, 22,166 tons and 30.6 million US dollars; United States 12,700 tons; Japan 12,303 tons; Colombia 11,865 tons and Germany 9,707 tons. The main produce of Argentine exports was hake with 90,025 tons; 19,970 tons of shad and 17,346 tons of hoki. Other commercial products include 10,911 tons of surimi/kanikama; 10,357 tons of anchovy and Argentinean anchovy and 4,021 tons of Pollock. (FIS/MP).-
Good shrimp catches in South Atlantic The first week of fishery efforts in the permanently-banned zone for Argentine hake but opened for shrimp have yielded very good catches, according to sources from the sector. Shrimp vessels operating in the area, parallel 44Ãâ€šÃ‚Â° 30'S, parallel 47Ãâ€šÃ‚Â° S, meridian 63Ãâ€šÃ‚Â° W and the provincial jurisdiction line off shore Chubut and Santa Cruz provinces have caught an average 1,500 to 2,000 kilos daily per vessel. According to Pesca y Puertos, best catches regarding quantity and size were obtained during the weekend in the 46Ãâ€šÃ‚Âº 20' S area. However no information is available on the Argentine hake by-catch percentage, a critical issue to consider since fishery operations are taking place within an area declared as a "permanently banned zone" for this resource. Decree 264/2004, opening the shrimp fishery for two weeks is conditioned to daily reports from observers and inspectors onboard the fishing vessels which will help determine the closure or opening of sub-zones within the permitted areas. The Argentine Federal Fisheries Council decided to open the fishery in jurisdictional waters to give the shrimp sector a chance to recover after a long period of inactivity. According to sector sources shrimp vessel owners are anxious to know the current campaign results. (FIS/MP)