Falkland Islands catches of Illex squid surpassed this week the previous record annual catch by 2,022 tons. That record was 266,201 tons in 1999 and Director of Natural Resources John Barton reported midmorning on Thursday that the 2014 catch had just has just overtaken that at 268,223 tons.
He said however that catches will now slow dramatically as licenses for about 70% of the fleet expired yesterday (May 15).
Mr Barton commented that it was good to have a strong squid season and it demonstrated the resilience of Illex squid.
He said however that the Illex is under a lot of pressure throughout the Southwest Atlantic and biomass and catches can fluctuate hugely from year to year.
He explained that the previous conservation arrangements implemented through the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission involving Argentina, Britain and the Falklands, from 1990 to 2005, had afforded greater protection and conservation to Illex squid, but that process had stopped in 2005 when Argentina suspended co-operation. (Penguin News)