Argentina's Federal Fisheries Council (CFP) set the total allowable catches (TACs) for hoki, Southern blue whiting, Patagonian toothfish and common hake for the year 2019. The new TACs were set on the basis of the results of the stock assessments carried out by the National Institute for Fisheries Research and Development (INIDEP).
With respect to the hoki (Macruronus magellanicus), the INIDEP scientists estimated the CBA (biologically acceptable catch) between 41,000 and 185,000 tons considering all the recruitment and catch scenarios, and suggested that the TAC does not exceed the same value established for 2018.
For Southern blue whiting (Micromesistius australis), the INIDEP studies reveal that during recent years a slight recovery was observed, with an increase in the number of juveniles due to more favorable recruitment and a decrease in fishing effort in the reproductive area.
Based on the evaluation, the CBA values resulting from the forecasts and the different management objectives would make it possible to capture between 25,190 and 33,256 tons. For this reason, the scientists suggested establishing a TAC value for 2019 similar to that set for the previous year in order to allow the consolidation of the resource recovery that has been observed in the last abundance assessments.
For Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides), after considering the evaluation and all the catches of the species in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, INIDEP estimated the TAC for 2019 between 5,624 and 4,005 tons, corresponding to biological points reference associated with levels of fishing mortality that would allow to maintain the reproductive biomass in the long term above 20% and 30%, respectively.
Regarding the common hake (Merluccius hubbsi), the INIDEP considers that for the hake stock that is distributed north of 41º South latitude, the capture options should be considered in order to allow the reproductive biomass (RB) recover to 150,000 tons in the short term and 230,000 tons in the medium term, with a TAC recommendation for 2019 from 28,000 to 33,000 tons for the Argentine EEZ sector.
The technical report referring to the stock south of 41º S concludes that based on the results obtained in the evaluation, and with the intention of achieving 600,000 tons of RB and the increase in the proportion of large breeding stock over the total population of breeding stock, it is recommended to establish a TAC of 280,000 tons to comply with the biological objective in the medium term. In addition, INIDEP recommends the implementation of specific measures to reduce the capture of juveniles and to avoid fishing for brood stock when it begins to concentrate for its reproduction. (FIS)