A drop in hake catches, international prices coupled with problems arising from the several weeks strike in Mar del Plata (Buenos Aires province), when workers blocked access to port facilities protesting low salaries, have all had an impact on Argentina's fisheries industry.
The United States based Seafood Watch Program (SWP) has blacklisted Chilean seabass, advising U.S. consumers that the fish species is commonly exposed to mercury contamination. To prevent possible health risks, SWP suggests a significant decrease in Chilean seabass consumption, especially for children, who should be restricted to a maximum of one serving per month.
Uruguay and FAO, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, signed last July an agreement for the implementation of a three years fisheries management project which hopefully will make Uruguay's fishing industry more efficient and with greater technical emphasis.
Chile's National Fishing Service (SERNAPESCA) has instructed salmon farmers to kill fish found to be infected with the lethal Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA), a highly contagious virus that was recently detected on several fish farms in Region X.
President Nestor Kirchner promised Spain full compensation to the Spanish fishing companies torched during a July labor dispute in his home Patagonia province of Santa Cruz, plus pressing charges against those responsible, including union leaders.
The port of Mar del Plata, in the Province of Buenos Aires, began to recover its normal momentum after a 10-day blockade. Once the workers accepted the entrepreneurs' proposal on a guaranteed minimum wage and their legalised situation within a 100-day period, the fish skinning workers finally lifted their strike, and the sector's activity has resumed.
THE loligo season has commenced with modest catches, Director of Fisheries, John Barton said when reporting to the Fisheries Committee last week.
The fishing industry conflict in Patagonia's Puerto Deseado where striking workers torched six processing plants and has ceased all activities in the sector for almost a month is far from a solution and could further escalate, warn local authorities.
Chilean fishery exports in the first five months of 2007 generated 1,707 billion US dollars, up 21.3% compared to the same period in 2006, when returns totaled 1,407 billion, according to the latest release from the Fisheries Sub Secretariat, SUBPESCA.
Argentina exported 270,558 tons of fish and shellfish equivalents to 517.5 million US dollars during the first half of 2007. This represents a 17% drop in volume and 8% in value, compared to the same period last year, reported the National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA).